Category Archives: Sailing in Georgian Bay

July 1st – Happy Canada Day from Tobermory!

Yesterday’s ride from Wingfield to Tobermory was much more civilized and timely. Only three hours and it was very smooth. We are currently on the town dock which is very convenient. We just hop off the boat and we’re right in the heart of things. Of course, there are a lot of people here and they are very curious about the boat. We met a man from Port Elgin who noticed that we were from Parry Sound and he grew up there – he was a “Beatty brat” and his dad was the principal at Nobel School (which is where I taught for many years).
We met up with our friends from Kenosha, Wisconsin and they have two extra passengers on board this summer – two cats. The cats seem to be doing really well and have enough toys to keep them amused for years.

There are an awful lot of dogs in Tobermory, parading up and down the dock as well as being in various forms of transportation.



We went out for supper and it was excellent. There was “jazz” band playing Irish music at the restaurant. It was great music – accordion, fife, guitar and drums. The reason I have jazz in quotations is because that is how they were advertised, so maybe the real band didn’t show up. Anyway, they were really good!


Today, we have to clean the boat, get a few groceries, do a load of laundry and fill the water tanks. Dennis also thinks we should go in the Canada Day boat parade with the dinghy. We’ll see!

We went to the local grocery store (small but excellent produce) and I saw this sign in the Express check-out. I thought it was kind of funny.

Express Checkout sign – Express – About 8 items

My final picture is for Louise – I know she will appreciate this one! We went swimming over on the other side of the Tobermory harbour and Dennis found a friend. Louise, please feel free to make one of your very witty comments!


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Posted by on July 1, 2012 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


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June 29 – Day One of Vacation

My first day of vacation! Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it a “fun” day. We set off early from Killbear Park
20120629-182133.jpg before 6:00 this morning. The weather was good but the wind was supposed to come up and within an hour, it definitely came up. We were prepared though and only had minor things fall all over the boat. The anchor, though (of course!) got loose – not too badly – and Dennis had to go up forward to fix it. Luckily this happened earlier in the day when the waves weren’t so huge.
We motored the whole way into the wind, so it was not a good day for being too productive. Dennis steered most of the way while I fiddled with the transister radio until I found the CBC. I perked up when Jian Gomeshi came on.
Later on in the day, I setup the satellite radio and I am ever glad we have that! The CBC was crystal clear and we got to listen to Jian again! I also forced Dennis to listen to Wiretap (one of my favourite shows). Needless to say, he sped up the boat in hopes of either drowning Jonathan Goldstein out or so that we would arrive earlier and he wouldn’t have to listen to him.
We are in Wingfield Basin – all secure. It is a very nice and quiet anchorage and there are a few boats here but not too many. We are in the prime location – right beside the wreck!20120629-183041.jpg

I have included a picture of our track and as you can see, there is a fairly straight line for most of the trip. The strange angle though is when it was getting too rough and Dennis thought it would be better to not have boat going directly into the waves.
We are now getting ready to head out to Tobermory.



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June 17 – Haywood Island to Killarney

View from the cockpit at Haywood Island

This is the view from the cockpit from Haywood Island. Dennis removed the canvas at the back of the boat and it is really nice now – you get lots of light, a breeze and a good view. It was raining for a while and no rain came in (no more than usual), so I think we are going to keep the canvas off.

We had an uneventful trip from Haywood to Killarney. No boats to tow – hardly any boats to see, I guess because it is too early in the season. We docked at the fish and chip dock and got ourselves organized and then had our final fish and chips meal. It was delicious!

I drove home in the car and saw the bear on the way again. I wonder if he just hangs around the highway waiting for photo ops?

Dennis sailed off to Club Island. He got in at around 7:00 pm, so it was a long day for him. He had hoped to start early this morning and cross the lake to get home but he is fogged in, so he went back to sleep. I’m sure he is exhausted. I will have to watch him on the Spot to see what time I should pick him up at Big Sound Marina.

