Kiteboarding, Hydrofoiling & Kayaking In The Magdalene Islands, The Secret French-Canadian Paradise

Orion and I have discovered a French Canadian paradise a mere 25 hours north of here. For 2 weeks we spent every day playing on the beach and having amazing adventures all over the island. We discovered an abandoned cargo ship, an island full of nesting baby birds, as well as countless caves all over the island.

The ghost ship
The ghost ship

We drove 10 hours to Acadia in Maine and had awesome Wild blueberry pancakes and my yearly lobster omelette at Jordans. Afterwards we hiked the Beehive trail (Precipice was closed) and then hung out on the beach for several hours. There was a baby seal that had climbed out to sun itself that was so adorable. I so wanted to club it, doesn’t everyone fantasize about clubbing baby seals? After chilling on the beach for several hours we setup and played a boardgame next to all my spraypaint art and I managed to sell several pieces.

We headed out to Canada and drove another 10 hours to the ferry. I setup my artwork on the ferry to sell, but the captain of the ship didn’t have such a good sense of humor about that. The ferry was huge, like a cruiseliner with 5 decks and a movie theater, arcade, cafeteria, bar and restaurant. The kids loved running around and playing hide and seek on the ship, and they had 5.5 hrs to do it. The ferry was insanely expensive, I paid $200 each way and Norman with his schoolbus paid almost $500 each way. We made arrangements to arrive a day early for a huge party. The first night was a huge party where almost everyone on the island attended. There was some fantastic Quebecian music that I loved dancing like a crazy person to. Everyone was super friendly, although many of the people I talked to who lived on the island spoke no English at all.

The next day we settled into a routine of hanging on the beach and kiting, kayaking, standup paddleboarding and playing in the sand every day. The weather was perfect and the winds were very good for the entire time we were there. I spent a lot of time on Norman’s Hydrofoil board. It was an amazingly zen feeling riding humming along above the waves 3 feet off the water. The Hydrofoil is the unicycle of the kiting world, my first session on it I managed to beat the crap out of myself banging into the board just trying to manuver it around in the water and getting back the shorebreak. It took me 20 hours of riding just to get so I could ride it properly, when I finally did I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment.

There was one day without any wind so we all piled into Norman’s Kite bus to sightsee all over the island. It was 60 miles long, and was really a series of small islands connected by short bridges. There was lots of lighthouses (over 200 shipwrecks on the Islands) and we found this amazing place with huge caves near the water. The cliff faces were a kind of compacted sand so it easily eroded into beautiful caves and land bridges everywhere. Playing hide and go seek in the caves with the children was mad fun. We also stopped to explore and abandoned experimental wind turbine. It was a vertical wind turbine that was very tall. Aparently they could not get the bearings to hold up so it was just sitting there rusting, the kids and I loved climbing up into the structure and examinining all the working parts.

Trapped Inside
Trapped Inside

In the center of the island was a huge waist deep lagoon that Norman’s children kited in several times. Normally I love the flatwater, but almost the entire time I was on the island I only rode on the waves. One day was 30 knots directly onshore with overhead waves and I had the best waveriding session of my life on Norman’s Psycho 4 10 meter kite. At one point I tried riding strapless in the waves and got my ass handed to me.

Playing Hide and Seek in the caves
Playing Hide and Seek in the caves

At one of the beaches we frequented there huge 5 story tall shipwreck near the beach. We made several trips out to visit it with kayaks and standup paddleboards. It was so amazing paddling around inside the ship through the rusted hull. There was huge beams that clanged together in the surf and the metal creaked from the stress. On the top was hundreds of baby seagulls and nests. There was also an island near the shipwreck that had thousands of baby birds that looked like anhingas. There was some strange tiny penguin-like birds there too. Orion loved photographing and videotaping the hungry babies as they begged for regurigitated fish. Did I mention the smell? Horrendous.

inside the ship

The mornings and evenings were filled with hide and go seek with the kids and board games in the evening. Orion seemed like he was in little kid heaven. Beaches and games with his dad every day, it was incredibly healing for him and it was the happiest I had seen him in the last 9 months. There was hard parts of the trip as well, nightmares of Jocelyn, a lot of pain from a recent sudden seperation with Elise, and at least once that I lost my temper with Orion for creating a treaty with me, then attacking me like a traitor in Eclipse, our favorate board game. Overall it was an amazing trip, and Norman’s family had a very positive influence on us during our stay there. Several nights we would close up the bus and cover all the windows and set up a disco light and blast Lady Gaga and other dance tunes and all dance like a bunch of loonies in the bus.  It was magical.

What an amazing place, and did I mention there is no Americans there either? At least not since we left… What could be a better reason to visit anywhere.

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