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Pam Martin & John Kernaghan

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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 🎶 Last night I heard an owl cry 
And so I took a walk outside 
And saw the northern lights dance lightly 
High above a wild Cape Breton Sky 
Felt the north west wind blow softly 
All along the valley from the sea 
And from my doorway watched the moonrise 
High above the hills of Margaree🎶

The Hills of Margaree-Jim Brannigan Paddling on Cape Bretons' beautiful Margaree River feels as though you've been painted into an Old Masters landscape. Jeremy Smith of CB West Paddle Boards @cbwestsup expertly guided us through shallow rapids, respectfully skirted serious salmon fishers, and allowed us to enjoy the bucolic settings along  the quiet portions of this river he grew up on. Soaring eagles & leaping salmon brought us as close to nature as one can get. 
Read more about our  Margaree River adventure on our blog CanadaOnboard.ca
.
@cbwestsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism @paddlecanada @bluejellyfishsup #visitnovascotia #explore #explorecanada #explorens #capebreton #novascotia #cabottrail #Margaree #margareeriver #cheticamp #capebretonhighlands #sup #standuppaddle #paddleboarding #paddle #paddlecanada #adventuresforthesoul #roadtrip #crosscanadapaddleroadtrip #canada #canad150 #coasttocoast150 #oldmasterspainting #salmon One of the goals of our cross Canada paddling road trip was to connect with local stand up paddling groups and businesses to give them an opportunity to share their favourite paddling locations with the hope that others may be inspired to explore there as well. And if you decide to venture to some of the locales we visit, you will know who to contact for  local knowledge as well as get you geared up or guided along the way. Jeremy Smith, of CB West Paddle Boards @cbwestsup took us on an incredible  tour of Cape Breton's beautiful Margaree River. This river  has long been on Pams' bucket list but it's secret launches and unpredictable depths have made it difficult to navigate. Jeremy, a Margaree native, made it all possible! Not only was the paddle everything we thought it might be, but Jeremy was awesome accommodating our schedule, providing gear, sorting out a shuttle and bestowing upon us the friendly hospitality Cape Breton is known for. Oh, and we can't forget the fresh cinnamon buns that appeared out of his dry bag during a rest stop! Pure magic!! @cbwestsup @visitnovascotia @nstourism #visitnovascotia @visitcapebretonisland @tourcapebreton @capebretontourism #explore #explorecanada #explorens #capebreton #novascotia #cabottrail #margaree #cheticamp #capebretonhighlands #sup #standuppaddle #paddleboarding @paddlecanada #paddlecanada #adventuresforthesoul @bluejellyfishsup #shareoceanpassion #roadtrip #crosscanadapaddleroadtrip #canada #canada150

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At our second Newfoundland stop, the Marble Inn Resort in Steady Brook, near Corner Brook, we discovered one thing better than paddling — après paddling.

The launch point behind the Marble Inn Resort.

The launch point behind the Marble Inn Resort.

Aprés Paddle

On a sunblessed afternoon following a leisurely cruise up the Humber River, we pulled chilled wine from the cooler and lolled on the dock as the river cooled our feet.
This was the second paddle in our Canada 150 project to celebrate Canada’s waterways from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island in 30 days by SUV and crazy camper van.

 

A perfect cold water dip after a steaming sauna!

A perfect cold water dip after a steaming sauna!

Even better, the Marble staff fired up the riverside sauna, a barrel-shaped structure with a protruding plexiglass panel to view the glistening Humber. This was hot but welcome work interrupted by a scamper down a path to the dock and submersion in the river followed by a hasty retreat to the sauna.

Beautiful views of the Long Range Mountains while we paddled.

Beautiful views of the Long Range Mountains while we paddled.

River Navigation

The paddle was initially a lesson for the novice in negotiating the little licks of water intersecting a marshy area, John down on his knees trying to read the depth and speed of the water in the mini channels bordered by sedges.

Navigating the Humber River

Navigating the riffles & pools of the Humber River, Steady Brook, Newfoundland.

Pam’s rule of thumb, follow the tiny trail of foam as it generally courses where the water is deepest, worked fine. It was a fun bit of water play before the river widened and we passed a few cottages, exchanging ‘where are you froms?’ with renters.

The Stunning Humber River

The Humber flows for 153 kilometers, dropping close to 700 metres from its origins to the Bay of Islands near Corner Brook. Accordingly, guide John, of the Marble Inn Resort advised to stay clear of the mid section of the river, which would be flowing fast in later afternoon.

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So we explored close to quiet shores, drinking in the Long Range mountains, which rose spectacularly around us.

We enjoyed the pull of tide and wind at our backs heading back to the resort, where wine and sauna waited. The beauty of the launch point right behind the hotel and a choice of house paddleboards was its’ convenience. No unloading from the SUV and a room and hot shower close at hand.

Gear, launch site and views courtesy of the Marble Inn Resort.

Gear, launch site and views courtesy of the Marble Inn Resort.

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Visionary Joe Dicks

Owner Joe Dicks has built quite an operation here, an all seasons resort flanked by the Humber River and Marble Mountain ski runs and close to paddling, hiking and fishing adventures either direction up Western Newfoundland’s coast. His associated company, Explore Newfoundland, offers everything from family adventures to expeditions for serious photographers.
And his Inn offers big, well-appointed rooms and nice amenities like a large indoor pool in a classic spa setting with whirlpool and sauna close by.

Local Gastronomy

Moreover, the Marble Inn offers a high-end restaurant called Madison’s which listed several creative dishes during our visit.
But as we were seated a quintet of large fragrant house burgers lined up and waiting to be served was eye candy we could not pass on.
After a day on the water and in the sun and sauna, we craved comfort food.
The breakfast buffet was a hit, too, with fresh pastries and fruit, made-to-order waffles and a choice of cereals as well as very good coffee and a wide range of teas.

Pam particularly appreciated the small things that make a difference – tiny chocolates on offer at the breakfast buffet and amply sized mugs to warm one’s hands around whilst sipping nice quality Earl Grey.

All together it was the perfect spot to rest up for the next stage of our journey and the overnight ferry from Port aux Basques, NL to North Sydney, NS.

Marine Atlantic ferry just before sunrise North Sydney, NS to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.

Marine Atlantic ferry just before sunrise North Sydney, NS to Port aux Basques, Newfoundland.

Marine Atlantic ferry pulling into Port aux Basques, Newfoundland at sunrise.

Marine Atlantic ferry pulling into Port aux Basques, Newfoundland at sunrise.

View from the Marine Atlantic ferry at our sunrise arrival into Port aux Basques, NL.

View from the Marine Atlantic ferry at our sunrise arrival into Port aux Basques, NL.

 

Meet our new friend, Molly Kool!

"Molly Kool" Joins Our Adventure!

“Molly Kool” Joins Our Adventure!

 

Our mascot, Molly Kool, honours North America’s first woman ship’s captain. Molly, of Alma, N.B., learned her craft from her father Paul, a Dutch immigrant, and plied it largely on the Bay of Fundy. Marine law had to be changed to add “her” to legislation covering sea captains after she earned her papers.

She survived collisions at sea and eventually wore down the skepticism of male counterparts with her skill in plying Canadian waters. She passed away in 2009 at age 93.
Molly, a Marine Atlantic prop will be onboard with us from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. Who knows where she may pop up along the way…

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