Ten Fun Facts about Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay, named for King George IV and often referred to as the “6th Great Lake”, has some interesting history along with a few world records! Here are 10 fun facts about the Bay:

#1: Wasaga Beach on the southern shore is the world’s longest freshwater beach.

#2: Manitoulin Island at the NW edge is the world’s largest island situated in a freshwater lake.

#3: The Georgian Bay Ship Canal, if built as planned in the early 1900’s, would have joined Ottawa to the Bay through the French River. This project would have been along the same scale as the Panama Canal, with large commercial freighters and cargo ships passing through what is now the unspoiled wilds of the French River. Here is a link to the story if you wish to learn more:


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The Falls at Go Home

The falls at Go Home are an amazing place for a dinghy day trip, the journey being just as fun as the destination!

Go Home – a beautiful water access cottage community just north of Cognashene – will celebrate it’s 125th anniversary next year. There are a few stories about how this area was named, the more popular being for the loggers who drove the timber down the Musquash river system into the Bay during the 1800’s – once they had delivered their log booms to the local wharf for transport by steamer, their job was complete and they could “go home”.

By the turn of the 20th century that same wharf began to welcome what would become the original “Go Home” cottage settlers, along with supply ships throughout the summer months bringing mail, visitors, and sundries. Today it is still the social hub of the community, hosting many get togethers for the local cottage association members to participate in.

The Waubic approaching Go Home Wharf (photo courtesy Madawaska Club, ca 1915)
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New Flare Technology for Canadian Boaters

With Transport Canada’s recent approval of Electronic Visual Distress Signals (eVDSD) for pleasure craft vessels, I decided to do a little research into this newer technology to see what benefits they offer boaters and if they are a better option than traditional pyrotechnic flares, both environmentally and safety wise.

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Love the Lichen

You will see them all over Georgian Bay this summer – covering the most exposed rock in hues of yellow, orange, grey and green – these wonderful organisms are often confused with moss. We all admire the beautiful colours however many don’t realize the critical role lichens play on the Bay!

A unique combination of fungi and algae, lichens form and spread on surfaces, building a foundation for moss, grass, and other plant life to grow under the harshest of conditions.

One of the many amazing features of lichen is they absorb their nutrients from the atmosphere so their presence in an area indicates good air quality, and we could all use a lot more of that! So when you’re out exploring beautiful Georgian Bay this summer, find the lichens and breathe deeply!

Weather, Wind, Radar and Water Level Links

When on the Bay I like to do quick periodic checks of forecasts, especially when enjoying a long dinghy day trip. Wind, wave heights and radar are all things to keep an eye on. Tired of going to the various websites I decided to compile everything I need onto one page so I can quickly access the information from my phone or tablet. Note that this is not a substitution for regular MAFOR updates, only suggestions and you will need cell/internet service to access these. It is always recommended to monitor Channel 16 for marine warnings from Canada Coast Guard.

After clicking a link and viewing the info, use your browser arrows rather than “X” to leave the link as that will take you back to my page so you can continue on to the next link. Note that in the off season, the Buoy data goes offline.

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Southeast Wooded Pine Island

Southeast Wooded Pine Island is a fun dinghy day trip for boaters anchored in the vicinity of Go Home, Monument Channel or Indian Harbour. This island is best visited on a warm day with low winds forecasted as it is situated a little offshore.

View of the harbour looking west

Preserved and protected by the Georgian Bay Land Trust (www.gblt.org), this 7 acre island is located approximately 2 nm west of Monument Channel and open for boaters and cottagers to explore and enjoy.

The expansive flat bedrock top makes it easy to walk while the gently sloping sides provide wind protection for picnics and afternoon naps. The island also offers great swimming and stunning sunsets. Dogs are welcome, just no fires or over nighting.

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Live Webcam Links – Georgian Bay and Turks and Caicos

Live webcams are a great way for people to preview an area they plan to visit. Georgian Bay has a few that are fairly reliable and although in no way a replacement for official up-to-the-minute marine weather forecasts, they are a great way to get a quick visual of conditions around the Bay.

Below are links to those that are usually operational; note that occasionally they may go offline for a short time if some nasty weather has rolled through.

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