Georgian Bay of Lake Huron is really misnamed. Some consider that it ought to be its own sixth Great Lake. It has a maximum NW-SE reach of perhaps 122-miles and a maximum SW-NE span of maybe 60-miles. That is a really big body of water to be just a bay.
In Canadian landscape painting there is a very famous school or genre of artists called The Group of Seven. Their painting style was quite unusual and their subject matter was very often the rugged Canadian landscape of Georgian Bay and the North Channel and the inland parts of northern Ontario adjoining them. The TOPIC line of this thread comes from a very famous painting by Frederick A. Varley of the same name. I have admired that painting for years and a framed print is hanging in my living room. A few years ago we made a trip (by boat) to Ottawa with the express intention to visit the Canadian National Gallery of Art to see the original, which is part of the permanent exhibit there. It was a wonderful experience to see Varley's masterpiece Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay in person; no print or low-resolution digital image can convey the artistry of the original.
I have borrowed the name of the famous painting for this thread because I came across an old digital image of a trip we made in Georgian Bay in 2004. There was some stormy weather on that trip, and I mean both meteorologically and metaphorically. I want to share this image with you. It was taken by Mike Gephart from his OUTRAGE 18. The image metadata say the date was August 12, 2004. The time is noted as 6:30 p.m., but I suspect that since Mike is from Minnesota, his camera clock was probably keeping Central Daylight Time, and the image was probably taken at 7:30 p.m. local time.
The image shows a line of several boats traveling northward on the Georgian Bay Small Craft route. As the dark clouds suggest, the weather was becoming stormy and daylight was beginning to fade. The colors in the image correspond well to the palette of colors Varley used in his painting. Mike snapped this shot from the helm of his OUTRAGE, while traveling near the back of the pack of boats. It is a very nice image and it captures the scene very well. Although the weather looks threatening, I do not recall that it rained that evening, at least not while anyone was underway.
A passage along the Georgian Bay Small Craft route requires very careful navigation. There are thousands of rocks, shoals, and hazards just a few feet away from the safe channel, and you must be vigilant at all times. One missed buoy--and the buoys are very small buoys--can result in disaster. For that reason, I very strongly prefer to not be underway except in daylight and excellent visibility. Having experienced some very tense and needlessly difficult passages after sunset in this region, I have vowed never to make that mistake again.
I thought perhaps in the midst of Winter, readers might enjoy seeing this excellent image from a 12-year-old cruise. It brought back many memories of that trip. My gratitude is to Mike for sending me this digital image many years ago after the trip. I haven't heard from him in a while, but I suspect he still has his OUTRAGE 18 and still enjoys boating with it. On a technical topic regarding Boston Whaler boats, please note the use of a Sampson Post as the bow mooring fitting.
I examined the original JPEG image for meta-data with EXIF VIEWER, a great application that can reveal an amazing wealth of information about digital images. Unfortunately, there was not a GPS receiver in Mike's Canon PowerShot S300 camera, so no location was recorded. I have not deduced the exact location, but it somewhere south of the Byng Inlet (our destination that day) and north of Point Au Baril. My guess is perhaps the port-side buoy is A99 and the rocks seen to port might be "The Brothers." (See Canadian Chart 2203 around mile 46 for the details. ) This is near Charles Inlet on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, about 15-miles south of Byng Inlet. At this point the Small Craft Route breaks out from its protected run behind a long string of barrier islands and goes into open water a few miles offshore, and that is what we see in this image. This correlates well with my recollection of this flotilla arriving at Byng Inlet around 8:30 p.m.
Accounts of trips taken in Boston Whaler boats; organization of rendezvous for Boston Whaler boats
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Here is a second image from that same trip. I believe Pat Henahan took this shot. There is no EXIF meta-data, so I don't have much information on this shot. The date stamp is off compared to the other by a few days, but I think the date might be the file-creation date of a transferred file, and this is actually from the same day as the image above, perhaps somewhat later in that day, based on the darker sky. It is another great shot of stormy weather on Georgian Bay. Thanks to Pat Henahan for sending me this image years ago. I think you'll like it: