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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Midland, Ontario - Georgian Bay here we come!

The day was rainy, but rain can "lay" the water down flat. As we left the last lock (our VERY last lock) the buoys changed to the opposite side. Missing one buoy in this area could mean a destroyed propeller. We knew Dream Fever had damaged their props in this area. Also, if you do not choose to round Potato Island, the route is extremely difficult to follow. The buoys are not on any chart we had. I am the "chart girl", so I am not sure what chart you could buy to have all the charts in hand. Following the Potato Channel would have been a better route. Locals told us there is plenty of water in that Channel.

Grianan locked through separately in the last lock. This lock is the smallest lock we encountered.

Midland, ON is the city of murals, exhibiting Midland history.

Midland Harbour Marina City Dock.

The Grand Mariner was in dock the entire time we were in Midland. Most of the passengers are elderly and can enjoy the trip beginning in Midland, through Georgian Bay, through Lake Huron to Detroit and Cleveland, through the Welland Canal to Toronto. Trip takes a week. The Pilot House drops four feet to fit through the Canal.

We needed Shell Rotella 30W, so we rode our bikes in our quest. West Marine, Walmart and Napa did not have what we needed. Throughout our entire trip, these three stores were our source of engine oil. Finally, we found a furnace (why?) retail store that carried Shell Rotella. Midland is hilly and we got a good workout.

Canadians love their "Timmy's". No Starbucks in sight.

Nice town. Very little retail is vacant in Midland. Canada's economy continues in good shape. They did not suffer the real estate recession as we have in US.

Jim always has help when he is working in the engine room. Buddy is especially attentive.

This mural is especially interesting. During my childhood the North and South America were berthed on 16th Street in Holland during the winter. My Dad worked as a watchman on  one of the boats as a young man. We have a fire alarm from the South America on our guest room wall that I purchased at auction when the boat was scrapped.

More history of Midland.

At the City Dock. The slips are too small for boats our size. The wall was taken by Grand Mariner and we were directed to the slips.  The wind was raging and we were happy to be tied to a dock, any dock.

Around the corner in Penetanguishene (spell that baby) we attended a wine and cheese party at the Museum. We met new Loopers as well as visited with Loopers we had originally seen in Jekyll Island and other stops. Beacon Cove was extremely accommodating and Pentatagguishene is a charming town. Would be a good stop next time we are in the area.

Beacon Cove picked us up the next morning to drive us to the chart review for the Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Nice people and good information. The wind has slowed and we are anxious to anchor.

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