On my second outing of commando kayaking in Metro Toronto, I wrestled my inflatable kayak into my sister-in-law's car trunk. She dropped me at Square One in Mississauga, and I hopped onto the GO bus to Union Station, downtown Toronto.
Once there, I trundled the kayak into the station, down stairs, and onto a streetcar to the waterfront. It was a four-block walk, with Bay Street to cross, so the streetcar was a good alternative. Then onto the little ferry to the Toronto Islands.
When Bernie was here, he rented a plastic kayak from a place on Harbourfront. I was paddling the Dragonfly model inflatable and there was a lot of traffic in the harbour that morning, so the ferry seemed sensible. Sure enough, there were several sailboats out for their first bright day of the summer.
It was a bright day, from time to time, and just a little breeze to start that picked up as the day went on. I hopped off the ferry at Hanlan's Island, changed in the restroom, and puffed up the boat. Strapping everything on the deck was a little tricky, as it raised the centre of gravity, but the Dragonfly is a pretty stable ride. Putting anything under my seat was NOT on, as it raised MY centre of gravity high enough to mess with my muscle sense of balance.
Hanlan's Island is a nice place, less crowded than the rest of the islands. I saw many birds during the day, including a scarlet tanager and a kingfisher and something like a great blue heron with a short neck.
Five different tour boats cruised past me at intervals during the day. Lots of little power boats at marinas in these islands, and many houses on Ward's Island or Algonquin Island have boats and decks at the shoreline.
I made my way slowly around Centre Island to Ward's Island and got out at the ferry terminal there. note to self: launch and land on the east side of the terminal, not the west side as I did.
All in all, it was three and a half hours of paddling in quiet, sheltered waters (except when I rounded two islands, and that was still on the harbour side). I'll do it again someday, and hope to have friends along.