Summer Week 10: I Did It Again

Hello blog friends! How are things going? I hope all is well with you. Come on in to my blog space and let’s share our news over a cup of tea or coffee.

Summer week 10, from August 23 to 29, delivered a mix of sunny days and brief showers. The daytime high ranged from 22C to 33C (70F to 92F). The week started off with my second canoe trip to the beautiful 13 Toronto Islands. Yes, I did it again! I was so happy to pull it off before this summer ends.

Canoe Excursion #2

After the fun canoe excursion in summer week 8, my friend and I wanted a repeat so we quickly booked our canoes and kept our fingers crossed for good weather. The stars aligned and we got a sunny day with high temperature around 30C.

Island scenery

The water on the Toronto Islands was calm and clear. We paddled, swam, explored secluded beaches, bird sanctuaries, many waterways, and played canoe rescues while enjoying beautiful nature around us. Around mid-day, we pulled our canoes on a wooden dock and relaxed to have lunch in the shade.

Canoe docked for lunch

I saw ducks, Canada geese, fish, a snowy egret, swans, and turtles in the water, plus nice flower plants on the islands, like black-eyed Susan and cone flowers.

A splash of bright colours: Black-eyed Susan.

It was a fun-filled day. On our way back to the city side, we got to see a beautiful panoramic view of the city’s skyline. It always takes my breath away.

City's skyline seen from Toronto Islands

My Waterproof Gear

My friends and other people have asked me about my waterproof gear when I go on my paddling excursions so I thought I’d share my gear here. You can get them in sports stores or on Amazon web site.

My AiRun Tech set of four waterproof items comes with a lifetime warranty:

  • one 10L roll top compression sack with removable shoulder straps.
  • one 20L roll top compression sack with removable shoulder straps.
  • one clear waterproof waist pouch with adjustable strap.
  • one clear waterproof phone case with lanyard.

The 10L and 20L dry sacks come with an inner pocket designed for cell phone and tablet to avoid getting wet and screen scratching. I can operate my phone or tablet through the clear window during my trips. These bags float in water. I leave a small amount of extra room for air in my dry bag, and it will stay above water.

The 10L dry bag is perfect for small personal items I’d like to protect from the elements: cell phone, wallet, keys, mask, small first aid kit, lunch, snacks, toiletries, small towel, water bottles, etc. Even after I put all of these items in the bag, I still have lots of room to roll the top and snap it close.

The 20L dry bag is big enough to carry everything I need for a longer trip. The shoulder straps make it easy to carry this bag like a backpack.

The waterproof waist pouch is useful when I want to carry just a few small items with me. It keeps my hands free while I can easily retrieve my items from the pouch.

The waterproof phone case locks my phone inside and comes with a lanyard to wear on my neck. When I’m on the water, I can take photos without taking my phone out of the case.

My 10L dry bag on the SUP board. I took this photo with my phone in the waterproof case.

I’ve seen stand up paddlers suddenly fall into the water and soak their phones many times, or a big wave splashes water all over the paddle board, kayak, or canoe. If you plan to be outdoors in wet conditions or ponder a gift for outdoor lovers, consider getting waterproof gear.

Aside from the full day canoe trip, I did a bit of cycling, walking, exercising, yoga, meditation, language lessons, and a lot of reading during the week.

Summer week 10 was fantastic. I look forward to making the most of summer week 11.

How did your week go? I’d love to hear your comments.

Linking here.

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65 thoughts on “Summer Week 10: I Did It Again

  1. Jill Weatherholt August 30, 2020 / 6:48 am

    I would be one of those stand up paddlers who falls into the water, Natalie. I’m not the most coordinated person, so waterproof equipment would be a must for me. 🙂 It sounds like you had a great week. I love the black-eyed Susan shot…so cheery! My week was spent getting my book ready to submit by the end of today, as my deadline is tomorrow. Thankfully, my hummingbirds have helped to ease the stress. Have a great week ahead!


