Georgian Bay and The North Channel
19 August 2019
After the hustle and bustle of 100+ locks, Georgian Bay and the North Channel was a relaxing reprieve. We traveled 350 miles with 20 stops, all but 2 at anchor! Loosly buddy boating with Bella Gatto we would travel together, split for a few days and regroup. DeeO'gee missed Bella terribly when we were apart, I think he has a crush on that tall girl next door. Jayne and Jonathan are great to travel with and Lake Michigan will not be the same without them.
Georgian Bay is peppered with summer cottages, cottages might be what they are called but they range from small one room cabins to three story million dollar homes. Built on rock islands and only accessible by boat, these cottages only get used 4-5 months a year. Remember that winter is harsh in these parts!
Traversing through the Small Craft Channel was at times quiet exciting. Referred to as 30,000 islands by the locals, there are probably twice that many just below the surface, with channels so narrow in some areas that the red and green markers were just 30 feet apart. My captain guided us through safely and we were rewarded with some amazing anchorages. Sometimes a narrow cut would open to a private wonderland just for us. Other times a cluster of islands would provide scenic walks for groups of humans and dogs. The highlight of this section was Bad River, a protected anchorage with a network of dingy channels to explore. At times when the water isn't so high one can dingy the rapids, this year there was just swift currents between large bolders. But really it is hard to pick a favorite when so many were picture perfect.
Once we entered the North Channel the cottages became fewer and fewer and true wilderness was more apparent. We saw eagles, snakes, muskrat and some boaters saw bears! The call of the loons would provide music during evening and morning hours. I know we are in Canada but the sound of those damm canadian geese and their droppings were everywhere. Lots of droppings and I mean everywhere. Drats, did I just whine?
Baie Fine was our favorite stop through this area with a great hike to Emerald Lake. Crystal clear water just begging us to jump in from rock cliffs, even Bella jumped from the rocks as DeeO'gee stayed far enough away to be safe from being tossed or falling in. Back at the anchorage we rounded up all 7 other Looper boats for Rocktails, drinks and munchies on the rocks.
We spent almost 3 weeks on this leg and 2 months total in Canada and enjoyed every day, from cities to wilderness it was all wonderful. Quebec Province was probably or favorite section with darling towns and French flair. I can't imagine why anyone would complete the Loop of 5000 miles in three or for months unless the just want to burn fuel and earn the gold burgee. They really could not experience the adventure. We are starting into our 12th month and have traveled over 4000 nautical miles (4800 statute miles) so far on this voyage. We still have a way to go this year and depending on next year's side trips we should finish up at well over 6000 miles.
Living large at 7 knots!
There's a grumpy Looper
And some frumpy Loopers
And those that just plain whine
Here's to all us grateful Loopers that think this life's sublime!