Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back At The Cottage :-)

After the long winter break, it sure was great to be back for another season!! As much as it was a sad time on the final weekend of '09, it was even more exiting and full of anticipation to be returning on Fridays again. Too bad I was too tired on this first Friday to join in at the fire. . . Just tired - not mad at anybody ;-)

After getting most of the stuff back on the boat and stowed away, Anchor Girl got the inside of Boogaboo all spiffed up and I got the heavy grime off the outside. Now all I gotta do is get both engines to go into forward gear. D'oh!

Well, at least the new dinky motor is running well and performing as expected. Just couldn't wait get it on (the motor, that is) and try it out. Unlike it's owner, this thing is very quiet and smooth running;

The crowd gathers down by the river to see all the exciting action;

Graham & I checking our portable radios. Funny thing was that if I got into trouble, how was the radio gonna be of any help :-)

 As I wanted to see how the motor would perform with two people in the dinky, Anchor Girl 'volunteered' Sonia to go for ride with me. The result was that the thing gets up on plane with no effort at all - just what I was after. In fact, much like it's owner, I had to actually back off the throttle to maintain control;

Saturday night's fire. Alas, nobody wanted to stay up with me at the fire much past 10:00. Seems all the excitement of the first weekend might have been a bit much for everyone. Or something like that;

The very first official sunset of the 'On Water' season. I'm certainly looking forward to many, many more of these. It's gonna be a great year. C'mon FRIDAY!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

2009 Georgian Bay Boating Adventures

Closer to the end refers to the fact that this post - reviewing the end of our 2009 holidays - is closer to the end of this years' holidays than last. Oh well. Maybe if I could control all of my long winded stories that always accompany the photos, I could get this done quicker. Probably not though. I have enough I'm working hard on controlling, so one thing at a time.

 Our final stay on The Bay was at a mid sized marina in Honey Harbour called Paragon Marina.I took this photo in a vain attempt to capture the feeling of the moment, knowing that the long anticipated holidays were rapidly winding down. I was feeling really good, despite the fact that the highlight of the year was almost over. I only wish I had taken a few more shots here, looking around at the lovely surroundings and the beautiful day - she sure was a nice one;

Right next to the marina is the Honey Harbour town docks, where A.G. & I rowed to to get some supplies. Yes, rowed. That darned Mercury outboard was once again being uncooperative, so it stayed on the dock while we rowed over here. Not too far anyway, only about 1000' or so from where Boogaboo was moored.  Hopefully I'll have better luck with the new Yamaha. Funny thing about that deal is that the 'American' Mercury was built in Japan, while the 'Japanese' Yamaha was built in France, of all places.
 This is what that looks like;

Saw this sign in the window of a building right beside the town dock and thought you might like to know what the fines are for various infractions;

This plaque is also next to the docks, commemorating the fact that the French explorer Samuel Champlain was the first European to visit this area, 400 years ago.
 French explorer. French outboard. I see a pattern developing. Hmmmm. . . .

 It was a gorgeous, hot day when we pulled out of Honey Harbour, so we took a slow tour down to Midland Harbour so that Sanja could get a feel for the location and to try her hand at some real navigating. That's right, once again I forced her to use her classroom skills to find our way back to the Potato Island Chanel (most of the way, at least) and lead us out of here. Remember, trust your charts . . .
 Too bad you won't get a chance to put both experiences into play this summer, eh Captain? Probably no wonder, traveling with such a tough instructor as me :-)

After a bit of coaching and some help form A.G., we made it to the north cardinal buoy marking the entrance to the Potato Island Channel. Not that I was in any hurry - like I said, this was the very end of our time on The Bay and once through the channel there was only one lock separating us from this body of water.
 The audio in this video is muffled by the wind, but you'll get the idea;

It sure was a nicer day coming back through Tug Channel and under the highway 400 overpass than when we came through the other way on the beginning of our voyage - but I'd trade the sunshine for another 3 weeks up here any day;

Anchor Girl waiting to help the approaching SunAria onto the blue line. Or not;

Looking back towards the lock;

Don't worry, I have video, too;

Immediately to the left of the top of the lock is a resort called The Inn At Christie's Mill, where we spent the night, reunited with the Water Wings crew. Yes, we even had dinner reservation there, as well.
 After our experience here - even trying to book the slips was a chore - I can highly recommend to NEVER, EVER GO THERE! Being self employed I believe I have a certain sense of customer service. This place doesn't even know the concept and it shows in spades.
 After all the crap of checking in and trying to find shore power AND a shower (and ending up going for a swim shower behind the boat), we all headed over to the restaurant for our dinner engagement. Beside a menu that featured such delicacies as 'Loin of Elk', we decided that a walk over the lock to the Rawley Resort was the better option.
 If you don't believe me, listen to what these satisfied customers had to say;

All smiles now as the gang heads into the Rawley - conveniently located right across the street form the LCBO;

At last - an enjoyable sit down dinner with our friends to celebrate another GREAT holiday on The Bay!
 I know it's hard to take your eyes off the rest of the scenery, but if you look closely at the two mugs at either side of this photo you'll notice that our shirts match the upholstery. What a coincidence. And I thought they were just kidding when they told me to 'get stuffed';

The Maple Leaf gang bid us farewell as pass by.
 Looking forward to hooking up with you guys on The Bay in a few short months. Remember - it's 'Point Au Baril or Bust'!!

Looking back to SunAria passing through the Little Chute. And this is a scary spot??

On the blue line waiting for the big water train to take us back to the top of the hill.
  Gotta go - my sandwich is coming;

Our final stay for the year would be our first time anchoring at Chief Island on Lake Couchiching. One more spot to put on the list to avoid. Sorry, but I guess we were spoiled with our time at the quiet, natural anchorages of Georgian Bay because the first thing I noticed when we dropped the hook here was the friggen road traffic noise coming from highway 11 across the lake. If I want annoying urban noise on the water, I might as well go to Orillia for the night;

The gals gabbing on the back of the boats.
 Tomorrow we'll be home :-(

And that's it.
As the chartplotter witnesses, a round trip (including a second trip to Parry Sound for an emergency pump out) totaling 346.9 statute miles.
 For 2010, I hope to add about 50 - 100 miles to that total. . .

Now that we're done with this review, I'd love to hear (read) your comments . . . Otherwise, you'll be doomed to seeing much of the same next winter.


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