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.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

The View from Here

Earlier this year, Chris Keene picked up some of the old windows from the historic Bigwin Inn Rotunda that the Lake of Bays Heritage Committee has for sale.

Chris has recently retired to Dorset, where he is a great addition to the Arts Community.

He is a creative, dynamic artist, and we have been looking forward to seeing what he'd do with them.

Well, here's one...

Colour us totally impressed.  Isn't that stunning???

Mitt One, Purl Two

Bondi Bay -- our bay inspired this lovely design
 Our wonderful guests Gunni and Margaret live in Iceland.

They love to knit.  With their sideline company Nerds Knitting, they are -- as they say -- hacking code by day, knitting by night.

And they produce the most beautiful garments.

While they were here this summer, Gunni whipped up these beautiful mittens for me -- it's enough to make me long for cold weather so I can wear them!

Over the years, they have made sweaters for us, and for some of our guests and friends.  We are in awe of their talent.

Thank you so very much for sharing your talent with us!
Brian, looking very fashionable indeed!

Margaret knows me well -- she put a herd
of Icelandic ponies on my gorgeous sweater!

Here's to Happy. Ever. After.

Congratulations to Alison and Blair, who were married today at Bigwin.  

We were very honoured to be able to host so many of your family and friends here at Bondi. Thank you for making us a part of your special day.

And here's to the great adventure that began for the two of you today!

No Need to Paddle if you Know how to Bob!

 There are always good times when the Old Salts Canoe Club rolls into Bondi!.

Along with their day's outings in the Park, they always get some water time here.

Lots of swimming, this September, while the lake was so very warm, was high on the agenda.

So, too, were the kayaks and canoes.

But it is Chris who takes the award.  He gave a lesson to the group in how to properly gunnel-bob.

And he did it in impeccable style.

As he said, 'what else are you supposed to do when you're 70?"

What else, indeed!

Rusty's Most Excellent Adventure

 Every September Rusty comes for his vacation. He brings along his 'mom', Marianne, and her husband Barrie.

While they set up in the cottage for a week of relaxing, touring the area, soaking up the sun, swimming and hiking, Rusty snuggles into the stable and gets re-aquainted with his buddy Squeegee.

Every afternoon, Marianne and Rusty get together for a lesson with Nancy.

And Rusty goes home with all sorts of great stories about his adventures on Vacation to make his stable-mates quite jealous!

A Jewel of a Weed

seed pods -- don't touch!(oh heck, go ahead!)

It is quite a beautiful plant, and it grows rampant  in various places around our property, including in the garden at Cedars cottage.

We are a big fan.  It is a beautiful plant, with a lovely orange and yellow flower.

But the real fun of the thing is this time of year, when the seed pods are thick and ripe.

a seed pod that has 'blown up' - this one caught in a spider's web,
and the seeds are still visible inside, not having been
thrown quite clear.

here's some scale -- they are tiny little things, but so very
powerful when they open.
The plant is called Jewelweed.  If you should encounter poison ivy, a rub of these leaves will help tremendously with the itching.

But it also goes by the name Touch Me Not.  Because the slightest touch on those fat juicy seed pods will cause them to quite literally explode, sending the seeds flying.

It is fun to go ahead and just lightly pinch the pods, to watch the thing go 'sput' and fire out the seeds.

you can see the size of the pods, the way the pods curl
up when they open, and the seeds in this picture.

Low Water

 Water levels are VERY low right now.

While this gives us a truly impressive sandy beach -- and with the water still in the mid 70 degree F. range that's a good thing -- it does make it interesting for some of the boats.

We are lucky that our docks have sufficient depth for the motor boats, even the big ones.

But the pedal boat is beginning to look a little on the 'beached' side of the equation.

49 years and a score of 29...

Alan and Heather were here for their week of R&R in Anchor cottage, watching sunsets over the lake, checking out the great blue heron on the dock... 

and celebrating their 49th Anniversary.

As if that is not impressive enough, Alan scored the "Perfect Hand" in cribbage!  We are told that the odds of this are impressive... 1 in 216,580 in fact.

So congratulations are in order on both occasions!!!

Civil Uprising in Wasaga

 During the last week of summer, Team Bondi headed to the Wasaga Paint Ball centre, for their annual "Big Game'

The theme: Civil Uprising.  Part Two: Social Divergence.

It's the largest paintball game of its kind in Canada, I'm told.

We had a big group of keen players take part -- lead by our David.  And including several 'first time players'.  They lost, they tell me, but they had a great time.

Despite coming home with some quite impressive bruises!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Cottage Munk

Syl enjoys coming to stay with us... or should that be, Syl enjoys coming to stay with Chip, who just happens to be at his fave cottage!

Thanks for sharing this photo of your little buddy, Syl! This little chap would swarm up and all over Syl's electric wheelchair in pursuit of the precious peanut!