All in all, it was a good weekend. This was our last trip before we leave for the summer. We still have quite a bit of things to do before we head out but the boat is ready – just need a few more supplies!


June 9 – Regatta Bay

After leaving Killbear Park this morning, we started motoring over to Regatta Bay but within half an hour, the fog descended upon us so we decided to drop the anchor at The Pancakes. We hadn’t been there since Nick was a little kid and we had Hetarae. It really hasn’t changed much – water, rocks, trees, water, rocks, trees… We did manage to find Nick’s birthday present – see below for a picture!
After the fog lifted, we headed over to the backside of Regatta Bay. Since the weather was good, no winds and a bright sky, we took a chance and got in – it has a long narrow entrance with ledges of Georgian Bay rock jutting out all over. Very spectacular to look at but pretty scary when navigating in a boat. I was on the bow and actually was somewhat helpful, watching for rocks and signaling to Dennis.
We made it in safely and are we ever glad we came here – this is my new favourite anchorage. The rocks are amazing – wild formations of pink and gray granite. The pine trees are all bent and crooked and there are lots of birds flying and diving around. Best of all though, nobody is here!
We will head home tomorrow but the temperature is supposed to be 30 degrees so we won’t be in any rush. It’s too bad that there was a snowstorm in Canmore, Alberta today – it sure is nice here!







Posted by on June 9, 2012 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


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June 8th – Killbear Park

Well, I am trying out publishing using the iPad so please excuse the pictures – I wanted to see where they would fit in.
We stayed on the boat last night at Bob’s Point Marina even though it was a Thursday and I had to work today. It was nice though, I walked to work and back to the boat. Got lots of exercise so that was good.
We headed out after school at around 4:00 and are now anchored at Killbear Park. It is very quiet – only two boats in the anchorage.
We went for a swim but it was very cold. The water is only 19 degrees which is very refreshing.
Now we are just hanging out in the cockpit watching the sun go down. Dennis is actually using the iPad. Who knows? Maybe I’ll get him hooked on it and then we won’t have to bring his computer when we go for the summer.
Tomorrow we are off to the back side of Regatta Bay. We’ve never been to this anchorage but the water is so low, we can’t get into the regular anchorage. Too bad because I wanted to see if the giant turtle made it through the winter.
More to follow…




Posted by on June 8, 2012 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


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2012 “Shakedown” Cruise” – Killbear Marina to Bob’s Point

Hmm… the trip from Killbear Marina to Bob’s Point (in Parry Sound) went fairly well. It was interesting though at the very beginning as soon as the boat was launched. The water level in Georgian Bay has gone down considerably in the past year. The Split Crow draws 5 feet of water and there was only 4 foot 8 at the dock as well as in the channel leaving the marina. Luckily, the depth metre is not that accurate!

Dennis motored the boat by himself from Killbear to Parry Sound – the sails are still down below in the cabin. We are waiting for a calm day to set them. Once out of the channel, he put the boat in auto-pilot (which actually worked!) and went down below to check the engine. There were a couple of problems but he continued motoring on because the engine seemed to work.

Once Dennis arrived at Bob’s Point, he found out the various things that needed attention. The impeller (whatever that is) was all chewed up, so he bought a new one and installed it. That was fairly straight-forward. The other problem though was that the transmission was leaking water (sorry if I am unclear in this) and he spent a couple of hours trying to repair and replace the important O ring. His hand got mangled in the process – and now has this big red patch on it – I think he said that he got his hand twisted in the engine somewhere.

After spending several hours on the transmission, he gave up and come home to think it over. He’s back at it this morning with a new solution – something to do with crazy glue – I think he is going to cut the O ring, crazy glue and stick it back on the leaking transmission part. We will see if this works. Apparently, there was a problem before we owned the boat because someone else had previously worked on the same thing.

The other interesting problem is that a mouse somehow got into the cabin over the winter and left all sorts of parcels. I can’t imagine how it got in and I keep expecting to find its body but so far I haven’t. Dennis thinks that it must have gotten out because we had no food on board. I hope so. This has motivated me to clean the boat though and as soon as it is put back together, I will get on it.

