|The Wreck of the Avalon Voyager
On October 29, 1980 gale warnings were up for Northern Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. The wooden cargo ship Avalon Voyager was at sea in an attempt to move from Kincardine to Owen Sound before winter set in, but she came to grief at the entrance to Georgian Bay, within sight of the protective arms of the Bruce Peninsula.
Less than an hour after changing course for the Cape Hurd Channel the Avalon Voyager should have been safely in the Bay. But in the storm-dark dawn with growing seas, the Skipper had to... CLICK HERE
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Boating & Cruising on Georgian Bay, Ontario
Whether you own a run-about, sailboat or mega yacht ... few can argue that Georgian Bay is recognized as a premiere destination for boaters to cruise in paradise. While the Bahamas and eastern Caribbean are a great winter respite from the harsh winters of the north ... and the quaintness of the Chesapeake is certainly very appealing ... and let's not forget the vast, largely uninhabited, Pacific coastline north of Vancouver ... but when it comes to the rugged beauty of windswept pines, on colorful rock, scoured clean by glaciers, offering snug anchorages and sunsets to die for - nothing compares to Georgian Bay. Georgian Bay draws cruising yachts from near and afar to experience nature’s best in amongst the 30,000 Islands and the North Channel. The loneliness and sheer beauty of gunk-holing in remote anchorages is contrasted by picturesque towns and urban ports of call that make Georgian Bay cruising so interesting.
We hope this Georgian Bay directory will be of assistance to sailors and power boaters alike when planning vacations, researching ports of call or simply looking for a quiet weekend anchorage to relax. The directory includes boat services, area events, points of interest, maps and even weather related links. Over time, the site will grow larger and we will include some of the characters and vagabonds that historically and currently ply the Bay. We have included the ports, towns and cities where you can provision for extended cruising or tie up to a dock to dine out. Emergency services are included and information on the many Georgian Bay Provincial Parks that you will want to visit along the way.
Just a reminder to update your charts. Georgian Bay and the North Channel are at the best of times tricky to navigate. Hundreds of shipwrecks and thriving prop shop businesses are testament to the boat mishaps that take place due to underwater hazards on the Bay.
With lower water levels, comes changes to navigable routes. Visit www.notmar.gc.ca to pick up Coast Guard - Notices to Mariners. You can also register to have the notices for the charts in your possession to be sent to you automatically as navigation hazards and changes take place.
If you have special photographs of your boat, the landscape or your adventures that you want to share, by all means, send them along to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try and include them. If you have a cruising experience that is of interest to boaters ... we'd love to hear about it. And let's not forget that Georgian Bay is about rugged natural beauty ... so many of our feature Flash photographs will be inspiring so that during the cold winter months, you can dream about yachting on the Bay. For "easy to find" up to date power boat and sailing resource information, we hope that you will come back often to check out the latest news on Boating Georgian Bay™.
Here is what the crew of Brazilian cruising yacht Jade had to say
about Georgian Bay.
|Photo is JADE in Hindson Marine, Penetanguishene
We are a Brazilian crew in a Brazilian flag trawler cruising around the world. We just finished cruising the gorgeous Georgian Bay and North Channel. It was much more pleasant than we expected. People are very friendly, waters are sensational, views and images are impossible to describe. As a world cruiser we doubt that we are going to see such a marvelous place as we saw in this country mostly in the Georgian Bay and N. Channel. Congratulations for the beautiful Country you have.
Jack, Denise and Beatriz
Trawler Jade's crew
To start things off, here's some helpful links to other area resources.
Georgian Bay Vacations
Travel To Georgian Bay
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
US Yachts Customs Information
When Arriving North Channel/Georgian Bay
Boats arriving from the USA (or any other country for that matter) must report to Canada Customs. You will need your passports or Nexus Cards. There are a number of marine telephone reporting sites on Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Call 1-866-996-3987 for more information.
