Saturday, July 28, 2012

Midland on up to Parry Sound…and Yes I Chickened Out

We ended up staying in Midland a lot longer than we had planned. When we pulled in on July 22nd we had planned on staying only two nights for a little rest and to take on some provisions. We ended up staying a third night because they, like many marinas, have a buy-two-nights-get-one-free deal. So instead of a Tuesday departure we would leave on Wednesday. But that didn’t happen as we both decided that we needed a bit more of a break and the weather soured on Wednesday and Thursday. So we took another of the above mentioned deals and decided to leave on Saturday the 28th.

The weather forecast was good for our 64 nm cruise up to Parry Sound. It was sunny and clear with only light winds to start. But of course as we have experienced frequently the winds did pick up in the afternoon to around 15 knots. It wasn’t so bad as the wind was kind of coming at an angle to our bow and we would slice into the waves almost head on which is a lot more comfortable than from the sides. Not too bad. We pulled into the very large Parry Sound around 2:30 pm having made excellent time early on. There were points of the cruise that we were moving at over nine knots which is always a good thing. Parry Sound is very large and it took us another ninety minutes to make it to the marina.

I guess I spooked people at the docks when I brought the boat in. I came into our assigned slip kind of hot to compensate for wind which was coming at us off our port bow. And as it was a port side bow in tie up I felt I needed to get her in tight to the finger dock and not take the chance of the wind starting to push the boat towards our slip-neighbor on our starboard side. I got her in just fine but some people kind of freaked. But all’s well that ends well. It was a clean docking and that, as they say, is that.

Ok. What is with the part of the title about me chickening out? One of the most special aspects of cruising Georgian Bay is cruising on what is called the small vessel route, or small craft route or some such variation of that. It winds, twists and turns through all of the coves and reaches going up into the northern shore of Georgian Bay. It is beautiful. We have seen gobs of pictures and videos and it does look fantastic. The problem is there is much disagreement of what the largest size craft should be to transit the channel. To say there are rocks is a gross understatement for that is the main feature of the waterway. It is fantastic. But some say that 36 foot is the maximum. Some say 50 foot with up to five or six feet draft. Some say that it is a pleasure cruise like no other while others say it is a sure way to get a nervous condition. For the most part I think that Why Knot could do it. The problem is with her captain. There were parts of the Trent Severn that kind of freaked me out. And as I am the one piloting the thing I decided that the small vessel route is not for us. So we are going to go outside into the bay itself and hop up the coast.

Next on our cruise is Bying Inlet, then Killarney, then Gore Bay and finally Drummond Island back in the good ol’ USA.