By Barry L. Hatt
What really upsets me is
people making a good living out of something that I should have started.
Im not upset by others doing it, Im upset that I didnt take
the idea a little bit further and do it first.
day adventures are a case in point. Brian Anderson and I had a good start at it
in the early fall of 1970 and didnt realize what we had.
One day we were in Saint John for supplies, (Brian
had an Auto Body Repair shop, ) and saw a 16 foot, fibreglass canoe with air
compartments at both ends. The price was greatly reduced so we bought it, along
with a couple of paddles and life jackets. It had air compartments at both ends
for safety purposes and that canoe turned out to be one of the best purchases
we ever made. Come to think of it, I probably still owe him some money on that
One of the good things about canoes is that
they are so easy to transport. With a couple of lengths of rope and a blanket
we tied the canoe to the roof of Brians old 51 Dodge, 2-door, and were
We proceeded to take it to Lake
Utopia for trial runs and found it to be stable, very fast when under power,
and easy to control. That fall and all the next summer we wrote the book on day
On weekends if we had an hour or two to
spare, off we would go. We explored Lake Utopia, The Canal from
Lake Utopia to the Magaguadavic River, The Magaguadavic River from Second Falls
to St.George and for Salt water we explored LEtang Harbour, the
LEtang River to the causeway, Lime Kiln Bay, Blacks Harbour and all the
islands in that part of the world.
A canoe is a very
nature friendly craft and animals are not overly upset at its passing.
Not only did we see some awesome scenery and get some
exercise, but also we saw nature in its pure form with animals and birds of
many diverse kinds. We saw eagles, ducks, various types of sea birds, seals and
on one special occasion two porpoise in Lime Kiln Bay came over to take a close
look at us. To see them surfacing and submerging as they detoured to journey
past us helped put everything in the world in proper perspective.
There were often deer that would stand to watch as we
went past. Even an occasional bear would note our passing. To have a warm
summer sun shining as we manouvered the many turns of the Magaguadavic River
was relaxation at its best.
Salt water canoeing is a
little more dangerous, especially on the Bay Of Fundy. The 35-foot tides,
currents, larger waves and ocean swells all have to be taken into
consideration. The most important thing is to be prepared and know how to
handle a canoe and, if the weather is changing, stay close to a friendly shore.
After we were used to the many aspects of canoe usage
we decided to take a weekend trip along the coast. We put the canoe in the
water at Musquash Harbour on Friday evening and headed west. We looked at
several places to set up our tent for the night and finally put in at Haleys
Cove. There we fixed a meal, played the guitar and scared the animals away with
our singing. With a meal in our stomachs and a beautiful night before us we
Morning found us socked in with fog. We
prepared a simple breakfast and decided at first to stay close to the coast.
The fog was thick and the shoreline was invisible even a few yards away.
However the good thing about a canoe is the ability to hear the things going on
around you. There were various fog horns and bells that could be heard and the
sound of waves lapping the shore. That allowed us to stay offshore and make
good time. The relative calm of the water made our passage almost unnoticed.
We passed Chance Harbour and Dipper Harbour without
even seeing the coast. When we arrived at Point Lepreau we decided that instead
of going out into the open spaces of Maces bay without a visual of the far
shore that we would set up camp for the evening near New River Beach. We did
not want to go directly to the beach area because of the many campers there, so
we decided that Fielding Cove would be a good place to camp for the night.
By sound we navigated across the mouth of Little
Lepreau Harbour. We did not want to have to follow the shoreline all around
Lepreau Harbour so we used the sound of a chain saw in the distance as our
beacon and crossed the mouth of Lepreau Harbour and came out at Fielding Cove.
There we set up camp high on the beach and decided to call friends to see if we
could get a gathering initiated for that evening.
friends took up the challenge and about a dozen of our friends arrived. With a
campfire, our tent pitched on the shore and our friends with us we had a great
The next morning showed a change in weather
with overcast skies so we decided to leave early before the wind picked up too
much for safe paddling. We headed across Maces Bay and along the coast as far
as Seeleys Cove where we called Eugene to come and get us. All in all it was a
great weekend and we learned a great deal about salt water canoeing. We
probably did approximately 30 miles of paddling.
weekend later that summer I was visiting Wayne Patterson on a Saturday morning.
We decided to visit Brian at his shop and on the way there Wayne speaks up and
comes out with; Lets take the canoe to Eastport.
Now Eastport is in Maine and I promptly told him that
he was crazy. But he persisted and explained that it was a calm, warm summers
day and it was only 15 or 20 miles by water. He appealed to my adventurous
spirit and in a weak moment I said Lets go.
We didnt tell anyone what we were doing but
went down to Hinds bay, on the LEtang peninsula and set out for Eastport.
We went along Frye Island to Back Bay. It was a beautiful day and even was warm
on the water. Grand Manan Island was visible in the distance and we were
tempted to set out for there but there was a great deal more open water so we
stayed on our original course.
We had decided that
the most sensible way to go would be through the Deer Island passage as there
were many islands there in case we got into trouble. We headed across the
channel to Adam Island and past Simpson Island, then set a straight course for
The passage has interesting currents
because of the tide but we paddled steadily and only stopped once to pick up a
bottle that was set afloat by the Biological Station in St.Andrews worth 2
dollars. We went between Marble Island and Deer Island but were careful to stay
far away from the whirlpool, The Big Sow. We set ashore in Eastport
after about a three and one half hour paddle and after hauling the canoe up the
beach were happy to take sustenance at a local eatery. We saw many friends and
acquaintances there from Back Bay. When asked how we got there we informed them
that we had come by canoe. Most of them didnt believe us until one of
them said that he had seen our canoe on the beach and had hauled it up further
so it wouldnt float away.
Most of them thought
we were a bit crazy to have done it. The prospect of paddling home wasnt
nearly as inviting as the afternoon wore on. Then one of our friends informed
us that he could give us a tow back most of the way. We jumped at the chance
but the only problem was that he only had a short rope. Well, we set out riding
the wake of his boat and when he made his first turn the canoe slid off the
wake and water started pouring in. Although the canoe filled with water we were
able to keep it upright and save all of our supplies.
We had made an epic journey only to be scuttled by
our friends. We hauled ourselves, along with the canoe, on board, and had a
great laugh. They took us as far as Adams Island from which we set off across
the bay towards home.
The late afternoon winds had
picked up and were off our starboard side, which made paddling more interesting
and demanded skill and attention to the task at hand. When we were almost at
Back Bay some more friends stopped to have a talk. By the time we went back
through the Narrows to the peninsula it was getting on towards
supper- time. We had covered more than 30 miles that day and had experienced
quite an adventure.
Remember that I mentioned that we
never told anyone where we were going, Well, of course Waynes wife, Rose,
had not been told where we were either. When informed where we had spent the
day she was ready to kill all hands. Needless to say I did not stay long to
chat. But like the old fellow says; All is well that ends
Day adventures are here to stay. We live
in a beautiful part of the world with numerous places to enjoy Nature at her
finest. Brian and I probably were not the first, nor will we be the last to
experience enlightening and exciting day adventures; And like Brian said;
If we havent received any royalties yet from inventing Day
Adventures, then we probably arent going to get any.
Barry Hatt lives in Fredericton. You may
contact him through his e-mail address which is