July 1, 2013
When The Water Calls ... We Follow


June 20, 2013
New Adventures


May 31, 2013
Storing Our Shiny Red Tug


May 13, 2013
Viva La Difference


May 6, 2013
Swinging Free & Easy


April 15, 2013
In The Middle


March 29, 2013
On The Hook


March 18, 2013
Tinker Time


February 28, 2013
Jumping Into the Mix


February 15, 2013
Time Travel


February 6, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation


January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending


January 1, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports


December 15, 2012
Collins Inlet, Killarney, & Little Current


December 1, 2012
New Neighbors


November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?


November 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?


October 15, 2012
CHANGE OF LATITUDE


October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable


September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem


September 1, 2012
Promises


August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options


August 1, 2012
Go West!


July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination


July 1, 2012
Propane


June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly


June 1, 2012
Everglades Detour


May 15, 2012
Making New Friends


May 1, 2012
Something Old and Something New


April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast


April 1, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler


March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature


March 1, 2012
Last Dance


February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique


February 1, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound


January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World


January 1, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation


December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell


December 1, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds


November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love


November 1, 2011
On the Water Again


October 14, 2011
First Impressions


October 3, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun


September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road


September 1, 2011
Lets Dance!


August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row


August 1, 2011
Summer Without a Boat


July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home


July 1, 2011
One Step Closer


June 15, 2011
Time Keeps on slippin’ Into the Future


June 1, 2011
Made in the USA


May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice


May 1, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around


April 1, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude


March 15, 2011
Helping Hands


March 1, 2011
THE PERFECT BOAT!


February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options


February 1, 2011
Making a List, Checking it Twice!


January 14, 2011
The Science of Towing


December 30, 2010
The Upside of Downsizing


December 15, 2010
The New Plan!


December 1, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg


November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water


November 1, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile


October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough


October 1, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?


September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool


September 1, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland


August 1, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"


July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time


July 1, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous


June 1, 2010
On the Hard


May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West


May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board


April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance


April 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures


March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise


March 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound


February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters


February 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise


January 15, 2010
New Frontiers


January 1, 2010
First Time Experiences


December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port


December 1, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady


November 18, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello


November 13, 2009
A Cult Following


October 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time


October 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye


September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature


August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote


August 1, 2009
Crab Crazy


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


June 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North


June 1, 2009
Northern Migration


May 15, 2009
Priceless


May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye


April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!


April 1, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy


March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound


March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?


February 15, 2009
Slow Motion


February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View


January 15, 2009
High Anxiety


January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands


December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure


December 1, 2008
All Together Now


November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike


October 31, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River


October 16, 2008
Big City Lights


October 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins


September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop


September 1, 2008
The Space Ship


August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle


August 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!


July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around


July 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop

   

Reflecting Pool
By Kismet, Wednesday, September 15, 2010

As we carefully exited the beautiful, friendly Trent-Severn Waterway and gently slid into the open waters of Georgian Bay the realization that we were just a breath away from our home waters of the Great Lakes slowly crept into our thoughts. Jim and I first began to quietly reflect on the scope and breadth of the adventure behind us. Then it was all we could talk about. We shared our excitement while anticipating the return home to family, friends and a familiar lifestyle but we also took time to look back. Sure, we still had some of the most beautiful parts of Canada to cruise through but having been here before – our thoughts and conversations easily cast backwards as we suddenly found ourselves approaching familiar waters.

It was fun to look back at the Big Chute standing empty and already carriage-less as it had already returned to the other side to pick up more boats.

It was an unusual feeling, not knowing whether to push forward or retreat. Could we just turn around and do it over backwards and delay the return home ten more months – maybe forever? It seemed the right time to take stock of our revved up and mixed emotions and I guess you could say that we began to realize one undeniable fact – the course of our lives had changed drastically in the last year. Life could never be the same after a year such as the one we did the Loop in – more importantly, WE would never be the same. All of the time spent planning and finally executing our Great Loop adventure has reshaped us for our future lives. Experiencing adventure is a thrill that once had is addictive and also hard to let go of. On the other hand, the knowledge that home loomed just over and around a lake or two made us feel like the horses on Mackinac Island on their return trip as they near the barn where all the comfort and warm “welcome homes” lie in wait for a weary traveler.

