Georgian Bay 2005

A Weekend out of Snug Harbor. August 4-7

My Early-August weekend this summer was planned for Georgian Bay. Not an expedition this time, but a low-key exploration of the Minks & McCoys. No shuttle, just out and back from Snug Harbor.

Snug Harbor greeted 8 paddlers with a noticeable little rainstorm that started the moment we started loading our boats! OK, we can deal with that. We got packed up in between raindrops, got the cars back to the lot and set off.

Once clear of the little harbor, we sailed along on the winds of the squall up the Shebeshekong channel. Our destination for that first night, after the long drive, was the east side of Franklin Island. Since none of us had ever camped on Franklin before, I had picked a waypoint off the map in a little cove by Loon Island, so that's where we headed. It turned out to be a decent campsite, and not too long after our arrival the rains let up enough for dinner and a campfire.

The next day we planned to continue north to Oak Island and proceed offshore to Big McCoy. Well, there were some pretty stiff north-westerlies and some of the party was getting slowed down by the strong headwinds. We stopped at Dick Island for a little conference and decided to give it a try anyway, with the slowest paddler in the tow of the strongest paddler. Once clear of Oak Island I quickly noticed that others were affected by the strong headwind as well, and - thinking it could be a very long 2 miles - called off the crossing. We ducked behind the Twin Sisters and implemented Plan B.

Last year, the 5 of us who paddled from Killarney to Snug Harbor had paddled down the Shawanaga Inlet. We had scouted McCormick Island as a potential future campsite before we crossed to Big McCoy. Now glad to have that bit of recon, McCormick became our new destination. It turned out to be an awesome campsite, with a protected lagoon facing east and beautiful views all around. We spent a great afternoon playing in the lagoon and relaxing on the rock.

On Saturday the winds had abated somewhat. We had decided to travel along the west side of Franklin island, exploring the little islands and coves there, instead of trying to fit the entire Mink/McCoy route into one day. None of us had travelled this side of Franklin before, and discovered many picturesque spots. Franklin is a popular destination however, so we were glad to get to the southern end around noon and find a campsite early.

Sunday we made the short paddle in to Snug Harbor and wound up our weekend on the bay. There always seems to be surprises and fun days on Georgian Bay.



















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