Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Firefest -- what a night

The last Saturday in July, the Dwight Beach lights it up.  Firefest is one of the biggest fundraising events for the Volunteer Fire Department.

And let me just add, as an aside, that these volunteers have been very busy so far this summer, attending accidents.  Which is to say, everyone needs to be thinking ahead just a little bit more, and playing safe...  There have been too many accidents involving boats, swimmers, divers, and all terrain vehicles, and thank you very much, we've all had about enough of what are best described as stupid accidents. Although, as Dad would have said, there's no such thing as a 'smart accident.'

Back to the party at the beach -- Firefest brings in the Northern Lights steel band, who are always a smash hit. Up to 80 players, from 8 to 80, get into the Caribbean rhythms of these wonderful drums.  Based in Sprucedale, everyone is welcome to join this orchestra, and they can really pick up any party.

Dwight has the longest, sandiest, handiest public beach anywhere along the 300+ miles of Lake of Bays shoreline.  For Firefest, the road is closed, and aswarm with people and displays. The Fireboat is there. Police boat takes out rides.  Fire trucks are on display. The Lions Club hold their raffle (although I sadly did not win the bbq... drat... oh well, next year!!!)  Cotton candy. Face painting. So much is going on before the sky lights up.

And as for that, well, yes, it's far and away one of the best fireworks displays anywhere, thanks to the generous sponsors and the volunteers. 

This year, pretty much exhausted after a long Saturday at the resort with many cottage changeovers, the BMD (Bondi Maintenance Dept.) opted to watch from a hill on our own property, rather than face the crowds...  Brian got some great photos, from a slightly different vantage point, showing Dwight Bay ablaze with the lights of the boats that come from all around the lake for the show.

There's a Smile in the Box

Following their week at Bondi, Sylva sent us something called a Smilebox. We confess, we'd never encountered one of these before, but oh, what fun!

It opens as an album, complete with pictures and captions, room for people to write in other comments.  She titled it Sun, Sun, Sun and filled it up with pictures from their Bondi vacation.

It's wonderful.  It's the sort of thing that makes the Internet worthwhile.

There were 29 photos, of the family doing all sorts of great things.  Sylva wrote

"We all had a great time last week.

Our favorite was Kyle holding poor starving (?) artist, Napster, while he (Napster) did his magic.

Thank you for ordering up the nice weather for us, we would like the same next year, with a little cooler nights please.

The kids say “hi” to Kyle, and the kids hope he is ready for some serious sand castle building next year.

Allison says this was our best summer at Bondi ever."

Thank you so much for sharing your summer memories with us -- this is what makes us SMILE, for sure!  We are already looking forward to welcoming you home next summer.

And we're sure Napster's painting of  Zyba the Peacock is going to be one of his best sellers!


Evelyn makes the local papers!

We so enjoy having Evelyn and Walter here every summer.  After 50 years of summers at Bondi, they truly are Family. As are all of the children and grandchildren. We have a lot of history, a lot of memories.

This summer, celebrating their 50th year here, and Evelyn's 90th birthday, there was a huge bash on the beach in her honour.

Evelyn received certificates in honour of her 90th birthday from the Township of Lake of Bays, and from MP Tony Clement.  Not to be outdone, the local media got in on the action.    Pamela dropped by for an interview, which ran last week in both the Huntsville Forester and the on-line Cottage Country Now editions.

At the end of the article Evelyn comments about the family continuing the tradition of summers of Bondi. We certainly hope that they do. After all, this is our reunion too...

Wishing you a wonderful rest of the year, Evelyn, we are looking forward to welcoming you home for the 51st summer next year!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The need for Speed

Tubing is a lot of fun -- provided you hang on well!

We had guests on waterskiis, on the great surfboard (on which we ALL first learned how to balance behind a speeding boat!); and in the various ski tubes.

Dave may have set the bar for speed, but it was Charlotte who scooped up the points for elegance -- look at those lines!!!

There always seems to be total chaos on the dock when the skiers are out, but in reality it is carefully orchestrated, and Brian, the trusty Skipper, knows exactly who is where... Dave and Mike help with teaching skiing, and they keep the dock area organized.  All the same, it LOOKS like chaos!

What we like about waterskiing is that there is something for every level of ability, for those just trying out for the very first time, all the way up to the pros.

Jump to It!

There was a whole lot of splashing going on at the dock Friday -- Nathan and Tim started the splash going, running and jumping off the end of main dock.

Both the boys demonstrated tremendous glee in getting wet. Which was hardly suprising: the lake was hovering around 85 degrees F in the shallows, and they had been pretty well immersed in the water all day long.

