Category Archives: Sailing in Georgian Bay

Squaw Island – July 8

I am not sure who named these islands but a little more imagination is in order. Club Island, Squaw Island, Little Squaw Island… This island (Squaw Island) is really neat! Except for getting into the anchorage, it is perfect! There is only seven feet of water in the entrance, so we definitely picked a good day to explore – as it is quite calm. I wouldn’t dare try to approach the island on a windy day – we’d be dashed up onto the rocks in no time! At any rate, we made it in with no problems.

The best part about this island is that there is nobody here! We have the entire anchorage to ourselves. Very nice – I think I am part hermit as I sure do like my solitude! I got a ton of reading in – I am reading “The King’s Speech” on my Kobo. It is a library book and after two weeks, it expires. There is no overdue fine – the ebook just gets locked.

We did some exploring and I took some interesting pictures. Obviously with all the rock building going on, others must have been here before and had quite a lot of time on their hands.

Dennis also went fishing and he actually caught a fish the size of his finger! He tried for a couple of hours and had every lure he owned on the end of the line but he was not successful so we had ravioli for supper.

Tomorrow, we are off to Killarney – we have to stop and get some fuel, a pump out and get some more water. That should take about 20 minutes. My job, while Dennis is tending the boat, is to run down to the fish and chips place and get our treat! Since we may stay in “Crowded Portage Cove” for two nights, we may skip the fish and chips tomorrow and go back on Saturday. I will go in the kayak and at least I will earn my lunch!

Anyway, that is all the news for today!

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Posted by on July 8, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Club Island – July 7th

We are currently anchored at Club Island – it is about halfway between Tobermory and Killarney. There are only three boats in the anchorage and it is nice and quiet.

We wandered around the island and checked out the sights – more water, rocks, trees, water, rocks, trees…

We might stay here tomorrow or we might move on to Squaw Island – which is close to Killarney. I am going kayaking for an hour and Dennis has ventured off in the dinghy and then walked over to the other side of the island. No exciting news to report.


Posted by on July 7, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Tobermory – July 6th

We left Wingfield Basin this morning at 6:45 and had an uneventful trip until the dinghy ripped loose. One of the metal pieces that holds it to the davits, broke so Dennis had to go on a rescue mission. I slowed the boat down while he wrestled with the lines that were still attached. He had to cut one line with his Swiss army knife (fancy having one of those handy!) and then was able to untie the rest of the lines (except one – ha!). He then tied the dinghy to the big boat and we towed it the rest of the way. This rescue mission was much more low key than some of the other times we had lost a dinghy – thank goodness!

We circled around the Tobermory harbour for a few minute until they found a spot for us – right on the wall – and we immediately became a tourist attraction, so we had to be on our best behaviour! We went grocery shopping and then I went for a big bike ride down Hwy 6. It has a paved shoulder and it wasn’t very busy, so it was a good ride on my full sized folding bike. Dennis, meanwhile, cleaned the bugs off the boat and answered many questions.

We had supper at The Crow’s Nest and then went back to the boat. I am relaxing down below while Dennis fends off more questions (do not feel sorry for him – he loves this!). Everyone is nice though and there are a lot of people from different parts of the world – lots of different languages being spoken.

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Posted by on July 6, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Wingfield Basin – July 5th

On the way to Wingfield Basin this morning, I got out the Outback oven and made some brownies. Of course, I was forced to kayak even further than usual around the anchorage to wear off all the brownies that I made. But, the Outback oven is great! It makes perfect cakes, breads, pizzas, and brownies every single time! It also doesn’t make a huge batch, just enough for the day, so we don’t have to worry about storage.

Wingfield Basin has a shipwreck in it – a burned out fishing boat of some sort. I kayaked over to it and thought it was pretty interesting – lots of birds, frogs, snakes and plants live on it now. I saw a two foot water snake swimming by – it was kind of interesting I guess, if you like snakes.

Lots of boats are in here tonight – about twelve or so but everyone is behaving themselves – no loud music or endless generators going. We’ve gone “swimming” a few times today – it is 19.5 degrees, so a dip is all we have – just enough to numb your body and then you climb out again.

We walked over to the lighthouse and checked out where all the wrecks are located. There are quite a few of them and this area is a good place to go diving if you have the proper gear. Lots of neat things to see underwater!

Tomorrow, we are off to Tobermory and then the following day, we are headed off to Club Island and then Killarney!


Posted by on July 5, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


July 4 – Cape Croker

We left Killbear this morning at about 6:30 and motored out to Red Rock. From there we sailed until 1:00 – we were actually doing 6 knots (for us that is good). The wind died down and we motored the rest of the way – very uneventful. We arrived at our anchorage at about 3:30 and as soon as we were anchored, Dennis took down the kayak for me and the dinghy for him. It seems odd to drive around all day on a big boat and then drive around some more on a little boat, but we wanted to do some exploring and see the shipwreck. I also wanted to get my 5 km in on the kayak and did it in less than an hour but it was a great workout! I would highly recommend the Hobie Cat Mirage – it is a peddling/paddling kayak – so you can exercise both your arms and your legs.

