Now that is awesome customer service!

It can often be a frustrating experience to contact the Customer Service department, when something we have purchased breaks, or parts go missing, or for any one of a million other reasons. I often wonder why, when I send an email, I get no reply. Even worse, is the answer, “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do to help you”.

I can’t say that the manufacturers in the outdoor recreation category have ever let me down, and what happened this month just blows me away. Awesome, awesome customer service from Minn Kota.

Yup, parts go missing. Here’s a five year old Minn Kota Power Centre, and for whatever reason, the strap, and the plastic coated wing-nuts have gone AWOL.



I’m thinking, twenty bucks in parts easily. Or perhaps, the dreaded reply, and I would need to buy a new one. I wrote and asked, “Where can I go to buy new parts? Is there a full service Minn Kota dealer in Toronto somewhere?”

I got a prompt reply to my inquiry. “We don’t carry parts for the Battery Power Centers, but we get returns that I will pull the parts off you need and send them to you.”

They were in the mail to me that afternoon. No charge.


Now that is amazing customer service… Thanks Brenda at Minn Kota!!



A Rouge Day

We have been working hard the last couple of weeks, shooting a lot. We barely saw the boys this week, started shooting early Sunday morning and went like gangbusters for the next five days. It was time to give back, at least to the first born son!

He could choose whatever he wanted to do today, so we packed up some food and the fishing gear, jumped in the canoe, and spent some time in the sun paddling up the Rouge. Water levels were quite high, (at least eighteen inches higher than what I have seen in previous attempts) which made the paddling a lot easier than usual, and we were able to go right up past the 401 into the city run campground, until we hit a small set of rapids, when, of course, SWMBO said “no”. We didn’t have any worms so we baited with bacon. We saw lots of fish jumping… many, many birds, including a family of Canada Geese with four little goslings, a busy otter, and even a pair of curious deer.


It was a wonderful day, just to be us.




My Weekend Canoe Trip

Going for a “wilderness” canoe trip, a solo one at that, was something I had been wanting to do for a while. I had never actually gone canoe camping before, certainly not by myself! Despite the many overwhelming challenges I had this weekend, I don’t think I ever lost my “ear-to-ear” grin. It was absolutely something I would recommend to anyone, anytime.

It was a tough slog physically: the winds were intense, always straight at me, so… waves and whitecaps! The bitter cold, the wind chill, the heavy snow showers, were not things I had planned for. If there *was* firewood to scrounge, it was not apparent to me where on my little lake I would do that. I shivered. The icing on the cake, my stove was frozen solid in the morning.

OTOH, it was uplifting spiritually. A spot with incredible beauty, and calm. Silence. I could pray, and hear God’s voice. It may have been a solo canoe trip, but I never felt alone. I know it sounds crazy, but I  truly feel I got “connected” this weekend, a life changing opportunity. I’m so grateful for the many blessings that got me there, and wow, what a couple of days I had!

I would love to try it again next year. Maybe next time with another person, or a small group, maybe something more “off the beaten track”.

Every time I got myself in trouble, I could hear my mom’s voice in the back of my head…. “What are you thinking?!? You have two small boys, responsibilities!!

My Underbrag

I learned a new word today… “underbrag“.

A guy like me, well most of my life I’ve been underbragging. I don’t need a reason to underbrag, I am just telling it like it is.

In any case, I don’t want to not blow my own horn, but, here we are, heading into late August, and I have yet to catch a fish in the new canoe.

I’ve tried. I’ve been out several times. I’ve paddled over giant carp, and returned the next day with my rod. I’ve asked in fishing shops, and brought my young son out to help. I’ve scoured the internet looking for Toronto’s hot fishing spots.

This morning, for example, I got up at 4:45 (mainly thanks to the baby, I have to admit) had a quick coffee, jumped in the car and was off to Pickering, for a sunrise launch at Frenchman’s Bay. OK, I was a few minutes late, but you know, the warmth of the sun really is required that early, what with air temps of 11C and a stiff breeze off Lake Ontario, with myself dressed for summer in shorts etc… it was really “fresh”.

Anyhow, I was a man of action, keen for adventure. A fresh box of 24 lively Night Crawlers just out of the fridge from Tight Line…. yeah okay, sure, I got them on Sunday, but these were nice worms. All the reports from the internet as well as the guy at the tackle store talked about “non-stop action”.

Well, the only real action I saw was when I headed back to the shore for a whiz… that’s something else I haven’t yet successfully done from the canoe.

A la prochaine…


(I have to admit, the only thing that kept me smiling was the fact that I had read this interesting post from Owl Jones last night…)