The Adventures of Ninkasi

Journal for 2005

Rally for Reptiles Mark and Terry's visit Chimney Bay
Bone Island The Rest of the Summer

Rally for Reptiles

Alex and Emma with a Fox snake In July of 2005, Georgian Bay Islands National Park was hosting a presentation for visitors of the park to become familiar with the reptile wildlife that is indigenous to the park. Emma and Alex had the opportunity to see, learn about, and hold (except for the Massassauga Rattlesnake for some reason) most of the snakes that are found on the island.

Alex and Emma with a Fox snake

Our two fearless girls had no inhibitions with this (many others did) and took turns holding a fox snake, a hognose snake, a milk snake and Alex even had a 6 foot Boa (not indigenous) around her neck.

The girls actually made it into the local newspaper as part of a Parks Canada news release about the event. Check out the official news release.

Alex with a Boa Alex and Emma with a Fox snake

Mark and Terry Beausoleil entrance

Mark and Terry's visit

In September of 2005 we were lucky to have Mark and Terry join us for what turned out to be a fantastic weekend. As you can see we managed to get them out to see “Kitchi’s Chair” all the while down playing the existence of any snakes on the island. Although this is the second mention of the snakes on the island, a sighting is actually quite rare. We can go through an entire summer and maybe only see one or two. So far Emma and Kathy are the only ones to have spotted a Massassauga rattler in all the time we’ve been coming here.

Not quite true anymore, Alex, Emma and Steve saw a baby rattler in the summer of 2009 at the cruiser dock. He (or she) was only about six inches long and not even the thickness of pencil (it still counts).

Mark, Terry and the girls on Kitchi's chair Mark and Emma on the Dock

Chimney Bay

Alex and Emma on the hiking trail

Before we had the Edel we were rather limited to the length of trip we could handle. Usually two people wouldn’t be a problem, but add two kids, all the stuff required to keep them busy, fed and clothed and suddenly an already small boat just seemed that much smaller. Now that we moved up from a 20 foot to a 28 foot we could now plan for a longer trip, so we decided to spend a week checking out other parts of the island and then making a side trip up to Bone Island.

Emma after a swim

We started out the weekend at the usual spot (the cruiser dock at Cedar Springs). After the weekend was over and 90% of the boats and people left, we decided to head up to Chimney Bay. It was only about 30 minutes away and we pulled into the bay with only one other boat. We then proceeded to drop the anchor in a nice spot and as Kathy backed down on the anchor the engine abruptly stopped.

Lesson one: Make sure the dingy is pulled in tight the next time we back up.

Emma not enjoying her swim

So over the side I went and luckily only spent the next 10 minutes untangling the line. By the way, it’s nice to learn a lesson in an empty bay with no one watching. We decided to stay there for a couple of days and do some swimming off the boat and some hiking on the trails. This was the first time the girls jumped off the boat to go for a swim and as you can see Emma didn’t seem to find it that much fun. This was also the first introduction to the boat bath which later became a favourite. Kathy and the girls on the hiking trail

We ended up taking a nice hike on the “Fairy Lake” trail which ended up being a lot longer then we originally thought, but Emma managed the entire 2 ½ hour hike without a complaint. She did however have an equally long nap (as did I). Steve and Emma on the hiking trail

The next day we decided to take the dingy through “Big Dog Channel” and over to Honey Harbour to get some supplies. The channel isn’t very wide and is rather shallow in spots but it is well marked and there is always a fair bit of boat traffic going through on the weekend. Since we only draw one foot in the dingy it wasn’t a concern. We managed to stock up, grab some lunch, ice and even some beer and headed back to the boat.

Alex in the cockpit after a swim Emma in the cockpit after a swim

Bone Island

Alex in for a swim The next day we were up and heading for Bone Island. We made the decision to go the long way around and skip Big Dog Channel, mainly out of fear. As we were getting close I spotted a CS 27 making the turn and heading through, so we quickly decided we were being paranoid and followed them through without incident. So off we headed to Bone Island. It was a nice trip and we got to see a lot of excessively large places and how the well off spend their weekends. We were following the well written directions to Bone Island from the Ports book and as we came to the first tight spot and were getting rather pleased with our piloting skills until we heard and felt an abrupt thud as the boat shuddered and then came to a complete stop.

Lesson Two: As soon as you start feeling confident with your abilities you are going to get a slap upside the head telling you to pay attention (and next time have a spotter on the bow).

Alex at Bone Island

Well we seem to have bounced off the ledge into the deeper water and as it was the keel that took the impact, it wasn’t an expensive lesson. We continued on and came to the second tight spot. By now Kathy was a nervous wreck so she went up front to keep a watch. We continued on at a dead slow speed and as Dave would say, this was a serious Sphincter clenching moment (clench time as the surfers would say). It would seem we learned from lesson two and continued on into the well protected bay to anchor just off Bone Island.

Steve and Alex in the Dingy

Since it was still midweek, we were hoping to get a spot at the dock but I think we interrupted a group party as they all seemed quite comfortable together (the topless sun bathing probably helped me with this conclusion). So after we were anchored and had some lunch I had the urge to check out the dock scene from a bit closer.

In the afternoon we decided to take the dingy into shore and explore Bone Island. It was a rather short excursion as the one and only path from the dock into the island was about 150 feet long and ended at an outhouse. So the hike was off and we spent the next couple of hours relaxing and exploring the rather small shoreline. Originally we had planned to spend two or three days here but without much to do it seemed like more of a party destination and we decided to haul anchor the next day and head back to Beausoleil Island. This would allow us to get a good spot before the weekend crowd showed up.

Steve and Emma in for a swim We were off the next morning and headed back through both of the high stress, sphincter tightening moments with Kathy doing a lookout from the bow. Although the tension level did come up, we made it through incident free with Kathy determined that we are never going back to Bone Island. From here on it was no problem, we were going back the same route that we came out and were feeling confident after leaning our lesson and making it through a couple of tight spots.

Lesson Three: Just because you already went through an area without incident doesn’t mean it will be the same thing on the return trip.

We were headed back through Big Dog Channel and were in an area which is usually tight for just one boat. With a boat coming the other way, we veered a bit too far to port which is when we felt and heard a more subdued thud. At this point I didn’t really feel we were in a difficult spot; however with very little room to maneuver, we decided to take the offer of assistance from a passing boat from one of the kids camps. They were able to nudge us back into the deeper water and Kathy then stated that we are never going back through Big Dog Channel again (we are quickly running out of cruising ground), unless by dingy.

We made it back to the Cedar Springs area and managed to complete our vacation week rather uneventfully.

The Rest of the Summer

Summer of 2005 Pictures

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