After spending two rainy days traveling through the Trent Severn Waterway system, we got onto Georgian Bay! The final leg of the lock system marked the first leg of The Bay adventure, 2009. We knew it would be a memorable adventure for sure, but didn't expect to have so much fun so soon. . .
After all the rain of the previous few days, there was lots of water rushing through the system on it's journey to Georgian Bay. The fun part for us was going through the final lock - #45 at Port Severn.
For those of you who haven't been following along at home, today's geography lesson will discuss 'where does all the water go?' All of the water that drains into Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching (from as far east as the Kirkfeild Lift Lock) finds it's way west to Georgian Bay/Lake Huron. From there it's down to Lake Erie, over Niagara Falls (or through the Welland Canal or one of many diverter pipes for hydro electric generation), into Lake Ontario, down the St. Lawrence River and ultimately The Atlantic Ocean. And you thought you had a long way to travel every day!
As an interesting aside, I recently read that a drop of rainwater that lands at the top (northern) part of Lake Superior takes 400 years to reach the Atlantic! Just one more piece of useless information that I'll never forget :-) Which also brings to mind a story I heard about how the ancient Romans traveled along the Severn River over 2000 years ago and placed the first aids to navigation there. . . It's really quite a fascinating tale - just ask anyone who's heard it ;-)
OK, all the history lessons aside, let's get back to tonight's fascinating tale. I'll give you a break from my typing and indulge you with my voice on video. This is some moving pictures I took both while waiting to head through the lock (remember happy Anchor Girl waiting for the lock in the rain?) as well as when we got to the bottom and out the other end. For those of you who haven't had the good fortune of traveling this way, the channel that leads from the bottom of the lock westward is called 'Tug Channel' and is EXTREMELY narrow right under the highway 400/69 bridge. The space between the markers in spots is roughly only 20' but feels much tighter when you factor in the fact that it's also really winding through here. It sure was scary for me the first time we went through there and I wasn't looking forward to the return trip back! But that was then and this is now. These times it's more hoo-ha, let's go for it! And by going for it, I mean pouring on some throttle to make up for the current. Last year I wasn't ready for the whirlpools exiting the lock (driving too slow) and it pushed the boat back and forth. A little disconcerting if you're not ready for it . . .
Alright already - stop typing and on with the video already!
Earlier in the day I had called ahead to Bay Port Marina in Midland to order a water filler thingy that was cracked & leaking aboard Boogaboo, so we had to make a side trip here to pick it up & fuel up before mooring in Honey Harbour for a couple of days. Upon entering Midland Harbour, we spotted this little toy tied up to the Town Docks. Apparently it is owned by Mike Judge, the creator of Bevis & Butthead, The Family Guy and a few other animated classics. Classics? Turns out that it wasn't owned by the guy who did 'The Simpson's' as had been erroneously reported earlier. The boat (boat?) is called 'Annica' - click on the name for more photos of it in Midland, and other places.
After leaving Midland, it was on to Honey Harbour. This is the famous Picnic Island store, where one can gas up, pump out (emergency or otherwise), pick up groceries or just dinky ride over for ice - or ice cream!
As it was getting close to dinner time when we arrived, the Sunday at 7:00 rule seemed to be applicable here, too - even on holidays;
Let's see what the eye witness report has to say;
We had spent a few days at this same spot last year and liked it, so I got in touch with the manager of Nautilus Marina to arrange for the same slip. Steve (the manager) was good enough to accommodate us ;-)
As many of the homes and cottages in the area are only water accessible, it's interesting to see what gets delivered by barge;
Anchor Girl & I took an extended dinky ride around some of the larger islands in the area and here's a really cool shot she took of this ruin of a boathouse;
Here's a 4 minute & 36 second compilation of videos I took while here. You'll be interested to also see the exact dock where I got my 2nd deep hull scratch (the first one was at Peterborough Marina, a few years back);
This is the Delewana Inn, looking northward along the Small Craft Route. HERE'S a link to their web cam. During the summer months, the camera they have is mounted right on the restaurant patio deck (seen in the middle of this picture) and it overlooks their docks. Sometimes you can see boats passing by. However, now that they are shut down for the year, it looks like they are feeding from a different location (too dark to see as it was nighttime when I made this posting).
Looking south from the same position as the above is a view of a simple set of docks. What is so cool about these docks is that they are for the LCBO store in Honey Harbour! Yep, it's the only one of it's kind that I know of in the world. Very convenient when anchoring out in Beausoleil Bay, as you can do the 1 hour dinky ride from your anchorage, tie up the dock and be only steps from the Liquor Store- which also has an expanded beer selection;
And if what your after isn't at the LCBO Store, there is an all inclusive hardware/grocery/chandlery/restaurant/ice cream store just up the street from the brown bottle place;
Sunset #1 from HH;
Anchor Girl took this pretty picture - nice, or what? Ahhhhhhhh . . . .
Coming up next, our anchoring time in Chimney Bay - including the harrowing "The anchors broke loose & we're drifting into those boats!!!!" incident. . . .