Sunday, July 8, 2012

Wana Keta Bay, Georgian Bay, Ontario

Days on cruise:  107

Distance traveled today:  22.1 miles

Travel time:  3 hours 18 minutes

Locks today/total:  1 today,  75 total

Total trip odometer:  2,398 statute miles

This morning we said our good-byes via VHF radio to Charlie and Lori on Bama Belle who were staying in White’s Bay another night, and headed for the LAST lock of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Woo hoo!


Bob drove the boat into the lock, and Cathryn tended dock lines. As we pulled up to the wall, a couple wandered over with huge smiles on their faces.

Woman on the wall:  Hello Cathryn!

Cathryn:  Hello!  How are you? (Pause) Can you remove your sunglasses so I can see who you are? (we meet new people EVERY day, and sometimes it’s hard to remember names, and occasionally faces without all the details in view)

Woman: (after removing her sunglasses and smiling broadly) Yes, I can remove them, but it won’t help you. We’ve never met before.

Cathryn:  So how do you know my name?

Woman:  Because you’re on Next To Me, so you’re on the list.

Cathryn (confused): What list? How do you know my name?

Woman:  The Great Loop list! (Here she shows us the clipboard they’re carrying that has a print-out of all the boats currently doing the Loop, by boat name, owner’s name, etc)   What is Olalla Bay?

Cathryn:  That’s where we live at home.

Woman:  We live nearby and are tracking the Looper boats who come through here.  You’re the second one this week!

At this point, she hands us a boat card, and we learn they’re Alice and Barry who have a 9-meter (about 30-feet) boat named Prowess and enjoy tracking Looper’s progress as they transit this area. Friendly, cheerful people, we enjoyed 5 minutes of conversation before our boat dropped so low inside the lock we could no longer see them over the wall. And then we were finished with the Trent-Severn Waterway and entered Georgian Bay.


This place is amazing!  More granite rock cropping up EVERYWHERE, convoluted channel markers that have you traveling twisting paths through narrow places you can’t imagine, SHALLOW water (sometimes only 2 feet below our hull), and gorgeous scenery.


A couple hours later we arrived at Wana Keta Bay, a  government dock at the National Park at Beausoleil Island (free to us because we bought a seasonal mooring pass) with no electricity or water, but garbage cans and an outhouse. Dave and Sue, who we met three days ago in Port of Orillia where they brought fish and chips dinner to join us on our boat, were anchored here for the weekend with his two brothers and their wives. They’d invited us to join them, and they called us on the VHF radio, met us via their dinghy, and led us through the bay and rocks to the tie-up spot.  


So we spent the afternoon with Dave and Sue, the nicest folks you could ever want to meet. They gave us a tour of their gorgeous boat, introduced us to their relatives, and went over our Georgian Bay charts showing us all the best anchorages between here and North Channel.  We can NOT believe they bought their boat after it sunk in Florida in a hurricane, but they showed us a photo album documenting its’ sinking (pix taken by the previous owner), the mud clean-up they did, the major renovations including a giant hole in the hull, and now it looks like a brand new, gorgeous boat!  We completely screwed up by not getting photos of the boat and them today!


About 6:00 Dave and Sue left to return home as they have to go to work tomorrow. They’ll be on their boat again next weekend, so who knows:  maybe we’ll see them!

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