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Thread: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

  1. #71
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    After checking with the marina office if it'd be ok to leave my boat there for a while, I spent the afternoon walking around town. Coming to town via small boat, and then wandering around checking out bookstores and restaurants is one of my favorite things about long trips. But eventually it was time to move on. The winds were still favorable, so I settled in for another long run (not everyone can handle such a rigorous schedule, but luckily I still had more than half the pizza I had bought back in Killarney to fortify my resolve):



    I kept going into the evening as the wind slowly faded away. Finally busted out the oars a couple of miles SE of the good old Benjamin Islands again--I had come a long way, 30 miles more or less (probably could have sailed all the way back to Spanish if I hadn't stopped in town). A truly great afternoon/evening of sailing and pizza.



    Edit to add: I just noticed my "day 17 camp" marker is in the wrong place, on Croker Island. It should be at the southern tip of South Benjamin Island, which is the island just to the left. Bonus points to anyone who spots the Captain Ron reference.
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-06-2017 at 01:48 PM.
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  2. #72
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Not much more to report. Sailed into the Benjies (as they are never called) and anchored in a quiet corner of the southern side of the group, far from the main anchorage. Slept aboard, and woke early to cold-ish, overcast skies. With a rare burst of insight, I decided I'd be stuck under my boat tent in the rain if I didn't get moving right away, so I did. Sailed north and west toward Spanish, where I had left the car.

    Light winds, but steadily growing stronger (as usual). Rain threatening. Had to beat up the final channel west of Little Detroit (too lazy to row) and paid for it by being caught in a torrential downpour a mile from the marina. Gave up, dropped the sail, and rowed in.

    Cold and wet--left the boat at the dock and grabbed dry clothes from the car, enjoyed a hot shower, and loaded up the boat when the rain let up. All in all, a good summer. 18 days and 300 miles, maybe, in addition to 10 days and 150 miles on Lake Nipigon earlier in the summer. Time to head home (and hope my little car, with 240,000 miles on the odometer, would make it).

    So, that's it. Anyone else here done any sailing in Georgian Bay or the North Channel? Got any trips to other places to report? If not, get out there and do some sailing--you must be spending too much time building boats. Don't forget why you build 'em...

    Here's a last look at the whole trip:



    And one last photo from the Bustard Islands:



    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-06-2017 at 01:52 PM.
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  3. #73
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Excellent! Thanks, Tom.

  4. #74
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by MMonies View Post
    William Least Heat Moon, one of my favorites. I am sure you have read "River Horse." I think he would like you, Tom, and Jagular too.

    Jackie Monies- For Mike, who would concur
    My all time favorite book also.
    __________________________________________________ ________________________

  5. #75
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Great writing and really awesome photos, Thanks Tom! Definitely looks like a place I need to put on my list of 'places to go' for my Whitehall......

    Soni

  6. #76
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by workboat View Post
    Great writing and really awesome photos, Thanks Tom! Definitely looks like a place I need to put on my list of 'places to go' for my Whitehall......

    Soni
    What design is your whitehall? How big? I'm hoping to get my Alaska up to Georgian Bay this summer--perfect place to be.

    Tom
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  7. #77
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Tom,

    I'm relieved to find out that you did, in fact, make it back safe and sound to tell us this fine tale.

    Thanks again!
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  8. #78
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    So when are you bringing Fire-Drake out to sail on Georgian Bay? As a Canadian, you don't even need a passport for that trip. That looks like a cool boat you're building.

    Tom
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  9. #79
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    What design is your whitehall? How big? I'm hoping to get my Alaska up to Georgian Bay this summer--perfect place to be.

    Tom
    Tom,

    She is a 16 foot, one-off Whitehall, built by a gentleman by the name of Tim Jones. He built her in his basement, in Ontario Canada. Before I purchased her from him in 2011, he used her for some extensive sailing, rowing and camp cruising, in and around Georgian Bay, so the boat at least would feel right at home there....lol

    Here are a couple of pics....

    Soni














  10. #80
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Looks like a great boat--trad built, as well. That's cool. That good old whitehall shape (if not the trad details) seems strangely familiar:



    My only quibble would be the spritsail rig, which is a little inconvenient for reefing. Sure looks great, though!

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 09-06-2017 at 01:55 PM.
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  11. #81
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Your boat does look rather familiar Tom! Is this the boat you are working on? She sure is a beauty!!

