Paddling in Mabou

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This past weekend, we had the opportunity to head to Cape Breton for some visiting and a few outdoor adventures with the girls.   One of them was a day of paddling on the Mabou River.  The day was overcast with a slight wind, but there was just enough wind to take the bugs away.

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The river follows grassy marshes which we found were full of nesting geese.  As we passed through the area, lots of noise from the geese followed as the males tried to lead us away from the area.

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We also were able to paddle underneath a large eagle's nest in one of the trees overlooking the river.

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Our turnaround point was this rail bridge on the Transcanada Trail in Hillsborough.

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We stopped for lunch and the girls were happy to skip rocks on the water in a heavy competition with their parents for the 'cross the river' title.  

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There are a few overhanging trees along the river.  The beavers have been working away on this tree for a while now.

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We passed by a little island where we saw a nesting goose trying to stay hidden in the grass.  We spoke with some locals who said she's been sitting here for three weeks, through floods and other weather.  The next day, we saw that she had moved off the nest and the eggs were hatched!

After leaving the river, the girls asked to go to West Mabou Beach to pick sea glass.  It was 19 C, but a little bit of wind to keep it still a bit cool at the beach.  

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I brought my kayak down for some self rescue practice in the ocean water.  I had only practiced in a warm pool over the wintertime during my kayaking course, but today had a chance to do it with some supervison from the beach.  With a wetsuit on, I worked on 'randomly' tipping my kayak and then practiced a re-entry using a paddle float.  

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It was a slight shock hitting the cold water even with a wet suit.  It was good to find out how the cold played a bit of a factor in my ability to get things started to get back into my kayak.  But, it was successful after slowing down a bit and taking time to blow up my paddle float properly (see below).

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Tricky, but a successful attempt nonetheless!  It didn't take long to warm up again while paddling around the beach area. 

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