So, good thing Dennis is handy – I am sure he really enjoys these mechanical puzzles. I said that when we actually leave, the boat will have no room for luxuries such as food because we’ll have to fill it with spare boat parts.

PS – the wind metre still works!


Posted by on May 26, 2012 in Everything Else!, Sailing in Georgian Bay


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Good-bye Killbear Marina…

Killbear Marina

After many, many years and three boats, we are finally leaving Killbear Marina. Our boat, the Split Crow, is being launched by Will and Ed Reichenbacher for the last time this morning. Dennis is planning on bringing the boat to Bob’s Point today and we will keep it there until June 29th. That’s when I finish work and we can start our summer vacation and the beginning of our trip out to the East coast.

Staying at Killbear Marina has been great for a number of reasons. First of all, it is located on Georgian Bay, near the outskirts, so we don’t have to motor for two hours to get out of the Big Sound area in Parry Sound. There are many great places near Killbear to sail and to anchor. For example, Regatta Bay, one of our favourite anchorages, is just around the corner.

Killbear is also a full service marina and probably the best place in the Parry Sound area to launch big boats. The marina has a travel lift, grocery store, restaurant and a marine supply store so we can always get what we need without having to drive the 40 minutes into Parry Sound.

We have stayed at Killbear for many years, since we first moved to Parry Sound in 1997 when we had Hetarae.  The owners of the marina are Will and Ed Reichenbacher – two brothers who have taken over the operation of the marina from their father Deiter, who started the marina many years ago. Will and his wife Wendy, have two girls and Ed and his wife Sharon have a boy and girl. The kids all attended Nobel School where I taught for many years. Our son Nick has also worked at Killbear since he was 15 being a dock boy and general helper in the summers.

So, although we are happy to get going on our next adventure, we are sad to leave to leave the marina. However, it is time to get going on our adventure and I am counting the days until school is done!

After many, many years and three boats, we are finally leaving Killbear Marina. Our boat, the Split Crow, is being launched by Will and Ed Reichenbacher for the last time this morning. Dennis is planning on bringing the boat to Bob’s Point today and we will keep it there until June 29th. That’s when I finish work and we can start our summer vacation and the beginning of our trip out to the East coast.


Covered Portage Cove, Club Island, Wingfield Basin, Parry Sound – August 14 – 19

So, we left Little Current on Sunday and sailed most of the way to Covered Portage Cove. Usually, we refer to this anchorage as Crowded Portage Cove but because most of the boats have gone home (the season is over), there were only four boats in the anchorage.

We didn’t do much – I convinced Dennis to go blueberry picking but that season is over too!

The next morning, we headed into Killarney for a pumpout and some fuel and then sailed over to Club Island. We did some swimming and hiking around – we walked way over to the other side of the island. It is quite pretty there – like a big meadow until you get to the water where it is a rocky shore.

Club Island shore


From Club Island, we sailed (again!) to Wingfield Basin and anchored there for the night. We went over to the lighthouse and talked to the people looking after it. If you want to stay there for a week and become a lighthouse keeper’s helper, you can for about $300. We thought we should sign up Glen!

From Wingfield, we sailed almost the whole way to Parry Sound – obviously it is time to go home as the winds were taking us there! We anchored at Killbear Park. I went ashore and went jogging – got stopped by a deer jam – a mother deer and her fawn were munching on leaves on the side of the road, so many people had stopped to watch.

The next day (August 18th), we motored into Parry Sound and spent the night at Big Sound Marina. Nick showed up to tell us his latest adventures (he’s going to Budweiser Camp today – his friend won two spots so he is taking Nick!).

Nick - August 18th

We also saw Glen and Jo and caught up on all their news. The most exciting thing that happened in Parry Sound was that there is a nude jogger running around! Check out the link!


We also saw Jimmy Flynn at the Stockey Centre and had two hours of laughing, so if you ever get a chance to see him, you will really enjoy his comedy and East Coast songs!

