Moving to Georgian Bay in the spring
I know it's cold and snowy outside but...
I finally booked my slip in Georgina Bay (Midland) and will have the boat up there in the spring. I would like anyone with some experience to guide me in the following (understand if you don't want to give up your prized gunkhole though :o )
I'd like to take the family to a couple of (secluded?) places where the kids can go ashore (via dingy) to explore and we can perhaps even camp for the night. How do I go about finding whether I'm on someone's property (short of the irate owner standing there with a sharp object in his hand)?
I have the "Ports" book and will study it over the winter but thought I'd start my search here with some of you more knowledgable skippers.
Anyone willing to give up a Lat/Lon or two?
Tom, great to hear that you're on the move.
Ports is a great book, many gunkholes are listed and many are not. They also sometimes list the private properties or ask you to respect the anchorage as there is a cottage near by.
What I usually do is, chart my destination and then go to Google Earth to see what's around...ie: cottages, shoals, beaches.
Once you get to your marina, you'll find yourself with more information than you can handle by talking with your fellow sailors. You'll also get some help on this site. There are a few from the Midland Area.
You don't want to come up to Georgian Bay: the anchorages are already way too crowded...
(Lost Bay, Thanksgiving (CDN) - about a four-hour sail out of Midland)
(Hope Island - depending on the wind, about 4 - 5 hours out of Midland)
Some more Lost Bay Thanksgiving shots:
(Fairy Lake - accessible by hiking trails on Beausoleil Island)
If these photos haven't made you regret your decision, and you are still committed to coming up here then I've only one thing left to say: Welcome! (but don't tell anyone else how great it is - it's our secret!)
Can't tell you
If I tell you anything I'd have to sink your boat if I see you on the water. :D
Lots of great places close by that you can camp out overnight. Each have varying amounts of other boats.
Ports is a great book and will give you years of exploring and places to anchor. Study it well over the winter and pick out a few spots to try.
Beausoliel Island is a National Park, you can anchor in many locations and have access to camping sites on shore with a user fee. Our favorite is Tonche Point mainly because our kids go to the YMCA camp that is right there. There are a few campsites, a picnic shelter and campfires. and always room to anchor. It's probably 1-2 hour sail from Midland.
Beckwith Island and Hope Island, are owned by the Beausoliel First Nation but are unoccupied. They allow you to camp on the beach with a user fee for the night. We generally pick the Island that is most protected from the overnight winds, either Hope, West or East side of Christian. If you don't watch the winds you will find out what the "Beckwith Bounce" is. The East side of Christian is the most popular and on the Sept. long weekend I lost count at over 100 boats and a very jammed beach. That however is unusual. The Sept. long weekend was awsome weather and calm so a lot of powerboats that normally would stay home were out, Thanksgiving weekend there were 5 sailboats on the East side, only us on the West side and maybe 5-6 sailboats at Hope. ( we stayed at each over the weekend). As flyingwleshman said it can be a 4-6 hour sail depending on where you go. The open stretch between Giants Tomb and Beckwith is open to Georgian Bay and can get nasty if there is a strong North wind, otherwise it is fairly protected and decent sailing.
Beyond that you can head up past Twelve Mile Bay to Massassauga Prov. Park which has several islands with campsites available for a user fee. You can get a map from the park office, I called and they mailed one out to me.
There is also some Crown land in this area that is a little harder to get into, but worth it and you can go ashore.
I have a map called French Severn Forest Land use ( mentioned in Ports) and is available at White Squall | Contact Us It outlines all the public, provincial and crown land in this area. Also check this out Crown Land Use Policy Atlas
Beyond that, there is Killbear Prov. Park in Parry Sound that I've mentioned before. It can be busy, but has miles of beach, hiking trails, Interprative Centre and camping. It is 6-8 hours sailing in open water or protected channels inland.
One thing you will notice is the amount of boat traffic in the area compared to Toronto. The stretch up the west side of Beausoliel called the "Slot" can get very busy on the weekend and the powerboats can kick up a good wake. ( I describe trying to sail up through this area as trying to walk across the 401 and usually and up motoring until I get to more open water.)
Make sure you have a good chartplotter or study your charts well. There are lots of open water that has boat-biting rocks just below the surface.
Another great souce of info is this site, Sweetwater Crusing, developed by a writer in Midland that has done articles for Sailing mags and has written a few books.
Hope Island Thanksgiving weekend
Beckwith West Thanksgiving weekend
East of Giants Tomb. If you look closely there are a red and green buoys close together to mark the channel, otherwise you're on the rocks.
This one is only for the adventurists and is in my avatar, and I would only go here with a good chartplotter. You can camp on shore and have a campfire, but with the maneuvering around rocks and shoals to get in it is best done with a chartplotter that will guide you through. PM me if you're interested in the location. The payoff was a bay with only 2 other boats and a couple of cottages on the far side.
This video on Youtube is a good look at the area.
YouTube - GIANT'S TOMB ISLAND SAILING TRIP
Gordon Lightfoot Christian Island - Youtube video YouTube - Christian Island - Gordon Lightfoot - V20 -
wow guys! Thanks ever so much!
Welsh - We've traded emails before - I'm in a Nash 26 too!
I really appreciate it!
I think it is great you are moving there in the spring. That means you'll already be all set to enjoy the one week of summer! :D :D :D
Nah, he'll be unpacking and summer will pass right by... ;)
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