Little Tub Harbor
Mike and Kathy-Beautiful day
08/08/2007, Tobermory, Ontario
August 7th Wingfield Basin to Tobermory.
We left Wingfield Basin at about 7:45 and motored west along the north shore of the Bruce Peninsula. The water is deep so we motored close to the shore. There isn't really much shore ... it is actually a 15 mile long bluff with cliffs down to the water. I had a pleasant coffee hour boat ride while Kathy did her work-out video and took a shower below.
We were a little worried about Tobermory. In truth I am a little worried any time we get near a dock, but to enter a new harbor / marina for the first time without knowing what I'm getting into is a little scary. Maybe I'll get over it with time and experience. Anyway, we pulled in an chatted with Carla the harbor master on the radio who directed us to the fuel dock (just come into the empty spot)... and from there everything was fine.
This place reminds me of Mackinaw City when I was a kid. There are lots of people walking around and lots of shops that won't be here next year. We provisioned at the local grocery had a nice walk. The waterfront in Tobermory consists of two bays: Little Tub and Big Tub. Little Tub is an elongated horse shoe open to the north. The marina circles the inside of the horse shoe while the "town" surrounds the three sides.. Typing this in the cockpit at dark the air smells faintly like fried fish and campfire smoke. Dive boats are returning and tourists are wandering around the docks.
...background info. A few days ago while visiting with some of our new "best friends", Lyn loaned Kathy a book that really wasn't hers to loan. It belonged to a friend and fellow boater... but, after making Kathy swear that she would return it to Bayfield, she handed it over. An Embarrassment of Mangos was written by a lady who described sailing south to the Caribbean and besides being a good read, had some great recipes. The flyleaf had a sticker with the owner's name and her boat name, "Picaroon II."
After docking this morning, securing the boat and getting everything put away, I looked around and two docks down was Picaroon. On our way to the dumpster (trash is somewhat a problem on a boat at anchor) we dropped of f the book ... and made two more new friends . Dave and Lynne have made the trip south and spent a few hours with us today telling us the things that were surprising to them.
We are somewhat amazed that we are still far north and have run into so many people with stories and advice about getting south, being south, and what happens in between. It seems most people from here have been to the Caribbean at some time. Most report that we will not be short of people who want to help us and take up under their wing.
We are hanging around Tobermory for a while-we may leave this afternoon and go to Cove Island with Dave and Lynne if their boat gets fixed. We did the shops in town today and saw some cool things. We bought 2 used books and some candy. So much for my retail therapy. There are many tourist-type shops here and art galleries, similar to towns in northern Michigan. When the ferry stops running to Baymouth on Manitoulin Island, the town pretty much shuts down-I think in October. The Bruce Trail ends here which is a trail through the Bruce Peninsula on the Niagra Escarpment and there are inland trails of the Bruce Peninsula National Park. This is also a diving town where many come to explore the shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Many people have also been lined up the cruises on one of the glass bottom tour boats-tickets are $5.45 for adults-seems like a good deal!
They also have a boardwalk that follows along the harbor and is a nice walk with some excellent views out of the harbor. We had fish and chips today at one of the 3 best fish and chips places in this part of Ontario. One is Killarney, and we ate there. By the way, it is no longer called Mr. Perch, as many of the guide books state. We fear the cormorants have eaten all the perch, so we had whitefish which was very good. Today we ate at Craigies, where we also had whitefish, and we think the chips were better, but the fish was about the same-wonderful! I was also told they had excellent smoked fish at the fish store at the end of the dock and I saw many people head in and out of there today with their fish wrapped in newspaper. Of course, I had to get some and we will let you know how it was when we eat it.
M....The mechanic arrived to install Dave and Lynne's new regulator at about 6pm and was finished in about 20 minutes. We cast off and followed them out to Cove Island which is about five miles off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. After weaving our way between the rocks and then down a natural channel we arrive at an absolutely perfect anchorage. 360 degrees of protection in a cove of about five acres.