Nathan demonstrated extraordinarily fine form in the cannonball.  We were duly impressed (and if we stood too close, duly dampened!)

Watching the boys have this much fun was just more than some of our other guests could bear.

Shannon, heading out for the daily swim to the Point, joined in the fun with a flying leap of her own.  Gorgeous!

That got Michelle going, in the shallow water, tossing Samantha way up into the air, to return with a big splash.  Brian had the ski boat out, taking guests skiing and tubing, but from his expression watching the splashing at the dock, he'd have preferred to be one of those bombing off the dock into the water!

Certainly, Dave and Mike -- who not only snuck in a quick ski themselves but who were on the dock teaching skiing and helping with the tubing rides -- couldn't quite resist.

Nor could the kids who were playing on the new raft slide.  Yet another way to just Jump to It and get in the Lake!

After all, we wait all year for summer in Canada:  It's not the longest season, but certainly the sweetest, and up here, it is all about Lake, the families, and the memories the two make together.

So Jump to It!  Last one in is the only one dry!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sarah goes a-Hunting

Sarah got a new camera this summer, and she's snapping up a storm of photographs!

This week, she went hunting -- with her camera... and she managed to catch a lot of wildlife!

We love this photo of Mama Duck and her two ducklings, fanning the water and having a little wing stretch.

We are also very impressed by the beauty of the milkweed flowers, when seen in close up, and as always, the glorious Monarch Butterflies are one of our favourite subjects.

In the garden, it's a hive of activity...  blessedly we seem to have no shortage of bees here this summer, since they are critical to our ecology!  Sarah managed to catch this one busily gathering Sunflower pollen for honey in the hive.  We like the way she got in so close for the photo, and the unusual angle.

And of course, what's not to like, when you are walking in the field, hoping to find a monarch on the milkweed, and you find this little beauty hiding behind a frond?

Our guests often tell us that they see more wildlife -- big and small - here than they do in Algonquin during the summer, not because we have more (the Park is the hands down winner in that department!) but because our trails and fields are so uncrowded.

Thanks for sharing your pictures Sarah.

Let's have S'more Cookouts on the Beach!

We are teetering on the edge of adding our own organic fresh corn on the cob to the cookouts this summer -- next week for sure (and that's an early harvest).

In the meantime, it's all about the hot dogs, the veggies, the fruit, the bonfire, the marshmallows, and yes, the S'MORES!

Not to mention the Seed Spitting (we use popcorn kernels, since genetic engineering has tinkered with the wonderful watermelon).

All ages get into the spirit of this competition, from Marty (who was having a lot of issues with this, being well mannered, and having been taught it's not polite to 'spit'.) Everyone had to turn their backs for him so he wasn't embarrassed.

That was no problem for Bill, who stepped boldly to the line and gave his all.  He didn't quite catch up to Evan, however, who blew that corn kernel 30'10"

Meanwhile, as an added attraction, we had a lovely musical interlude with Charlotte, who's voice and guitar added a lot to the evening. Thank you for sharing that, Charlotte! It was lovely.  We do look forward to getting a copy of the lyrics to the new song you were composing about the Seed Spitting!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Don't Be Shy!

This sunflower seems to be a little shy... which is not the case with the sunshine!

It's been a very hot, dry, brilliant week up here in North Muskoka, with everyone enjoying the lake, and the hiking trails.

Today some guests hiked both Whiskey Rapids and half of Mizzy Lake, before coming home to jump in the lake and cool off.

The forecast is for more of the same.  Which means little Miss Sunflower will have to come out in full bloom!

Thanks for the photo, Sarah.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Kathryn and Hamish took advantage of the break in the heat, and the rise in the wind, to grab some time in our sailboat.

The wind can be capricious in our bay, because of the points, but there's usually enough to get you going, and once you are out beyond the points, towards the Island, it's smooth sailing.

Not to mention a delightful way to spend the afternoon.

We also have kayaks and windsurfers available, and highly recommend their use.

Bob Bob Bobbing Along

Feed Me! shrieks this little robin who rather presumptively leapt from the nest a little too soon and was rescued from the driveway. It took a few attempts to return him to the nest -- he was pretty determined that he could fly, despite evidence to the contrary.

We've already had batches of baby robins hatch, fledge and fly this year.  This is part of Round Two.

At Beaver cottage, the second flight is well on their way - and most annoyed when guests come out onto "their" porch.  Last week they looked like nothing so much as alien species.

This week, they are resembling baby robins...  By next week, they will be starting to hop out of the nest and begin to try their wings.

They grow with remarkable speed.  The nest, too is a fascinating construction. Spare a moment to think how this is built -- carrying one tiny twig, one minute plug of mud at a time.   Nature really is amazing!

