Monday, March 22, 2010

Gilman Bay Anchorage - Leaving in Heavy Fog!

 It's Sunday evening as I prepare this update and as I cast my sight out through the living room window and onto Lake Simcoe, I remark to Anchor Girl how lovely the bright sunshine looks. I follow that with the observation that it's now 6:45 and, despite the cloudy weekend, the '7:00 Sunday Rule' appears to be back for another year. . .

 Or is it?

An article in the local newspaper today refereed to the summer weather prognostication by Dave Phillips (the Environment Canada guy). In it, he states that his predictions for the upcoming summer is - wait for it - the triple HHH's. Hot Hazy & Humid. In other words, a traditional Southern Ontario summer! And I'm happy to compare that with my own outlook for a hot, sunny and dry boating season. so, let's get on with it. Only wet's our appetites for a return trip to The Bay and further adventures!!!



 Tonight's review of our time at Gilman Bay represents the last couple of days there and the tail end (sniff, sniff) of our summer holidays '09. I think I might have already mentioned it before, but our overall boating experiences for the 2009 season could be best described as 'Change of Plans'. Every time we hoped to go some place, it seemed that for some reason we ended up somewhere else. To this day, I'm sure there was some Greater Power guiding us - and Gilman Bay was by no means an exception. . .

 Before we jump into this portion of the stay, I wanted to share a video clip I took of one Mr. Analus & I, late in the night. Not too much to see - due to the darkness part, but the ever insightful cometary is something not to be missed. Actually, Wevvy was with us for awhile on this particular night. Remember the 30 minute phone call, reliving the adventures of your first trip to the locks that weekend, buddy??

 This first photo shows only Two Rays at the anchorage, as A.G. and I had to briefly depart their company and head all the way back to Parry Sound for an emergency pump out. To get there, fix the problem and return was a six hour round trip! Oh well, at least it gave our traveling companions some quiet time away from the Commodore. Not to mention the fresh air;

This is the 'parting shot' of Glen Burney Marina in Parry Sound, where not only did I have to work on the boat's plumbing, but the actual pump out plumbing at the gas dock, too. Good thing I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty;

 Another unique Georgian Bay cruising view - The Georgian Queen cruise ship. Here on it's way back to it's home port of Parry Sound;

 Analus' evening swim shower;

 The next morning started off a little overcast - but the moon still came out;

A shot of our stern view at the this anchorage. No matter how many pictures I took looking this way, I don't think I was able to capture the beauty of the rock ledge that is here. In person, the moss growing between the cracks in the rocks was beautiful. I think so, anyway;

 The morning's weather didn't start off too promising, but after discussing our options for perhaps traveling to another destination, we decided to take the dinkies for an extended trip up the Moon River to a place called Woods Bay for a look see instead of leaving this anchorage;

Analus gets the Grand reading for the trip. And the sun was starting to make an appearance;

 On our way - pants optional;

 Our first stop was a popular anchorage area of the Massasagua called Port Rawson Bay. This is where many of the bigger boats come. One of the unique features of this spot is that the park has installed a few floating mooring balls in the bay to tie up to;

Onward and down the Moon River. Last winter, I sort of discovered this area while doing our planing for the our holiday cruising grounds. The Moon River and into Woods Bay in this area is on the navigation charts, but there are no depth soundings. After some creative searching and a couple of springtime phone calls, I learned that, despite motoring 'blind', one would be able to safely navigate a larger vessel through here. This is why we were checking it out on the dinkies. Glad we did, as this was yet another special place to find, visit and carry as a life long memory;

Turns out the reports are correct and that one can get through here. We were also lucky enough to have gotten a line drawn on our Parks map by one of the rangers when they came by to pick up our garbage a few nights earlier.
 "Just follow the line and don't blame me if you hit bottom. . ." I think were the words he said when he handed the map back to me;

 This cool little cabin came with an interesting bit of history and unique view on the other side of it;

According to the story we heard is that this was some sort of lodge that had burned down years earlier, leaving only the sizable chimney and most of the foundation. Apparently the old gut who owned it had begun to rebuild bu passed away and it's stayed pretty much in this state ever since;

I knew where we were - I had a map;

Pulling back into our anchorage after our 3-1/2 hour voyage of discovery. And to quote Mr. Paul Von B, it was indeed an amazing place;

Ahhhhh, I love summer and boating!!!!!!!

 So, the working plan was to leave Gilman Bay the next morning and take the big boats down the Moon River into Woods Bay for some time there, with the intention of visiting the Moon River Falls on the dinkies. That was my original inspiration to visit this area - see the falls. Well, for the second time on this trip, we were unable to get see them, as we left the next morning after the big Keswick storm on this night. Long story;

Here's our friends from Parks Canada to collect our mooring fee - Kevin (driving), Tanner (on the bow) and the young lady accompanying them this trip who's name I can't recall right now.

