Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Roatan Honduras

2017 saw us travel to Roatan and the Dominican Republic, and explore some provincial parks at home.

April was Roatan with family, our 4th time there, although this time our trip coincided with holy week, which was a different experience.  The usually calm little island was crazy with locals from the mainland, in fact we were told about 40,000 people had come across to celebrate.  The beach was the busiest we’ve ever seen it.  A fun week of relaxing with kids and grandkids, getting a chance to see and hold Sloths (oh so cute! She even smiled for the camera).

Lake Ontario Flooding

We returned from Roatan ready to launch our boat, the Foxy Lady, only to find that Toronto Island was sinking, literally.   The inordinate amount of rainfall that we received in the spring caused water levels to rise the highest they’ve been since 1993.  Beaches were washed out, the lake was encroaching on the city, parts of the island were under water, even cutting off access to some areas of the island.  Our dock was under water, in fact it was about 6-10 inches under water, and the shore power pedestal was almost under water.  We were put onto a finger dock in the middle section of the Marina that was not as badly affected by the flooding, so we were at least in for the season.  Rubber boots and shorts was the fashion requirement for this year.

Where the goose is standing should be the edge of the water and steps down to the docks
This is where our dock was…
the boats are usually tied up so that the bow is right at the break wall
you can see where the hand rails are to go down the 3-4 steps to the dock


Canada 150th Birthday Celebration

July 1st, Canada day was a special celebration this year, as it was Canada’s 150th birthday, Toronto celebrated with 2 fireworks shows, one from the CN Tower, the other from a barge in the harbor.  the view from the island was superb.

Camping in Ontario

We got out camping twice this year, the first time to MaCrae Point provincial park just out side of Orillia ON, with friends that we do an annual “Glamping” weekend for the long weekend in August, where we try to out do one another with food, recipes and unique things we’ve found, and of course wine and some special Rum. 

The 2nd camping trip was to Bon Echo provincial park in eastern Ontario, a place that we have wanted to go for a long time.   We went in September, and it was cold, but beautiful.  The 100m high Mazinaw Rock on the lake, that is the iconic image of the area, and the 200+ native pictographs that are approximately 1000 years old or more are fascinating, along with it’s rich history and eventual donation to the government of Ontario for use as a  park in 1959.

Mazinaw Rock in Bon Echo Provincial Park.
pictographs in Bon Echo Provincial Park
The Silent Witness, a 900 year old Cedar that has grown on the Mazinaw Rock
Pictographs on Mazinaw Rock
Pictographs on Mazinaw Rock

Samsara Dominican Republic

November saw us back on a plane heading south, this time to Samana, Dominican Republic.  Our first time back in the DR in 7 years, and first time to Samana after having looked at it time and time again.  We weren’t disappointed. It’s lush, green, out of the way so you don’t get the craziness of Sosua, nestled into a bay and the Los Haitises National Park on the other side of the bay.  Add a bonus visit by dolphins on the way to the park, an all day excursion on ATV’s through the hills and beaches, and a beautiful resort,  it was a nice way to end off the years travels.

Samana Bay with Playa Rincon visible on right
Samana Bay
Los Haitises National Park
ATV’s all lined up to go
Organic Farm

Camera Gear

Just before heading to the Dominican, we purchased a new Camera, a Canon Rebel T6i .  The main idea was to get another good video camera, and a newer DLSR.  We Also picked up a Rodes mic with the “dead cat” wind screen and a handful of SD cards.  Samana would be a perfect place to play and learn the new camera.  The higher Megapixel count will be nice for getting some hi res images.  we were also looking to grab a few more batteries for our GoPro, however they don’t sell batteries for the GoPro3 anymore.  We currently have 2 batteries which will suffice, however a couple more would be nice.  Time to upgrade the GoPro ?  Maybe for next year.  If you’re in the market for SD/MicroSD cards and you live in Ontario, check out Costco.  They have 64Gb and 128Gb MicroSD/SD cards (with adapter and reader) for $24.95 (64Gb) and $49.95 (128Gb).  We’re going to load up on those for sure.

2018 Boating

As we head into the new  year, the first event that we’ll be going to is the Toronto International Boat Show where we’ll be looking for a new dinghy.  Our old Quicksilver dinghy has a leak at one of the valves and does not want to seal, so it’s time for the new one.  We’d seen a couple in the stores as we wandered around during the year, and we’re hoping for some good deals at the show.  Any suggestions, anyone have good/bad experiences or recommendations ?  Let us know in hte comment section.

2018 Travels

So what’s in store for next year?  Well, we’ve been tossing around a couple of ideas, some back packing trips in Columbia or the UK?   Getting away from the resorts, maybe an AirBNB type accommodations, camping of course, maybe get to Wilson NY on the boat, or maybe just explore more of our own back yard here in Canada, or a US road trip?  Time to start researching and dreaming and eventually planning.  What kind of trips are you planning for 2018?  Let us know in the comments section

We hope you have a wonderful 2018.

John Nieminen

I'm one half of 7 Days in Paradise. Heather and I started 7 Days in Paradise in 2003, it started as a chat room with a place for people to post and chat about their vacations. It quickly turned into a place where good friends were born, and we have the honor to be able to still call them friends. We share travels and adventures, both at home and world wide. Come along on the journey and become one of the 7 Days crew.
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