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DAY 6 - Journal Entry: Thursday, August 12, 2004

by Pierre-Paul Nault, K4C Kayaker

Our stay in Merrickville is a real "special" treat for all the kayakers and also for our ground crew. Aside from the BBQ in the park and a rowdy outing at the local pub the night before, we start day six with a hearty breakfast at Sam Jake's Inn. For the ground crew, especially Papa Ron and Danny, it means no coffee or breakfast to prepare this morning. As for the kayakers, it means a bit more time spent in the sleeping bags.

By 9:00 a.m. the kayakers are set to launch their kayaks. One by one they get into the kayak and get as comfortable as they can in the cold, wet seat. Amongst them is George, one of the newcomers this year. As he carefully steps into his kayak, still half awake, he is assisted by no other than Kevin, our leader. Suddenly, a missed step, out of balance and before he could say "ERIN" (his fiance), Georgie was in the drink, desperately hanging onto his hat. It took several kayakers to pull him out of the weeds. George had finally wakened up. We are not sure how this all happened, but the hearsay is that our leader may have accidentally let go of the boat as George stepped in.

George came out of this mishap very well indeed. His headache was gone and he cheered the kayakers on all day. But, no newcomers were safe as Alain found out. Travis, Chad and Scott were in hot pursuit of his kayak. Alain finally met his fate as the young guns dumped his kayak but in doing so, he managed to get both Scott and Chad in the Rideau. Once the event was over and done the kayakers continued on.

Again this year, Mrs.Rosemary Bennett welcomed the kayakers to her farm for lunch. She greeted us with a hot chicken noodle soup which sure hit the spot on this cool day. As usual, the ground crew had a good meal prepared for us and we all ate our fill and set out for Pirate Cove Marina, our destination for the day. Our thanks and appreciation goes out to Mrs.Bennett and her family for this warm welcome and a special thanks goes out to her young lad "Zack/Andrew" and her daughter "Melissa" for helping out with the landing and launching of the kayaks.

We finally reached Pirate Cove Marina by 5:45 p.m. Our tents had already been set up by our ground crew and a hot meal was ready for the kayakers. This evening, we were treated to Mama Lou's famous chili and delicious carrot cake. The kayakers took advantage of the marina's facilities and went for a dip in the 82 degree pool and/or a hot shower before settling down for the evening.

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