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On The Move Again

Sunday, August 16th, 2009

(46⁰02.744′ N by 081⁰55.363 W -  Mile 208.2 - Bell Cove on North Western Shore of Great Le Cloche Island)

After taking a week of  in the Killarney, Covered Portage Cove and Baie Fine area we’re once more underway. 

Our good friends, George & Jane Laing arrived on Wednesday, August 12th just in time to take us to dinner at the Sportsmans Inn in Killarney and to celebrate Nancy’s birthday.  Of course it was a great party with Frank playing in the dining room. 

The following day we took a cruise to Baie Fine and stayed overnight on anchor close to the entrance of the pool.  For those of you who have never seen Baie Fine it is a unique part of Canada claiming to be the worlds longest fresh water fiord.  The bay is roughly 11 miles long with high quartzite rock hills on both sides rising steeply on both sides.  The charts indicate some of the hills are close to 500 feet higher than the surface of the water.  This is truly natural beauty at its best and regardless of where we go will have to be considered one of the most phenominal areas to cruise through.

After dropping off George & Jane this morning we traveled west through the Lansdowne Channel to Little Current then on to Bell Harbour on the North West side of Grand Le Cloche Island.  Bell Cove is providing us perfect protection for the South to South West winds that are forecast for tonight.  There are very few cottages and by now, a lot of the vacation boat traffic is starting to diminish. 

The good news is what everyone is talking about (probably including you) - summer has finally arrived.  Let’s enjoy it while it is here.

Prime Time V’s Journey Begins

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

(45⁰59.955′ N by 081⁰32.258 W - Coverd Portage Cove, Killarney, Ontario)

That’s right!  After three months of preparation Prime Time V’s journey is beginning. 

Ready to leave from Bone Island!

Ready to leave from Bone Island!

Just like any trip, the last few weeks have been quite hectic getting everything in order both on the boat and on dry land.  But, from now on, you will receive reports about life on-board, the experiences we have traveling and some information about the areas we travel through.

We cut the lines on Thursday, August 6th from the Bone Island docks and traveled north on the Small Craft Channel to Regatta Bay.  We have made this same trip dozens of times before but, this time we are not sure when we will get back to the same area again with Prime Time V.  Somehow, it just felt a little different as we traveled on the channel not knowing what is in store for us in the future.

For those of you who do not cruise the area, the Small Craft Channel on the Eastern Shore of Georgian Bay has quite a history.  The first white man to travel this route was Etienne Brule in 1610 who had been sent there by Samuel de Champlain, the Governor of New France.  Champlain himself canoed down the eastern shore in 1615 on his way to Huron territory and he was so fascinated by it he named it La Mer Douce. “the Freshwater Sea.”

It wasn’t until 200 years later Captain Henry Bayfield of the British Admiralty charted the Great Lakes and gave Georgian Bay its present name in honour of King George IV, who was in 1820 the newly crowned King of England.  What is amazing today is that so much of Georgian Bay remains the same as it was when Brule, Champlain and Bayfield traveled this body of water.

On Friday, August 7th we were up early knowing the weather would be favourable for our trip to Killarney.  We started the engines at 7:00 AM, pulled the anchor and went north and on into the open bay at Point-au-Baril.  Just as we suspected from the forecast the water conditions were ideal with a foot of chop when we started.  As our trip progressed the waves settled down to near calm for an ideal slow cruise of 10 kts. 

Seven hours on calm water at slow cruise allows you to relax.  Just set the autopilot and occaisionally monitor the instruments.  In the past on a voyage like this, Nancy would read her book and I busy myself reading a boating magazine or just playing with the electronics.  Knowing we would be facing some long hours on the bridge we added a television.  Decadent, I know but, it is a great diversion for both of us. 

We arrived at the Sportsman’s Inn at 2:15 PM to find that the rumors are correct, the business is open once more.   The main fuel dock is new with a new pump-out and gas/diesel pumps and the main building which is a hotel is being completely renovated.  While it is not yet complete it will be back to its original condition or better when it is completed.  The new owners are sparing no expense.  For pictures and contact information visit http://www.sportsmansinn.ca/

Frank at the piano at the Sortmans Inn - Killarney

Frank at the piano at the Sortmans Inn - Killarney

Our best surprise is that Frank The Piano Player is back.  Frank knows almost every boater on the Bay and after not hearing him for five seasons it was great to hear the tunes, sing the songs and remember all of the good times we have had with Frank and our friends around the piano.  Frank, if you are reading this make sure you send me an e-mail with your contact information.

Saturday, August 8th we decided that due to the wind conditions (20 kts from the east) we would sit back and spend another day at Sportman’s Inn.  This allowed us to walk to the lighthouse and return to Mr. Pearch for lunch.  Mr. Pearch is a bus that has been set up on the docks in Killarney.  Best perch on the Bay.

July 1st, 2009 - Franklin Island (Regatta Bay)

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

(45⁰23.274′ N by 080⁰19.637 W)

We’re now adjusting to “live-aboard” life.  Eight new drawers, primarily in the galley have been added.  This will allow more storage for food, dishes and cookware.  It is amazing that boat builders like Sea Ray do not put more practical storage on boats but you really don’t notice this until you are on board seven days a week.  We’ve also added a new sun shade on over the back deck, a floor cover for over the rugs inside as well as seat and console covers for the dinghy.  As you can tell, July is “shake down” month before we really start traveling.

After a couple of electrical industry cruises in late June we left the Honey Harbour area and moved to Three Finger Bay in Massasauga Provincial Park http://www.ontarioparks.com/english/mass.html .   For those of you who don’t boat in the area, Massasauga PP is a wonderful water-based park with campsites (water access only) and designated anchoring bays.  It’s claim to fame is that when the park was proposed in the early 90’s the Government of Ontario claimed ownership of the bottom under the water and wanted to charge boaters for overnight anchoring.  Boaters claimed it was an act of navigation and thus under the control of the Government of Canada.  As a result, Ontario Boating Forum was formed which eventually led to a Provincial Court challenge (Regina vs Will).   The decision clearly stated that boaters are free to anchor without charge as an act of navigation, a victory for every boater who cruises in Ontario.

Yesterday, we left Three Finger Bay and cruised slowly up the Small Craft Channel to Franklin Island ( http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en&rlz=1T4SNYO_enCA304CA305&q=Franklin+Island&cr=countryCA&um=1&ie=UTF-8&ei=kntLSqLWFojCtweaiembDQ&sa=X&oi=image_result_group&ct=title&resnum=795910049 0 anchoring just outside of Regatta Bay.  With our draft, I still do not feel comfortable entering small bays like Regatta.  Less than seven or eight feet and I get nervous.  It was a good decision however, since our friends on Peaceful Chaos and Tiem Flies did go in and even though the water is up more than a foot this year, the bay is overgrown with weeds.  Too bad actually, this is a nice anchorage.

While we were traveling north, Time Flies and Peaceful Chaos left Three Finger Bay an hour earlier than us.  While they experienced a considerable amount of rain, we traveled in sunshine without a drop.  I guess everyone in Ontario was experiencing the same thing with the weather patterns we have been having.