Here are a few of my favourite pictures from our trip. We had a great time!
Category Archives: Sailing in Georgian Bay
I have noticed an increased number of obnoxious boaters this year. Although the nice boaters certainly outnumber them, the obnoxious ones are coming out of the woodwork!
The number one obnoxious behaviour of boaters is their loud music. When in a marina, you are practically living on top of one another, so it seems to me that you would take extra precautions to be considerate of one another. The first time an obnoxious boater played his music was our very first night on the boat in Parry Sound – July 1st. Everyone was getting ready to watch the fireworks, the marina was packed, and this guy on a powerboat turned up his music full blast. After a good fifteen minutes, his wife turned it down but once she went safely down below, he turned it up again and started dancing! Good grief! Somebody asked him to turn the music down and he answered that he liked annoying people. He was right!
The loud music has occurred on a number of occasions, and I don’t want to generalize but on every occasion, it has been on a powerboat. When we were in Little Current on July 5th, a powerboater turned up his stereo and played the American National Anthem full blast. First of all, he was in Canada, and second of all, it was July 5th! After this endearing move, he continued to play (more softly) cheesy elevator music for the next hour.
The best incident though was actually unbelievable! We pulled into St. Amant’s in Britt beside a powerboat named Studio 54. I am naming this boat because the man who owns the boat clearly needs to have an attitude adjustment. He played LOUD music the entire afternoon and evening – Jimmy Buffet, music from the 70s and disco! The people on the other boat that were traveling with him told us to just wait until he got the disco ball. We, of course, thought they were joking. They were not! So, this idiot played his music until someone complained and Mr. St. Amant had to come out and tell him to turn it down.
In conclusion, I find it hard to believe that other people can be so inconsiderate. This is truly obnoxious behaviour! End of rant!
So, we are sitting here in Britt, waiting for the wind to die down so that we can leave. I thought that I was suffering but it is obvious that from the following pictures, that I am not suffering! Take a look at Dustin from Toronto and his boat. He had to bail a lot of water today while getting here.
We stopped off in Parry Sound for a couple of days and enjoyed our visit. However, we were happy to get underway again as the train, tour boat, airplane, and 4000 boats running back and forth in the harbour, got to be a bit much! Plus our boat, at the water line, was filthy for the first time this summer. Dennis had to scrub it off (I did two feet of it and gave up…)
We are now at a very nice anchorage at Shawanaga Inlet. It is very quiet and more what we like. We did some swimming, fishing, kayaking, and now Dennis is taking a nap (maybe he’s tired from all that scrubbing!).
Tomorrow, we will head up to Britt and stay overnight there and then off to Killarney one more time. It is surprising how quickly the summer has gone by. We are finally in a nice routine and getting used to the boat, and we’ll have to leave soon. Oh well, we met a couple of people who only have two weeks holiday, so I shouldn’t be complaining!
A really interesting anchorage that we stayed at is Wingfield Basin. It is near Cabot Head on the Bruce Peninsula. On the right-hand side of the anchorage is an abandoned burned out ship, half submerged in the water. Nature is taking over though and grass, shrubs, and critters are turning it into their homes. Dennis spotted a big black snake in the stern.
In addition to the ship, there is a trail to the lighthouse which is now a bit of a tourist attraction as it is no longer used as an aid to navigation. We went inside the lighthouse and climbed to the top of the tower. Very impressive view!
We had an uneventful time (this is a good thing) at the anchorage and relaxed, especially after being in the carnival atmosphere of Tobermory! We went to bed fairly early but at midnight, the wind picked up and changed direction. It was coming from the northeast. By three o’clock, it was pretty much howling and all the boats had swung around on their anchors. This led to a powerboat dragging its anchor and getting within fifteen feet of our boat. Dennis had already been up several times, checking things out, and by five o’clock, he was ready to go and wake the powerboat owners up. He waited until 5:30 and then quite politely knocked on the stern of their boat. Of course there was no answer, so he dinghied around in the anchorage trying to figure out what to do. We couldn’t move our boat because the powerboat was right on our anchor, so if Dennis tried to pull our anchor, he would have pulled our boat onto buddy’s boat (very complex!).
Finally at 6:15, he went back over to the powerboat and banged on their hull until somebody answered. He told them the problem and they came on deck, surveyed the situation, and pulled their anchor. They then moved to another spot. We though, were we ready to leave, so we pulled our anchor, and headed out of the harbour to be greeted by six foot waves within minutes of leaving!
The crossing from Wingfield Basin to Parry Sound was rough for the first three hours and we had to motor the whole way. The water settled down though as we got closer to Parry Sound and by 3:00, we were anchored at Killbear Park.
We are heading into town for a couple of days and then we are going back out for our second loop for another couple of weeks. Last night the temperature dipped to 9 degrees!
Check out the pictures below of the burned out ship.
Sharon, the lady on Somewhere, is a really good photographer. These are two pictures that she took.
Tobermory is a very busy place! Boats are rafted all over the place (including us). Tour boats, kayaks, sea-doos, and tourists all in one very congested area. Lots of fun! We are waiting out the weather. Currently the winds are strong and a storm passed through last night so we want to wait for a while and see if things settle down.
We are rafted onto the sailing vessel Somewhere (the people we’ve been traveling with). Yesterday was an absolute zoo coming in. We had to circle in the harbour for an hour while the harbourmaster jockeyed the boats around. Little Tub Harbour has a policy that they don’t turn anyone away, so because of the predicted bad weather, everyone was coming in. Boats were piled up three deep in some cases. One sailboat had to back into a very narrow spot and tie up to the fishing boat. I was impressed with the his skill!
Tobermory has many little shops – nothing too practical except for the exceptional grocery store, so I think I will go shopping later on if we are not leaving for a while.
Nothing new and exciting to report!
We left Heywood Island this morning at 7:30 and had an uneventful day sailing along Manitoulin Island. We have officially left the North Channel and are now in Georgian Bay! The sailing today was ok – nothing dramatic – just light winds, so we “motor sailed” (sails out but motor still on). We arrived at Club Island at 1:30. The water is a beautiful turquoise colour and if I could photoshop out the pine trees and toss in a few palm trees, it would look like the Caribbean. The anchorage was deserted and we wondered why nobody was there with us, but speculated that it is a bit off the beaten path. Most people stay in the North Channel and stick to the well known places but after The Benjamins (with 42 boats, jet skis, dinghies, dogs, and kayaks racing around), we felt that we needed to look for some quieter places. We will definitely return here as it is so quiet and deserted.
We went snorkelling and noticed that you can see to the bottom in 20 feet of water because it was so clear. The bottom is sand and a few boulders here and there. We will explore more tomorrow. I have to say that having the wet suits was an excellent idea because we swam for a good half hour without getting cold.
We also went ashore and looked around at the interesting rocks. There are quite a few with holes in them – fossils maybe? We decided to take one for home and it is now sitting in the dinghy.
So, in all, I would recommend this anchorage. When I find wifi (probably in Tobermory), I will upload some pictures. In the meantime, we are going to stay an extra day here and poke around with the kayak and snorkels.
Next stop is Tobermory (Tuesday).
OK – I have actually a few minutes to sit down and write something! This boating business is keeping me very busy. You wouldn’t think that it would, but I really haven’t had time!
So, everything is going really well on this trip. I think the boat is well set up – we have all the amenities of home. We are very comfortable living on it and have established a good routine starting with coffee in the morning. At home, we have the coffee on the automatic timer, but that would not be very practical on the boat, so Dennis gets up really early (usually 5:30) and wanders around the anchorage or marina until he hears me stirring. Then I make a lot of noise, so he quickly makes my coffee. It is an excellent way to start my day and I would highly recommend it to fellow boaters.
It we are travelling then we have learned to “batten down the hatches” and secure everything. You never know what will happen on the water, so it is best to be prepared. We learned that the hard way (of course!). Trying to get down below in rough water is very unpleasant because it is so hard to hang on to things. We have to lock all the cupboards, lockers, and drawers (easy – just press the button on each), close all the windows – I guess sailors would say hatches), put all the dishes safely away, and bring the important things up in the cockpit. The important things include the life jackets, radio, hats, water, saltine crackers, blanket (for me), and cushions.
We are also getting better at docking the boat which is the most nerve wracking thing of the day. Anything can go wrong in a few minutes. Dennis, I have to say, is an excellent driver (if that is the right word) and I once in a while can actually accurately throw the lines to the dock handlers. When it is windy though, like in Drummond Island, it is a challenge.
Now, on the day we left Gore Bay, we had very calm weather and motored the entire day but about two hours before we reached Drummond Island, the wind came up and we had a bit of a rough time. Nothing disastrous happened, just a lot of pounding into the waves. Anyway, by the time we reached Drummond, the wind was really howling. We had to dock because we had to clear Customs. Luckily, this very nice couple helped us, otherwise it would have been terrible!
Once we cleared Customs, we immediately went for a walk and beelined over to the Bruce Roberts steel boat – Dennis’ dreamboat! Our recreation then, consists of looking at other boats…
Anyway, the trip has been lots of fun! We have learned to pack our food properly, so we have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. The best idea though was to buy frozen bread from The Mad Hatter Cafe in Parry Sound and keep it in the freezer until we need a loaf to bake. Their bread is excellent! That is the one thing on the trip that is not good – buying decent bread so this has solved the problem.
The other really good thing is my iphone. I can access the internet from almost anywhere which I am enjoying. I check the weather and the news, update various things, and keep in touch. Now that we are in the US, it is a bit more expensive ($1.00 per MG) so I just check once a day and then use the wireless at a marina.
I am getting lots of exercise too! I have started jogging (every few days). I am not very fast but can go 8 km so that helps a lot. When we are at an anchorage, I swim or kayak around. That helps too but it is the jogging that really makes a difference. I haven’t even ridden my bike once!
So, this trip has been great! We are now on Beaver Island and will head over to Petoskey tomorrow and then work our way back into the North Channel.
For entertainment today, we are all going to watch Dennis climb the mast to put up the wind meter. Hopefully it will go smoothly!