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, April 28, 2013


It's official. The ice is gone.  The only thing on the surface tonight was the reflection of clouds.

Ice out on April 27 is not a record. That is May 12, in 1926 (thank God for diaries -- my memory doesn't stretch back that far!)

There have also been many years when May 4, 5 and 6 have been the 'official' dates for the ice to depart.  Last year was the earliest on record, so we were perhaps all a little champing at the bit.

But the BMD swung into action today with the boat, relocating the raft that got shoved in by the ice.  It's still too cold to put out the water trampoline and other lake toys, but that too will happen soon enough.

So, with the ice gone, it is definitely time to book your summer vacation. Give us a call!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Breaking up is hard to do

 The ice is just about gone from our bay.  Parts of the Lake are already ice free.

It is now just shards, tinkling and chiming together as the wind ruffles the surface, and is so fragile that it is now not going to cause much damage.  That damage has in many cases already happened to docks and boathouses around the Lake.
 While the water is no longer rising, it is taking its own sweet time to start to subside.  The flow of water from Algonquin has slowed, but the rivers are still running high and strong, so we are currently in a bit of a holding pattern.  The docks are out there, somewhere beyond that shelly fragile ice and under those barrels.

 Here is a good look at the way the crystals start to come apart.
 While the ice is currently all the way across the dock, you can see there is really no ice left out farther, so there is not enough weight behind this to cause it to push on the docks if it does move about, so everyone can take a deep breath of relief.

It is still fairly thick along the shore leading to the cookout beach at Springside, but again, there's not a lot of power left in it.  So now we can enjoy watching it go...   and then we can start cleaning up what is left in the wake of the flood.  There are many places where deck chairs, canoes, etc. were left on docks for the winter. There is a big raft currently drifting against the boom at the Baysville dam.  And to the south, the boom smashed apart at High Falls, and a veritable 'furniture store' of rafts, docks, chairs, etc. all sailed away towards Georgian Bay.  All in all, we have been very fortunate, here at Bondi Village.  Thanks for that...

Running Rivers

This is a collection of some of my favourite pictures from the Flood that hit Muskoka on April 19, when 50 mm of rain fell in less than a day, releasing the snow that had been lying deep in Algonquin Park.

Bracebridge, photo by Brian Tapley
The downside of all that water has of course been property damage, roads washed out and all the usual downturns that come with water where it shouldn't be...

The upside has been some of the most spectacular photos along the rivers and waterfalls of the region.

Thanks to the various photographers who have shared their pictures with us!

looking downstream at Marsh's Falls. photo by
Brian Tapley

Marsh's Falls, water in motion, photo by Robin Tapley

The Hogs' Trough, upriver from Marsh's Falls.
Photo by Robin Tapley

another look at the Hogs' Trough, on Oxtongue River,
photo by Robin Tapley

floodwater roaring through the woods at the
Oxtongue River Rapids. photo by Robin Tapley

Ragged Falls, on the Oxtongue River. Not only does this tiny
Provincial Park contain 9 separate ecosystems, it is
home to this specatucular Waterfall. Robin Tapley took the
photo -- and he had to rope in and mountaineer down to get it

About a week after the floodwater hit, at the
Baysville dam. Nancy Tapley photo.

Buttermilk Falls, south on Hwy 35. Vic Cork took
the picture. The water was only one inch from coming over
the top of the dam itself.

Marsh's Falls. Nancy Tapley's photo.

Hunters' Bridge, on the Oxtongue Rapids -- way out there
beyond the floodwater.
Taffy and Nancy, at Hunter's Bridge, looking back at
Tim Drouin, who took this picture
Bala Falls, Josie McClelland took the picture

another look at Bala Falls, photo Josie McClelland

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

River Down, Lake Up, Ice Moving

 Here's Marsh's Falls today. You can see that the flow is much less than a few days back. That's good news.  Not that there isn't still a lot of H2O flowing...  but the river is down and the MNR advises that the river has passed the crest of the flood.  Of course, they also say that there is more rain in the forecast. A tricky lot, the MNR.

Meanwhile, back at the Lake, the levels continue to rise as the lake absorbs the inflow. The water is now quite deep over the docks, as you can see. 

 It wraps all the way around Anchor cottage, but the boathouse downstairs is still high and dry, for which we are very grateful!

And the ice is on the move.  The good news about the ice is that is breaking apart, it is now down to the stage where it is long crystals, easily broken apart. 

Of course, it is still pretty thick, and when it moves horizontally along the surface of the lake it can pack a lot of pressure in front of it.  It pushed one of the barrels full of water back along the dock at Farside about six feet.  It took both David and I to wrestle that back into place.

You can see the ice flowing across the dock really well in this photo.  Our Bondi guests will recognize the canoe racks up on the shore, and the walkway  around the deck chair lawn. That would be under that big drifting iceberg...

Here's another angle to let you see the ice sliding over the dock...

Taffy bravely came out onto the dock to assist us.  Despite David's cautionary comments, she did manage to fall off the dock at one point. It was hard to tell where the dock ended and the lake began, with the ice sliding around,  so she had her first swim of the season.