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 8:13 am

      Jill, All the best with your book submission today. I’m in awe of your writing discipline. I plan to read your books on Kindle. Which one would you recommend me to read first or should I go by the order of your book publications? Have a wonderful week ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill Weatherholt August 30, 2020 / 8:48 am

        That’s sweet, Natalie. Thank you. My books can all be read as a stand alone, but A Father for Bella, A Mother for His Twins, and my recent release, A Home for Her Daughter, all take place in the same town and some characters are mentioned from one book to another. The first book I wrote, and was published after I entered a contest sponsored by Harlequin is Second Chance Romance. It takes place in a different town than the other three. I hope I didn’t confuse you! Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 9:04 am

          Thank you, Jill. I’ve been reading e-books using the Libby app. I just installed Kindle and will go look for your books.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Suzanne@PictureRetirement August 30, 2020 / 10:03 am

    Natalie, I have that dry pack and take my camera in it for our kyack paddles. I’ve also used the phone case you recommend. It works pretty well underwater too. I always enjoy reading about your week, you keep it active and interesting. The canoe shot is my favorite this week.


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 1:49 pm

      Suzanne, Good to know you also use the dry pack and phone case when you go paddling. They are inexpensive and so useful. I thrive when I have variety in my day so I make an effort to do something different. I like that canoe shot, too.


  3. Liesbet @ Roaming About August 30, 2020 / 12:41 pm

    I’m very familiar with dry bags from living on a sailboat. No phones back then (or now), but I had a waterproof camera which also took decent photos above water. I had a float on that, after I lost one overboard! You did it again… having a nice week. Enjoy the rest of summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 1:55 pm

      Liesbet, Yes, of course you’re familiar with dry bags from living on a sailboat. They’re inexpensive and so useful. I’ve seen so many paddlers lose their sunglasses, hat, phone, camera, etc. while on the water this summer. Hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday. Have a wonderful upcoming week!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Gary A Wilson August 30, 2020 / 12:42 pm

    Yea – if I had my 20 or 30 year old body back with it’s ability to balance, this would be fun. Now, it would just be more efficient to jump into the water right off and stay there.
    Fun stuff Natalie.


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 1:57 pm

      Gary, So many ways to have fun in the summer. I hope you’re having a relaxing Sunday. Have a great upcoming week!


  5. sixlittlehearts August 30, 2020 / 6:24 pm

    Beautiful scenery! I have always wanted to visit Canada.


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 7:27 pm

      Thank you for your comment. I greatly appreciate it. I hope you get to visit Canada one day when it’s safe to travel again.


  6. Antoinette Truglio Martin August 30, 2020 / 6:34 pm

    I jave a 13L dry bag which is a perfect size for the sunfish.


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 7:31 pm

      The dry bag is inexpensive and so useful. Glad you have one as well.


  7. rawsonjl August 30, 2020 / 7:50 pm

    I have that same waterproof phone case and I just love it! It works so well. What a beautiful day on the water.


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 8:13 pm

      Joanne, The waterproof phone case is so useful. I’m glad you’ve got one, too.


  8. Sue from Women Living Well After 50 August 30, 2020 / 8:09 pm

    Hi Natalie, I’ve decided to try Stand Up Paddle Boarding this coming summer but maybe I should also add canoing! Loved the black-eyed Susans and the city skyline looks amazing. Have a great week and look forward to next week’s adventure! #lifethisweek


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 8:16 pm

      Hi Sue, If you have time in the summer, why not try both SUP and canoeing, right? I enjoyed all the paddling excursions that I’ve had so far. Have a wonderful week!


  9. Jennifer Jones August 30, 2020 / 8:45 pm

    Your canoe trip looks fabulous. I used to do a lot of canoeing with my boys but haven’t done it for years. I loved it. First day of spring for us today. I can’t wait for some warmer days.


    • Natalie August 30, 2020 / 8:56 pm

      Happy Spring to you, Jennifer! Our Autumn will start on September 22. I love canoeing and what each of the four seasons brings.


  10. Debbie August 30, 2020 / 10:16 pm

    What a fabulous week Natalie! We are looking forward to the end of winter here and spring is starting to show it’s prettiness already. I appreciate hearing about the gear you use while out canoeing. Enjoy the next few weeks of summer. #lifethisweek


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 8:13 am

      Debbie, Hurray to Spring in your part of the world. Our first day of Autumn here is on September 22. I have about four weeks left to enjoy summer and intend to make the most of each day.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Retirement Reflections August 30, 2020 / 10:44 pm

    Hi, Natalie – I’m glad to read that you are continuing to enjoy your summer and that you got another canoe trip in. Thank you for sharing your wet gear with us — you are incredibly well prepared!