Visitor Information - Requirements for foreign recreational boaters in Canadian waters
Georgian Bay Islands National Park
The Georgian Bay Park Islands (26 total) reach from Honey Harbour to Twelve Mile Bay. Lying on the edge of the Canadian Shield these islands harbour plant and animal species of northern and southern varieties which makes this "edge effect" unique in the Canadian Park system. The northern areas of the Park are barren glacier cleaned rock dotted with wind swept white pines while in the southern section on the Park's largest island ... Beausoleil offers thicker richer soil supporting hardwood trees that make the environment quite different. The area is known for the 33 amphibian and reptile species that live in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Beausoleil Island is also refuge for the shy Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake which is Ontario's only poisonous snake. Raccoons, wolves, bears, porcupines, deer, muskrat and a host of bird species are common to the Park.
|Frying Pan Bay|
Traditionally there have been many first nation aboriginal hunter gatherers that have occupied the Park islands including Saugeen, Odawa, Algonkian, Wendat and Ojibwa tribes. The Ojibwa arrived early 18th century. There was a reserve on Beausoleil Island between 1836 to 1856. In 1856 the band was moved to Christian Island from Beausoleil due to the poor farming and subsistence conditions. In 1929 the Park was established and the few remaining settlers relocated to the mainland or to other islands. One of the last to leave was the Joe Corbiere family - a French voyageur with a homestead at Frying Pan Bay on the north end of Beausoleil. Joe spoke English, French and Ojibwa. They had a few livestock, a large garden, trapped and fished the area. The homestead location can still be identified by the Lilac Bush that still grows along the Bay.
|Frying Pan Bay|
Boat docking is available at various Park locations as follows:
Cedar Springs (Toby Dock) 25
Cruiser Dock 7
McCabe Rock 4
Wana Keta 12
Little Dog 8
Frying Pan 12
Bone Island 12
Total 90 dock spots. Of course the size of boats determine actual number of available spaces. Most boats anchor out and bottom holding is good - usually sand/clay in nature.
Park staff are currently upgrading the Beausoleil Cedar Springs area and some buildings have been removed at various locations in order to increase wildlife habitat and protect certain species. There are some designated campsites in the Park and an excellent trail network on Beausoleil. Trail maps are available but be careful because some of the designated trails cover some rough ground and the loops can be long. Wear comfortable hiking boots - don't try doing them in flip flops. The Park Islands of course are only accessible by boat and modest docking fees apply as do beach landing fees if you are anchoring out. Park Wardens come by all the anchorages on a regular basis to collect dock fees. If you land your dingy to explore the trails you must purchase a pass from the self serve kiosks and the pass must be in your possession with the copy provided left affixed to your landing craft. The Park is well maintained and you should think of these fees as your small contribution to the upkeep of these beautiful unspoiled natural state islands.
|Frying Pan Bay|
March 27th, 2010 a new Georgian Bay Island National Park management plan was tabled in Parliament and it sets out the future strategic direction for the Park. A copy of the plan is available on the Park web site at www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/on/georg/plan.aspx
The Park is a beautiful place to cruise and drop anchor but please be respectful of your neighbours. Last time we were anchored in Frying Pan Bay there was one lone boat among many with clearly drunk passengers ... swearing and music blaring around midnight. It reflects negatively on all boaters and threatens future use of the Park - it is also boorish and ill considerate to others that are trying to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the area. If you want to party out of control all night do it at your own house and leave the boat at the marina.
One last comment - please don't camp or light fires in undesignated areas of the Park. You will probably get fined and the Park Wardens are busy enough without having to breakdown and cleanup spent fires and littered campsites. Illegal campfires severely increase the risk of wildfire on an island and it would be a great loss to both man and nature to have any of these picturesque pristine islands that provide refuge to so many rare species burn out of control.
Boating Georgian Bay
Boating Georgian Bay offers cruising sail boats and powerboats a complete directory covering Tobermory thru the
30,000 Islands and up into the North Channel. Spectacular yachting vacation destinations, boating tips and news pertaining to North America's
premiere boaters paradise.
PO Box 525
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