2006 Adventure UPDATES


UPDATE #17 07/23/06 thru 07/31/06

Howdy Everybody,

 UPDATE #17   07/23/06 through 07/31/06.

 The period 4/1 thru 7/22 has been covered in Updates 1 through 16. 

We are very interested in hearing from ya’all.  If you have missed out on any of the previous emails and would like us to re-send them, please let us know.

Please let me know if these emails containing pictures are too large and we will send you a version with text only. 


    Judy and I awoke with great anticipation for the beginning of the “Flotilla”.  The Flotilla is a group of 25 boats that will depart Beacon Bay Marina this morning on an 8-day, group excursion of the 30,000 islands region of the Georgian Bay.  At 9:30 am, AMARSE was underway toward the staging area at marker “M12”.  The VHF marine radio was tuned to channel 71 and the frequency was busy confirming the positions of all the flotilla boats.  Our Canadian hosts, Bob and Karen Jantz, owners of Beacon Bay Marina and fellow “Loopers”, were the organizers and leaders. 

    At precisely 10 am, the impressive parade of trawlers and yachts began their adventurous trek across the Georgian Bay.  The weather was spectacular and the scenery awesome as we proceeded on our westerly procession.



  The topography of the region is comprised of groups of rocky islands of various sizes.  To be considered an island, the outcropping must be at least one acre.  As you can imagine, there are many, many more smaller rock formations that are either awash or barely surfacing.  Careful navigation and constant vigilance are required for the successful passage of these waters.





  Bob and Karen are very familiar with these waters and shared their local knowledge with us in so many wonderful ways.

      The buoyed passage into Port Rawson bay kept us in awe of the natural beauty of this wonderful area.



  AMARSE slipped of to the side of the bay and lowered her dinghy from atop the sundeck.

      The flotilla commenced the complex procedure of rafting up 24 boats.  The methodology was far different than anything that most of us had ever experienced.  Inside this rock-lined bay, the water is quite deep all the way to shore.  Bob and Karen maneuvered their vessel, “My Bonus”, into the key position.  They lowered their bow anchor and backed down until their stern was almost at the shoreline.  A stern line was then led ashore and fastened to a large boulder.  The next two vessels then approached on either side of “My Bonus”.  The boats tied to the sides of Bob and Karen’s boat.  The next two vessels would need to set bow anchors and back down along side the already secured boats.  These boats would set out stern lines to be attached to the huge boulders or trees on the shoreline.  The process continued with alternating vessels dropping bow anchors and attaching stern lines.  This fascinating procedure took just over an hour to accomplish.  Now there were 24 yachts and nearly as many dinghies secured in a spider-web like formation.  It was quite impressive to say the least.




       The folks flitted around in their dinghies and the rest of the afternoon was enjoyed sharing pleasantries and marveling at the scenery.

Location:   N45 10.789 W080 01.527


07/24/06   MONDAY   PORT RAWSON BAY    (Anchorage rafting)

        Yesterday’s parade of yachts was certainly an interesting variation on everyday boating.  Today would be no less unique.  We assembled in a mini-flotilla consisting of 20 dinghies.  The weather was a little cool and light rain and drizzle punctuated the forecast for the rest of the day.  Bob and Karen led us through the twists and turns, between the rocks, and around the islands along Moon River.



  Onward through Woods Bay and more of Moon River, the melodious humming of the outboards seemed to echo through the wilderness.  This is very remote territory and has yet to be fully charted.  It takes local knowledge to find your way around here.  After more than a dozen miles, we eased our little fleet onto the rocky shore.



  Chilled and hungry, the boaters warmed to the quiet solitude and enjoyed our picnic lunches on the rocky outcroppings.

      Bob led us on foot back to Moon River Falls.  This delightful waterfall provided the perfect opportunity for rock climbing, swimming, and even a place for the adventurous to jump from the cliffs into the rapids water swirling below the falls.






   Fortunately, the weather cooperated during our shore excursion, but returned to a showery, drizzly afternoon for the return trip.  Several foresighted dinghy folks brought umbrellas and various forms of protection from the rain.  It was quite a sight to see.  One of the gals lent Judy a silver “space blanket” to cover up with.  Numerous funny comments resulted including “Miss Reynolds Wrap”, the “Baked Potato”, the “Madonna of Mylar”, and “Hi-Ho Silver” just to mention a few.