    The rig on mine is not to bad as far as reefing goes because my snotter is set up, so I can just slide it up and down the mast as soon as tension from the boom is released.
    And of course.....there is always 'scandalizing' as well....lol
    My boat is a bit narrow on the beam for sailing in stronger airs, but I do really enjoy the way she rows!

  12. #82
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    So when are you bringing Fire-Drake out to sail on Georgian Bay? As a Canadian, you don't even need a passport for that trip. That looks like a cool boat you're building.

    Tom
    And then there's Lake of the Woods, another fine cross-border cruising area in western Ontario that I went sailing on many, many moons ago

    So many cruising areas, so little time!

    First things first. I have to finish the build, and I've just barely started.
    Alex

    "A man who is not afraid of the sea will soon be drowned, for he will be going out on a day he shouldn't. We do be afraid of the sea, and we only be drowned now and again" Aran Islands Fisherman

  13. #83
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Yep, that's my new boat which will launch this summer. It'll have a ketch rig with two boomless standing lugsails.

    For reefing your spritsail, do you ever run into problems with the base of the sprit hitting the deck when you're reefed all the way down?

    And how about flotation? I suppose packing it full of dry bags would help reduce the amount of water aboard, but I'd be a bit nervous about being out without enough to float her high enough for re-righting and bailing.

    Tom
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  14. #84
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    And then there's Lake of the Woods, another fine cross-border cruising area in western Ontario that I went sailing on many, many moons ago

    So many cruising areas, so little time!

    First things first. I have to finish the build, and I've just barely started.
    It's a measure of how priorities, I suppose. You start building a boat and keep at it until it's ready to sail. I start building a boat and abandon the build to borrow someone else's boat and go cruising. One of us is going to be done with his boat sooner than the other...

    Is Lake of the Woods rocky/cliffy at all? I really have a great preference for rocky shores and tall cliffs. Lake Nipigon was nice that way (cliffs) though not the same kind of slabby granite that I love so much about Georgian Bay.

    Tom
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  15. #85
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Lake of the Woods is mostly relatively low rocky bits and a lot of shore hugging conifer trees. A real maze of islands, though not the same as the 30,000 in Georgian Bay, rocky lumps with little...windswept vegetation. Still pretty neat. the downside from my point of view is the thousands on cottages throughout, particularly in the norther Canadian portions. I'd recommend September to be free of most of the crowds on the water and those claiming jurisdiction extending beyond the rocky tree'd bits. Delightful none-the-less.

    I think Rainy Lake and the border lakes in the Quetico are more interesting.

    I really think a better cruise....at least from my point of view is perhaps starting from Marathon and cruising down the Pukaskwa, possibly to Michipcotan. Many of the bays are really too small for "real cruising boats" but for kayaks and oar and sail cruising boats, pretty much perfect. About 1 day in three or maybe four will normally be a weather day. It is almost never too hot, and seldom really cool in the summer. Lots of hours of daylight and most of that good and sunny in the summer.

    You could work around the Islands outside Rossport or start from Terrace Bay out to the Slate Islands. But I would start with Pukaskwa....I loved it there.
    Last edited by gilberj; 01-29-2015 at 10:38 PM.

  16. #86
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by gilberj View Post
    I really think a better cruise....at least from my point of view is perhaps starting from Marathon and cruising down the Pukaskwa, possibly to Michipcotan. Many of the bays are really too small for "real cruising boats" but for kayaks and oar and sail cruising boats, pretty much perfect. About 1 day in three or maybe four will normally be a weather day. It is almost never too hot, and seldom really cool in the summer. Lots of hours of daylight and most of that good and sunny in the summer.

    You could work around the Islands outside Rossport or start from Terrace Bay out to the Slate Islands. But I would start with Pukaskwa....I loved it there.
    I finally drove around Lake Superior for the first time this past summer, and the Pukaskwa is extremely appealing, that's for sure. I imagine I'll get there soonish-ly. A step up, maybe, in seriousness from Georgian Bay--colder water, bigger fetches. Looks really cool.

    Tom
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  17. #87
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan St Gean View Post
    While doing a one way trip by kayak of the Killarney to the Key river, we enjoyed a bit of navigational help from the previously bought nautical charts--which I hope to use again soon (it's been too long). Alternately on another kayak trip to the Apostle Islands, I bought a placemat with a reduced size overview of the area to stash on my deck--waterproof too!

