A Georgian Bay Haibun by Ingrid Exner- Poem 6

The water gently and rhythmically lapped against the sides of the canoe as the bow cut through the blue water. The canoe rocked gently almost lulling us to sleep. Everywhere you looked, it was a panorama of natural beauty. Blue Spruce and white pine rose high on rocky cliffs of Canadian Shield and juniper bushes decorated the shoreline rock. I leaned back into my seat and tried to extend my legs in front of me. This canoe/kayak combination of a wooden canoe slid through the water like a dream but the choppy water was making it more difficult to paddle and paddle straight. Since the boat was closer to the water level, it also meant that any slight wave flipped over the bow and splashed the person sitting in the front and, that person just happened to be me. When we did happen to come across a wave or when a boat came close to us, Cam and I tried our best to slow down, stop paddling and ride the wave. This wave surfing was fun and reminded me of riding the roller coasters at local fairs when I was very, very young. We rode a lot of waves on Georgian Bay during our recent visit. And, I have to say that my favourite “wave surfing” came on our return trip from Huckleberry Island. The winds had risen while we were on the island and we left the island heading out into white caps. The beginning of the trip was difficult as more than a few waves splashed into the wooden canoe soaking me and many of the items I had in the front of the canoe. Luckily, I had remembered to bring my plastic poncho which I put over the items in the front of the canoe. So, while I still had to bail out the water that came in from the wave, I had much less water to bail out on the return trip. And, once we started to head back to the island, the waves were behind us, pushing us forward and we safely surfed toward shore in our wooden canoe.


Waves lapping gently

Laughing waters carried us

Safely to the shore.


Ingrid Exner, 2016.

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