  This is really a wonderful group of fun loving people.  We are having an absolute ball.

       After cocktails with Bruce and Jeanne Elder aboard “Inevitable Too”, we enjoyed our dinner of fresh salad greens, grilled smoked sausage, butter/herb mashed potatoes, and chunky applesauce.  This has become one of our favorite meals to be fully enjoyed on the sundeck of AMARSE.




     We had experienced some heavy showers and thunderstorms overnight but the anchors held and the morning dawned pleasantly.  At about 10 am, we separated from the raft and loitered in the bay while we hoisted our dinghy aloft to the sundeck top.  It took more than an hour to dismantle the rafted vessel formation.  At 11:20 am, we eased out of the peaceful Bay enroute to a famous island restaurant for lunch.



    At San Souci on Frying Pan Island, Henry’s restaurant exists with the sole purpose of serving fresh fish dinners to a multitude of boaters.  They have docking facilities for around 50 boats and have systematized the docking procedure with precise location.  Each vessel announces his arrival on the VHF radio giving the vessel name, type, and length.  A slip assignment is given and several dockhands are awaiting to assist with lines and mooring.  It was a very efficient and courteous operation.



     Once inside, seating is family style with window views of the straits below.  Although they serve a limited menu, the specialty of the house is Fish N’ Chips.  The fish is fresh water Pickerel, famous in these northern waters.  In the States, many folks call this species “Walleye”.  The diners were treated to heaping platters of fish and side dishes for all to share.



     Most everyone enjoyed the meal, however, the real joy came from the experience itself and the wonderful camaraderie.  By 2:05 pm, we were again plying the crystal clear waters of Georgian Bay.



     The routing took us along the eastern shore of Parry Island.  The passage is highlighted by a series of “Narrows”.  There is “7-mile Narrows”, “5-mile Narrows”, and “2-mile Narrows”.  Each location is only large enough for slow passage of one larger vessel at a time.  For this reason, security calls are given to elicit the status of other concerned vessels in the area.  Of course, it is quite unusual to have this kind of a parade moving through in mass.



  An additional hazard is the small boats operated by the “cottagers”.  These summer residents flit from island to island with little knowledge or regard for the nautical “rules of the road”.  Larger boats must continue to hold their course and speed to maintain maneuverability, as well as, to reduce the risk of crunching the rocky bottom.

     At the entrance to Parry Sound, larger vessels must wait for the swing bridge that opens “On-the-Hour”.  Once through, the opened bridge, the Sound leads to the docking facilities.  The local Chamber of Commerce operates the fairly large, “Big Sound Marina”.  VHF radio provided the communication to receive dock assignments and instructions.  Once again, the helpful, courteous dockhands eagerly took our lines as we eased AMARSE into her berth.

     Judy and I took a nice walk into the sleepy town.  We had the pleasure of examining the pride and joys of the areas Antique Car Clubs and Hot Rod Clubs.  It was a fine display and even included a 1930 Nash sedan with wooden spoke wheels and an original interior.



     The time flew by so we opted for a sandwich dinner aboard AMARSE.  Nothing could have been better.





     At 7:30 am, the marina folks hosted a Continental Breakfast for the members of the flotilla.  Once again, we had the pleasure of the entire group just enjoying the company of each other and marveling at the experiences we are having.



     Today was a day to choose one’s own activities.  Judy and I strolled about the town in search of a special nautical chart, of course, to no avail.  We selected a quaint-looking little waterfront restaurant for lunch.  Big mistake!  We both had the Pickerel sandwiches that were simply awful.  The strong, fishy taste must have come from other than fresh ingredients.  Oh, well….

      Even though the weather was heavily overcast and intermittent showers seemed eminent, we purchased tickets for an afternoon sightseeing cruise.  Perhaps you might think we’d get enough of boating on our own, well, this area is the kind of place that continually shocks the senses.  Each rock is different, each tree is special, and each tight bend reveals another spectacular sight.  It was quite nice being able to sit back and enjoy some of the sights that we would otherwise miss on our own cruise.  The rain forced everyone inside the sightseeing boat, but Judy and I enjoyed the 3-hour jaunt very much.

      The evening started out with a group cocktail party out around the marina.  Everyone brought their own favorite beverages and an assortment of snacks for all to enjoy.  Betty Bertram from “Betty B II” showed her home videos of several of the previous days.  It was fun.


       Rose Stewart from “Wings” gave us some of her homemade veggie bean soup for our dinner.  It was “Yummy, yummy, for the Tummy”.




     Today’s itinerary was planned to cover a mere 12 miles.  The flotilla departed the marina about 12:15 pm.  The routing was plotted through Big Sound.  This area is highlighted with some of the deepest water in Georgian Bay.  Some depths reach over 350 feet.  A particularly interesting section is called “Hole-in-the-Wall”  This is a very narrow passage between two solid rock islands.  The sidewalls tower above the boats and gives the impression of being much narrower than its 80-foot wide span.



       With the precision of a ballet dance troupe, we synchronized our vessel dockings under the expert coaching from the marina staff. 

     Judy has attained “celebrity status”.  Seems that word has leaked out about her hairstyling talents.  Several of the gals schmoozed Judy into a session of “shear-perfection”.  The shade trees of the marina provided the perfect “beauty salon”.  Rose and Betty were delighted with their new coiffures.



     Our flotilla group had reserved the entire restaurant for a special group dinner.



   The dinner was delightful.  I had Pan-fried Pickerel and Judy savored the Chicken Alfredo.  Blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream seemed to be the perfect dessert.

     It was a pleasant evening and offered the opportunity to extend everyone’s appreciation to our magnificent hosts, Bob and Karen Jantz.   John Olson, from “La Garza Verde”, read a fabulous poem that he wrote especially for the occasion.  John Winter, from “Miss Liberty”, presented a thank you card that was signed by all the loopers in the flotilla.  A good time was had by all.







      In as much as there are quite a few larger boats in the flotilla, the group route was through mostly open water.  The charts provide a more challenging and more scenic route designed for smaller vessels.  This small craft route twists and weaves through shallow, hazard-ridden outcroppings of solid rock.  The channel is adequately marked but provides little tolerance for any margin of error through the narrow passages.  Numerous warnings are published to advise boaters in larger boats to avoid these hazardous areas.  AMARSE is in a class of boats that just fits the outside warning limits for length and draft.  The weather was excellent and Judy and I decided to seek the adventure and accept the additional risks.  We considered them to be “calculated risks” and were convinced that the odds of success outweighed the opportunities for an unpleasant outcome.



  Four other boats also accepted the challenge.  They, of course, were much smaller than AMARSE, in fact, only a bit more than half her size.  “Little T” and “WyLaWay”, a pair of 24 foot Roseboroughs,  “Happy Clamz”, a 32 foot Nordic Tug, and “Free ‘n’ Easy”, a 26 foot Windy separated from the other 20 vessels to cruise “Hang Dog Channel”.  My friends, I tell you, this was the finest day of scenic boating that I have ever experienced.  I only wish we had a lot more time to absorb the magnificent wonders of nature that these secluded passages revealed.  Although we were acutely aware that any navigation slip-up would have resulted in severe damage to our vessel, the experience was one that neither of us would have wanted to miss.  Judy worked the charts and kept track of our exact position at all time.  She provided the heads-up warnings of especially hazardous areas and significant turns and markers that were coming up.   All I can say is “what a thrill”!

         By the time we all reached Wright’s Marina at Byng Inlet, both groups had rejoined into the entire flotilla group.

     Norm and Barb Hewton, from “Beta Omega”, had asked us to join them at one of their favorite restaurants.  As Canadians, they have visited this area several times and were eager to have dinner at “The Little Britt Inn”.  These friends are so wonderful that we agreed.  The dinner was quite good, however, the chance to be with these folks was even better.





    It was 9:30 am as the flotilla began to exit the marina docks.  The departure was slightly complicated by several boats that required “pump-out” services.  This interrupted the smooth and orderly flow that we had become accustomed to.

