Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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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 Harbor.  
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 anything.
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 these Canadians!
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 secure.
Back to Log Index page to Section III: Parry Sound to Byng Inlet