I probably did not get as much exercise as the two boys, Gubby and DJ, who paddled all the way from shore on an inner tube. They were just having fun and wanted to see the boats in the anchorage. They paddled way over to the other side of the anchorage and the water temperature wasn’t even 20 degrees. They were in the water for almost an hour while Dennis and I just dipped in and out!

We are heading to Wingfield Basin tomorrow – the weather is supposed to change soon – no more sunny skies for a couple of days.

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


July 3rd – Killbear Park

We had a nice quiet time at Killbear Park. Although there was a lot of smaller boat traffic, the anchorage wasn’t full and we had lots of room in the anchorage. The little boats though, were interesting – people rowing and canoeing around as well as having the usual sea doos and wind surfers trying to dodge everyone. There were actually three kite boards really flying by. Good thing they were wearing wetsuits because the water is freezing! You can just dip in and then you have to get out – otherwise your feet go numb! I can’t imagine what Lake Superior will be like!

Just a little side note – this morning two deer (at about 6:30) were running down the beach! Cool to see but what were they thinking? The park is pretty full!

We are off towards Wingfield Basin today and might stay there two days because it is supposed to thunderstorm tomorrow – very hot and humid weather. Maybe the lake will warm up a bit!

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Posted by on July 4, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Canada Day Weekend – Parry Sound

Dennis arrived at Bob’s Point (Big Sound Marina) on June 30th at 9:30 in the morning. He, Glen and Nick had been anchored at Killbear Park and motored into Parry Sound for the crew change. It took quite a bit of the morning for me to bring all my stuff on board, but eventually I managed to find a spot for all of it on the boat. The boat was pretty ship-shape – Dennis had spent a lot of time cleaning the millions of bugs off of it!

It was a hot, sunny day – perfect for Canada Day and we spent the afternoon getting organized and then did some swimming. The water temperature was reasonable. According to Dennis, the water is really cold everywhere else, but I have hopes that it will warm up.

Quite a few people came by the boat in the evening – Jane and Thom, Lynn and Bill as well as Jo, Glen, AJ, Hamish and Callan. We enjoyed the fireworks display – it was was well done!

Yesterday, (July 2nd) – Dennis spent a good part of the day fixing the generator. It would only run for ten minutes and then it shut itself off. Good thing he is mechanically inclined! He eventually found the problem – a corroded sensor so now he’ll have to find the part for it.

Nick arrived for quick visit, and it was nice to see him. He survived the five day trip with his dad and Glen! He did mention that he spotted a rattlesnake on Club Island – he was walking through the bushes and came upon one.

We still had the car, so Sharon, Jim and I went grocery shopping at 1:00. That was a bit of a mistake! Sobey’s was packed full of people! We did manage to buy our groceries though but I spoke to Taylor (a girl who was bagging the groceries) and she said that Friday was even busier and that customers were lined up to the freezers (which are at the back of the store!).

We had Gabor and Jerry for supper (they are staying at the house while we’re gone). It was very nice and the sunset was spectacular! Check out the photos!

We will be heading to Killbear today and then over towards Tobermory tomorrow.

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Posted by on July 3, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Rope Burn, Progress on the Nexus Wind Instrument

I am writing this from the shores of Georgian Bay as the captain left on “our” trip almost a week ago with a different crew. Nick and Glen (see the photos) were up for an adventure and as I still had to work, it seemed like a good idea.

Glen - what more needs to be said?

The "heir" to the SplitCrow (and the marina fees!)

The Split Crow set sail last Sunday and anchored at Regatta Bay. They wanted to get an early start in the morning so that they could go to Wingfield Basin. They then went to Killarney for fish and chips, and then (because of my miscommunication), they retraced their steps to arrive at Club Island where they met up with Jim and Sharon. Conditions to Club Island were less than favourable – high winds and very cold temperatures. I watched them on the Spot since I felt very responsible for this mixup. They arrived safely though and hunkered down for the night although Dennis said that it was windy all night and Club Island is not the best refuge during high winds.

The next day, they sailed back to Wingfield Basin and Nick sailed the whole way and did a good job – according the captain.

Today, they dropped Nick off at Killbear Marina – he had go back to work and then Dennis and Glen moved on to Killbear Park where they met up with Sharon and Jim again. At 3:30 (that’s when I officially finished work), I drove to the park and saw both boats anchored. So, with Jodi in tow (the trusty beagle), we paced up and down the beach, waving, shouting, and trying to get their attention. I could see everyone lounging on the boat, could hear them laughing and generally having a great time, and could not believe that they could not see me. Everyone else saw me – I even had some helpers – whistling and waving, but no, the Split Crow crew did not see me. Finally, a guy in his dinghy came over and I asked him to go and knock on the boat for me. He did so and after a five minute conversation, I finally got a reaction. Dennis slowly rowed over – with the garbage! He staggered off the boat and looked exhausted! He even said he was exhausted (and for him to admit that, he must have been!). Then he showed me his hand! Pain!! His fingers were all rope burnt. I didn’t get a chance to ask any details but his hand looks terrible!