    An intrepid group of four boats had opted to take a more picturesque and challenging route.  These were the same group as yesterday minus one of the Roseboroughs, “WyLaWay”.  Larry had decided that the complexity of yesterday’s route had caused him too much stress and that he would rather take the more relaxing route today.  We pressed on ahead at a cautious pace ahead of the main flotilla group.  The scenic beauty seemed to increase even more as we motivated westward.  At times, the narrow passages made us feel as though we were “threading a needle”.  With names like “Cunningham’s Channel”, “Rogers Gut”, and “Dorus Run”, the flotilla vessels dodged the hazards and met the challenge.  The little group of four split off to meet the ultimate adventure through “Obstacle Channel”.  This extremely scenic, yet complicated, route proved to be extremely rewarding.  There is one particular passage called “Parting Channel” that is especially tricky.  It requires that the boat be navigated through a series of successive 90-degree turns back and forth to avoid rock ledges a mere 40 feet apart.  The smaller boats had a much easier time with these due to their smaller turning radius.  AMARSE would have to position the marker buoy close along side at a very slow speed and then alternate the port and starboard propellers in opposing directions to effect a rotational effect that would clear the bow and stern portions of the boat.  Add a little current and a little wind to the equation and you can definitely get a bit of an adrenaline rush going.  These miles of challenging twist and turns gives one a tremendous sense of accomplishment, as well as, the wondrous experience of passing among some of nature’s most rugged and beautiful areas.

     Once again, the mini group merged with the main flotilla group to turn up into the Bad River.  The rock-strewn channel leads into a marvelous, small bay.  Bob and Karen formed the fulcrum of the 24-boat raft.  Although the procedure was similar to the previous rafting, this exercise utilized bow and stern anchors in an alternating fashion.  It resulted in a formation of beauty stretching across a portion of this lovely little bay.



  The land surrounding the bay consists of pink granite cliffs that rise sharply from the water.  Some boats even tie up alongside these steep walls of rock and then fix their mooring lines to trees or boulders.



     We surely have never seen anything like this in Texas or the East Coast.  It is so interesting to see the many variations in technique that boaters utilized to cope with the myriad of challenges.

     The dinghies were flitting about like bumble bees.  One of the great things about this location is the many miles of dinghy “trails”.  At the corner of the bay, a little waterfall called “Devil’s Door” lead  into a maze of rocky walls that funnel white water rapids and swift streams into a playground of watery fun.



  With the proper technique and a strong enough outboard, the rapids can be “crunched” and the little dinghies can speed up through even more beautiful and challenging rapids.  Bob enjoyed showing some of us how to properly approach and conquer the rapids.  He warned that it would be most likely that we would “ding-up” the outboard propeller.  He was quick to add that the reward would far exceed the expense of a replacement prop.  He was right on both counts.  We caught on quickly to the proper methodology and soon we were laughing and yelping like a couple of kids.  Yes, we did manage to take as many as five prop strikes during the numerous attempts.  Oh well, the prop can be replaced but the experience can never be equaled.

     POSITION:  N45 56.088 W080 58.423.




            Three aluminum fishing boats arrived sometime after 8 am to take a dozen folks out on a pre-arranged fishing excursion.  The guides sped off with the eager fishermen while the rest of us relaxed and mingled with our rafted neighbors.



      Al and Marilyn Smith, from “Siris”, had heard the fine reports of Judy’s hairstyling talents.  Judy, of course, opened up her salon of “shear beauty” in this lovely place of “sheer beauty”.



     We took a lot more dinghy excursions up through the rapids and around the area.




  As we came out between some rocky outcroppings, we saw one of the large boats that had exited the bay earlier this morning.  At first, we thought that they had chosen to anchor outside the bay in the river.  Upon a closer look, we cringed to see that this lovely 53-foot motor yacht, “Braveheart”, had mistakenly tried to pass on the wrong side of the channel.  This had the disastrous effect of running them hard aground on the submerged rock bottom.



  We inquired if there was anything that we could do to help, however, they had already had a diver examine the damage and arranged for a tugboat to assist in hauling them off the rocks.  The diver had happily reported that the hull damage was minimum and that they had damaged their propellers and would need to have repairs at the nearest service facility.  Several hours later, a strong tug arrived and spent a couple of hours extracting them from their rocky hold.  Everyone is hopeful that no more damage was incurred during the freeing.  Tomorrow, they will try to continue on to Midland, Ontario for a haul-out and heavy repairs.

      After our lunch of homemade clam chowder, some of the gals got together to do some rock art.  They exercised their artistic urges into small figurines using various shaped, small stones.  Judy made a rock dog that was quite original.

      My nap was refreshing and gave me additional energy to challenge the rapids again and again.

  Judy took a couple of videos of several passages.  We were worried about getting the camera wet so we only filmed the drier attempts.  They came out fantastic and give a sense of the fun we had.  

       How about this for a dinner in this remote wilderness?  Cocktails, of course, prepared the palette for a crisp, iceberg lettuce salad, Filet Mignon grilled to perfection, and accompanied by potatoes mashed with butter and herbs.  We wish you’all could have been here to enjoy it with us.




     We all awoke to a dense fog that obscured the whole bay.  Our morning departure would be delayed as we waited patiently for the weather to improve.  Larry Martin, from “WyLaWay”, serenaded us, with his accordion, amidst the fog.



  One of the bigger yachts has the luxury of on-board satellite TV, as well as, the capability to overlay XM satellite weather and radar returns on their GPS.  “Ocean Flyer” gave us periodic updates of an approaching storm.  As the rains subsided, the fog began to lift.  Soon thereafter, the rafted formation began to dismantle.  AMARSE had the good fortune to be on an end and was first off the pack.  We led the group as successive boats parted from the formation.  With the recent memory of the misfortunes of “Braveheart’s” hard grounding yesterday, we exercised additional caution to navigate safely through the channel out the Bad River.

     As we came out to the greater expanse of the Georgian Bay, several of the faster, more powerful boats felt the urge to “blow out the carbon”.  Meanwhile, the raft took about an hour to full separate and exit the little bay anchorage area.

     AMARSE cruised along at a comfortable pace passing “Isabel Rocks”.  We urged our friends to join us in a moment of respectful, silent thought in remembrance of my mother, Isabel A. Reed.  As some of you know, she was born a Canadian.

     Collins Inlet provides a magnificent passage through high-walled cliffs that line the side of the river-like waterway.  All who passed reveled at the beauty.  This was yet another wonderful example of the variety of topography and landscape types typifying this Province of Ontario.






     At Sportsman’s Inn Marina in Killarney, we were directed and assisted to Dock #15.



  We hurried along to catch the water-taxi to the opposite shore.  Our goal was Herbert’s Fisheries.  We had been told that this was the best Fish n’ Chips in the area.  We ordered from the Red and White school bus where they claim that the fish is so fresh that you have to wait for it to be cleaned.  I didn’t exactly see that, but,  the fish was quite tasty and the real French fries were awesome.



     The entire group assembled to congratulate Bernie and Brigitte Kleinselberk, from “Free Bird” on their completion of the loop cruise.  They started right here about a year ago and, now, have attained the elite status evidenced by the “Bacca-Looper-iate” degree bestowed upon them by AGLCA.  We certainly add our “congratz” and best wishes for lots more happy cruising.



     Judy and I offer our most sincere “Thanxxx” to Bob and Karen Jantz, from “My Bonus”.  They generously guided us through their “backyard”.  They extended a huge effort to make all the reservations, provide all the planning, share their local knowledge, and brighten everyone’s lives with their marvelous smiles.  Bob and Karen, you will remain close in our hearts forever as we fondly relive these magic experiences, over and over, in our memories.  Thanks, Thanks, and Thanxxxx!


     As this was the official end of the “flotilla” cruise, we said our goodbyes to those folks heading off in different directions.  For most, it was the culmination of a couple of weeks together at the Rendezvous and on the flotilla.  The opportunity to share more was offered to those not adhering to a rigid schedule.  An additional side trip was planned for about a dozen boats and AMARSE would join in.  (There will be more on this side trip in future updates.)  Tonight, however, we bade our departing friends a “Bon Voyage” and assured them that they have found a lasting place in our hearts and memories.  Adios, Amigos! 




  As you can see, we are still in Canada.  My Verizon AirCard that operates my computer internet will not operate in Canada.  We will be sending this out when we can find a WiFi hotspot.  These locations are few and far between.  Our internet capability will be extremely limited for close to two months.  This may be the last update for a while.  If and when I can, I will post what is available.

   Judy’s phone will be out of service in Canada.  Fred’s phone will be available throughout the trip in Canada.  I have North American Service and hopefully it will be OK.  We can be reached at 210-296-4933.  Please call us if you like, ‘Eh.


"AMARSE".  is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY".  Our website is:   www.amarse.net   .

Check it out while we will attempt to keep you informed via email

  We would like to hear more about what is happening in your lives.  Let us know as we very interested in what’s going on with our friends and family.  Please DO email us with your thoughts and comments and ideas too.  Thanks

Lot of Love,

Fred Reed and Judy Law