Tanner takes one of my business cards. Wonder if he ever visited the site?

Departure day. Cloudy, but no too much fog as we head out of the bay. Yet;

 A nice, slow, winding cruise past all the small islands of the Moon River Basin back to the Small Craft Route;

And then the fog set in;

Can you say Pea Soup?

Look really closely at this shot and you'll see SunAria disappearing in the fog - and she was only about 200' behind us at this point;

After getting turned around a full 180 degrees (me) and needing some chill time after the ordeal, I decided to head into Henry's Restaurant (which was close by) for awhile to wait for the fog to dissapate. After waiting about an hour and a half, we were safely back on our way.
 The Water Wings captain, on the other hand, decided to press on and make the top part of the trip down to Honey Harbour in the thick of it. Next time you see Billie Sue, ask her what she felt about that fun voyage;

 Coming up, it's the trip back home. Not sure if I really want to relive that part of the holidays. I mean, who wants to go home after a great holiday? We'll see . . .

Monday, March 8, 2010

First BBQ For 2010

As you have most likely already surmised from the title, we had the first BBQ of the 2010 season at the Cottage on Sunday. Hoo-Ha!! The weather was fantastic, the sun was shining and it was great to be back at the boat for another year!! If the weatherman is right, it looks like we'll be seeing some open water this weekend, so the out drives are going back on Boogaboo on Saturday.

 As for the other water toy, I'll probably have to wait a couple more weeks to get in my first speed run - I meant to say, test run ;-)

 The girls get cooking;

 The last reminder of winter get's melting;


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Winter & Boating? For The Birds

 Still suffering from cabin fever, I thought that a road trip was in order last Sunday (Feb 28th), so we headed up north for another Georgian Bay tour. This time we made a circle around the west side Lake Simcoe, up to Midland and Penataguishene, returning through Orillia and down the east side of the lake and home.

 Actually, the previous Sunday afternoon we went east - up to the cottage for a quick pop in and then continued north to Lagoon City, with a quick stopover at Lock #41 (Gamebridge), so we'll be starting with that stuff.

 I herewith submit the following report;

 As the title of this post implies, things were going to the birds around our place. Anchor Girl had been bringing a couple of young cockatiels home on the weekends from the pet store where she works. Seems the boss wasn't going to be in the store and A.G. didn't trust the kids working there to remember to watch them, so we were surrogates for the time being. I never thought I'd take to birds, per se, but these two (especially the one with the grey feathers) were allot of fun. Amazing the personalities of these little creatures. And they love people, especially perching on your head for a walk around the house - even if it is a square head :-)
  Onward and upward. The second stop of the day was at lock #41, Gamebridge. This one is right off of highway #12, so it's easy to get to for a look; 
 As you can see, the bottom side blue line walls are getting some substantial repairs, most likely as a result of the $63,000,000 that the federal government has pledged in capital improvements to the system over the next five years;  
 A couple of sunny, albeit winter time pics from Lagoon City Marina;
This is our usual haunt when we are up there for the long weekend specials;  

That was from two weeks ago. Let's see what the Boogaboo Crew did last weekend (for those of you who are still awake)

Last Sunday's adventure took us up firstly to Midland and then on to Penatangueshene. This was taken at the Penatang Town Docks and is a shot of the local tour boat 'Georgian Queen';  
Next, we have another big old boat that was tied to the same dock (you can see the bow of 'Georgian Queen' to the left of this shot) and frozen in for the winter. I talked to to some guy who was aboard the big blue vessel who said  he lived on it on the weekends to do work for the owner. As he told me, the owner bought it as a partially sunken derelict in Hamilton 16 years before and has been restoring it ever since. Ya, I had a boat like that once, too. I got smart and dumped it.
 As you can see behind the blue one, there was a third vessel frozen in along side of this dock. I guess they all got a special rate for the winter ;-)  
Here's one I took for a certain someone I know, but I think he spells his name with an 'I';

Not to be outdone with all the frozen boats in Penatang, the Port of Orillia is hosting it's own 'We'll store your boat for the winter' special promotion, as well;

 To finish things up, we made a stop at The Narrows to take a look at the open water passing by. Just to clarify, it was more like I took a look at the passing waters at The Narrows while A.G. elected to stay in the warm cabin of the truck while I played.
 Either way, it sure is a great feeling to be close to the open water after seeing the frozen stuff from our front window every day;

This big guy and his mate were there to keep an eye on me;

 Finally, not to be outdone by the docks a Penatanguishene and Orillia, Crothers Marina has also decided to get into the obviously lucrative business of offering in-water docking for the winter months.
 And to think that the rest of us dummies have been wasting our money all these years by having our boats actually taken out of water each fall. Now THAT'S for the birds;