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Friday, August 23, 2019

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Paddlers Hunt the Pugwash Estuary
Bill Martin
/ Categories: Sports

Paddlers Hunt the Pugwash Estuary

Nearly thirty paddlers ventured into the waters of the Pugwash estuary today to search on and around Victoria Island.

Participants slipped their canoes and kayaks into the water about 10:00 this morning. Their goal was to find 21 markers both in the water and on the nearby island for a “Wet and Wild” orienteering/navigation event.

It is considered a fun day for the Orienteering Association of Nova Scotia in conjunction with the North Shore Adventure Club. Proceeds from the day will be used to enhance trails in Cumberland County.

The organizer of the event says, “This is orienteering by canoe something they don’t get very often.” Greg Nix says this is the first time in eight years that locals have hosted the event.

Nix says it used to be an annual event and now that it is back, he hopes to make it an annual feature once again.

The object is to gather markers at checkpoints, somewhat like what motorcyclists would call a poker run. Participants have three options: stay in the boat and collect markers in the water; paddle to the island and collect markers on the trail; or try the ultimate challenge and do both, all within a two and a half-hour time limit.

The paddler with the most markers wins. If tied with markers, the fastest time decides the winner. There are prizes for both canoe and kayak entries. Local businesses contributed to the prizes and rewards for participation.

Nix was worried the response might be small after the eight-year hiatus. However, they came from the South Shore, the Annapolis Valley, and Halifax to join Cumberland paddling enthusiasts. He said it is a great response and he looks forward to growing the event next year and beyond.

The attached photo shows boats lining up for the start. Below, two paddlers prepare and then they're off at the horn blast.

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