Sunday, 8 July 2012

Cottage

Whoo!  Yah, so anyways, thanks everybody for the congratulations and well-wishing!  We did end up celebrating by doing close to nothing today.  So nice.  But I should make note of what we've been up to in the week leading up to the big proposal.

A couple years ago (pre-Jen), the TBone clan had rented a cottage on Haliburton Lake.  It was a pretty nice location and a cozy cottage that had everything we needed.  My fishing expeditions were incredibly futile.  My brother, Shane, had the luck that week and caught enough to do up a fish fry for the family on our last night.

This year we had decided to try it again.  My brother-in-law, Morgan, did all the research and ended up getting us this place.  Check out that link.  This place is like one of those home and garden TV shows.  It was fairly ridiculous.  But we settled right in like we owned the place.

Morgan had also procured us a boat for fishing.  We got right to it our first night there.  Kamaniskeg Lake is a beautiful body of water and it looked jam packed with high potential bass features.  We had high hopes.  I struck first with a medium sized pike.  There was a couple other wee fish but we felt we were on the right track.

We weren't.

The next 6 days saw the three of us trying every single nook and cranny in that lake, throwing everything in our tackle boxes out there, and our net return was a handful of rock bass and one decent sized small mouth.  Shane caught the small mouth on the next to last day and his frustration was at max.  Morgan and I were relieved that Shane had finally caught something that warranted some fish batter.  You can imagine our shock when he threw it back in the lake.  His explanation was that that fish was obviously the last small mouth in the lake and should therefore be left to repopulate.

So we didn't catch much fish.  But our fishing expeditions weren't without excitement. As we worked our way North in search of bass, we found ourselves in a beautiful bay at the opposite end of the lake from our cottage.  We had finished our fruitless pass of the shoreline and I turned to the outboard to get us out of that barren wasteland to get to the next bay where SURELY the fish would be waiting for us. 

The motor wouldn't start.  I pulled and pulled and finally got some sputtering and then it died again.  Morgan pointed out that the Oil Level/High Temp light was on when the engine was on.  When I managed to get the engine started again, the light was indeed on and I looked around to confirm that there was no water coming out of the back of the engine that would indicate the cooling circuit was working. 

We beached the boat to take a closer look.  Everything looked intact, there was nothing blocking the water intake.  We scratched our heads and let the engine cool.  While I was waiting, I wandered into the woods a bit to take a leak.  I happened upon an old camp fire with half a dozen fish carcasses that somebody had recently cooked up for a shore lunch.  The evidence that there were fish in the lake and that it was possible to catch them was quite humorous to me.  Shane didn't laugh.

We got the engine running again and started back.  It didn't last long before it overheated again.  We started rowing.  This is a big lake. We had a long day ahead of us.  While Shane rowed, I poured water over the engine to try and cool it off enough so we could get 10 seconds of thrust before it overheated again.

We got out of the bay.  We had a long way to go.  Thankfully a local resident named Ralph happened along in his 150HP ski boat.  He towed our boat to his dock and then sped us home to alert the guy we'd rented the boat from.

At that point, Shane was done.  No more fishing!  We left it alone for a day.  During that time Morgan had negotiated a ski boat from the boat rental guy in exchange for our faulty fishing boat.  With our plusher ride, we convinced Shane to give the fishing another go.  We hit a couple spots without any success and then ended up close to Ralph's place.  Ralph had told us this spot was guaranteed to give us some fish.

It didn't.  Alright, we were going to go right to the North end and then call it quits.  Except we couldn't get the boat started.  We spent 10 minutes trying to get it started.  And it finally started but we were sweating at the prospect of trying to paddle this beast anywhere.  When it started, I looked up and Shane was waving.  I looked around and Ralph was out on his dock ready to come out and tow us again.  We laughed.  But we also went straight home before the fishing gods had any more fun at our expense.

So that was the fishing.  A big part of my week but everybody else was making the most out of this getaway.  Jen was having a blast  with the kids, out at the dock, organizing scavenger hunts, making chocolates, doing crafts.  The kids really took to the water and were constantly jumping in and out of the water.

We had a great week, weather-wise.  Actually, my only complaint was that we never had that one rainy day that we stayed inside to play board games or watch movies or play euchre.  Days like those are vivid memories from my childhood summers at my grandparents' place on the lake.

Aside from that, I think it was a great week and the kids will have their own fond memories to look back on when they take their one week of vacation from their soul crushing office jobs.  Yah, good times.

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