Day Trips on the Water
On the way to Little Current 20 kilometers (12 miles) by boat.
It's always a challenge, we did not make it that year. The water level needs to be fairly high.
These pictures of Pot Hole Portage were taken quite a long time ago because the kid sliding down the shoot is Travis. This is another interesting destination up in McGregor Bay
Visit the Wreck of the India
ship, built in 1899 has sunk in 10 to 25 feet of water just off the north east
corner of West Mary Island. The island is between McGregor Point and Little
Current and is just south of Little La Cloche Island. Look for
a temporary float marking the spot of the wreck. West Mary Island is kind
of crescent shaped and the wreck is about in the middle between the points of
The kids are Dave's two nieces.
Dave and his mother canoeing on Kirk Creek. Kirk Creek flows in to the pool at the end of Baie Fine. To find it search for a small channel that comes in through the lily pads. It is then about a 0.5 Kilometer portage to a large beaver dam and the lake.
to the top of Dreamer's Rock
to the top of Quartz Rock
The two people on top are Dave and Ava. Notice the climbing rope in the background. We were doing some rappelling off cliffs on the south side. The rocks had not seen much use and consequently had loose spots. At one point a rock that weighed much more than a man came crashing down. The sound was worrisome but no injuries resulted. Early 90's.
Lodge at the mouth of Baie Fine.
A boat heading up Baie Fine
An Island in Baie Fine
Both mountain sides are shown of this 13 kilometer (8 mile) long narrow fjord of Bay Finn.
A typical shore scene along Baie Fine.
These two ships are tied up in The Pool at the end of Baie Fine. They are used in a coed youth program, with about 15 kids each
has long been popular here. This picture of David Whitaker and Charlie
Barklay dates from 1958
Explore the Benjamin
and Hook Islands
Benjamin Islands harbor, 42 kilometers (25 miles) from the island.
Relaxing on a Benjamin Island. (1998)
Island to French River
Aside from this satellite picture courtesy of Microsoft's Windows Live, I do not have any pictures for the best day trip of all, the trip to the mouth of the French River. The scenery is not spectacular but it is good. What is spectacular is the total experience of this long trip. It takes a long day and is best done when the weather is favorable.
The trip begins with an open passage south across Frazer Bay to the Hole In The Wall, then east to Killarney where one should top off all gas tanks. We then continued through the passage skirting the left shore for 7 kilometers (4 miles) until we got to Collins Inlet. This is a 20 kilometers (12 mile) long channel that goes most of the way to where the French River empties into Georgian Bay. At this point you have to get out into open water and continue east to the mouth of French River. In reality there are many entrances, so it is a bit confusing. Returning, you can continue all the way back to Killarney in the open water of Georgian Bay, or tuck back into Beverstone Bay, and then on to the inside channel of Collins inlet. Finding the entrance is not as easy as you would expect even given that you came out of it only a few hours earlier. The problem is that there is a mass of islands along the shoreline and it is difficult to find the channel amongst them. There is a buoy but we missed it and had to double back.
Circumnavigating Manitoulin Island
This trip does not strictly belong here as it is a two day drip in an outboard. Again I have no pictures (except for the satellite picture courtesy of Microsoft's Windows Live http://local.live.com ) and it is not particularly picturesque anyway. It is high adventure because you are in the unsheltered water of Lake Huron for almost half of the trip. Most of that time you are not near any sort of port either as the south side of Manitoulin Island is much less developed because it is so much more exposed. We have only done the trip once and the only other person we know who did it used a canoe with a small outboard on it. I do not remember how long it took him.
Our trip began casually enough. We were heading out to South Baymouth, a challenging trip in itself. The weather looked very promising but just in case, we brought along all our spare gas cans and Dave's insulin. The members of the party were Dave, Ava, Dave's dog Ben, and myself, Bill.
When we got to South Baymouth the weather was holding so we decided to try to make it all the way around to Meldrum Bay by nightfall. We stopped in Providence Bay for gas and supplies (mostly a tooth brush for Ava) and made reservations at the Meldrum Bay Inn. At the time of our trip, about 1990, Providence Bay had so few visitors by boat that we had to hike to a gas station to get fuel. The Inn has been substantially restored since we were there which is a good thing. It is a very historic building and includes a restaurant as well as 8 rooms upstairs. In keeping with the historic nature, the rooms feature a bathroom down the hall. It is getting high reviews on Yelp.
We had been warned that the water was very shallow well out from shore on the south west part of the island. When you get this warning from a canoeist, you have to take it seriously. Sure enough we almost hit bottom and had to swing even further out to sea. Aside from that the trip to Meldrum Bay was uneventful. The weather held, which was vary good because the only alternative to toughing it out would have been to pull the boat up on shore.
We got to Meldrum Bay well before dinner so we had some time to wonder around town. We had a good meal at the Meldrum Bay Inn, then retired for the night with Dave in one bed and Ava and I in the other. Ben was left tied up in the boat which was tied up to the dock. Ben was not amused and Dave ended up taking a blanket out to the boat and sleeping with Ben.
The next day the wind picked up to average levels which made for a somewhat choppy but uneventful trip back to the island.
Charts of the area:
2204 Byng Inlet to
Little Current to Killarney (and as far north as the Island)
2206 1 thru 4 McGregor Bay
2207 Little Current
to Clapperton Island
2257 Clapperton Island to John Island
The charts are available from Turners across from the docks in Little Current. They are the oldest dealer in charts in Canada. The store was established in 1879.