Section III Georgian Bay: Midland to Parry Sound
Sunday, July 14, 2002
"Another Ho-Hum Day In Paradise" starts leg 1 of Georgian Bay... After
the great party at Myrtha and Ants' last night, we slept in late this morning in
Midland Marina. The Thirty Thousand Island cruise boat with its two hundred
passengers rocked us awake as it left the dock.
Kay finished up the laundry and went food shopping while Pearce did some necessary
internet banking. Kibon was given a drink of 656.6 liters of diesel fuel
and, by 2:00 pm, we shoved off into Georgian Bay... destination Honey
Sunday afternoon on Georgian Bay is no different from
any other boating paradise worldwide... boats, boats, boats. On the way across
Midland Bay, we cruised (slowly) through a sailboat race of something like forty
or fifty boats -- all sizes and shapes. There's a lot of room up here for
everyone. We are constantly amazed at the big, big waters we're traveling
through. The lakes are huge, but, looking at the chart, there is a lot of skinny
stuff ahead. We arrived at Honey Harbor -- a delightful place -- but, like
Hemlock Cove on a Sunday in August, wall to wall boats. So we moved on for
another mile or two to Webber Island where Ants' neighbor George said,
"Quiet, secluded, private little bay..." It sure was secluded -- took
several twists and turns to get there -- but private? No way! Full of boats...
and all partying. And they all said, "Join us!" Another Hemlock Cove?
sure, and these Canadians do know how to party! But, again like Hemlock Cove, as
sundown approached, the crowd thinned out 'til there were only us and three
other transients left at anchor. It's close to nine o'clock when the sun finally
sets up here in the north, but when it does, if you're still awake, the sky --
wow -- the sky is full of stars!
Monday, July 15, 2002
We launched the rubber dinghy this morning for the first time, put the motor on
and it started! Pearce fished for a while for breakfast. but, as usual, we had
shredded wheat. He said. "No fish here, let's move on." (Where have we
heard that before?).
So... as the only place to get a great fish
dinner around here (according to all the guide books) is Henry's Fish
Restaurant on Frying Pan Island, that's where we headed. A few more twists
and turns and we were there. The owner, proprietor and chief dockmaster,
Paul Elliott, hauled us in to a dock right under the main dining room.
Paul's famous fish (Georgian Bay Pickerel) and chips are why people keep
boating and flying into his island, 17 miles from the nearest
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
We hung around Henry's this morning until Pearce could call his web site server
somewhere in the CST of the USA to find out why our web site was doing strange
things last week. Lo and behold, it was not something Pearce did, it was the
server -- it crashed. So those of you who got the message "You are not
authorized... etc.", forget it. You ARE authorized. Also, the counter was
fixed... for any who care about this sort of thing.
While on the subject of communications... we are transmitting these entries by
cell phone. They are going out at the rate of 14.4 baud... whatever that
means to the techies, the bottom line is slow, slow, slow! At this rate, it
takes about one hour to upload a page of these literary gems. Verison and Bell
Canada only give us 400 minutes per week air time, but 4,000 on the weekend. So,
when do we send you all this stuff? Weekends, of course. Be patient, please.
The trip from Henry's to Parry Sound was through
a series of small lakes and very narrow cuts, The guide book warns of a
large commercial boat (who has right-of-way, of course) who may be calling
on the radio. We listened, but got no calls. It seems that for every time
the guide books preach gloom and doom, nothing happens. As our Captain
says, "A piece of cake!" But, however you say it, the
fact is that the rocks are awfully near the surface... so a good lookout
is always welcome.
We met a nice couple, fellow "Loopers" Don
and Mary Armstrong from Arizona, who are completing the Loop this year in their
new 38' Sea Ray Aft Cabin. After inspecting each others boats we've decided that
although the Sea Ray has a great deal of inside space -- down and under -- and a
terrific "back porch" over the aft cabin, we prefer the openness of
our convertible style. To each his own, they say... that's why boat builders
build so many styles, isn't it?
There is a swing bridge at the south end of Parry
Sound Harbour (anyone noticed yet that we are using the Canadian spelling for
harbour?? "When in Canada...?) that is operated by the Wasauksing First
Nation and opens only every hour on the hour. As a result boats
approaching Parry Sound stack up at Rose Point waiting for the bridge then pour
into the harbour every hour all wanting dockage at the same time. Most of the
dock helpers are young students working summer jobs so their knot tying and boat
fending skills are a bit thin... but do they hustle!!!
The town of Parry Sound, population 6,500, is
the largest community on the east shore of Georgian Bay. It's a deep water
working port that began as a logging town, now busy transshipping oil and
salt. We walked all over it today from dock to post office to ice cream
store to butcher to green grocer to ice cream store... even Kay began to
complain of aching feet! We finally got back to Kibon in time for supper
and then to watch a gorgeous
sunset that they tell us is quite normal in this part of the world. It's
tough for one picture to tell the gradations of color change that go into
a Canadian sunset... It takes a poet, not a camera.
Pearce rassled the satellite dish into coughing up a
TV picture and before another re-run movie could began there came a
knocking on the transom. Myrtha's friends Dan Welling and Shirley Nixie who live
right around the corner here in Parry Sound came aboard for a visit. They said
they've been watching our progress on the web and have been checking the docks
each day for our arrival. What nice people and what a nice thing to do! Love
Wednesday, July 17, 2002:
Migosh... we finally unloaded those bicycles
that have been gracing the foredeck and attempted to ride them. We have to
thank the Kollers for them. Steve said "They're throwaways, do as you
wish..." A few parts here and there, air in the tires, and they are
great for boat bikes. Here's Kay getting ready. Doesn't she look athletic?
Pearce refused to be photographed aboard the thing. Kay only fell off
once; Pearce, no comment! But we did ride them all over town,.. almost
duplicating our walking tour of yesterday, but with new muscles to ache.
We shopped the A&P. chatted with the guys at both Radio Shack and
Parry Sound TV about replacing our defunct JVS DVD player... did we
mention that? It's kaput... SIBS said, "Buy a new one and send us the
bill." Thanks SIBS, we will, as soon as we get back to the States...
Canada doesn't import that model.
But don't get the idea that all kinds of
things are wrong about this boat. There are a few little glitches, yes,
but overall it's a great boat. Silverton has really outdone themselves
with this model. She cruises at a sedate 7 knots through the tight
channels of Cottage Country tracking perfectly, then kicks up on the plane
in the lakes and wide spots. Who could ask for more?
We left the town of Parry Sound in mid-afternoon and headed down
Parry Sound, which is six miles long and more than 300 feet deep. As we approached Killbear
Point as the south end of the Sound, Kay pointed out that it was getting shallow
-- it was less than 100 feet deep! Killbear is a huge Provincial Park with
thousands of acres of piney campgrounds and over twenty miles of sandy beaches lining the shores. We anchored in Kilcoursie Bay with 20 or
so other boats and took the rubber boat into shore to swim off the beach.
The water was not quite as cold as it was in Frying Pan Island. It didn't
take too much courage to wade in. Kay floated on her tube while Pearce
swam in circles around her.
While we were crossing Parry Sound we heard the weather warning that violent
thunderstorms were predicted for this area. Fortunately, they did not
arrive until sunset. The rain was torrential, but the thunder and
lightning was mild. We had buttoned up Kibon and sat inside feeling very