123 miles to Drummond Island, USA

We went from Killarney to Gore Bay which is 51 miles, and is part of the North Channel.  We had a great night in Gore Bay met some gold loopers Steve and Ray on a very cool 36 Katie Krogen Manatee and had dinner with our friends Jeff and Beth from Tom Cat.  Jeff and Beth have cruised the great lakes for many years so getting knowledge from them was great.  Gore Bay Marina was a nice spot, good fuel and ship store on site along with good places to eat.  Gore Bay is a town on Manitoulin Island in Ontario.  Harbour master Lee can be reached at 705-282-2906 for reservations or info.

From Gore Bay we went to Drummond Island which is 72 miles.  It is a island on the north-east side of Michigan, we checked through US customs here at Drummond Island Yacht Haven (800) 543-4743.  This is a nice marina the loopers get a discount here, dockage is only 1$ per foot.  They have a ship-store, haul-out facility, fuel and a fleet of rental vehicles.  Drummond island hosts a very rare environment known as alvar, a grassy limestone plain found only in a few places worldwide, the best example being on Drummond Island. The last 130 miles on the North Channel has been pretty windy and rough, we are happy to stay here for two nights and catch up on some things.  The Bayflower will arrive today, check through customs and hopefully we will be doing some cruising together when we leave!

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Killarney Light 

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62 Nordhavn, great expedition boat single 375hp motor, 8-10knots with bulbous bow 

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Barefoot Shoes gold loopers left and Tom Cat right 

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51 miles to Killarney

The trip across the west side of Georgian Bay was great, had a 1.5′ following sea.  Stopped at Killarney Mountain Lodge 705 698-1497  This place is a resort with all the amenities anyone would want.  Lots of custom 4wheelers on site because that’s what the maintenance crews drive around.  they have fuel, pump out, new docks, coffee shop on the dock.  Pool, sauna, great restaurants, lots of room to relax.  Last night they played the Tragically Hip final concert on the big screen, thats  a very well-known Canadian band.  Another cool thing about this resort is none of the rooms have tv’s, they take pride in this fact.  I’ll for sure come back to this marina and maybe even drive the truck up here for some winter fun, burn some bonfires and what not.

below a video from Tobermory, the shipwrecks in Big Tub Harbour.  Taken from my dingy with the GoPro

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101 miles to Tobermory

Crossing Georgian Bay was awesome, seas were 1′ or less in the morning and laid down to almost glass conditions in the late morning and afternoon.  Georgian Bay water is crystal clear, clear like Gin as my dad would say!  Its like the Caribbean, I never get tired of my prop wash looking like beautiful blues and diamonds.  Tobermory is a small community located at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula it is 190 miles northwest of Toronto.

The community is known as the “fresh water SCUBA diving capital of the world” because of the numerous shipwrecks that lie in the surrounding waters, especially in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Tobermory and the surrounding areas are popular vacation destinations.  People come for the beaches, the diving, the unspoiled countryside and the relaxed pace of life.  I will say all the tourists from the city make it seem less relaxed compared to the last couple weeks on the Trent Severn.  The town lies north of the Bruce Peninsula National Park.

Tobermory Harbour is a great marina with easy access docks and very protected from wind and waves. Call the Harbour office for availability of slips (519) 596-2731

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beautiful conditions coming across Georgian Bay  IMG_8993

prop wash in different light conditions is so cool 

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beautiful Little Tub Harbour

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Finally found another Florida boat my new friends Diane and JP from St. Pete, on a very cool PDQ Power Cat the “MOONSTRUCK”.  They have spent all summer exploring the Canadian waters and Great Lakes.

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this is a good boat name for a doctor

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18 miles to Midland locks 44 Big Chute & 45

Today are the last two locks we have to do on the Trent system, the next locks will be just south of Chicago.  It’s nice to know were not going to have to do anymore locks for a month or two lol!  we have done over 80 so far.  Big Chute was really a sight to behold, and one of the coolest things I have done with Pura Vida this far!  After Big Chute and lock 45 we arrived at WYE Heritage Marina in Midland Ontario the number here is 1 705-526-0155.  This marina has great private shower facilities that are brand new and you could literally have 10 people in the private shower rooms and not be crowded lol they also have a heated swimming pool, Floating docks for vessels up to 100′, full service repairs, marine chandlery and parts department, indoor and outdoor storage, multi-purpose sports surface, laundry, playground, 24-hour surveillance, social events, dockside amenities, complimentary wifi.  The World famous Henry’s Fish Restaurant is located on-site.  While here I replaced a coolant hose on my STBD engine that was leaking, and refilled the cooling system with CAT-ELC coolant.  With a parts department a short walk from the boat, I could get what I needed.  I met some very awesome Canadians while I was here, they went out of their way to be frendly and make me feel welcomed.  I love the frendlieness of all the people up here, its been so refreshing.

 below is a link to a short youtube video I put together of the Big Chute.

below is a video my dad made on his phone of the boats that went before us

Arial of WYE Heritage Marina, this marina has 1,000 slips which makes it the biggest fresh water marina in Canada.

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35 miles to Big Chute locks 42&43

Another beautiful route, we stayed at Big Chute Marina 1 705-756-2641.  This is a wonderful spot to stop and watch the Big Chute Marine Railway in action.  it is right next to the rail, they have power and there is also a restaurant here at the marina that has very good comfort food.  I’ll add a video of the marine railway in action on my next post.

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These unlucky cruisers missed the channel completely and ramped a few dozen rocks, always know where you are so this doesn’t happen to you 

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Big Chute in the background 

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25 miles to Orillia locks 37-41

We did locks 37-41 which are all in a 4 mile stretch, all these locks lower you when heading west to Lake Simcoe.  We crossed lake Simcoe to get to Port of Orillia Marina (705) 326-6314, this is a nice spot to stop and provision and get a nice dinner out on the town.  The Italian place called “Cosmo’s” was the best Italian ive had all trip and it was amazing!  If you pay for two nights here the third is free.  We are staying two because the weather is rainy, this area really needs rain its been dry and there is a watering ban.

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72 miles on the Trent, locks 28-36

Going through the town of Bobcaygeon was cool.  34 miles to Bobcaygeon, it is the busiest lock on the system.  Centre Point Landing Marina (705) 738-3463 right after lock 32 was a great spot to overnight with power and water, the owner and her daughters were very accommodating and the town is only 2km away which is a 6min bike ride.  They can also order boat parts for you here.  We found an Italian place to eat Donattela Bar & Grill, food was great and we got a salmon pizza to go for the next day of cruising.

From Bobcaygeon its 38 miles to the Talbot River where we stayed at Sunset Cove Marina, this is after Liftlock 36.  Liftlock 36 (the second of two liftlocks on the whole system)  is the summit of the lock system on the Trent.  At this point we are at 840ft above sea-level.  From here on out the rest of the locks will be lowering us.  Sunset Cove Marina (705) 426-5221  is a super great spot to stop as well.  water is great for swimming, big gas grills are available for use ice cream store on site and quiet easy in easy out with fuel and pump out.

Trent Canal was beautiful and narrow, you have to perform a security call before entering because if two boats of size 30’+ meet in this ditch someone is going to have to back up the whole way because there is no room for passing or turning.  Walls and bottom are jagged rock so make sure you don’t have to get close for any reason.

another short clip

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