 

Just as Kismet was lowered from the carriage into the still waters below you see us here following the sailboat, that was in the lift with us, into the final leg of the Trent-Severn Waterway. We were pretty excited as we approached Lock #45. Jim agreed to pose for the “last lock” photo.

The ride on the Big Chute Marine Railway was exhilarating and long awaited. Although this wonder is practically in our backyard we’d never been on this ride, so as we headed over the crest of the cliff and Kismet glided off the carriage into the last of the Trent-Severn waters we were actually making a long sought after boating dream a reality. We were like two kids mastering a new bike trick as we approached Severn and the LAST LOCK of our trip. After transiting through 110 locks in the past 10 months, it was certainly a milestone but again it was also one more door closing on an amazing adventure.

Lock #45 at Port Severn was busy this day with lots of little boats as we exited the lock and headed for the Detroit Severn Sound.

We immediately understood the warnings we’d heard about this stretch of water almost the minute we exited that last lock. Lock #45 at Port Severn and all the way through the Detroit Severn Sound was white knuckle boating as we were faced with large boulders above and below the water and not far from where our boat plied through the shallow waters. I remembered that although the scenery was stunningly beautiful we had little time to relax and enjoy it. Soon enough though we were through that hurdle and into the magnificent Georgian Bay heading towards Penetanguishine, Ontario.

 

 

 

As you can see the rocks and boulders are not that far away from Kismet’s hull and though the clear water is a blessing of sorts – at this moment it seemed to only magnify how close the boulders were under our boat.

A beautiful stretch of waterway but quite a hazard to large boats with deeper keels.

 

We spent one night at the Beacon Bay Marina in Penetanguishine. This is a must stop for Loopers. A friendly establishment that caters to boaters on the Loop and has in the past hosted many of the American Great Loop Cruisers’ Association’s (AGLCA) summer rendezvous. We were again traveling for a few days with fellow Loopers, Rick, and Mary, on the other Kismet. We all used the marina’s loaner car that night to tour the town, stock up and relax at one of the seafood restaurants on the water.

We love cute little tug boats and this one was no exception. We came across this one at Scully’s Crab Shack, in the neighboring Midland, when we joined Rick and Mary for dinner during our stay in Penetanguishine.

Our next night was spent at Lion’s Head on the Bruce Peninsula, well-known for the shape of the limestone cliff which resembles a lion’s head. In the past, lumber and fish were exported from this active port town and passenger ships regularly visited there. Now, Lion's Head provides a perfect spot for anglers, boaters and sailors. There’s a full service marina with transient docks and that’s where we stayed during our visit. This community is proud of their many artists and the popular hiking opportunities on the Bruce Trail along the high cliffs of the peninsula. The hike is well worth the effort because part of the trip takes in the expansive views of Georgian Bay.

The Lion’s Head area is a popular climbing and hiking destination and they are very proud of their local artists.

After we left Lion’s Head we made the short jaunt to Tobermory. The weather was misty and overcast – all of a sudden, out of the haze before us shortly before we entered the larger bay to secure our proposed anchorage, appeared a big ferry, returning to port. As we slowly entered the mouth of the bay, and passed the little lighthouse on the edge, to drop anchor for the night we knew right away that we had picked a special spot as we soon became one with the quiet noises and activity of the few cottages surrounding us. A little bit of hammering at a cottage close followed later by a quiet buzz of happy people noises signified the close of the day. We’ve never been on land in Tobermory and still have only touched its waters but we know we’ll be back someday to get better acquainted.

The larger bay of Tobemory provided us with a peaceful anchorage for our last night in Georgian Bay.

Our next few logs will cover the North Channel – some of our most cherished and familiar cruising grounds. We felt the waters in this part of Canada were an excellent place, full of peaceful retreat and heart stopping beauty, to slow down and reflect back on an adventure shared. We also stopped to appreciate the energy and commitment we gave to each other in making our mutual dream and goal a reality. Looking back and deep into the reflecting pool, as we cruised through the final stretch of what we hope is only one of many future adventures, we found the time spent along the edge of our familiar cruising grounds was exhilarating and more than anything – rejuvenating.