From Parry Sound we headed for the Bustard Islands. We had been anticipating this stop for it’s reported remoteness and wildlife.
We dropped the hook towards the back of the anchorage as there were already 6 or so other boats that were enjoying the “long weekend”. After 2 nights the local boats left and we moved up into better protection, anchoring and then tying off to a tree to keep us just off the rocks.
By day we explored all the canals in the dingy and headed out on the SUPs multiple times a day as (again) there wasn’t the option to walk anywhere. In the early evenings we would gather for “rocktails” with INNTW on one of the many rock islands. With the sun setting late it meant we had plenty of light until 9:45pm or so to gather for a pre dinner drink, head back to our respective boats, cook dinner and still be in bed before it was completely dark. Yes, it is true that cruisers do call 9:00 pm “cruisers midnight”.
On our third day out at the Bustard Islands John & Gina (Alysana) arrived and anchored near us. We had not see them since Yorktown, VA back in May. Fortunately we caught up with them for an hour or so as they were moving on the next day. As with good friends, it is not like any time had passed.
It was here at the Bustards that 2 of the INNTW kids saw bears swim in front of their kayak and then their entire family saw another 2 bears on shore. We missed both and were jealous but happy to hear they all saw a bear.
After 3 nights we were ready to move on. Next stop we decided was Bad River which was only 8 miles away. As we traveled the scenery was changing before our eyes. There were fewer trees, the granite rocks were more dominant and they had a pinkish color.
We cruised around for a bit in the bay and then looked at a granite wall to tie up to. Fortunately there was one boat already tied up and they offered to help us. We scrambled to find all of our fenders and lines which we had put away as they are not needed when anchoring and then walked off our deck onto the wall to tie off the numerous lines to a few trees, a rock and a pin. An hour later we repeated the process and helped INNTW tie up behind us.
The local boat near us warned us of the Massasauga rattlesnake. For the last week we haven’t been able to walk much simply due to the lack of clear space to do so. We are finally in a location with a tiny space to stretch our legs it is the home to poisonous snakes. Great, just great. So we all found long sticks and would poke at the dry brush and rocks as we moved, hoping to scare off any snakes. Worth a try I guess.
More of the same in Bad River – dingy rides to go explore the surrounding areas, some SUPing and also a lot of blueberry picking.
We did have a couple of days of either thunderstorms or high winds while at Bad River. Being tied up to the granite wall made it convenient to get the dog to shore and to just get ourselves off the boat, even if it meant we were just sitting somewhere different.
This is where we parted ways with INNTW as they are on their final days of their Loop back to Michigan. We first met them in NW Florida, reconnected and crossed to the Bahamas together, reconnected in Baltimore, and finally again spent time in Georgian Bay. Their boat name says it all and we could not agree more – If Not Now Then When. It is wonderful to see families taking a year together and traveling together. The kiddos (and their parents) will be forever changed. We wish them well as they reenter work, school and life after The Great Loop. We will sacrifice and carry on the tradition of hitting as many breweries as possible along the rest of our trip. Only because we think that is what Mike & Kelly would have wanted, it is all their fault.
From Bad River we decided to keep going past Beaverstone Bay and into Mill Lake. The very strong west winds from the past 2 days had died down and it was a pleasant 14 mile trip. We dropped anchor in our own private spot and tried to enjoy the afternoon.
Truth be told we were both getting a bit antsy. Not a lot of walking the past week and a half + a bit too much wind to take down the SUPs + weedy water not fit for extended swimming challenged both of our sanity a bit. Oh and + someone has had no luck fishing and + that same someone finished all his downloaded books and wasn’t sure what to do next so started pacing back and forth. All that said the area was beautiful and remote – everything we truly do love but if only we could add in some sort of opportunity to walk/explore. So we took multiple dingy rides (looking for bears), made an amazing dinner and agreed we needed the option to do more at our next stop.
Thomas Bay was our next stop and only 11 miles away. We dropped the anchor, looked at each other and said in unison let’s stay for 2 nights. In our opinion it was a great spot – clear water, we could use the SUPs and there was some decent walking options nearby. The only downside was the water temp was now 55F. Brr, no longer were we bathing in the water off our swim step at the end of each day.
From Thomas Bay we needed to move to Little Current for the night. Little Current is a town of 1,500 but surprisingly had all that we were seeking – restaurants, ice cream and of course there were errands again. Grocery store, gas for the dingy, laundry, WiFi. Same errands just a different town to do it all in.
Next we will pick up friends Mike & Brittany Roska in Killarney. It will be fun to have guests aboard again and to share this beautiful area of the Georgian Bay.
As mentioned in the past we feel we are only able to share 10% of all that happens to us each day – we hope at the very least we can try to express just how beautiful this area is.