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 8:25 am

      Hi Donna, I loved the two canoe trips that I made. As you know from your Camino walks and recent hikes on VI, the right gear is essential to the adventures, both for their practicality and our enjoyment of the trips.


  12. Vanessa August 31, 2020 / 12:08 am

    You look like you’re making the most of summer for sure!


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 8:27 am

      Vanessa, About four weeks of summer left before Autumn officially arrives on September 22 here. I intend to make the most of every day. Hope you’re doing well.


  13. Sanch @ Sanch Writes August 31, 2020 / 2:22 am

    Such gorgeous summer weather! And how wonderful you’ve been out and about and continuing to learn and engage in things for your wellbeing! Hope you have a fantastic week ahead!


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 8:32 am

      Sanch, It’s been good for my well-being to go outside, enjoy nature, and stay active physically and mentally. I intend to make the most of every day, rain or shine. Have a wonderful week!


  14. thecoffeebeanbrain August 31, 2020 / 4:05 am

    I missed being in the beach or the water for that matters since we were on lockdown the whole summer here in The Phillipines. Lovely photos, thank you for sharing. You have a great place to commune with nature. I especially love that cityscape from the river. Thanks for coffee!


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 8:38 am

      Welcome to my blog, Claire! I think you’re my first commenter from the Philippines. We had our lockdown from March to June approximately, then gradual re-openings started, just in time for our summer season. We still follow public health measures to keep the covid-19 cases low. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • thecoffeebeanbrain August 31, 2020 / 9:32 pm

        My pleasure, Natalie. I’ll be hovering once in a while in between work. Have a greet week!


  15. dprastka August 31, 2020 / 6:15 am

    Love your summer excursions! Sounds so much FUN! Always love all your photos you share too. Keep them coming!! Have a great week! ❤️❤️❤️


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 8:41 am

      Diana, Thank you for your encouraging comment. I try to make the most of every day, especially when the weather is nice. Hope your weekend went well. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. trentpmcd August 31, 2020 / 12:36 pm

    I’ll admit that it always takes me by surprise how big Toronto is. Originally from Cleveland and knowing Detroit and Buffalo well, I always think of it with those cities, but it is closer to Chicago in size and in some ways it is like NYC. Glad you made it out again. Sounds nice! I take very little with me when I paddle, usually just a camera and water, but those waterproof packs are a great idea. Have a great week!


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 1:38 pm

      Yeah, Toronto has become a big city and it’s still growing. Toronto Islands are the opposite of the city, calm, laid back with lots of nature while located just across the harbour. The weather is still nice here so I hope to go paddling again before Fall arrives. Thanks, Trent, for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. 3sistersabroad August 31, 2020 / 5:42 pm

    today is the first day of Spring here in Australia. As I do my daily walks I spy lots of daffodils and magnolia’s … I love reading what you get up to in your neck of the woods. Paddle boarding, kayaking are banned here at the moment. (not sure why as its usually a solo sport. Anyhoo we should know by Sunday how much longer we are in lockdown. Its been a long 5 months and I just want to visit my daughter and my housemates mum. We are into our 5th week of the forced lockdown of the 5km no further rule, one outing a day for exercise (tell that to our dogs) (my post on Senior Sal is an old one from our trip to France in 2017) #Senisal


    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 6:16 pm

      Hurray to Spring in Australia. I hope the case numbers went down in your area so the lockdown would be lifted and you could visit your daughter and your house mate’s mum. I go outside every day to take advantage of the nice weather here and to keep me sane during this pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Jo August 31, 2020 / 6:08 pm

    You’ve had the BEST summer. Great tips re the waterproof kit and, as always, fab images.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie August 31, 2020 / 6:49 pm

      Jo, This summer has been fabulous once I set covid-19 news aside. We still have about four weeks of summer left before autumn arrives here. I savour every minute.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Suzanne August 31, 2020 / 10:33 pm

    Great captures of your water play Natalie. One of our vertical neighbours is right into SUP and I wouldn’t mind trying it out this summer. We shall see what happens. Always lovely to see another aspect of Toronto.


    • Natalie September 1, 2020 / 8:09 am

      Suzanne, I hope you try out SUP. It’s fun to do alone or with friend(s). I like it a lot and would like to squeeze in one more SUP excursion before summer ends here.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. What a lovely week and all those beautiful sights to soak up too. Great advice there for all who may wish to venture on the water. Thank you for linking up this week for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is 36/51 Taking Stock #4 7.9.2020 and I hope to see you there too. Take care, stay safe and well. Denyse.


