Called Lifejackets For a Reason

Bro and a Sandy Beach Cove

This past August Long Weekend we planned for another engagement and tussle with Mother Nature while exploring one of her remote lakes in the backcountry forests of New Brunswick, Canada! How could we not? The sun was out, the skies were blue and we were raring to go early in the morning with plenty of water, a packed lunch, bug spray, sun screen, hat, sunglasses and big boy water toys.

The lake we had our sights on this weekend was called Mosquito Lake. We had the big boy toys like fishing gear, camera and lifejackets (PFD’s). We had all the tools for staying cool while acting like fishing fools. Look out lake trout and walleye… here come the Girard Brothers.

The journey to the lake was a bumpy and dusty one. Some sections we had to throw the switch to kick the jeep into 4×4 mode. That is always a sweet trip. Jeep Canada would of been proud! It was about an 8 or 9 kilometre trek following a rough gravel road before we pulled up to the lake’s roof top canoe launch.

Beach Views of Mosquito Lake

During the gravel road drive Bro mentioned I must be wearing my moose repellant again. It seems I do not have very good luck with moose sightings when I am alone or with Bro. I was consistently reminded during the drive that I had poor moose karma going on.

What did I have against moose? Better question… what did the moose have with me? I mean come on… I would love to view a moose but they do not want to view me for some reason. However, I still have my bear karma. It is hot, hot, hot. When it comes to bears my wildlife radar is bang on. I rock in the bear world! Moose needs some work.

Unlike other lakes we have explored this summer in New Brunswick, Canada this one actually had some signs of life – just not wildlife.

As some of you may know, we have not met very many people on many of our hiking and lake adventures in the backcountry of New Brunswick so far. However, Mosquito Lake was a different story as there was a small group of people wilderness camping with some kayaks near the canoe launch. However we did not see them the whole day after that..

After we launched we dug in with our paddles and like likity-split we were off to the races seeking a fishing hole. There are so many lakes in the province we did not expect to see anyone else on the lake during the day. And we didn’t.

Reflections of Mosquito Lake

Mosquito Lake is a canoe, kayak and fishing destination. According to our research we were here to fish for lake trout and walleye.

The lake was large enough so that we could enjoy a good , long paddle session exploring the banks and hidden bays. At the far end of the lake we found a waterway which connected to another bay where we set anchor and fished.

All we heard in the light breeze was the whiz of the fishing line as we cast out onto the lake and the cries of a loon in the distance. It was heaven.

When exploring a lake or river in Canada planning, preparation and waterway smarts helps ensure a safe and enjoyable experience when in the backcountry. Poor preparation or a lack of common sense can turn any adventure into a living hell. So it is important to do everything in your power to make it a safe and memorable adventure. Here are some somber facts …

Did you know that every year in Canada hundreds of people drown while boating because of lack of planning and smarts. In 2004 there were 433 drowning deaths. In 2006 it spiked to 508. And in 2011 there were 347 unnecessary water deaths. Most drownings occur in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. The top three drowning deaths occur while swimming, boating or fishing. They say 87% were not wearing lifejackets or were using lifejackets improperly (meaning not zipped up or not on but close by).

Drowning by not wearing a lifejacket is just like playing Russian Roulette with your life. Why even play in such a game especially since weather does not always want to play by the same rules.

For visitors coming to Canada here is some background on what a lifejacket or PFD (Personal Floatation Device) means to your life. A lifejacket and PFD are used for activities like kayaking, canoeing, fishing, boating, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, rafting, tubing, swimming and wakeboarding.

A lifejacket is designed to keep you a float. Better yet, if you are injured or unconscious a lifejacket is designed to flip you over on your back so you can breathe. A PFD is lighter, smaller and less bulky. A PFD is used for water activities like boating, sailing and water skiing.

As we paddled Mosquito Lake it is always nice to know we planned well, prepared properly and that we are aware of our surroundings always ready to kick our wilderness smarts into gear so we can enjoy another day in Mother Nature’s backyard.

When visiting Canada our tours, guides, rental companies and charters provide the equipment, knowledge and experience for a safe adventure. Many are advertising on our Canada eh Travel & Adventure Website Network at : . Ok, now where are those moose again?

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