The crystals look so innocent, just sort of drifting about. As they bump into each other with a bit of wind, they sound like wind chimes. It's quite marvellous. Until you see them peeling away your buildings or docks.... Looses some of its charm at that point, somehow...

David spent a bit of time today with a big stick just smashing up the ice as it started to pile up against the docks. Here he is at Beaver's dock, ably assisted by a slightly damp poodle.

With a bit of luck, a bit more warm weather, and --dare we say it? -- a bit of rain, the ice will simply vanish at this point.  It's right on the edge of being gone, and won't take much more encouragement to turn back into water.  That would be a good thing for all the docks and boathouses around the Lake of Bays, so fingers crossed...

All the same, you just cannot beat it for beautiful...

The little rafts of ice pile up against each other, and create these strikingly lovely bits of artwork.

We have all been reminded, during this flood, of the power of water. Mother Nature is not to be messed with, and the force of flowing water is formidible.

It's good to be also reminded of how beautiful, how truly unique and precious Nature is as well.

We have to take a few moments to admire what is currently happening along the shore and out on the bay...

We would just prefer that it leave our docks alone...

Taffy can keep the geese away from the docks, but despite best efforts and intentions, the Ice is just not listening.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Still Rising

 The water in the lake was a little higher still today.  Brian and Dave continued to work on the docks, to try to ensure that if the ice moves in the docks won't move out.

The barrels add the necessary weight to keep the planking from lifting and the docks from trying to float away, but the barrels themselves offer little barrier to moving ice, which can knock down full grown boathouses.   So the guys were installing planks in such a way that (hopefully) the ice would be split apart and lose some of its power.  That and us dropping by at all hours to poke at it if it gets close.

We might be lucky -- it is getting very black out there, which is the precursor to the ice simply vanishing back into water.  Fingers crossed that there is little ice damage around the lake!  We already know of several boathouses and boat ports that have been knocked askew.

Taffy takes her job as inspector very seriously. 

But it is Achmed's expression that pretty much sums up our feelings about the high water...

the good news is that the river has crested and is starting to go down.

Pen Lake -- no Picnic

 How kind, the seagulls seem to say, that these tables have been placed out here for our benefit.

This is taken at the Hillside dock, on Peninsula Lake (Pen Lake to its friends) next to Tally Ho Inn.

Yes, it is no surprise to find this lake is also affected by the rise in the water -- after all, it connects through the canal into Fairy Lake, which is connected by the river to the downtown of Huntsville, where the flooding is pretty darn impressive right now.

The picnic tables are located near the end of the dock. Although you can't even tell there is a dock there from these pictures.

Capt. Marsh's Falls

The water seems to have crested, pouring down from the Park.
That's a good thing!   Look at the level of the water at Marsh's Falls today -- note the birch tree on the right of the far bank, closest to the edge.
Compare it with the picture taken there on Saturday, just two days ago.
We even have a close up of the tree, standing fast against the onslaught of the water.
However, all the news is not wonderful.  On the other bank from this, there is a birch tree doing its best to stand firm, but beginning to look a little shaky.  The stonework in these photos is from the old bridge that used to cross right here, at the brink of the Falls before the highway moved upstream.   The rocks have stood there, staunch and strong, for well over fifty years.  Their very strength tempts people to stand right at the edge of the Falls.  Yes, I confess I am one of those...
But not today.  Look to the right of the picture and you can see a sinkhole forming.  That indicates that the water has found a way under and behind those very rocks.
Looking from the opposite bank, you can see that the rocks are beginning to look less and less stable.  In fact, near the birch on the right you can see more disturbed dirt. And yes, this is the same birch that was in the fourth photo from the top in this post.
Looking farther down the bank, the water is gushing out from between and behind the stone abuttment.  I had one of those moments when I flashed back to the story of the young Dutch boy who stuck his finger in the dyke to save the town.
Here, however, there are not enough fingers available, anywhere. The water is moving through swiftly.
Here's is another look...

 And another look, from the compromised side.  That's a lot of water coming through the rocks.

Rivers are forever remodelling themselves, cutting new channels, building canyons and flood plains and deltas and curving and twisting through landscapes. It is what rivers do.  A look at the Oxtongue River from an airplane reveals the numbers of twists and turns, elbows and abandoned channels in its past history, so it is no great surprise to find it in the process of building something new.

We frequently underestimate the power behind flowing water.  This water, in flood, is deep, and fast and unstoppable.  The rocks in its path have long since been scoured to smooth edges by the constant slip of the current.  Where it meets resistance, the water flings itself in the air, and comes again, and again. 

Undeniably beautiful, it is also a fearsome creature.

We'll keep watching to see if the banks of the Falls decide it is time for some re-working.

In the meantime, caution, please. If you are in at the Falls, please give this bank a wide berth. If it does decide to collapse under the pressure of the flood, it will do so swiftly, with little or no warning, and it is not possible to tell from above how extensive the undermining has been, so do stay back.  (I love my telephoto lens!!!)