Cruising on Last Dance

This blog archives the adventures of Glen and Jill Moore and provides a means of communication for friends and family. Exploration and adventure have been synonymous with boats and water for centuries. The joy of adventures shared while exploring new places and meeting new people has built a strong bond for Glen and Jill. Last Dance is the platform for the exploration.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." St. Augustine, 354 - 430

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain, 1835 - 1910

"There is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." The Wind in the Willows, 1908, Kenneth Grahame, 1859 - 1932

"I've never believed speed and ease are conductive to living fully, becoming aware, or deepening memory, a tripod of urges to stabilize and lend meaning to life." River Horse: a log book of a boat across America, 1999, William Least Heat-Moon,1939 -

The Great Loop -- The current adventure is a circumnavigation of the Eastern United States, cruising north up the east coast through New York into Canada, across the Great Lakes to Chicago, navigating multiple river systems south to Mobile, along the Gulf coast to the Florida Keys and back to St. Augustine. This trip by boat is commonly referred to as the Great Loop. Progress and current location are indicated by the red line on the map to the right. It was titled the Traceless Path in recognition of a German sailor we met in St. Augustine who published booklets of his travels with hand-drawn, detailed maps describing his travels across the water as the Traceless Path.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Georgian Bay -- 30,000 Islands

Lake Huron is the middle of the five Great Lakes.  The northeast corner of the lake is separated by the Tobermory peninsula.  This body of water is known as the Gerogian Bay.

The eastern and northern shores of the Georgian Bay are known as the 30,000 Islands.  On the large scale map there appear to be few islands, but in a smaller scale map, the number of islands can be better visualized.  The portion of the chart below represents only 2 miles.

30,000 is an underestimation of the number of islands.  There seems to be an uncountable number, so 30,000 may be a good representation for a great number of islands.  They are beautiful.  While the old adage that "a photo is worth a 1000 words" may be true, photos cannot completely represent their beauty.  However, a photo can provide the viewer a representation of the majesty of the scenery and this post will consist mostly of images.

Beausoleil Island

Frying Pan Bay Dock

Hiking Trail

Fantasy Lake

Parks Canada at Island 324

Great Kayaking Area

Massasauga Provincial Park -- Moon River -- Moore Bay

The small bay that provided a quiet, secluded, solitary anchorage within the Massasauga Provincial Park was unnamed on the official Canadian charts.  The charts on Last Dance now identify the bay as Moore Bay.

Miles of Rivers, Creeks, and Bays to Kayak Brought Sights Close Up

Mink Swimming

Long Sault

Snug Harbor

The Snug Harbor Lighthouse marks the narrow entrance into the well-protected harbor and serves as a range marker guiding mariners from the Georgian Bay, past Franklin Island, into the small craft channel.

Gilly's is the only commercial enterprise at Snug Harbor.  The building houses a marina (small, shallow-draft boats), a good restaurant, and a tiny grocery.  The innovative sign in a skiff and the model lighthouse sit on the land side of the building.

Peter and DiDi completed the Great Loop in a 53' Selene trawler.  They saw the Great Loop flag on Last Dance and invited us to their home for breakfast, lunch and wonderful conversation.  Amazing and generous people become friends along the waterways.

On Peter and Didi's front porch with Franklin Island in the background

Robert Parr, a retired Canadian Coast Guardsman, lives on a small island inside of Snug Harbor.  He has rebuilt a 1947, steel, Lake Superior tugboat as a cruising boat.  He invited us aboard to share all of the modifications and upgrades he had accomplished on Mink Isle, named after an island in Georgian Bay where his ancestors once lived.  It is now a great cruising boat with many unique features.  One modification he accomplished was rebuilding the hand-cranked windlass with hydraulics to lift the 300 pound anchor and 1000 pounds of chain.  The Georgian Bay proved to have interesting people along with the beautiful scenery.

Franklin Island

This island is filled with small harbors along its shores and lakes throughout its interior.  The lakes provided an interesting and challenging path across the island by kayak, with a number of portages required.

Bayfield Inlet

Bustard Islands

French River

Looking down river to Last Dance anchorage

Bad River

Collins Inlet

Mill Lake -- Phillip Edward Island


This small town, only accessible by water for most of its history, marks the end of the Georgian Bay or the beginning of the North Channel, depending on your point of view.  One of the "must" stops in town is the restaurant at Herbert Fisheries, an old fishing boat and fish processing company.  The restaurant is operated out of a bus and there is only one item on the menu -- fish and chips.  Your choices are large portions or small portions, all served in a cardboard box.  There always was a line of people waiting at the bus.

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