Bobbing about in a boat with a bear called Bob

We are not sure if he comes as part of the rental or is just up here on holiday

Share

Iam spending three weeks cottaging in Canada. This is now the 13th year that I have proudly made that same double-entendre in this paper after embarking on my annual summer trip to Muskoka, a series of three conjoined lakes about two hours north of Toronto.

We stay in a cottage on Lake Joseph, and I spend my waking days roaring around the lakes on a speedboat and watching my kids hurl themselves off increasingly tall cliffs. Normally the temperature hovers around the 30C mark, but Canada is having a bad summer this year and we currently rush out on to the dock to soak up the rare rays of sunshine that manage to poke through the dark clouds above.

Access to said dock, however, has been made trickier by the regular presence of a large black bear. We are not sure if the bear comes as part of the rental or is just up here on holiday himself. One of our kids spotted him first and ran into the cottage screaming that there was a bear on the dock. I'm ashamed to say that we did not immediately believe the story. The Joly family is well known for telling tall tales and I simply groaned and rolled over in bed. Some of the family was less incredulous and soon there were screams and much excitement from the upper terrace. As, technically, the experienced woodsman of the trip, I dragged myself out of bed and stumbled on to the terrace to observe, "Bob" the bear (my kids named him immediately) nonchalantly sitting on our dock and staring back up at the cottage in a curiously vacant manner.

He was very close to the boat and I briefly wondered whether the cottage owners took Bob for a spin around the bay every morning. Maybe we had not read the booklet properly? I quickly leafed through the literature – there was nothing about the cottage coming with a resident bear, nor anything about what he might require from us.

I have to admit to rather fancying cruising past the Lake Joe club with a big black bear plonked in the passenger seat. Muskoka is Toronto's answer to the Hamptons and everybody is constantly attempting to get one-up on each other with their water toys. Last year, it was all about the giant, inflatable, climbing trapezoid that people would anchor off their cottage. This year the toy of choice is the Lily Pad, a vast floating foam rectangle for kids to muck about on. Meanwhile, Canadian parents seem to have gone more spiritual and relaxed a little on the obsession with mega-speedboats. They now choose to look utterly ridiculous by either doing yoga on paddleboards, or cycling the lakes on floating bicycles.

I plead guilty to causing enough subtle wake with my boat to knock both these types into the water. This activity would be even more enjoyable if I had Bob the Bear honking the horn and giving them the rigid claw as we went past. I suspect that there might be some frantic calls to our landlord about terminating our rental, but it's hardly my fault.

What else am I supposed to do with the bloody great bear on my dock?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

EYP

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Job opportunity for an Early years ...

QA Manual Tester - Agile

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Bursar/Business Manager

£70 - £100 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: Experienced bursar or business...

Secondary School Teachers in Ipswich

Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education are l...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: Scottish polls, the clown who saved Iceland and all about oil

John Rentoul
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

The fall of Rome?

Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
Glasgow girl made good

Glasgow girl made good

Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
The landscape of my imagination

The landscape of my imagination

Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories