Parry Sound to Kilarney
Posted on September 17, 2018
Mon/ Tue, Sep 10 -11. Parry Sound / Kilcoursie Bay. As predicted, Monday was rainy, windy and cold. We took taxi up to grocery store and then hung out at boat most of day. Went back up to Boston’s Pizza to watch Monday night football. Didn’t want to walk to far in the rain the cold. On Tuesday morning, we took the dinghy over to the seaplane docks and went for our tour. Normally, the tour is 35 minutes from dock to dock but since it was the first flight of day, the plane needed extra time warming up so we were 48 minutes. While it was still overcast, it was a beautiful flight over the region and a very different perspective from the air. We flew over the areas we would be transiting and over the areas we had already been by. One cottage had a tennis court and a pool and believe the owners are American according to pilot. I got to sit in the co-pilot seat and enjoyed talking to our pilot Alex. After our flight, Bob and I walked into town for breakfast at Orr’s Meats & Deli. The famous hockey player, Bobby Orr, is from this area and the deli is owned or was owned by an uncle in the Orr family. There is also a Bobby Orr museum right next to the marina.
Once we got back to the boat around 11:30, we departed for an anchorage off of Kilbear Provincial Park in Kilcoursie Bay with a stop across the bay for fuel & a pumpout. While there weren’t any other boats at our anchorage, there were lots of RV campers all along the shore and many of them were out paddle boarding, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, etc. Bob and I stayed bundled up on the boat as it was still chilly out there. Enjoyed a quiet (and dark) evening under the stars and watching the glow from all the campfires on shore.
Wed, Sept 12. Hopewell Bay / Wright’s Marine, Britt, Ont. Weighed anchor in the morning and headed to another quiet bay called Hopewell Bay. Again, no one around and we were enjoying our solitude when we realized we had an issue with our holding tank that required our being in a marina. (will spare you the details). There aren’t a lot of marinas in these parts and our options were to back track 15 miles or continue forward for 25 miles. It was already 3:30 in the afternoon and our concern was getting to the marina before dark. You do not want to be underway in the dark while dodging gigantic granite boulders everywhere. In addition, the wind was up in the afternoon and we had to cross an open expanse of water so it was bumpy, making 90 degree turns, and stay in the marked channel. The markers were not easy to see in the late afternoon sun. But we made it to the marina at 7:00pm and even though the marina was closed, we had 3 people come out to assist us (resolved our holding tank issue) and get us into a slip. It was a very stressful afternoon which called for some strong Cosmos for Bob and I. Munched on some cheese and crackers and called it a night.
Thu, Sept 13. The Bustards. In the morning, we went for a dinghy ride to buy a few needed groceries then headed out. The topography from here on really starts to change as you head towards the North Channel. Whereas Georgian Bay is populated by granite islands and lots of trees & cottages, the North Channel is a lot more barren with these gigantic granite boulders everywhere that look like whales in the water (not very many trees) . One must keep total focus & vigilance and STAY in the marked channel or end up shipwrecked on a rock. There were lots of hair pin 90 degree turns and narrow channels. Arrived safely at our anchorage in The Bustards and were immediately greeted by our favorite Loons. The Bustards is a collective group of islands and we picked one of the coves that had been written up in Active Captain. Thought we had the place to ourselves but late in the day a sailboat made its way in but anchored a good ways from us. Very few cottages in the area so the anchorage was pitch black at night. Grilled some pork chops with roasted Brussel sprouts and watched our Loon friends come near.
Fri, Sept 14. Bad River. Chose another anchorage that was supposed to be pretty cool due to the “rapids” you can ride in your dinghy. We arrived and went to explore the rapids. There was a bit of strong current racing through the narrow shallow cut but “rapids”? No. We kept exploring thinking we would come to actual rapids but guess that was it. Again, we are the only boat anchored here but did see a couple of boats zip by to go through the rapids and a few boats fishing. The area is supposed to be a great place to catch Wall Eye (Pickerel). Unfortunately we didn’t bring any fishing gear or have the requisite license to fish. Sure would love to catch some pickerel and cook it up! We are hoping to find a fishing guide that will take us fishing.
Sat / Sun, Sept 15 -16. Kilarney Mountain Lodge. Wow, this place is picturesque. As soon as we arrived, decided that we would stay more than one night. Beautiful property with lodging, pool, sauna, restaurant and bar with great view, red Adirondack chairs on all the docks, picnic area, canoes & paddle boards for rent, short walk to general store and liquor store. Made reservations for dinner at 6:30 at the Lodge. Dinner did not disappoint. Bob decided to try their “game special” which was Elk and I had their rack of lamb. Delicious. I tasted the Elk and it was good and not too gamey. Met a nice couple from Stratford, Ontario (David & Laural) that were docked next to us and enjoyed talking to them.
Also called a fishing guide (Robert aka“Bungy”) and made arrangements to go out fishing on Sunday morning at 8:00am. Morning arrived and the fog was as thick as pea soup and we had to wait until 1:00pm before it cleared and off we went. What fun! Not only catching fish (Pike) but zipping around with Bungy’s local knowledge at fast speeds while dodging rocks. Bob and I both landed some fish and we missed a couple that got off right before boating them. Our guide Bungy cleaned the fish and we brought it home to enjoy some of it tomorrow evening. Had to freeze some as it was quite a bit.
So ends our experience on Georgian Bay as we start the North Channel tomorrow. Another great week ends on our great adventure. Stay tuned!