Is that a dead body?
So flying with a boat to Ottawa is getting more and more difficult. I decided (fairly last minute) that I would use all of my cunning a modicum of stealth and deception to convince the Air Canada check-in staff to get my boat onto the plane. My plan was simple, since Air Canada take surf boards (but strictly not kayaks) I was simply going to buy a board bag and present it as a surf board. No problem I thought, one day before my scheduled departure I headed off to Shepperton to see my friend Mike Scutt, proprietor of www.surfinghardware.co.uk, to get outfitted with a suitable bag. Alas after half an hour’s worth of faff time we could not find a bag. Undeterred I went home with some old cardboard, a large plastic bag (the kind that kayaks are shipped in), some other assorted packing and a roll of Gaffa tape. Two and a half hours later, and with more than a little help from my mum I had my bag packed and my kayaked packed into something which could very well have been a surfboard. Using a craftily constructed sign saying ”FRAGILE SURFBOARD” I felt reasonably confident that it would make it.
My confidence fell considerably the next morning when I actually measured it and found it came in slightly greater than the allowed dimensions. However since it was already packed I decided that I was going to risk it. To improve my chances I arrived at the check in three hours early, looking smart and presentable and wielding my best smile.
Well I can only assume that my smile is much stronger than I anticipated because there not even a hint of a problem. My boat wasn’t even weighed or measured. All I had to do was pay the handling fee and bob’s your uncle, boat on the plane. And after a comfortable flight, with three seats all to myself (lucky me), my boat arrived at the other end. Result.
From there it was just a cross town bus ride in the rain, overnight at a hostel in the city. Another cross town bus ride (more challenging than you may think with a kayak, a large holdall and a small backpack), a greyhound bus ride and then a lucky hitchhike to get me to my destination WIlderness Tours, one of the biggest rafting operators in North America.
And in all my cross town, hiking, bus rides and hi-jinks I was asked on approximately four separate occasions, by different people, in different parts of town: “Is that a dead body??”.
Stay tuned for more updates all summer long...
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