Anyway, they will be coming in to Parry Sound tomorrow and the crew will change. Obviously, somebody needs to take charge!

Speaking of taking charge, I think I may have finally, finally resolved the Nexus wind instrument problem – the fact that ours broke under warranty three years ago and now we have nothing. I emailed Nexus in Sweden and they have been most helpful speeding up this process. So, I am now having regular correspondence with them and also with Fogh Marine. I am hopeful that we will have a working wind instrument on the boat within the next two weeks. Stay tuned – this is probably not over yet!

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Snapping Turtle in Regatta Bay

We are anchored in Regatta Bay – it is a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. I have been on the lookout for the giant black bear that is supposed to be lurking in the bushes, according to the other boat that is anchored alongside of us! We haven’t seen it, but I’m glad I had my binoculars with me, as I spotted what I thought was a log floating by. It turned out to be the biggest snapping turtle I’ve ever seen. He just nonchalantly swam around the bay for a good twenty minutes. Of course my good camera is at home but I did take a photo with my phone and I will try to enlarge it when I get home.
In the meantime, Dennis bought a fishing boat seat for the captain – behind the wheel – and is in the process of installing it. It actually looks good and will be much more comfortable than hunched over the wheel.
We are just out overnight and have to go back home tomorrow.




The snapping turtle swam by the boat last night and managed to get some blue bottom paint on his back. I suggested to Dennis that he might want to give him a little scrub. He was also covered in algae (the turtle – not Dennis :)). He swam around for about twenty minutes and was very curious about us. I haven’t seen him this morning though. I was hoping to spot him on the rocks getting some sun but no such luck.

So, of course every year, we run into some bad luck and this year, Dennis discovered that the batteries aren’t working properly. He thinks that we need a new battery charger and is working on that now. He’s got the instruction manual out and was busy trying to call the dealer in California about this but it is Sunday and they aren’t open. I was surprised that he knew how to work my iphone. Hmm… so when his computer needs some repair, I might have to wait and see if he can do it himself first!

I have resurrected (that’s a good Sunday word!) the outback oven and it cooks beautifully! We bought this oven 14 years ago on our trip down to Mobile, Alabama and used it extensively for baking and for making pizza and bread. I have not mastered the real oven on the boat, so I might just turn that into some storage space and use the outback oven because it works so well! So far, I’ve made a chocolate cake and some cornbread. Both were perfect and delicious unlike my various disasters in the boat oven. Everything seems to cook unevenly – burnt in one area, undercooked in another, so I am very pleased with this.

We are anchored in Regatta Bay for a couple of more hours and then will head home. I am still on the lookout for the bear, but haven’t seen it yet!

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Posted by on June 18, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay


Shakedown Cruise – June 2011

Well, we finally got the Split Crow launched last week and on the weekend, we had our shakedown cruise. Saturday was beyond pathetic, as we only motored into Parry Sound. We had a few challenges though, one of them being the auto-pilot but after Dennis smashed a few things down in the engine room and made a bunch of noise, the auto-pilot learned the error of its ways and cooperated fully!

We stayed at Big Sound Marina for the night and docked successfully, even rather easily. Dennis backed in and I took a picture of this momentous occasion! Jim, of Somewhere, would have been proud because he backs in everywhere except Killarney!

Backing in at BIg Sound Marina

We headed uptown and went to the various banks and liquor store – Dennis was stocking up for Jim, who likes dark beer. We also found the bargain of the century and bought three rubber backed mats – they’re beautiful and perfect for the Split Crow – I am going to go back to the store tomorrow (by car – how mundane) and get a couple more for the aft cabin if I can find the right colour.

We went swimming and ordered a pizza for supper, and then took a walk to the town dock and got invited onto Still Watch – this is a 104 foot privately owned project boat. It was pretty cool and we enjoyed our tour. I guess our summer of boat touring has officially begun!

Touring Still Watch at the Parry Sound Town dock

We actually went into Parry Sound so that we could fill our water tanks with good water. While we did so, we also took advantage of having almost nobody in the marina as you can see by us “hogging” the dock with the dinghy!

Dinghy on the dock at Big Sound Marina

The next morning, we moved over to the Town Dock, partially to get away from the hungover boaters who were coughing and hacking (obviously shouldn’t smoke) but also to plug in the electrical. We had to do some cleanup and it is much easier to run the electricity than it is to run the generator, plus I needed some practice docking the boat (it went ok – nothing like Dennis’ spectacular docking the previous day though).

Split Crow at the Town Dock

We spent a couple of hours at the town dock and then headed over to Killbear for lunch. We actually sailed most of the way. You can see our track on this link.

In all, we had a lot of fun! The weather was good, the water was cold, but we had lots of laughs!

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Sailing in Georgian Bay