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Old 03-07-2020, 07:47   #1
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Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

About twenty-odd years ago, I started reading (I don't recall where), of discord between boaters and cottagers along the small-craft route in Georgian Bay. I recall reading about threats and acts of vandalism against boaters by cottagers who were of the opinion that they owned all they surveyed, including the water near their cottages.


I experienced this about fifteen years ago, when I pulled into a previously unoccupied bay, which had suddenly sprouted several cottages. I too, was threatened with damage to my boat, so I moved on.


I sold my boat the following year, with the intention of moving on-wards and upwards, but the best laid plans of mice and men...


Of late, I have thought about getting back into boating, but a recent episode of "Striking Balance" on Canadian television has indicated that Georgian Bay is getting more and more crowded.


I can't help but wonder, if the problem has gotten worse. Do any of you know what the anchoring situation is like in Georgian Bay?


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Old 03-07-2020, 07:53   #2
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Hiya
We sailed from Midland to Bayfield mid-late August last year. Anchorages were not too crowded, for overnight stays but more crowded in the daytime. By 5pm everyone mostly cleared out. There were no issues with the cottagers. We did not go the small craft route.
I understand that the North Channel can get ' crowded' but i think Crowded is a relative and subjective term. Depends what one is used to. Word on the street is that this year the North Channel will be largely empty. Fingers crossed!!
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Old 03-07-2020, 08:44   #3
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Lauralee,


Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify, my concern is not with crowded anchorages, but rather whether there are still places left where one can anchor without animus from the cottagers.


Regards,


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Old 03-07-2020, 09:12   #4
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Ah ok- we anchored about 14 times.... no issues last summer from our experience.
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Old 03-07-2020, 13:31   #5
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Lauralee,



Thanks much.


Regards,


Nomad57
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Old 03-07-2020, 14:08   #6
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

I sailed most of the length of Georgian Bay, and then spent a number of seasons in the North Channel. I never encountered the shore-based animosity you describe Nomad.

Not saying it never happens, but it never happened to me -- at least not there. I did have one odd encounter when when anchoring near Sorel, but never anywhere on the Great Lakes.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:25   #7
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

On the inside route, while we were at anchorage, we got buzzed by boats pulling water skiers daily. I'm not sure if that is overt or imaginary. All good, just keep your distance and the noise down low.
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Old 04-07-2020, 09:34   #8
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

been on GB for over 20 years...occasional 'exchanges' with cottagers, but hundreds of places to anchor. Just keep a respectful distance form the cottages.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:13   #9
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Georgian Bay is a very different set of boaters than the North Channel. I also found it to be quite busy, more heavily used, but not crowded by my standards.

The bay had a public campground feeling to it. I was a bit annoyed by the number of boats in anchorages who would fire up their generators at 8 am and then leave for the day, with the gensets running. Between the noise and the number of kamikaze dingy drivers rocking the boat, I didn't enjoy my stay much.

I moved on with some disappointment since the area is very beautiful. I didn't experience any hassles from land.
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Old 04-07-2020, 11:33   #10
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Never experienced any issues in the North Channel and never anchored in Georgian bay. Unless things have changed, I believe the sea/lake bottom belongs to the crown and cannot be owned by private persons except in special circumstance. Further, the master of a vessel may not be prevented from anchoring to make safe the vessel and crew. That noted, avoid antagonizing whenever possible.
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Old 04-07-2020, 14:55   #11
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

The East side of the Bay tends to have cottagers that believe now that they own some land, no one else should come near.
I say leave the Toronto crowd and travel up the West side on your way North to the unspoiled North Channel.
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Old 04-07-2020, 15:35   #12
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

In the year of about 2000, I was hired to move a 46' "Downeast" trawler from Ste. Sainte Marie to Port Severn (at the beginning of the Trent Severn and at the bottom of Georgian Bay) -- a trip through the N. Channel and then across Georgian Bay.

We did not get in an early start from Killarney so we went into "Go Home Bay" to anchor for the night, instead of proceeding. A part of the delay was travel but also making sure we "tasted" Killarney as the "fish chips bus" was still operating there. it was a classic !

We weren't in Go Home Bay for an hour before someone had come out to say with some anger of voice, saying "You're not welcome here !" and I said, "Really.. aw come'on, we cannot go on. The Sun is going down and we are only travelers here for necessary shelter and for only 1 night of our lives".

