Stuck in Killarney

I need to start off by a photo of Andy leaving us. A fond farewell and looking forward to seeing him in Milwaukee soon.

His bag is packed and he's ready to go!  Farewell Andy

His bag is packed and he’s ready to go! Farewell Andy

Well here we are in Killarney – and that’s not in Ireland! Killarney is where the Georgian Bay ends and the North Channel begins. It is a very small, but very charming little town. We are hunkered down in a lovely marina here – Sportsman Inn. If you have to be stuck, this is not the worst place to be. I actually got a massage here today at the spa! We came in here three days ago off of the Georgian Bay. We stayed primarily because we needed to have cell and internet coverage for a few days. We knew that the weather was changing as well. And that it did. It has been cold, rainy and very windy. To be out on the open water at this time would not be too much fun.

We received an offer on our house and that is why we needed to have internet/wifi coverage. Once we leave here we will be in the North Channel where we will definitely not have internet, and will probably not have cell coverage either for several days. That depends on how long we spend in the North Channel. But because we will have spent four nights here, we probably will cut that short so that we can get moving towards Milwaukee. . . . the house deal did not go together . . . hopefully something else will come in before too long.

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The Georgian Bay was lovely, but a bit treacherous as well. It is known for their over 30,000 rocky islands which are scattered along its shoreline over a distance of 150 miles. Many of the rocks are just below the surface and difficult to see. So you must pay very close attention to the charts. Offsetting this are many secluded anchorages and resort towns. Many Canadians have cottages in this area, which is only about 1-1-2 hours from Toronto. They are knowns as “cottagers”. The first day we ran outside in the deep waters and ducked inside an area called Snug Harbor, where we anchored for two nights. We launched our dinghy and explored a little bit and had dinner at a great little restaurant, Gilley’s. Fabulous fish and inexpensive. It was packed and an hour wait, but well worth it. The next leg we stayed inside the island chain following the small boat channel for half the day until it got too shallow and narrow for us, at which time we went back outside and ran up another 20 miles and ducked inside for another secluded anchorage in Byng Inlet. No restaurant this time!

Gillley's Restaurant in Snug Harbor

Gillley’s Restaurant in Snug Harbor

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Our final day in Georgian Bay, we went outside again and a distance of 50 miles on flat, calm water and no wind.

Friends who we have been traveling with on Limelight, Don and Anita, came into Killarney as well. We had a very nice dinner at the B&B here. The marina is outstanding, but other than that there is not much to do or see. They used to have a little red bus here where they sold Fish & Chips out of. It is now in a trailer where they still sell the Fish & Chips and fresh fish as well. Mark and I went for a bike ride on day two – not very long, but it felt good to move and do something. The weather forecast shows improving weather and we hope to get out of here tomorrow and resume out trip into the North Channel. Right now we are happy to be inside our boat out of the wind and rain. It is very miserable today. We know how spoiled we are when we can sit in a comfortable boat and turn on the heat to make us cozy! There are probably about another 20-35 boats stuck along with us. There will be a real traffic jam when everyone leaves at the same time. There are a group of people traveling together on Boston Whalers – some quite small. I don’t think they planned on spending two nights here, but I can’t even begin to imagine how they could go out in this weather on small boats. The dockhand told me that the seas were between 6-9′ today. No thank you! This resort even has a “Boat-in Theatre” where they show a movie on the outdoor screen and you tune in to listen to it! They also have the best fish chowder I have ever had. It has been exciting today to watch the dockhands working. There are series of floating docks extending perpendicular to shore, each with two large boats tied to them. The wind, which is gusting to 29 knots is hitting them at right angles which is bending the docks. To keep them perpendicular they have had each dock end together, and tying the upwind end of the rope to a tree on shore. Bringing a boat in under these conditions is usually a controlled crash. You can see from the photo below that the dockhands are earning hazardous duty pay today. Note in the photo that as the white sailboat was blown downwind into the dock, the dockhands were trying to hold it off and the force submerged the downwind edge of the dock. We watched a sailboat going out of one of these slips earlier the morning. It made it out, but it was quite an adventure for everyone involved. You have to be able to move fast in these situations.
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We will not have internet coverage after we leave Killarney for several days, so until we enter the Straits of Mackinaw there will not be another update.
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Here’s the sunrise we had in Snug Harbor.

Sunrise in Snug Harbor (I was up early!!)

Sunrise in Snug Harbor (I was up early!!)


Until then, Fair winds and calm seas.

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End of the Locks (for awhile)

We are currently in Port Severn Ontario, which is the Northern end of the Trent Severn Waterway on the shores of Lake Huron. We have completed the 240 mile waterway with its 44 locks. We are looking forward to Lake Huron and Lake Michigan which are lock-free, until we reach Chicago.

A view forward while in the rail-car.  Yikes!

A view forward while in the rail-car. Yikes!

