Cruising guests

Our guests, Bill & Eleanor arrived Saturday afternoon (Aug 5) at Penetanguishene. We always look forward to cruising with them; our friendship has roots on a Bermuda cruise in 1986, and we’ve cruised aboard ships, our boat(s), and yes, a family cruise on a rented houseboat on the Trent-Severn nearly 30 years ago with kids!

The weather in 1988 was actually worse than it has been this summer; it rained every day but one on that trip! Still the kids had a blast, and we all enjoyed the time despite the weather. We’ve enjoyed weekends on the Chesapeake when they would fly from Toronto into BWI for a long weekend on the Bay. We have fond memories of high-speed runs to BWI to make sure they caught their commuter flight back! We also made several drives to Ontario for weekend visits, even one in colder months. Brrr…!!! We’ve enjoyed having them on board for a cruise each time we’ve been in Canadian waters. Fortunately, their home is within driving distance of most of our Canadian ports of call, making it possible to arrange an intercept at some point on our route. Great friends!

After getting settled aboard, we took off for the grocery store to provision, dinner, and a show at the local summer stock theater. Dinner was casual Irish and good, the show was great, and provisioning- with a car! Dee-luxin’ it! Leave the grandma cart in the lazarette! We slipped lines Sunday morning for our 1st stop, Beckwith Island. It’s a nice anchorage, and popular with locals. We anticipated a crowd, and weren’t disappointed. Lots of weekend boaters, a friendly crowd as we found as we dinked to shore and walked the beach. Locals talk about the “white sand” on the beaches at Beckwith; sand, yes. White, not so much! Reminded us of river sand, but with all the rock around, sand of any color is pretty remarkable! Our night at anchor was calm, if noisy. The beach party music continued until the wee hours. Not rowdy, but not a quiet anchorage!

Monday we lifted the dinghy and headed for Indian Harbor. Several locals recommended it, so we decided it would be a good spot to check out. Indian Harbor is situated on a side channel of the small craft main channel that runs north through southern Georgian Bay. There is anchorage on both sides of the channel, and the area is very picturesque. We anchored off the channel, and found good holding near a small cove. Many of the locals drop a bow anchor then stern tie to a tree or piton that are frequently placed in the rock on shore. Since the boat won’t swing, more boats can utilize a smaller area. Not a technique we’ve used on Maerin for some time, so given our unfamiliarity with the local conditions, we opted to swing. We dropped the dinghy and set off to explore. The other local conditions we’re unaccustomed to is ROCK! Big rock! And there’s no pattern to count on. Open water between shores is no assurance that there’s not a truck-sized boulder lurking just below the surface! So without a chart, dinghy travel can be treacherous! A sharp lookout and slow go is standard procedure.

We explored the area around the anchorage by dinghy, lots of beautiful cottages abound, some in the multi-million dollar range. Cottages range, as the photos reveal, from rustic to palatial. Some of the palatial real estate still has a rustic feel, despite the mammoth size, no doubt the architect’s intent! It truly gives “cottage industry” a whole different concept!

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