When you see a big collection of them all in one place like this, it’s tempting to think of these light craft, many of which are available for rent right in the middle of the busiest tourist section of the harbourfront (active with TONS of powered craft, that must surely threaten to swamp such low-draughters with their wakes, constantly) as a bunch of cheerful decorations.  A stochastic daily scattering upon the waves, and a sign too of a cheeringly well founded trust in their situationally self-collecting nature, as the rental-charge hours turn over, as frettingly witnessed by waterproof (or, sadly not) chronometers.

Modern world being what it is, this whole enterprise must be at least a thousand times safer than it sounds, despite the very busy harbour traffic (and the even nastier confined access-channels you have to navigate, to get around the island and into the open lake). How do we know this? Because this rental has thrived for decades, and insurance would have killed it off, otherwise!

Having once seen the harbour from canoe-height myself (paddling out on a rental canoe from the island, through the lagoon system), I can tell you I would not do it again – cleanup or not, I wouldn’t want to drink any of that harbour-water, and we came close, more than once.

Of course my admiration for those who commute into town (some from as far away as Port-Credit) every day all summer long by-kayak is absolutely unbounded – definitively out-cooling the very hippest bicycle elitists.

Piper Colt office – right hand seat

But what with the busy Billy Bishop regional (island) airport so very nearby, I can’t help also remembering circling at about seven hundred feet in a Piper-Colt floatplane above a tiny pleasure lake, looking for one straight-line into the wind, in which to safely land – with a normally very mild and soft-spoken pilot cursing all of the gleeful colourful paddlers idling about aimlessly below – to-ing and fro-ing and randomly changing course – obviously without the slightest care, thought, eye, or ear for the word around them.

“Do they actually want me to f@#ing land on them, is that it?  Is it a dare – thin the herd out a little bit?”  Anyone airborne will grant that even the most modest of pennants are truly great situational wind-socks, very much appreciated – but move the heck over already and pick a lane, will you? We only have so much fuel!

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