This is a view looking from the aft camera on our boat while we were cradled in the rail-car.

This is a view looking from the aft camera on our boat while we were cradled in the rail-car.


Yesterday we had a unique experience of having the boat put on a rail-car and lowered 90 feet to the next lake instead of using a traditional lock. The theory is that you drive onto a flatbed car and you are held upright with slings cradling the boat while out of the water. However in our case, just as we were entering the car a line squall with strong wind gusts, thunder, lightening, hail and rain came through which made the experience a little more exciting than normal. No damage to the boat, but a lot of stress for the crew. But all survived!

We are spending two nights at a wonderful marina. Andy departs tomorrow morning after a two month stay on Next Dance. He is anxious to get back home. He can’t believe that we kept him hostage that long! We are also going to take advantage of getting our mast put up today and the dinghy inflated (it was lowered in Troy, New York so that we could get under all of the low bridges between there and here). It will be so great to have the boat looking ship-shape again.

Tomorrow after Andy leaves we will enter Lake Huron and run up to the Georgian Bay. Georgian Bay has 30,000 rocky islands along the coast that are supposedly very scenic and provides many lovely anchorages. This part of Ontario is lake cottage country and every rocky island larger than 50′ in diameter has a cottage. We hope to reach Killarney, which is the boundary between the Georgian Bay and the North Channel, in 5-6 days. Thank you Andy for all of your help and good company. See you in Milwaukee later this month!

Our last night together in Canada.

Our last night together in Canada.


So far the weather has been generally very good, with occasional rain but no high wind or storms – the exception, of course was our rail-car ride yesterday. Now that we are entering “big water” we hope the weather continues to hold. The cats are much happier without the boat bouncing around. Our Kadey Krogen can handle much rougher weather than it’s crew can. As a matter of fact there is currently a 42′ Kadey Krogen (Dauntless) crossing the Atlantic Ocean right now. That is one thing that we have no interest in doing. If we were ever to think about cruising in Europe, we would have the boat shipped over.

Traveling through the Trent Severn has been an interesting experience going through all of the locks, the lift locks, the canals, the lakes, quaint towns and villages, all of the lovely cottages. You are allowed to tie up to the lock walls above and below the locks overnight. Each lock has bathroom facilities, which have been better than most marinas.
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Getting "cozy" in the lock.  They like to pack you in with not much room to spare.

Getting “cozy” in the lock. They like to pack you in with not much room to spare.


Panacea and Limelight waiting for the lock to open

Panacea and Limelight waiting for the lock to open

Andy in one of the three "lift-locks" we went through.

Andy in one of the three “lift-locks” we went through.

Narrow canals always an experience.  Stay in the middle!

Narrow canals always an experience. Stay in the middle!

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Cormorants destroy the vegetation on islands.  There are hundreds of them in the trees.

Cormorants destroy the vegetation on islands. There are hundreds of them in the trees.

Andy and Pema hanging out on the aft deck

Andy and Pema hanging out on the aft deck

Andy catches a nice big mouth bass!

Andy catches a nice big mouth bass!


The canals, as you can see, are very narrow and the stress levels go up when you come to a boat coming towards you. The courtesy is to radio ahead and tell oncoming boats that you are coming through so that they can wait for you to pass. However, they have to have their radios on for this to work!!

We have been traveling on and off with two other boats – Limelight and Panecea. The owners of Limelight are from Manitowoc, Wisconsin and the owners of Panecea are from Huntington Beach, California. Limelight will be ending their two year Great Loop adventure when they get back in Lake Michigan. Panecea will be continuing their trip until they arrive in Tennessee, where the Great Loop Rendezvous will take place in late September. We are not sure if we will be attending the Rendezvous or not. If we do, we will probably be somewhere where we will rent a car and drive to it rather than have the boat there. There will be over 300 boaters there.

Don and Anita from Limelight

Don and Anita from Limelight


Jan and Larry from Panacea

Jan and Larry from Panacea


Speaking of Panecea, they decided to go on yesterday on to the Georgian Bay. They had just gone through their last lock and were proceeding. Unfortunately they didn’t realize that the marker buoys changed and they hit rocks and bent one of their props. We heard them calling the marina below us to come in for the night, where they had their prop switched out this morning. Luckily there was no damage to their shaft.

We feel complete once again by getting the mast up and the dinghy inflated. We launched the dinghy and went to a little restaurant on the water for lunch. Tonight our farewell dinner with Andy.

Putting the mast up at last!

Putting the mast up at last!

Inflating the dinghy

Inflating the dinghy


Pema finds a new place to explore!

Pema finds a new place to explore!


Chillin out

Chillin out


Transportation once again!

Transportation once again!

We don’t expect to have internet coverage in the Georgian Bay, so the next update may not be for awhile.

Until then, fair winds and calm seas.

Sun going down last night

Sun going down last night


Cheers!

Cheers!