The man surprisingly softened to say, "Ok. You're not very welcome here and more: if you make noise or put any kind of slick on the water -- and I'll be watching. Watching you closely ..with binocs".

I said "Yes, sir.. I understand COMPLETELY. It is not my, or our, intention to do either. We aim to do nothing to sully this spot. We'll have a light dinner, take a long and much-needed rest and then leave as quietly as we can, and at 1st light. We need to get to Port Severn sometime tomorrow and then leave Canada. You won't see us again.. PROMISE".

I worried that he might see some suds from the dinner wash-up or our showers. But we did wait till dusk.

I truly did understand but I was shocked too. We had stopped in many pretty spots along the way. We loved the N. Channel so much that I went back in about 2015 and did so to charter out of Gore Bay.

The difference with those years was a great contrast. In 2000, there were many fewer boats and fewer people ashore, throughout the N. Channel. By 2015 and at Little Current, the ferries were much larger, there were many cars, more restaurants, etc. etc.

I haven't known or imagined what Go Home Bay might have become in the same span of time but I reckon that they may have gotten more aggressive with their requests for privacy and also any visitors' making no impact.

Here, however, is something I have always talked about more than our experience at Go Home Bay: I had taken my best pal and also my 10 year old son on this 2000 trip. At the start of the trip, we were wow'd by how friendly people were, how green the landscape was, and how we seemed to be on the edge of the "frontier".

So..we were anchored way up in that popular fjord spot -- Baleen Bay or something like it. Y'know.. the place were Frances Lankford and husband Mr. Evinrude spent many summers on an island there.

Oh . we were so very TAKEN with the scenery and not a great many boats. I took a quick swim to check out holding, and then the 3 of us launched our dinghy and motored over to the shoreline and climbed up a rocky promontory and were beginning to walk a bit further but were then stopped short with loud commands of "HALT".

We had been surrounded by 3 plain-clothed RCMPs who wanted only to know if we had evidence that the boy's Mother's had give permission for him to be there. Fortunately, I had used a travel agent in the US who had tipped me about such a possibility. I had seldom prior (or since) used such an agent.

What a God-send that agent was as I, indeed, had a notarized letter aboard the boat giving permission. I was sent alone to get that but with my son in custody. Luckily my pal was there "to watch" as the boy stood surrounded. I wondered why weren't asked for such a letter the several other places we'd been !! To be fair, I think I may have been but only very casually asked about it before we boarded our plane in MD.
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Old 04-07-2020, 15:50   #13
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Nomad 57 that's interesting to hear you say that about Georgian bay. In 1996 we anchored in a bay there and a local 15' foot power boat came over and started circling us and yelling at us to move. We ignored them and eventually they went back to their dock. Shortly after a stocky woman came down to the shoreline and discharged her shotgun twice into the air. The wife and I just about had a heart attack and we got the anchor up quick smart and went to another bay. Not having grown up around a gun culture that sort of behaviour would have got you arrested in NZ.
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Old 04-07-2020, 16:09   #14
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

I have cruised Georgian Bay for many years.
On Wednesday three of us in separate boats will sail to the North Channel as usual.
Over these years I have observed the distinct differences between cottagers and boaters.
Whether we travel by sail, power, trawler, etc., the vast majority see us as equals on this beautiful Bay.
The vast majority of cottage owners see us as invaders and don't see it possible to share in its beauty.
I try to avoid the East Side as much as possible.
Too bad, as it has it's own unique waters.
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Old 04-07-2020, 16:10   #15
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Re: Anchoring in Georgian Bay, Ontario

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fore and Aft View Post
Nomad 57 that's interesting to hear you say that about Georgian bay. In 1996 we anchored in a bay there and a local 15' foot power boat came over and started circling us and yelling at us to move. We ignored them and eventually they went back to their dock. Shortly after a stocky woman came down to the shoreline and discharged her shotgun twice into the air. The wife and I just about had a heart attack and we got the anchor up quick smart and went to another bay. Not having grown up around a gun culture that sort of behaviour would have got you arrested in NZ.
Cheers
Time to call the Canadian CG. They have brandishing laws and take that behavior seriously.
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