Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Georgian Bay

I have little to no experience with the Georgian Bay as a tourist destination, but for visiting personal properties, the complex archipelago that makes up the southern tip of the bay is a wonderful vacation destination. I spent time at a family friend’s cottage that sat on a small island (not much bigger than the cottage itself). In order to enjoy the bay properly, you at least need a small boat of your own. Exploring the less inhabited islands, boating in between the bigger ones, and looking at all of the properties and scenery are fun and interesting uses of time. Many of the waterfront properties are quite impressive, and I can imagine that it is quite a privilege to own a place on one of the more major islands. While we were there, we witnessed groups of daredevils taking turns jumping off a reasonably high cliff face that was just across from our cottage, returning either to the shore to go again, or to a waiting boat in the nearby water. More than once we went to an island for a picnic and some exploring/tide pooling. The further north you get, the more the bay opens up, and larger yachts would often cruise through the center channel on their way from a harbor to the open water. This presented an opportunity for my favorite activity, kayaking. The maneuverability and personal nature of kayaks makes them my favorite watercraft to use, because they offer so much control in any kind of water. I would kayak out from the island toward the channel and ride the wakes from larger boats as they left the harbor through the channel. If the boats came close enough, I could catch some decently sized waves without venturing out into the channel itself. If you’re a storm chaser, the gales that blow in from the bay can be quite impressive (as long as you don’t have to rush around shutting windows to protect against the blowing rain!). I experienced one gale while I was there, a storm that spun up very quickly, with high winds and hard rain that suddenly started coming inside through open windows. The storm would have been fun were it not for the small craft that capsized in the small channel between our island and a neighbor’s – the people made it to safety on the opposite shore but their boat lost its motor to the depths. Regardless, my trip to the Georgian Bay created many memories, and I would love a chance to return at some point in my life.

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