Run to the River

Dave paused at the mid-way point of his morning bike ride to snap this photo of the Oxtongue River.

Worth getting up and biking for!   At one end of the day, fabulous sunsets. At the opposite end, morning mist...  We love the autumn!

September Sunsets

September brings magnificent sunsets.  Here's a selection of some of our favourite photos so far (and we're only part way into the month!)

This evening a great blue heron dropped by the main dock. He didn't stop long enough to pose. Perhaps because he found himself in the wrong 'colour palette'. The ducks, on the other hand, were Pretty in Pink.

Guests coming home with the paddleboat had the best of backdrops.

And the skies just blazed!

Bringing Apples down to Earth

Does a bear eat apples in the woods?  Well, evidently yes!   Taffy and Barrie take a close look at the branch the bear has dragged down from the old apple tree in our back fields, the better to get at the fruit.   There weren't a lot of berries this summer -- but every two years this tree is heavy with apples, and this would be the year, so it's no surprise that the bear is taking advantage!

Trail Maintenance

Trails, be they for skiing or hiking, don't just magically appear.  Their maintenance, creation, upgrading and 'fluffing and buffing' takes up a lot of time and labour.

Brian was out last week working on improving one of the ski trails.  We have 20 Km. of groomed and track set trails for our guests to enjoy -- and enjoy the trails they do!

While Arrowhead Park is just down the road at Huntsville, with world class racing facilities for nordic skiers, it is frequently a crowded venue.  Our trails, on the other hand, are less geared to the need for speed and more geared for the casual, take-time-to-check-out-the-wildlife-tracks skiers.

As it usually works out, there is something for everyone up here in North Muskoka!

Coming Home

Closing out the last week of the summer -- Tom comes home to Bondi with 'Wind Breaker'. He sailed almost every day of his two weeks with us.  Mostly staying upright...  

Friday, September 4, 2015


 The wild choke cherry trees are now heavy with fruit.  These bitter berries make up into a fabulous jelly, for those who are of a domestic bent.

But they also provide a much welcome source of food for a lot of our neighbours.    Down at the lake, near Clover cottage, this tree is bowing down over the lake.

As cherries drop, the ducks come by to forage and do the cleaning up.  They have to wait for the fruit to fall -- or be shaken a bit.

 Not so for the juvenile robins, who were crowding the branches, snapping up a veritable feast.

We watched these beauties grow, from their nests in the stable, and in various trees and porches all around the resort (including one over the electrical panel at Springside cottage that meant we had to suspend some of our planned Spring renovations until the birds flew!)

The big pileated woodpeckers love these cherries as well.   This isn't my photo -- credit to my cousin Robin Tapley.  We are hearing them daily in the big tree near Wheelhouse cottage, and catching glimpses of them as they fly back and forth.  

The big vegetable garden is alive with birds now as well, some who are tackling the last small cobs of corn left on the stalks, more devouring the sunflowers we grow just for them. And some, a little less welcome, snacking on the raspberries that are still ripening!

It makes for wonderful bird watching opportunities!

What a Lovely Sight

 A thing of beauty. Mark brought his rowing scull with him this summer.

In the early mornings, on the flat calm water, he brightened the bay for sure.

It would only take about 25 strokes and he would be out beyond the boathouse, heading for the Island.

We have a soft spot for the rowing art. Our very English Uncle Fred Buck, once upon a time, coached the Eton Four Man boats,
If you'd like to take a look at how deceptively effortless this fragile vessel really is, check out the video here. 

Final Marathon Swim of the Season

John and Margaret were the only ones brave enough to
tackle the mile swim from the Island.

 The final Thursday of the summer -- we were on the dock for our weekly Marathon Swim, and what a great turnout of people.

The day could not have been better for this -- the water was like a mirror, the water was 24 degrees...

Where better to be than in the swim?

Sam and Leslie, with SUP and kayak, keeping watch on the swimmers.

Owen set a blistering pace to the Point and Back!

Katy and Christina were first back, but only beat Owen by a smidge!

Great smile from Brynne!

so many of our guests come out to accompany the swimmers!

Daughter Jamie and Mother Linda -- the family that swims together!

Linda, Brynne, Tom and Jamie celebrating on the dock

Augustine was the youngest swimmer, coming back from the Point, 500 m.

Mark lead the cheering squad for the Island swimmers!

That's Margaret, setting a great pace from the Island!

Uli -- have canoe, will paddle...

My favourite photo -- all lined up, pedal boat, swimmer, SUP, canoe and kayak. Perfect.

David has escorted every swim this summer. What a great guy!

John, almost back at the dock

Megan -- she hasn't missed a swim, either.  Thanks for a summer full
of keeping swimmers' safe!

Brian, in the middle of the bay. There is an old sunken log out there, that only he seems able to find!