Aug 1

We left the Snider’s Little Piece of Paradise this morning at 7am to follow the Small Craft Channel further North in Georgian Bay to Parry Sound. It’s a beautiful area but it will keep you on your toes winding in & out of narrow channels around huge rocks. We went through 5 Mile Narrows and 2 Mile Narrows where you radio to all boats that you’re coming through & hope you don’t meet another boat who has entered from the other end. Thank goodness they were not “miles” long as their name suggest. We are at Big Sound Marina and the float plane runway is just behind us. We are enjoying the show. We rode our bikes around town & think we will stay an extra day here to enjoy Parry Sound, the “jewel of the 30,000 Islands”.  We have traveled 4800 miles so far on our trip.

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Aug 2

This is the biggest Canadian holiday weekend of the summer season, Civic Holiday,  and Parry Sound is definitely a destination for people in the area. Dinner Cruises & Sightseeing tours, float plane rides, lots of families boating, we enjoyed a nice day too. All the restaurants & stores are crowded. The winds are up some & are predicted to get worse in the coming days so we have decided to get up & out early with the destination of Tobermory tomorrow. Lobster & grilled vegetables for dinner. Early to bed because we have 78 miles tomorrow. It will be in open water so we won’t be dodging the rocks. Hope the winds lay down some. 

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Aug 3-4-5

We all got up at 5am on Monday and got ready to do the crossing to Tobermory only to check the weather & find out there was a front crossing through Michigan that would catch us half way through our 8 hour Georgian Bay trip. The possibility of high winds, thunderstorms, waves & rain didn’t appeal to us so we made a quick small jump to Killbear and snugged back up to the dock before the weather set in. No cell service or broadband was available, & hasn’t been until now. However, we had a great time as we watched Loopers duck into this safe harbor all afternoon and enjoyed another mini looper reunion with 6 looper boats tucking in. Our UK friends, Final Decision are in the next slip and Queen Ann’s Revenge joined us for docktails. Tuesday did not look a great deal better so we sat it out as well. This is a nice little marina with a restaurant & store, but we are miles from anything else so we totally vegged all day Tues watching movies, etc. Forecast looked acceptable for Wed. We decided to skip Tobermory & head straight for Killarney, the oldest community on the north shore of the bay!  The sky was blue & the sun shinning as we headed out around 7am. Forecast wrong!!! They don’t have NOAA here, or anything remotely close.  2 Meter waves (that’s 6 footers to us Americans)w/ the occassional 8 footer & 20+ knot winds & that is not our idea of a fun cruising day! As Brad put it, the Georgian Bay kicked our butt all the way to Killarney! It was too rough for us to even have our morning coffee. Are you kidding? We couldn't even “do” lunch. Even with everything locked down tight, we had some broken dishes, lots of things tossed around (like our furniture), water came in through the anchor locker from taking waves over the bow for 8 hours, soaked the lower bow berth, our Looper burgee blew off, my new electric skillet was pulverized, and frankly, we had a mess. Other than all that, we had a good day! We pulled safely into port with the help of 10 people on the dock, yes the wind was still blowing! I feel bad about putting the old girl through such a test. I mean the boat. Well actually I mean all us old girls. But we all performed well and there was never really imminent danger. However, it was our least enjoyable cruise of the whole trip. We will be in more “sheltered” cruising grounds in the North Channel. Hope we will haveVerizon broadband signals. It is sketchy up here so don’t worry Mom if you don’t see me post everyday! We're ok and we love you!

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Aug 6

It’s a beautiful morning here in Killarney, the entrance to the North Channel. This town was settled by French in early 1800’s but later was populated in the late 1800’s for lumbering purposes to supply the Industrial boom. This was the shipping port at the bottom of the LaCloche Mountains & is now a gathering place for boats moving between Georgian Bay & North Channel. Always considered a great “getaway” in summer, Al Capone used to holiday here. Getaway probably had a dual meaning for him. We did errands this morning including a trip to the post office, the LCBO, and had lunch at the famous Fish & Chips Bus on the Dock. A little more formal dining will be in order tonight at the Killarney Mountain Lodge as we celebrate our one year anniversary of our retirement!! We are off in the morning and will possibly stop in Little Current if there is room at the Town Dock. If there is not, we will move further into North Channel and spend several nights at anchor as there are no more towns or marinas until we reach Drummmond Island, where we will check back into the U.S.  We are not likely to get internet access from those anchorages.   

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Aug 7

Enjoyed our dinner at the Killarney Mountain Lodge last night & we remarked that it reminded us of the lodge in the movie “Dirty Dancing”. We kept waiting for the talent show to begin or the camp “song” to be sung. The same ambiance continued late into the evening when we got up to giggling @ 3am and caught some of the “counselors” skinny dipping off the end of our dock! Some things never change! Left our slip at 8AM along with Good News & Final Decision! Traveled to Little Current and luckily secured dock space for overnight. Relaxed afternoon walking the town. There is a band scheduled for tonight & a festival that draws 4,000 people. That’s a lot for a 10,000 population town! There is a Cruiser’s Net that operates from here for Georgian Bay & North Channel (9am on VHF 71). What a great service they do. They invited all transient boaters to a cocktail party this afternoon at the Anchor Inn, where they broadcast from. We saw some of the folks we docked next to in the Keys last January. Weather remains very cool. More so than any summer season on record. No global warming here! Nights dip into the 50’s. Too cold for skinny dipping! Guess that means were getting old, eh?  

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Aug 8

Decided to stay another day in Little Current. Got up this morning and went up to the Anchor Inn to watch Roy Eaton do the Cruiser’s Net. There were 30 boaters there as Roy gave info on the weather, world & local events on VHF 71, and then systematically heard 125 boaters in the area check-in to the net with there locations. Pertinent facts that affect navigation & safety were shared & we got to find out where some of our boating friends are currently. Then Brad replaced a pump on the boat while Mary & I walked to the farmer’s market & the grocery. The weather deteriorated & we had showers in the afternoon. Brad & I ate popcorn & watched “Prince of Tides” which we have been wanting to see again since we visited Beaufort, SC where it was filmed. Tequila Lime Turkey Breast Tenderloin & fresh corn for dinner. Headed to Gore Bay tomorrow.

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Aug  9

Forecast was for winds to pick up in the afternoon so we got up at 6AM to get an early start to Gore Bay! Unfortunately we were socked in with fog & NOAA showed storms headed our way.We stayed secured to the dock until it passed through around 10AM. We checked in at the Cruiser’s Net & Good News wished us a Happy Anniversary via the broadcasting airwaves! Thanks, guys! We left a Lake Guntersville Yacht Club burgee on the wall of the Cruiser’s Net Room located above Anchor Inn Restaurant for future LGYC members to stumble upon in years to come! Turned into a gorgeous Canadian cruising day with a fabulous view in every direction. One of those picture perfect times we will look back on & remember when we think of cruising the North Channel. We were in Gore Bay by 1:30 & walked through the town. Bought some fresh walleye to eat & to freeze, but we are grilling steaks out tonight & Mary is doing all the sides as an Anniversary treat! What a nice day as we near the end of our Canadian tour. We will probably be back in the states by Tuesday.

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