Day 85, July 21, 2012 (Parry Sound, ON): The scenery coming north from Midland gets more spectacular by the mile. Some of it is very slow going because of the “cottager phenomenon.” People own contiguous stretches along the waterway for miles; some areas are posted speed zones and others are not posted. Posted speeds are 10 kph unless posted otherwise. At 10 kph we leave a wake—a small one, but a wake nonetheless. The cottagers get irate at the cruisers who adhere to the limits and spread even a small wake but they are free to fly through the posted zones.
We made the obligatory stop at Henry’s Fish Camp on Frying Pan Island. Henry has been around for more than 30 years and serves up lunch and dinner every day from the beginning of May until September or sometimes later. Expect to share the dock with float planes and other craft of every size and shape—all because of Henry’s fish. The menu is fish— white fish out of the Great Lakes and it is either deep fried or pan fried with a side of grease. We did lunch and didn’t eat until the following day. Here, a runabout and a floatplane race for dockage. Who wins?
From midday until after dark you never really know who will show up at Henry’s for the fare. These folks parked next to us.
On to Parry Sound, yesterday, through the small craft channel, close quarters shared with a few tour boats who can take up the entire channel. Blind turns get the obligatory long horn and we proceed if there is no answer back.
Big Sound Marina is the only real act in Parry Sound. It is okay but not excellent. The town dock has no services, is shared with tour boats, and is in the channel to a floatplane terminal and gas dock. Service is adequate at Big Sound. The docks are not. There is a feeble attempt at a breakwall along the main channel to the south but the east side is totally open to the rest of the sound with boats of all kinds and floatplanes coming and going all day with no speed control close in. We get waked to puking from dawn until dark, especially on the first dock. Wi-Fi is advertised but is unreliable at best. The intranet works but the ISP infrastructure seems erratic. However, they don’t control the sunsets.
Big Sound Marina is close to town, a short walk up the hill and you are there. We took in “Art in the Park” and a concert at the Stockey Center for the Performing Arts by the Canadian Brass 5. There is a two-mile fitness walk around the perimeter of town along the shore and back through town. The library is a modern structure and there is an assortment of restaurants. We sampled Lill’s Place for breakfast after our walk.
A cautionary note: the decking of Big Sound docks sits atop pontoons and is fastened with angle irons to the pontoons. There is only one run of 2 by 8 wood skirting but the dock could stand three runs to cover the angle irons. The way it is, the gap to the water will swallow a ball fender and a low slung part of the hull will hit the angle irons. The dinghy bow rest on our starboard quarter got chewed up and the platform got dinged when a zealous dockhand pulled a stern line in far enough to shove the platform under the top skirting.
Our next major stop will be Killarney. We will make the 90 miles in easy stages until late next week. With no intervening towns we are looking at hanging on the hook for the next four or five nights.