Aussies, Mozzies and Cozzies

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Alex is the trivia king. He is an absolute mine of completely useless, yet strangely fascinating, information. He will often spout some bizarre random fact that he read somewhere; something that sounds like he just made it up, but which is usually (and annoyingly) correct. Things like, there is a law in Alabama which prohibits the wearing of a fake moustache that would make a person laugh in church, or that men are four times more likely to be struck by lightning than women, or that spiders have transparent blood...

However, one of the more salient facts delivered by Trivia Boy lately is that Canada has more lakes than all other countries in the world combined. That struck a chord with me, since a) we are in Canada, and b) there sure does seem to be an enormous number of lakes here. Is he correct? Who knows, but it sounds good. If anyone feels like proving or disproving him, remember that Google is your friend. Let me know what you find.

We have had a chance to see quite a few of these lakes lately, but last weekend we were invited to visit a whole new lake (well, a bay actually) - by our friends Cathy and Randy and their kids Tovah and John. These guys own a beautiful little rustic cottage on the shores of Georgian Bay, just near the delightfully named Honey Harbour. Georgian Bay has an entirely different feel to the lakes of the nearby Muskoka region... it seems to have more of a rustic, laid back feel, with mostly older cottages. The surrounding envirnment is uniquely different too, characterised with a rockier, more rugged look.

We drove from Oakville to Honey Harbour on Saturday afternoon, and met Randy at the marina as planned. Throwing all our gear into the boat, we made the short 10 minute boat ride out to their cottage, which is located in the main channel to the Bay, directly across from the National Park of Beausoliel Island. It's a top spot, nestled up in among the oaks and pines with a huge deck on which to just sit and watch life go by. The cottage itself is a genuine 70 year old log cabin, just a single room but with tons of character.

The kids wasted no time jumping into the kayaks and paddling around the safe waters off the private beach, while the adults had a drink or two and enjoyed the views. We went for a boat ride, did some fishing, and just generally knocked about doing as little else as possible. Just the way I like it.

We enjoyed dinner on the outside deck, where the only real spoiler were the darn mosquitos, or 'Mozzies' as we taught our Canadian friends to say. However, if you doused enough mozzie repellant on, they would leave you alone for a while. We tried all manner of mozzie deterrents, from citronella candles to PiC rings, and we eventually seemed to win the battle. Sunset came, and the amazing red glow over the water was a sight to behold. The kids started a bonfire on the beach, and we all made our way down to the fire to sit and talk, and enjoy a fabulous evening of staring into the 'bush telly'. The skies, which had been quite overcast for most of the day, finally cleared to reveal a starry sky and half moon over the water. The campfire participants gradually dropped off, one by one heading off to bed, until it was just Randy, myself and a guitar enjoying the fireglow.

Next morning we enjoyed a lazy start, a big BBQ breakfast, and more fishing and swimming. I would have gone in for a dip, but I didn't bring my cozzies. I threatened to go in starkers, but it wasn't met with much enthusiasm so I gave it a miss. Later in the day we decided to go for a boat ride to a place further out into Georgian Bay itself... because Randy's boat is only licenced to carry 7 people, the two boys offered to follow behind in the tinnie. It was quite an adventure for them, as John caned the little 15 horsepower motor on the tinnie to keep up with dad's boat, powered along by all 115 horses of its Johnson outboard. The boys bounced and splashed along at full speed behind the bigger boat, and the water got progressively choppier as the afternoon breezy really started to cut into it. We were most of the way to our destination, out on the open waters of the Bay, when we decided that our safety was more important than our fun, and so we turned back and instead went into the protected waters of Frying Pan Bay. We stopped here for lunch and a spot of fishing, before heading back for the afternoon.

While the girls made dinner, Randy and I knocked up a set of steps for the bunkie... nothing too fancy, just a way of getting from the ground to the verandah. It was fun to be drilling holes and sawing timber... might have to take on a few projects once we get back home!

Like all weekends, this one had to come to a close, so we helped pack everything away, clean the cottage and pack all our gear. We said our goodbyes and Randy gave us a ride back to the marina and our waiting car. It was a quick trip back to Oakville, less than two hours (barely enough time to listen to a couple of Doctor Karl episodes on the iPod!), and we were safely home after yet another wonderful weekend experiencing the real Canada. Thanks go to Randy, Cathy, John and Tovah for their hospitality and for making us feel so welcome.

And did you know that Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike competition? I'll bet Alex does.

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