    • Natalie September 2, 2020 / 7:51 am

      Thank you, Denyse, for your comment. I greatly appreciate it. I look forward to joining you next week. Stay safe and well.


  21. Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf September 2, 2020 / 7:14 am

    Another week of beautiful photos. It all looks so calm and relaxing.


    • Natalie September 2, 2020 / 7:52 am

      The Toronto islands are calm and beautiful oases. Thank you, Veronica, for stopping by. Have a wonderful week!


  22. Ally Bean September 2, 2020 / 8:30 am

    I’ve wondered about what gear a paddler might have so thanks for the explanation. I’ve no doubt that if I tried to do anything on the water I’d end up in the water– pronto. This has been the summer for Black-eyed Susans! Your photo of them is beautiful, such lovely a color.


    • Natalie September 2, 2020 / 9:11 am

      Ally, I kind of expect to be wet when I go paddling so a waterproof bag is useful. The black-eyed Susans are thriving this summer. They sure give a splash of bright colours wherever they appear.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Annika Perry September 2, 2020 / 1:03 pm

    Natalie, thank you so much for letting us join you on the canoe and take in the glorious views! There’s nothing quite like being on the water! Although I wouldn’t try paddle-boarding although I was very tempted in Florida a few years ago. They made it look so easy! Wow! You are well-prepared and water-proofing everything makes good sense! My week has been one of visits to the garden centres, gardening, writing, reading and more long walks with lots of blackberry picking!


    • Natalie September 2, 2020 / 5:31 pm

      Annika, Your week sounds lovely. I guess some home-made blackberry treats will be made in your kitchen soon? The waterproof bag and phone case that I got are inexpensive and so useful. I take them with me whenever I go paddling. Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annika Perry September 3, 2020 / 6:04 am

        Yep! Apple and Blackberry pie … that is if they’re not all eaten first! 😀😀


  24. Lydia C. Lee September 2, 2020 / 5:51 pm

    Good for you getting out on the water – as Rat says in Wind in the Willows ‘Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats’.


    • Natalie September 2, 2020 / 5:57 pm

      Rat is smart to say so 🙂 I love getting out on the water on Toronto islands.


  25. Erica/Erika September 6, 2020 / 11:02 pm

    Natalie, Stunning and interesting photos, again. We are big on our waterproof items, too. I always appreciate recommendations. A great post! Also, a feast for the eyes! xx


    • Natalie September 7, 2020 / 8:41 am

      Thank you, Erica/ Erika, for your comment. The Toronto islands are beautiful and wonderful to explore. I love going there and feel fortunate to be able to go there often this summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. dawnkinster September 7, 2020 / 10:45 am

    I use a waterproof phone thing on a lanyard when I’m out on the water too. It would be too hard to NOT take pictures, but too big a risk (not that I’ve ever overturned, but it’s possible) to take my camera or phone out without it being waterproofed. You had a beautiful day on the water!


    • Natalie September 7, 2020 / 11:43 am

      Dawn, Glad to hear you use the waterproof phone case, too. It’s inexpensive and useful. I’m worry-free when I’m on the water with my personal items in my waterproof gear.


    • Natalie September 9, 2020 / 6:01 pm

      Keeping my fingers crossed for another outing on the water before summer officially ends on September 21 over here 🙂


  27. Dr Sock September 18, 2020 / 11:37 am

    Natalie, another beautiful canoe trip to the Toronto Islands! I’m glad you had a chance to get out there again this summer. We have a collection of dry bags too, including the see-through waterproof phone case.



    • Natalie September 18, 2020 / 1:26 pm

      Jude, If I could do canoeing every week to the Toronto islands, I would. So beautiful there and easily accessible from the city centre. The see-through waterproof phone case is useful when I’m out on the water.


      • Dr Sock September 20, 2020 / 2:27 pm

        How do you take a photo with the plastic covering the touch screen?



        • Natalie September 20, 2020 / 3:50 pm

          Jude, I can take photos without taking my phone out of the case. Just press the usual buttons as if I’m holding the phone by itself. That’s the whole point for me to buy this waterproof product.


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