Sunday, November 27, 2011

Moon River Falls

Another day that we were at Henry's with the big boat, we took an all day dingy adventure tour to the Moon River Falls. This is something we tried to get to a few years back (twice) with the 'Water Wings' & 'Sunaria' crews, but fate held us back and the trip never happened.

 So fast forward to 2011 and another attempt. I'm happy to report that not only were we successful, but I have a bunch-o-photos and video to share with you :-)

Beleive it or not, but the round trip was 30 miles, so we had to make a pit stop at Woods Bay Marina on the way down for a fuel top up. As a matter of fact, I was a little concerned that our on board fuel tank wouldn't be able to get us there, so before leaving I 'borrowed' a small gas can at LeBlanc's (on the same island as Henry's) to fill and have as a spare for the trip. And when I say 'borrowed', I really meant 'rented' to the tune of $20. Plus fuel to fill it.
Note to self: bring small gas can from home to have for trips such as this. Believe it ;-)

A shot of the docks at Woods Bay. Almost all small, outboard powered boats here for the local cottagers. Biggest ship in port that day was a 340 Sundancer;

The store at the marina sold fuel, some groceries and the all important LCBO wares. Probably why it was so busy this day;

Not sure if this was a bad omen or not, but we spotted this turkey vulture on shore as we were making the final approach to the falls area;

Here we are. A popular spot for folks to dingy to;

Wow! Sure was a pretty sight;

This shot looks like a Group of Seven painting. I mentioned to Anchor Girl that this setting looked almost like someone built this to look as pretty as possible. I think 'someone' did and it was put there for us to enjoy.
 Thank you.

Nice shorts buddy;

Pretty, eh?
Don't be afraid to leave your comments on the Log Book. I think that thing is still working . . . .

Preparing to get some really cool underwater videos to share with you;

Like a little kid playing in the water;

Here's the dingy where we parked it on the rocks. As you can see, we had to pull it up on the rock shelf to leave it while walking around. When it came time to leave, we had to work out our quick exit, as there was lots of big rocks just under the surface behind the boat. So the plan was for A.G. to push the dingy back while I dropped the motor and started it.
 All good until she shoved us off and jumped into the boat - WITHOUT SITTING DOWN! Of course, I was looking back to get the outboard in the water and start it. When I pulled the cord, she was still leaning into the boat and - you guessed it - got the full force of the back of my hand right in her face!!
 S  M  A  C  K  !!!!!! Right in the kisser :-)
 I guess that vulture we saw earlier was a bad omen (for her at least). . .

Here's some wonderful and masterfully edited video of the Falls;

Heading back to the big boat, we spotted a young bear swimming across one of the channels. You can see it here in front of a Sea Ray. I was in radio communication with the folks on the boat to make sure he saw it and didn't hit it or startle it any more than it probably already was;

Here's one last photo we got of it before a couple of jerks raced up to within a 100' of it, full speed ahead in a centre console fishing boat to grab some photos. Fortunately the fuzzy little guy was able to get to shore and quickly disappear into the brush before those goofs got right up to it;

Back at the Boogaboo boat for a lovely evening on The Bay;

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sea Ray Plant Tour

 At long last, I'm finally gonna post some photos & video from our tour of the Palm Coast Sea Ray manufacturing plant we took back in February when we were in Florida. When we were in Florida?!?!? The Sea Ray plant tour was the whole inspiration for the trip to begin with - I kid you not!

 So, Mr. Harbour Master, here are the photos you requested.

  Told you I was there;

This was so cool, the folks at the plant knew we were coming & had this welcome ready for us - that's 'Commodore Frankie & Anchor Girl', in case you can't read it through the Florida sunshine glare;

It was neat to see how all the components of the inside were put in place before the upper deck was installed;

Here we see the interior walls being put together. I was impressed to see that they built all the cabinetry and did all the upholstery right on site. I always figured they would bring those components in from outside suppliers.
No, I wasn't taking notes, just listening;

The engine bay with all the systems in place for a big Sundancer;

Here's the upper deck section ready to be 'married' to the hull in the previous picture;

A finished Sundancer, ready for final rigging;

This is  Shawn Wilson, who was good enough to take us on a 1-1/2 tour of the ENTIRE plant. He is the guy to contact at Sea Ray for any technical support or insights, as he has been working with them for 25 years in the manufacturing side and can come up with part numbers by wrote & has an encyclopedic recall of the boats, hulls, engines and parts right down to special clips that hold down trim!
 In this shot, Shawn was just looking back to make sure I wasn't taking any spy photos of hull #1 of the newest 450 Sedan Bridge (the current designation for our Boogaboo boat)  before it reached the market;

This is the final station before the boats go in the water, where the boats are gone over by white clad specialists who make sure there are no scratches or other blemishes - including touching up the bottom coat paint.
 Again, I was very impressed with the attention to detail and quality put into a mass production boat. I guess that's one reason that Sea Ray was able to weather the economic melt down in the US boating market, as well the support of long term, die hard Sea Ray owners like my wife ;-)

 The last part of the process is an in water test of EVERY boat that they produce, complete with a Mercruiser technician diling in the power plants. After that, it's a shake down cruise on Florida's Inter Coastal Waterway to  make sure everything is ship-shape.
 And yes, they actually pay people to do this kind of thing. Did I mention this is in Florida??

