Top of Georgian Bay

No late sleeping at Golden Sword Island. It continued a bit windy and the surge was enough to encourage a fairly early rise and we were up anchor and under way shortly after 0800 hrs. Still a bit bumpy since our plot took us on a more exposed route, but not bumpy enough to dissuade us from continuing northward. Prevailing winds are westerly, and they were prevailing at about 15 kt. for the most part, but abated some by afternoon, enough that our ride smoothed out and the direction wasn’t dead on our nose, so the stabilizers were more effective at smoothing things over! We decided to push on toward Killarney and reserved an overnight slip there.

Killarney is a small, sleepy village that relies primarily on the tourist trade for fishing and outdoor recreation. The Killarney Mountain Lodge is an institution there, having been recently renovated. It’s a beautiful setting with the La Cloche mountains in the background. The mountains were conspicuously visible for miles on our approach, their quartzite granite appearing as snow caps. The La Cloche range is said to be over 3.5 billion years old, among the oldest mountain ranges on the earth, formed at a time before the earth had an atmosphere. Glaciers and eons of erosion have worn them down to a shadow of their once-towering profile, but they still are magnificent. Named by the French discoverers, the name means “bell”, for the legend of natives pounding on the solid rocks which created a ringing sound that was used as a means of communicating. Today, limited areas of the granite are quarried, with most of the area remaining protected wilderness. There are cottages dotting the shore, but not nearly the amount of development seen in southern Georgian Bay.


Killarney is home to Herbert Fisheries and “world-famous” fish & chips. Dinner out! We sampled the fish & chips, they were delicious, the fries- oh, ‘scuze me- the chips– were done to perfection and the ambience was top shelf. Go to the window, place order, wait what seemed like a long time, and take your fish & chips to the picnic tables on the pier. It’s evidently a traditional destination for cottagers, boaters, and campers- vacationers in general. We were told by more than a few local folks to make sure we didn’t miss Herbert Fish & Chips. OK, I figure that the fish is fresh, and it really was good, but my take is that most of these Canadian folks have never experienced a tray of hot crabs and cold beer on a hot summer evening, so it’s understandable that battered fried fresh fish is such a big hit. There’s fish & chips, then there’s seafood!

We completed the local destination scene with a follower of hand-dipped ice cream, and a stroll around town before retreating to the boat at mosquito time. The squirrel was watching our progress down the back street of the village, and reminded me of our houseboat experience many years ago when a young Michael marveled excitedly at the squirrels on his first visit to Canada- “Dad, dad, that squirrel’s black!! To which our Canadian friend Bill quipped, “it’s Canada, Mike- they’re all black!!

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