Monday, April 25, 2011

Saddington Park Mississauga: Boats, Buoy, Bikes, Man in Tree

Coast Guard boats, new buoy Lake Ontario, outboard canoe fishing, bike tricks Credit River breakwater, man in a tree:  What are Things I Saw Last Week

CCGS Griffon Lake Ontario at Port Credit Saddington Park
The Canadian Coast Guard was in town, so to speak, off Port Credit harbour at Saddington Park. I'd seen this ship a day earlier, but couldn't get a photo due to fog and rain. Using this photo, I could enlarge enough to read the name Griffon on the rear side. And looking through the CCG site, I found its home port is Prescott, in eastern Ontario.

CCGS Griffon at Saddington Park Mississauga
The Griffon is a 'High Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessel – Light Icebreaker'. Since this has been one of the coldest Aprils in ages, albeit with no ice that needed breaking, it was nice to see this harbinger of spring. Daffodils and tulips are nice, too, but for boat-mad Port Credit, boats in the water herald the summer boating season.

Small Canadian Coast Guard Vessel in Credit River at Lake Ontario
Though I can make out the serial number of this smaller Canadian Coast Guard boat alongside the pier on the Credit River east bank at Port Credit, I couldn't find a name or description online. See details for Griffon at Canadian Coast Guard site.

New Buoy Lake Ontario off Credit River entrance Saddington Park
As for what the Coast Guard was doing, I might have a clue. See the light near the top left of the photo? (Click to enlarge, then click Back Button to return to this page). About this time, I noticed a small light out in Lake Ontario that hadn't been there before. Checking the CCG site, under Aids to Navigation, I found this mission statement:
To manage, maintain, and provide aids to navigation in Canadian waters in order to facilitate safe and expeditious movement of maritime traffic to protect the marine and freshwater environment, maintain maritime safety and to facilitate maritime commerce and ocean development . . .  through to floating aids (small, medium and large buoys.

Sunlight Highlights Buoy Lake Ontario at Port Credit
At night, the light is small when seen from shore, but it's very bright. Daytime, it's almost impossible to pick out the buoy from shore, even when you know where it should be. Just at sunset one night, I noticed the sunlight reflecting off the buoy, and took this photo.

Lake Ontario Buoy off Saddington Park Mississauga
This buoy can also be seen from land just after dawn, when east light makes it possible to see it above the water. I tried to estimate how far from shore this buoy was set, but I'm not the best at guessing distances over water. It's perhaps a kilometer off shore. The only contact I could find for the Canadian Coast Guard is by telephone, so I'll keep checking.

Fishermen Launch Outboard Canoe Saddington Park
Now, I don't know about you, but when I see anyone trying to board a canoe from shore, especially one to which they intend to attach an outboard motor and load their fishing gear, I have to stop and watch. Well, first I grab the camera, then I watch. They don't call canoes 'tippy' for no good reason-)

Sternback Canoe with Outboard Motor Credit River Fishing
Back in the day, we had a sternback canoe that we used to go fishing. But it never occurred to us to climb down rocks to connect the outboard motor. Hat's off to these fellows, for they did a perfect job and were soon motoring off into Lake Ontario.

Before: Bike Trick on Breakwater Saddington Park East Side
Saddington Park is popular with young fellows who practice manouevers on their bikes. Sometimes they go up and off the picnic tables but they make my heart stop when they  go up and down the rocks of the breakwater around Saddington's perimeter.

After: Bike Trick on Breakwater Saddington Park East Side
This young fellow made it down, as I knew he would. I'd watched him go up and down and across these large rocks several times. But each time, I do hold my breath, thinking how cold the water, how rough the rocks.

Man in Tree Saddington Park Mississauga
And for no apparent reason, this man was up a tree at Saddington Park near the Mississauga Road South parking lot at Lake Street. Since this climbing took place on a holiday weekend, and he had no saws, etc. I am pretty sure he wasn't with the City forestry department on an emergency call. Passersby stopped to watch and chat. Near as I could tell, he was just practicing climbing trees. The red in the photo is a rope.

Also seen but not photographed were the first sailboats, small fishing boats, canoes and kayaks of the season, as well as two hardy chaps on SeaDos, and several tankers heading across Lake Ontario; feisty Trumpeter Swans defending their mates, black cormorants fishing, and dozens of Red Wing Blackbirds back for the season. Now let's hope the weather warms up!

Related blog post  Boats Mississauga from last Spring.