Days on cruise: 112
Distance traveled: 16.8 miles
Travel Time: 2 hrs, 1 minute
Total trip odometer: 2,484 statute miles
Our Ports Cruising Guide for Georgian Bay designates today’s spot with an “anchor” symbol, but the anchorage itself, and the adjacent island, are both un-named on our charts. So we’ll call it “Stairs and Maskinonge Islands off of Middle Channel” as those are the nearest named places.
This is the most relaxed stretch of the entire Loop we’ve traveled so far. There aren’t many marinas, only tiny towns with few things to do, and lots of wide open, remote space. No tourist attractions, shopping or fancy, and not many even not so fancy, restaurants here. We’re loving this stretch.
Another difference here in Georgian Bay and our next waterway, The North Channel (both directly connected to Lake Huron) is that this portion of the journey is not linear, as were the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway, Hudson River, and the New York and Ontario Canal systems. In those areas we could take side trips if we wanted, and decide where to stop each night. While basic direction and route are dictated by geography there are multiple channels, each with its own navigational challenges, and few specific, must see, destinations. Bob is spending a great deal more time studying the charts and guidebook to inform our decisions about where to go each day. Options are endless, and it mostly boils down to: (a) How much time do you want to spend here? or (b) how much time do you have left for this segment because you spent more time earlier in the season going on side trips? We know people who covered the entire distance from the Trent-Severn Waterway to Drummond Island on Lake Michigan (the U.S. re-entry point) in 12 days. We suspect we will take more than twice that long.
After lunch we dropped the dinghy and went on another dinghy exploration that ended up being 6 miles. It was warm and sunny with a light breeze, and though the cottages here are fairly sparse, it’s Friday afternoon and there were lots of families out swimming, boating, jumping off of rock cliffs, kayaking and sitting in their chairs on decks.
We wound our way through more narrow, shallow, rocky channels before returning to Next To Me for an afternoon nap. What a stressful day! And on top of all that, there are loons trilling everywhere around us.
We apologize if the photos look the same one day to the next. While the area is very beautiful, it all has granite, narrow channels, trees and clear water in common. We also note that today’s SPOT message (below) shows us being in a different location depending on which link you use. The first one is correct, not the second one. We’ve never noticed such a discrepancy before and have no explanation for it.