We are headed home today – the weather is really warm, so we’ll probably stop for one last swim in Georgian Bay on the way back to our marina.

We had a ton of fun this summer!

Parry Sound Sunset

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Posted by on August 19, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Covered Portage Cove – July 10, 11

It is another balmy day – the temperature is 21 degrees at 6:30 am. Good thing that the water is great for swimming!

Yesterday, I did an hour of aqua-jogging and it was lots of fun (well, not really but it is an ok workout). Then, Sharon and I kayaked over to Killarney to get fish and chips. Dennis said that it was 2 kilometres and it turned out to be almost 5 km. Needless to say, my arms were pretty sore. We kayaked backed too but I towed Sharon most of the way because I used my peddles instead of my paddle and we went twice as fast. It probably was not what Mountain Equipment Coop would consider good form, but it would have taken us forever to get back to the boat had we paddled.

We also went to our first “pot-luck” on a rock. It was organized by a guy from Sarnia and was actually a lot of fun. People were identified by their boats – “Are you on that beautiful blue boat?” “No, we’re on the white boat beside the blue boat.” Anyway, everyone was very nice and the potluck was typical boater food. We didn’t actually need to eat as we had eaten fish and chips already!

Today, before it gets too hot, we are hiking up the hill to get a good view of the harbour. I will post pictures later on. Then, we are heading over to Heywood Island and getting lined up for the Manitoulin bridge tomorrow morning. Heywood is the closet place to anchor and if you leave about an hour an a half to catch the bridge, you won’t have to circle for 45 minutes until they open the bridge again (15 minutes on the hour).

So far, we have had good weather and lots of fun. The food is keeping nicely in the fridge – I finally have the produce sorted out so that it doesn’t go bad and now know the correct quantities to buy. We are getting lots of exercise and are enjoying the extras such as the satellite radio (so that I can listen to the CBC) and also the turbo-hub that I brought from home so that we can get the internet wherever there is a cell signal. What a difference from our trip in 1997 – no GPS, refrigeration, hot water, exercise, communication…

Ok – that is all the news for today. Pictures later…


Posted by on July 11, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Killarney, Covered Portage Cove – July 9th

Happy birthday to Nick! Nick turned 23 today. Over the years, he has spent quite a bit of time at our favourite anchorage – Covered Portage Cove, but unfortunately for him today, he has to work. Oh well, we do wish him a very happy birthday!

Our exit from Squaw Island was uneventful – we glided over 7 feet of water at one point but since it was calm, we weren’t too worried. That is definitely on my list for the trip back – so nice and quiet.

We passed through Killarney and stopped at the Sportsman Inn for fuel and water. I did manage to find a couple of minutes to buy the best cinnamon bun ever – it was delicious!  We will go back for fish and chips tomorrow. I will be kayaking – I think it is only a few kilometres, so no big deal. Dennis should row but I doubt that he will since he finally put the motor on the dinghy.

We are probably going to stay here for two days – there is almost nobody here, so it is nice and quiet. We went blueberry picking but did not find any – I am not sure if we are too early or if other boaters have already picked all the berries. There are lots of bushes but there is nothing on them. Oh well, we still have a few more places to go blueberry picking.

Today, Dennis finally caught a fish – it was about a foot long and I think it was a bass. He brought it back to the boat in a bucket, I took a picture and then he let it go. I guess we’re having spaghetti for supper (again…)

Also today, I tried the aqua – jogger – it is finally warm enough to swim for more than 20 seconds. At first, I didn’t think that I had a good workout, but now I am aching all over, so it must work! I swam (jogged I guess) for 45 minutes and although I didn’t go very far or fast, it must have done something as my legs are quite sore. So, I will definitely do that again.

I am enjoying all the new exercise equipment – the aqua – jogger and  the peddling kayak are my two favourite things, as well as having a GPS watch which shows my distance and speed. So, now I am getting plenty of exercise!

Nothing else happening today – we may listen to Randy Bachman on the CBC tonight – just like at home!


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Posted by on July 9, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay