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Pam Martin & John Kernaghan

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Happy Birthday, Canada!! We were privileged to cross Canada last year on our SUP road trip. We miss the wide open roads, beautiful vistas, unparalleled paddling opportunities and meeting friendly fellow explorers. Never stop appreciating this magnificent country! ❤️🇨🇦❤️ #Canada #canadaday #roadtrip #trains #railroad @trainstationinn @visitnovascotia @tourism.canada
Excited to see the story and photos of our cross Canada SUP trip published by Canadian Press, both in print and online. Check out the link in our bio for the National Post's online version. We had a blast exploring the waterways of Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific and plenty in between. A huge thank you to everyone who helped and to those you guided us to their favourite local paddling spots. We weren't able to mention all of the highlights in the article but if you are interested check out our blog canadaonboard.ca for the full stories of our escapades 😀🚐 and great ideas for places to SUP including the people who can help you get there this summer. @canadaonboard @cdnpress @nationalpost @hamiltonspectator @supbearfoot @jodiboydrmt @queen_city_sup @pacificapaddle @cbwestsup @livelifeintents @neddies_harbour_inn @newfoundlandlabrador @tourismpei @tourismcb @nicolavalleypaddle @destinationnb @maferries @visitnovascotia @cascadiaboardco @bluwavesup @bluejellyfishsup @jkernaghan1
Anyone interested in visiting the Toronto Outdoor Adventure & Travel show this weekend can use promotion codes CANADA or PADDLING if you purchase tickets online and you will receive a $4.00 discount at check out! And we have a few free admission tickets available. We will give them to the first people to contact us until they run out :)) We will be at Booth 675 - come and say hi or check out the presentations we are doing Friday & Saturday about our crazy, fun cross Canada Stand Up Paddle road trip Canada Onboard: Coast to Coast 150. #OAS Toronto #adventure #travel #outdoors #paddle #roadtrip @theperiwinkledragonflycompany @canadaonboard
A perfect red chair roost overlooking Kidston Lighthouse in beautiful Bras D'Or Lake, a stones throw away from quaint but bustling Baddeck, NS. A welcome respite for travellers expanding their minds with the amazingly illuminating history found in the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. Next stop Tatamagouche, NS. Read more about our Cross Canada Paddling Roadtrip, celebrating Canada 150, on our blog: CanadaOnboard.ca 🇨🇦 @cbwestsup @bluejellyfishsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism @tourcanada @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism @parks.canada @parkscanadaredchair #sharethechair #baddeck #explore #explorecanada #explorecanada #explorens #capebreton #nova scotia #cabottrail #adventuresforthesoul #roadtrip #canada150 #parkscanada #alexandergrahambell #alexandergrahambellmuseum #museum #crosscanadapaddlingroadtrip
Although we love the paddling and scenery our adventure is about so much more. Savouring the cuisine of local eateries is high on our list of must do experiences. The Dancing Goat Cafe & Bakery, along the Cabot Trail in Margaree, NS is one of our favourites. It's delicious food, engaging locales and comfortable ambience proved the perfect spot for us to slow our pace and get some work done. Read more about our Cross Canada Paddling Roadtrip celebrating Canada 150 on our blog: CanadaOnboard.ca
Jeremy Smith of @cbwestsup leads us swishing through the grasses with our gear. He knows all the secret, hidden launches along the Margaree River, raising the adventure factor of our afternoon paddle to a higher level. Check out our blog CanadaOnboard.ca to read more about our Cross Canada Paddling Roadtrip celebrating Canada 150🇨🇦 @cbwestsup @bluejellyfishsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism @tourcanada @tourcanada @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism @visitcapebretonisland @capebretonpost #visitnovascotia #explore #explorecanada #explorens #novascotia #capebreton #cabottrail #margaree #margareeriver #adventuresforthesoul #roadtrip #canada #canada150 #crosscanadapaddlingroadtrip

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The stubby branches of the submerged tree menaced so close they felt like they were reaching out to grab me. And no matter how hard I paddled, I could not seem to put any distance between my board and the dilemma of these two horns a mere metre behind me.

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A misty morning view from the wharf at Wild Renfrew. Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park & the trailhead for the West Coast Trail can be seen across Port San Juan.

We were on the San Juan River on the edge of the wilderness where the road from Victoria, on Vancouver Island, B.C., ends. And a howling wind hit peak velocity as Pam guided me closer to shore where there was a respite from wind and tide.
If only I could gain a few precious feet and pop free of this watery treadmill I was on. And my mind raced. We were off the grid with no cell service and only a footpath running alongside the river for an exit.

Stand Up Paddler in Training

This was not quite what we had in mind for me to gain more confidence in the buildup to our cross-country trip to celebrate Canada’s 150th and the nation’s waterways.
But it’s not an adventure if it doesn’t throw a scare into you and this was both test and slight fright.

So the wind abated enough to get clear of the threat and we settled down (on knees and butt respectively to minimize the wind’s resistance) to a slow, determined paddle back to our launch point.
Pam plotted a path along seams of slack water between the chop of incoming tide and the bridge where the river spilled into the estuary of Port San Juan began to take shape. I will forever call it A Bridge Too Far.

The joy of the easy ride on the tide up the river was lost in that slow slog home and I cursed my impatience in not simply idling away another hour on a pristine bar of sand while the tide turned.
Anyway, it is a sweet little river to meander along, alive with bubbling water and birdsong and almost totally ours one glorious afternoon save for a few kayakers.

Wild Renfrew – “Wilderness Within Reach”

We were able to put in about a five-minute drive from Wild Renfrew where we stayed. It was a small but well-appointed accommodation called a Wharfside Studio, with either sunrise or sunset views and little patios with gas fire pits to ward off the evening chill. There’s also cottages which enjoy bay and mountain views and lodge accommodation with kitchenettes.
Port Renfrew, which is a 90-minute drive from Victoria, has been rebranded as Wild Renfrew and recreation outfits like Pacifica Paddle Sports are setting up shop to serve leisure and adventure paddlers.

 

Local Gastronomy

The dining options are limited in this area, but the three options all scored good marks.
Renfrew Pub at the West Coast Trail Lodge offered the widest range of food and is open later, to around 8 p.m., while the Coastal Kitchen, also operated by Wild Renfrew, and Tomi’s are breakfast and lunch places.

Renfrew Pub

Renfrew Pub – an outdoor patio with stunning views & scrumptious fare, hardy enough for West Coast Trail thru hikers.

 

But there’s food for the stomach and food for the soul. Wild Renfrew delivered plenty of the latter.

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