Record Setting

Brian has been keeping an eye on the thermometer -- someone has to. Can't be our guests because they are far too busy playing in the lake!
He chimed in with the following:

"Yesterday, we set an all time record for the hottest day.  The Past record was 34.5C on July 6, 1988

Thursday,  it reached a little over 36C but this is not an official Environment Canada number of course, just the one that popped up on our temperature gauge.  However you measure it, it was hot.

By way of interest the coldest day in July so far was in 1965 when on July 6 it dropped to 4.4 C. I assume this was the overnight low but still pretty cold.

The most rain in July was in 2000 when on the 31st we got 65.2 mm of rain.

Why do I tell you this? I haven’t got a foggy clue, but enjoy it while it lasts as the fish huts will be going out in about 6 months."

Now, much as we are fond of the fish huts, we are in no hurry to let this stretch of summer leave us.

These are the days when families are spending time together, precious moments happen all day long, the lake is silken and enticing...

Canadian summer, at its very best, at the Lake of Bays.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Up Close

Ken and Mary Joan snapped this picture just outside their cottage here at Bondi this week.

With one set of twins, and two single fawns, we've got lots of opportunities for our guests to spot the whitetail deer.

Ken was delighted with how close they were to these timid and usually very wary wild creatures.

Mom has been bringing the twins
around to visit them all week, providing plenty of photo opportunities.  Thank you for sharing your pictures with us Ken!

Lloyd, Zack and Bryce, along with Sarah (and her new camera!) went on a Nature Hike this week, and they, too, found themselves up close and personal with the deer.

Just how close, you ask?  Well, thanks to Sarah, we've got evidence of how close.  It's pretty special when you can be this close to the wild things.


Our huge lawn -- meticulously mowed by Brian and the Bondi Maintenance Dept. -- lends itself to pick up games of Volleyball.

Taffy had never seen volleyball played, and she was delighted to get in there and follow the action, although it's doubtful she was much help.

But then, there wasn't a whole lot of score-keeping taking place either, just a great afternoon playing on the lawn before heading to the lake.

A Handful of Island Swimmers

This morning we had five intrepid swimmers hop into the lake at the Island for our Marathon Swim. Shelley, Laura, John Dave and Ann made it look so easy.

That's a beautiful swim. It's 1.6 km. long, so we put a lot of support boats out there to keep them company.  We go early, trying to stay ahead of wind and waves -- although there was a good tailwind this morning helping push the swimmers home.

Mike found he was hard pressed to keep the main support boat steady -- the wind was pushing him forward past his swimmers!  Sarah did beautifully with the kayak -- they are so nimble to handle;  Kyle and Frances demonstrated why the canoe is so ideally suited to Muskoka lakes; and Kitty kept everyone in line from the rowboat.

 Not an easy task, since the siren call of breakfast at neighbouring Lumina Resort was causing a few swimmers to drift in that direction!

The first swimmers were home in just 35 minutes, refreshed and ready to take on the rest of this day -- a day which promises to be scorching hot, and which makes getting back in the lake look like a great idea any time at all!

Stewarding the fish

The Andrew Daniels Fish Stewardship Program is dedicated to improving the habitat of the lake, regenerating shorelines and restoring creeks to help ensure that the Lake of Bays offers the very finest living conditions for our fish -- and along with that, for our people, since the environment is so inter-connected.

Andy and Jacquie are among the dedicated volunteers that work with this foundation.  They are doing great work.  Down at Rabbits Bay, near Dorset, last year they restored a creek bed that was being overrun by road construction, and were thrilled to watch the spawining trout come back.

Yesterday, at Port Cunnington Lodge, they held a Brunch fundraiser. Ken and Mary Joan enjoyed the meal, and scooped up a painting at the Silent Auction too!

Not this painting... mind you... this is a huge mural that is part of the Group of Seven mural tour that encompasses Huntsville, Dwight, Dorset and Baysville.  It's on the rec barn at Port Cunnington Lodge, who graciously hosted a fabulous brunch, and it's the most fitting image for a foundation that is working to restore stream beds!

Sand, Water, Heat... Just add Kids...

Lake temperature: 80 degrees.

Three guesses where the kids are.  Not to mention the adults.

Emily, Nicholas and Allison were having a blast on the water trampoline.

The paddle boat found itself pressed into service, first to ferry Maria, Alyssa, Christina and Nick from one dock to the next, and then later to become the platform from which they went fishing.

Heading out for this morning's marathon swim, we had plenty of boats on hand as well. Canoes, kayaks, rowboats and motor boats all joined in. 

After all, if you're not actually IN the water, in weather like this, the next best thing is to be ON TOP of it!