    Dan
    So Dan,

    where's your thread on your kayak trip? Where did you all camp?

    Tom
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  18. #88
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    What a great thread to read for a guy who has just come in from snow-blowing 700 ft of driveway. I've wandered and gunk-holed in most of those areas. All of the North Channel waters and Georgian Bay, and also Lake of the Woods. And Pukaskwa. I LOVE that country.

    In fact Black Bay is the only place I've ever touched Drake to a rock.

    Nice job of bringing it all to life on the screen!

    Dave

  19. #89
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    OK, a bump to this old thread to say--Down with Photobucket!

    I am slowly resurrecting this thread by re-inserting all the photos that got cut. Coincidentally, I'm also heading out to Georgian Bay again for a solo cruise this fall--like, tomorrow--so while I'm waiting at the marina I got started with the first couple of posts.

    But it's going to take a while... Likely I won't really get going until after Sep 20 when my trip brings me back home.

    Cheers,

    Tom
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  20. #90
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Where are you putting in?
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  21. #91
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Yes, what's your route? Perhaps we can rendezvous.

  22. #92
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Dave and Ron,

    I'm launching at Spanish--probably Tuesday afternoon/evening or even Wednesday. I have to get some trailer repairs done first as one of the wheels is about ready to fall off, so I'm taking it to the local repair shop first thing in the morning.

    I plan to spend my first night around the Benjamin Islands, then head east to pass around the north end of Great La Cloche Island and on through Killarney area. So, I might camp somewhere near Killarney on Day 3 (which would be Thursday or Friday). Then head east/south paralleling the small craft inshore route, through the Fox Islands and the Bustards, with maybe a stop along the way in the French River Delta.

    So, I'd guess reaching the Bustards sometime around Day 6 (Sunday or Monday)--that's about as specific a plan as I have. I aim to be back at Spanish on Sep 20th, so I might not go much farther than the Bustards on this trip. And of course it's all weather-dependent, too.

    A rendezvous would be fun if it works out--does it sound workable to you? I should be on and off the Internet all day and part of tomorrow, but after that I'll be out of touch. Let me know what you think.

    Cheers!

    Tom
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  23. #93
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    So you will sneak through the channel near Dreamers Rock?

    We've never been up that far by boat, from either end.

    Have fun
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  24. #94
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Ron,

    I didn't know what Dreamers Rock was--had to look it up. But yes, that's the channel. I much prefer going around north like that and staying out of Little Current. Doesn't work for boats that can't fit under the bridges, of course!

    Tom
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  25. #95
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Nice. We've driven over that spot.

    Horror stories about crashing the docks while underestimating the "Little Current ", are common.
    The parking meters on the docks must be a new thing.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  26. #96
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    I don't think I'll be that far North this year, too bad.

    If your plans change, and you end up farther South, let me know.

    Dave

  27. #97
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    I don't think I'll be that far North this year, too bad.

    If your plans change, and you end up farther South, let me know.

    Dave
    Well, it was a nice thought. With having to be back in Spanish around Sep. 20th, I doubt I'll make it farther south this time. Now, NEXT year I might be going lots of places for a long time!

    Tom
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  28. #98
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    If you decide to drive home south-around, I'm near Barrie. Feel free to bunk in if reqd.

  29. #99
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    OK, this thread is resurrected, post-Photobucket. And I'm still waiting on trailer repairs and thunderstorms (there's actually a "waterspout watch" for northern Georgian Bay right now) to clear before heading out to revisit some of the same areas in my Alaska:



    Can't wait!

    Tom
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  30. #100
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    If you decide to drive home south-around, I'm near Barrie. Feel free to bunk in if reqd.
    Dave,

    I appreciate the offer--very kind. I'm afraid this year it's north around, though, as I'm on a deadline. With luck we'll be able to do some sailing together in the future, though. I know I'll be back, and haven't really gotten much south of the Bustards yet, so lots to explore.