 Video time;

The Waubuno - A History Lesson

WAKE UP! We haven't even started with the history lesson and some of you are already nodding off . Stay with me, this is gonna be fun ;-)

  For this year's Georgian Bay summer holiday review, I figured we'd look mostly at places that we visited for the first time, as I know you don't want/need to see all of the same old, same old. Right?

 That is, unless I got some particularly nice shots at Henry's again that are simply too nice to pass up. Or Parry Sound. Well, you get the idea. . .

 So, since we are already on the subject of Henry's World Famous Fish Restaurant, when we were there this year for a few days, we took a dingy ride over to Wreck Island to check out the remains of the wreck of the side paddle wheel ship, 'Waubuno', which was lost in a gale on the night of November 22, 1879.
 The significance of that date is two-fold, as it's 132nd anniversary is only days away (from the date of this posting) and the 22nd of November is also the date that President Johnathan Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated.

 We're going to start with this historical plaque which is actually located in Parry Sound,  well north of the wreck site. The reason for this is that the the Waubuno had been heading for Parry Sound on it's fateful last journey when it was lost;

 This anchor from vessel is located next to the historical plaque in the park, which is ironically  in a place called 'Anchor Park'! How cool is that, that they were able to find a park with a a name that suited the anchor / Anchor Park relationship ;-)

On to the wreck site. Another bit of irony for those of you taking notes - the wreck is actually just off of 'Bradden Island', which is right beside Wreck Island;

Here's a shot of the remains from the surface;

 Here's a long shot of the resting place, showing how close it is to shore. The red circle is where the bow of the boat is - the only part of the boat that is sticking out above the water's surface;

I was amazed to see how much has survived after 130 + years;

Looking back westward from the wreck site towards the open Bay, one can see the two giant rocks that protect the remains from the full fury of Georgian Bay.
 So, how did it get here, you ask? Remember that the water level has dropped roughly five feet (!!) in the past 20 - 25 years, and the gale that caused it's demise would have resulted in a storm surge of three or more feet, so the ship would have been able to easily clear (or be pounded on) those rocks back in the day;

More cool shots;

The bow of the ship, currently above the surface level;

The keel of the ship;

 Here's some really cool underwater video;

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Edmund Fitzgerald Anniversary

Just a quick note that today (November 10) marks the 35th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald - an event made infamous by the song by Gordon Lightfoot. The song somehow always reminds me of Georgian Bay. . .  Wonder why that is?

 Here's a cool compilation video I found of the event, with Gordon providing the haunting musical accompaniment;

Speaking of shipwrecks and Georgian Bay, there is another upcoming anniversary - that of the loss of 'The Wabano'. In the next couple of weeks I'll be putting up some cool underwater video I took when Anchor Girl & I visited the resting place of the ship, back on our summer holidays.

In the meantime, here's a couple of still shots that I grabbed from said video;

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Redneck Turkey(s) - Thanksgiving At The Boat

Howdy, folks!

Before we start with this overdue posting, I wanted to point out a new feature on the Blog. Now, to see the photos in their full, expanded size, just click on any one of them and they will show up 'over' the page, with the rest as click-able thumbnails across the bottom of the page. Check it out - it's a neat little bonus, courtesy those smart folks at Google.

This year's Thanksgiving long weekend couldn't have been better, with weather that would rival any summer long weekend, any year! Four days of incredible conditions made for one of the best wrap up weekends ever. And to top off the wonderful weather, we were able to give thanks over a Deep-Fried Turkey dinner, get in a last run with a trip to Orillia for lunch and take the car out for it's own, *unique* cruise ;-)

Friday evening at the slip. Did I mention we are very happy here?

 Wevvy showed up with his 'NoGo', ready to play;

 Lovely fall evening colours over the water;

A video of the deep frying of the soon to be deep fried turkey;

Late afternoon on Saturday, we sat down to turkey dinner #1 of the weekend;

How's the bird, Bill?

Even the 'Five O'clock Somewhere' bird was ready to party;

After dinner, we all went for a stroll to the beach;

On the way, we took in the water reflecting the sun on the trees in the distance;

What a sight at the beach! Dead calm water on Lake Simcoe and a spectacular setting sun!

What did I tell ya . . .

Our walk to the beach video;

Everybody smile & wave!


On Sunday, we all piled aboard Boogaboo for the last run of the season;

Heading out of the marina, we passed by our friends Joe & Tracey, coming in from their dingy ride out on the lake;

A stern (but fair) shot leaving the breakwaters of Lagoon City;

The gals enjoy the view from the bow as we head through the Narrows;

Here's 5+ minutes of the trip on video, courtesy of the guy with all the cameras;

Boogaboo IV makes it's first stop at the Port of Orillia;

Perhaps it's because we hadn't visited this place in a couple of years, or maybe it's because we've visited so many other new places, but this spot used to be allot more appealing. Now it's starting to look really run down;

What a great, slow afternoon cruise back;

One last look back from the helm at Lake Simcoe for the 2011 season;

Taking her back into our home port;

Monday morning fog made for some pretty pictures. And no, it wasn't tire smoke from burn outs. That would be later in the day ;-)

Looking back from the flybridge;

Can you see the seagull on the post?

We went over to the gas dock with Wevvy for his last pump out. Afterwards, we went out for a quick rip on the lake;

Joe & Tracey brought their boat over for the last pump out as well;

Looking eastward from the gas dock, we see the main office/washrooms/hot tub with restaurant on the second floor;

Ron & Moe were out in the old Boogaboo boat at anchor for the last time, enjoying the final days of the season. It was so warm that the kids were even in swimming - and this was October!

See you on the water next year . . .