After anchoring Dave shouted over to say that he was putting steaks on the grill for us. We made a salad, grabbed a loaf of bread, and dinghied over for a great meal. However, later on in the evening we found that the meal was just an enticement...... their ulterior motive was to get us on their boat to teach us the game of Farcle and Lynne presented us with our own set of dice. Which, along with the wine that was consumed, made for an absolutely wonderful evening. We dinghied back to Sapphire under some of the brightest stars we've seen yet.
Across Georgian Bay
08/07/2007, Wingfield Basin
We left Cave island at about 8:00 am with Cheroka and motored south along the west side of Franklin Island. We set sails once we cleared the channel and headed southwest across the Georgian Bay. The wind was from the west and built as the day progressed but was never a real problem... bumpy. but not uncomfortable. With the wind on our nose we motored sailed most of the day winding up in Wingfield Basin at the very end of the Bruce Peninsula. There is nothing here except a light house and 17 boats at anchor.
The chart plotter worked , but since we are in Canadian waters, they really don't have the detail that I had hoped . Once we get back to US waters the detail will improves dramatically. It's just nice to have it working.
We are heading to Tobermory tomorrow morning for fuel and supplies and will probably stay there for the night.
On through the rocks
08/07/2007, Cave Island, Ontario
Saturday, August 4th....Britt, Ontario & Sunday August 5, Cave Island.
This is the second of Canada's two long summer weekends. The first occurs during the first weekend in July and the second, during the first weekend on August. It is my understanding that almost everyone gets a four day weekend. The trailer park on the other side of the dirt road from the marina was full and I can personally verify that some its inhabitants celebrated until at least 3:15 am. By then it was odd that they were down to only one adjective.
We did not get an early start today primarily because the folks on the dock behind us, the same folks who put their sailboat on a rock the day before, didn't get back from breakfast until 10am. We said good by to our new Bayfield 40 and 29 friends and headed for open water nine miles away. Our destination was Cave Island where a friend of ours lives during the summer months. We met John last winter in Stratford at a small get-together of Bayfield owners and invited ourselves over for a visit. John's cabin has been in his family for a long time and is the only residence on the smallish (two or three acres ?) rock island. It is beautiful.
We had a nice sail down to The Parry Sound area where we called John to come out in his work boat and guide us the last couple of miles through the maze of rocks...large and small....visible and not.
We tied of to Cheroka, his Bayfield 36, which was moored just in front of his cabin, and after getting things put away on Sapphire, headed for shore and a wonderful steak dinner. The cabin reminded me of the old Douglas Lake cottage. ...open ceiling, no insulation, and a wood stove. John's cabin was carefully positioned so that every room has a perfect view of the water and surrounding islands. We headed back to Sapphire well after dark with no moon but a sky full of brilliant stars.
After coffee the next morning, I went to shore and left Kathy for some personal time.
I need to explain here that last October we purchased a new GPS and with all of our running around this spring, it didn't get installed. While in St. Ignace, waiting out some weather, I spent the better part of a day trying in vain to get it up and running. The antenna would not communicate to the computer so the maps were there but the location of the boat was not. I called the support number and was told that it was possible that my version of the system could be the cause of the problem and that I needed to purchase a newer version of the system. I was a little unhappy since the equipment was brand new, but there wasn't much I could do from the marina in St. Ignace. He also said that if I had a Garmin card printer attached to our computer, I could download the system from their website. We were leaving for Canada the next day so I decided to worry about it when I returned to civilization.
Cave island... the night before John had mentioned that he had the necessary card printer and might be able to help. John spent much of the morning working his way through the directions and eventually had the updated system on one of his extra cards. Neither of us was very optimistic, but when I slid the card into its slot, the GPS updated itself and started searching for satellites. After about 30 seconds, it was operating like a charm.
After lunch John took me for a boat ride around the Franklin Island to see the sights. We did not go all the way into Parry Sound but were reasonably close. Meanwhile, Kathy spent the day sewing, reading and cleaning. She is working on sides for our bimini to increase the amount of shade. We had another fine meal with John and got back to the boat about dark where we prepared for a morning departure.
We can't thank John enough for his hospitality and his help with the GPS.