    Tom
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  31. #101
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Rowed down to the end of the channel and raised the sail again (wind, finally) near the lighthouse, then sailed a few miles up the coast in the early evening, looking for a sheltered spot to anchor or camp. Found it at Tarvat Bay:



    Judging by the name, I thought, there must have been some Innuit influence in the place names around here. Then I found the real reason it's called Tarvat Bay--a big vat of tar that used to be used to coat the cotton fishing nets up until the fisheries crashed in the 1960s:



    Explored around, and found a little water snake who would stretch up vertically for air every few minutes:



    I ate a gazillion handfuls of fresh blueberries (one of the major culinary benefits of Ontario sailing--if you can avoid the bears!) and then anchored out to enjoy a "gourmet" experience, courtesy of my stop in town at Killarney:



    Good stuff! Spent a miserable night being devoured by mosquitos. Finally got up in the middle of the night to row way out into the lake, but they followed me. Worst night (mosquito-wise) of the entire summer. Uggh.
    Too bad, you didn't get the best Fish & Chips (fresh fish delivered to the dock) at the School Bus in Killarney!

  32. #102
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Loon View Post
    Too bad, you didn't get the best Fish & Chips (fresh fish delivered to the dock) at the School Bus in Killarney!
    Ah, but I DID get the fish and chips (although they don't serve from the bus anymore as of 2017--they have an actual indoor restaurant now). The pizza was just extra for take-out after the first meal. That fish is great--and on my 2017 trip, there was a whole family of 6 or 7 otters crawling in and out of the fishing boat tied up at the dock.

    Tom
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  33. #103
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Ah, but I DID get the fish and chips (although they don't serve from the bus anymore as of 2017--they have an actual indoor restaurant now). The pizza was just extra for take-out after the first meal. That fish is great--and on my 2017 trip, there was a whole family of 6 or 7 otters crawling in and out of the fishing boat tied up at the dock.

    Tom
    Tom, I really enjoyed seeing your GB cruise. I've paddled the area from Killarney to Parry Sound for 25 years in my kayaks.

    I'm hoping to do a cruise this summer if I find an Oughtred boat.

    I heard about the new restaurant. Those silly people who got rid of the school bus and put up a regular forgettable building. They didn't realize how we love that bus how unique their place was. The fish is still good, but I'll miss that old bus.

    Here's a video of GB plus the fish and chips bus at the end. Fair-well little landmark! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWs7btFUVmI

    I live in Maine now which is of course wonderful. I have family in Sudbury just northeast of GB. My family's had cottages on Lake Panache which borders the whole northern side of Killarney Provincial Park. As a teen I portaged into KPP and camped for days and never saw a soul. I had to move to New England to learn how PAY to CAMP with a bunch of other people! Sometimes we don't realize how lucky we are as kids.

    I think Georgian Bay's 30,000 Island area is heaven. It's taken me 60 years to realize I don't like to paddle, I like to explore.

    I love the labyrinths of of passages there are to explore there. Orchids, wild berries, songbirds, five lined skinks, rattle snakes, otter, mink, bear, moose you name it, I've seen it there. Swimming is great. Filter your fresh water. Burn in the relentless sun, and watch out for killer thunderstorms which blow into northern GB off Lake Superior. I expect at least one massive T-storm each time. One thunderstorm lasted 17 hours.

    All the best,
    Rob Macks
    Laughing Loon Custom Canoes & Kayaks
    http://www.laughingloon.com/
    207-549-3531


    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  34. #104
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Rob,

    thanks for your last post--I really enjoyed the video link. Sure reminds me of my own trips to the 30,000 Islands (and funny how even in a kayak you can run aground there!) Beautiful boat, too.

    The restaurant is quite recent, I think. The bus was still there on my 2014 trip. The fish is still the best I've had, restaurant or bus.

    I think I'll probably be coming up to Georgian Bay again this July for 2-3 weeks. I may launch from Killarney this time to save about a week of sailing over from Spanish and back--that ought to get me into lots of new places with a lot more time to explore.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  35. #105
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III in Georgian Bay

    Would you do some island hopping across to Tobermory?
    BTW, Killarney is a long way,by road,from everywhere.
    If you look at a map, you might notice that you've almost doubled back to Little Current,which is only 20-odd miles away.
    You might consider Whitefish Falls/Birch Island for launching. Lots of MacGregor Bay water-access cottagers keep boats there. It's 20-30 minutes south of Espanola.
    Little Current is another 20-odd minutes south of Whitefish.
    The Killarney channel gets to be solid with boats in July and August,as does the village with other traffic.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

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