2019 Season in Review
As in past years, we’re writing to give you a quick recap of the season, as well as update you on what’s to come for the 2020 season. We normally send this information in mid to late December, however thought we would try something a little different this year and let people get through the ‘busyness’ of the holiday season before sending out this newsletter.
There is no doubt that the spring water levels were the story (‘situation’) of the year here for us. (Or perhaps the ‘front page’ story of our first decade as owners…also memorable were the extreme low waters of 2010, as well as the great storm of 2013, and the entire summer of 2018 being under a fire ban.
The lake water levels reached unprecedented heights this year. There was one point at the very end of May when they peaked and you could not see a single docking slip, nor the rock wall. The only way you knew there were docking slips under the water was the posts sticking out, and all of the barrels on top to weigh them down. We knew the waters were coming based on the snow depth & water content from the past winter, however no one really understood how much. We did a ton of work in late April in some pretty harsh conditions to strengthen the outer docks, and even raised some of the lower sitting docks, putting a lot of resources in to this, however unfortunately it was just not enough to withstand the force of mother nature.
We actually ‘weathered the storm’ for the first 3 weeks of the season with the help of the forty five 55 gallon barrels we bought up, (that’s as many as we could get our hands on as they were in high demand all over the province), weighing in excess of 700 lbs each when filled with water, and another eight giant 200 gallon tubs all spread over the dock to prevent it from lifting/floating away with the wave action. The winds of June 1st & 2nd were just too much for the dock to withstand, and we lost the entire outer bay. It really was a devastating blow at the time, and we would like to thank all of the guests here that week for their patience & understanding.
Going back prior to the opening of the season, we started with the usual hustle-and-bustle of getting ready for opening day: unwrapping, servicing, maintenance, and water testing on all of our boats & motors; massive yard clean-up, filling an industrial size bin with pine needles & brush; raking, grading the road ways, tidying the gardens and replacing all of the mulch, along with new grass seed and turf builder throughout. Sarah too was busy with the flower baskets, pots & planters to be ready for opening day. We also replaced the banisters, railings and lattice to all cottages that have decks, with some pretty nice results. Sometimes, like in the case of #26 cottage, you start with a somewhat routine job, and it ends up being far more then expected. Let’s just say cottage #26 had a brand-new deck all around when all was said & done. (It sure turned out nice though).
From opening day through to late spring, we saw some beautiful weather, some great catches, and had some pretty nice fishermen come through our doors…they were even kind enough to share some beautiful Lake Nipissing Walleye. By the way, you guys all looked great in your rubber boots ! The transition into the summer season felt like it came fast & furious after the whirlwind of a spring we had, however it also felt like things were getting back to normal…with the exception of the missing 25 docking slips and having to get very creative to accommodate all of the boats certain weeks!
The start of our family season meant the start of our live music, kids’ treasure hunts, and weekly BBQ’s. We really enjoyed another year of different entertainers, and welcomed some old ones back. We had no fire bans this past season which was very nice, and we also made good use of the propane fire bowls from the year prior on our beach deck, as well as our big deck out on the water…once the water receded enough to allow this. We added some new stronger & supportive seats to our fleet of boats, (all boats that take the trolling motor get the upgraded seats), as well as new Adirondack chairs, new ping-pong table, two new gazebos to replace the one on the big deck on the water, as well as the one over the ping-pong table, and some new picnic tables. We went ahead with our annual weed treatment in our marina during the first week of August even though the docks were non-existent. This was to ensure we keep up on it, in preparation for the season ahead. The summer season closed off with the Labour Day weekend live music, bonfire & BBQ with some absolutely beautiful weather. Thank you to all who joined us over this season, and the great memories. The fall season brought back some familiar faces that join us yearly every fall, along with some that also come in the spring & summer as well to get either one last opportunity out on the water, or just to enjoy the amenities of Sunbeam. The fish were biting, the fall colours starting, and the nights starting to cool off. Once the Thanksgiving weekend concluded, and fishing closed for the season, we got right back at it, shutting down the non-winterized cottages for the season, and winterizing the boats for the season.
This year, we started the final leg of the winterizing process for cottages #4 & #26. This project has been ongoing over the past few years, starting with new windows & doors. To complete the progression, we had to install a boiler system for heat in both the cottages and crawl spaces with new rads throughout. The boiler actually acts as the hot water tank in both cottages as well giving the instant ‘on demand’ hot water through these units. We also had to dig around both cottages to properly insulate, create new access points for water shut offs, and install new (deeper) insulated water lines to prevent lines from freezing. It really was quite an undertaking for both of the units, physically, financially, and in dealing with the elements- nothing like working in an early November snow storm!
For the upcoming 2020 season, which really isn’t too far off now, the obvious change/improvement will be an entire new dock. This is a massive undertaking, but is going to be absolutely beautiful. With the exception of the 2500 sq/ft deck, (which also requires major repairs from underneath due to the water levels), the entire dock will be replaced. This includes every finger, walkway, and crib. The start of each docking slip “finger” will be hinged to allow for the fluctuation in water levels throughout the season, and the far end of the finger is adjustable, making it much easier to get in/out of your boat. We are also adding a whole additional row of slips at the very far end along the rock wall. This gives us an additional 10 slips located in the deepest area of the marina. At the very end of that new section, (far right if you are facing the water), there will be a 30x30 ft sitting area. This will be a lovely place to gather and watch the water, sunset, or sunrise, or just a nice social sitting area. (Over 250 feet out on the water at that point). Oh, and for you water enthusiasts, we have a new water trampoline on order, ready for the start of the season.
We’re pleased to tell you that we are once again leaving our rates the same for the upcoming season. The spring & fall rates have not seen an increase since 2011, and the summer since the start of the 2018 season. We can continue to offer what we feel are very competitive, fair rates if you all keep coming and filling those cottages. If you would like to book for the upcoming season, you can reach out via our website, www.sunbeambungalows.com under the ‘contact us’ link, or anytime via our toll free number, (877)298-9998.
In closing, we would like to sincerely thank you once again for your support, as well as the positive reviews -please keep them coming on Trip Advisor, or Google for example- and the ever important, word-of-mouth to your family, friends, and co-workers.
Very best to you all, and to many more memorable vacations here at Sunbeam!
Darren & Sarah