The sky is simply beginning to turn purple as we climb aboard the forty-foot metal hull and take our seats.
Kevin Johnston, the proprietor, and operator of Collingwood Adventure Voyages and our captain for the night sits proudly at the helm greeting his guests as they settle in.
Johnston’s aura is contagious, and we immediately sense at home.
The schedule consists of a cruise via the Collingwood harbor earlier than heading out into the bay. We learn about the wealthy records of the shipbuilding enterprise, the tale behind the iconic Collingwood terminals, and the lighthouse poking out from Nottawasaga Island.
With the escarpment towering to the left and open water to the right, we finish the evening floating peacefully as the solar drowns within the horizon.
The sunset cruise is one of the many excursions supplied by way of the dual corporation, Collingwood Adventure Voyages, and OSM Adventure Travel.
In the summer, contributors can pick from fishing charters, shipwreck explorations, lighthouse tours, and fish fry boat events through Collingwood Adventure Voyages, and, in wintry weather, the services include eco-hiking tours, bushcraft and ax competencies and backcountry snowshoeing through OSM Adventure Travel.
All of the tours are led by way of Johnston, and his venture is to help you immerse your self into the journey.
Johnston moved to the Collingwood location in 2010 with one purpose: to start a success and sustainable enterprise that had “something to do with the outdoor adventure industry.”
“You never definitely realize a place well sufficient to recognize what type of business to start till you get there,” said Johnston.
Fresh off a gig as a raft manual on the Ottawa River, the first of all desired to deliver that form of revel into Collingwood. There are no white water rivers inside the region, but Johnston knew the bay had a record of having pretty rough, so he improvised.
With a 14-foot Zodiac and $one hundred to his name, OSM Adventure Travel turned into born.
The call OSM comes from Johnston’s high faculty days and stands for off-set minds. It represents the potential to observe some thing one manner, and determine out other ways to do it. Johnston determined it fitting for his enterprise.
“How do I take the identical element anyone else is doing, and do it otherwise,” he said.
The best other company jogging excursions through the harbor at the time has lengthy seeing that retired, and Johnston noticed want to preserve the location’s wealthy history. Did he think, why no longer do it through boat?
The Collingwood harbor changed into growing and the capability became there, so Johnston took the possibility to grow along with it.
“I continually knew Collingwood had potential, but I never anticipated it to go this huge,” he stated.
It didn’t take lengthy earlier than Johnston traded in his inflatable raft for Solidsteel, as he so fondly calls his vessel now.
The past two years have shown a great increase of hobby in the fishing charters. The customizable excursions may be anywhere from 2-6 hours, to catch substantial chinook salmon and lake trout.
“There is nothing greater exciting than to observe a person else capture their first honestly big fish,” stated Johnston. “You can’t do this process if you don’t enjoy interacting with human beings. The great component is I get to talk with people from all over the world. I get to share my passions and manner of lifestyles with them.”
Johnston stated he receives the strange look right here and there, but it doesn’t hassle him. Life on the water or within the bush is the most effective life he wishes.
An adventure addict himself, Johnston become in no way in the commercial enterprise to make a short greenback.
“I’m in it for the lengthy haul,” stated Johnston. “I’m no longer right here to make a commercial enterprise to promote. This is a lifestyle for me, and I am in it to create the first-rate enjoy viable so I can keep doing this for as long as I can.”
His intention is simple: to preserve which will hire himself and with a bit of luck a few others along with the manner. Johnston says he is always as much as something, and to preserve an eye out for brand new matters coming to the harbor within the following few years.