Day-in day-out, paddling a freshwater paradise and soaking in the rays of summer…this is the life of a Naturally Superior Adventures guide. But don’t forget pitching camp and cooking in the rain, dealing with wind, waves and the odd rescue—guides are amongst the hardest working people on the lake. As the saying goes, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
0630: Alarm goes off. Turn on the VHF marine radio to catch the Coast Guard’s three AM forecast, and pack up my sleeping bag and gear in the tent while listening to the day’s outlook. I learned early on that multitasking is essential to efficient morning departures.
0645: The coffee water’s on the stove and I start gathering breakfast foods. Sunrise and the smell of coffee usually arouses my guests. Breakfast is usually some combination of hot or cold cereal, eggs, bagels and fixins and always a spread of fresh fruit.
0815: Time to start cleaning up the kitchen while my guests pack up their personal effects.
0915: On the water.
1030: Morning pit stop and snack. By now we’ve usually covered four to six kilometres.
1200: Lunchtime. I set out a spread of meats, cheese, bread, veggies and fruit. Catch the updated forecast on the VHF. If the weather’s good I like to take an extended lunch—time for siesta or a midday swim.
1330: Back on the water. With any luck we can cover the afternoon’s route in a single shot and set up camp a little early. We’ll cover between 12 and 25 kilometres in any given day, weather permitting.
1600: Arrival and setup camp. Once my camp kitchen set and tent pitched, I like to retreat for some personal time—maybe a swim or a finding a secluded place to spend time with a good book.
1700: Dinner starts with appetizers—crackers and dip or a spread of fresh veggies. With my charges distracted I turn to preparing the main course. Each guide has his or her fallback favourites—mine’s a spicy black bean chili with lots of fresh veggies and roasted ears of corn on the side. Chocolate fondue is a classic NSA dessert.
1930: Once the dishes are cleaned up there are several options to end the day: A short after dinner hike or beachcomb, a campfire or even an evening paddle.
2100: Sunset on another great day.