I need to start off by a photo of Andy leaving us. A fond farewell and looking forward to seeing him in Milwaukee soon.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Here’s the sunrise we had in Snug Harbor.
Until then, Fair winds and calm seas.