Saturday June 30th, a contingent of 12 rowers from Hanlan made their way up to Kahshe Lake. The lake is the southern most and fourth largest of the Muskoka lakes. The lake is scattered with islands, some so small they are just referred to as … ‘rocks’. It appears that no one really had rowed this lake before, so this made up for an interesting experience.
The boats were rigged and the water-proofed map of the lake distributed. Once all team members glanced at the map… turns out no one wanted to be a coxie. While this was a race, it was low key as we were rowing uncharted territories and only 3 crews were entered. Cynthia Warn and Adrian Cornelissen had handpicked their crew and were ready for a race. The week before, Adrian had taken his crew around the Toronto Islands and they were feeling pretty strong.
Around 11am, the three crews lined up in front of the launching beach for the start. Richard Vincent, President of Ontario Adventure Rowing gave the start. False start that was as Kevin Gillan managed to break an oar pulling his first stroke! There is no question now that Kevin high up past 6 feet not just looks strong, he is. A second start was given and Kevin’s crew ‘manned’ by Cynthia had to first row back to shore, then catch up.
The first part of the course was fairly easy -- one right turn pass Chief Island and straight down the channel to the Kahshe River, U turn and the bottom and mid way up the Channel, turn east towards Boyd Island. My crew was in the lead but on the approach to Boyd Island ~30 minutes into the row, we spotted Cynthia crew coming back at us at a strong pace. This was also when we saw Adrian’s crew missing the turn and …. getting lost.
At Boyd Island, Cynthia’s crew caught up to us. We inquired about Adrian’s crew for there was no sign of them. After switching coxies and asking some cottagers to look for Adrian’s crew, we proceeded to round Boyd Island to the eastern most part of our row.
The "ghost vessel" reappeared! As we were coming back toward the launch point and getting ready to round Anderson Island, we spotted the lost crew. They followed us the rest of the way to the finish.
In the end, the Kahshe lake rally was won Jen Dickie, Cynthia Warn, Lissa Magano, Kevin Gillan and Patrick Vincent.
After the race, we gathered at Richard Vincent’s sister home to rinse our throats with a few beers and fill our stomachs with a ton of food.
Many thanks to all the participants. Adrian’s ghost vessel was stroked by Megan Sim with Malinda, Melanie and Phil. Rowing with me were Richard Vincent, Fiona, Dennis and Jeff.
A ton of fun memories on a beautiful Muskoka summer day.