Wilderness next door

von Hinnerk Weiler am 04.06.2012 / in english
Narrow entrance leading into Wingfield Basin, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

Narrow entrance leading into the natural harbour

Georgian Bay, Canada. – One more overnight sail from Kincardine and I reached Georgian Bay a few days ago. The night was calm, black, filled with stars and disgusting cold. But at least Lake Huron seemed to wait for me to leave before going wild.

The VHF announced strong winds with nasty westerly gusts in the afternoon while I sailed into the rising sun of the day and spotted the first channel makers to head into Tobermory area.

I have to compare it to Sweden, Finland and Norway because it is what I have known first. In one way the scenic was quite similar, but then quite different. The similarity is based in pine-tree covered rocks, well sheltered channels between islands and surprisingly shallow reefs surrounded by deep deep water. Different is the formation in higher altitudes. While the smaller Islands and rocks look quite the same to scandinavia the flat top of Bruce Peninsula is different. Steep and high bluffs have been washed out quickly with a sharp outline where the steady ongoing flow in northern Europe left more rounded contours at the end of the last Ice Age.

Shipwreck in Wingfield Basin, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

Few traces of civilization: The shipwreck at Wingfield Basin

It is as beautiful as I have imagined it to be. And it appears at the first glance to be as remote, as I wished it to be. How abandoned the shores appear could be done best by „one“, counting the number of boats I have met on the water between Sarnia and Owen Sound in almost two weeks.

The one joined me for the last night in a natural harbour called Wingfield Basin on the north eastern tip of Bruce Peninsula. It was perfectly at hand to hide from the strong winds and is the only place to seek shelter for many miles, well protected behind a well marked  narrow entrance. These Buoys and the range mark take a little of the felt remoteness but not much of the beauty. The almost perfect round harbour, three to five meters deep and crystal clear is completely hidden behind surrounding woods and the high cliffs of Bruce Peninsula. The only other sign of civilization were an ornithological station, some remains of an old fishing camp and a footpath to the nearby lighthouse.

SV Paulinchen anchored at Wingfield Basin, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, canada

Paulinchen anchored at Wingfield Basin

Having the wilderness next door and one anchor to west, one to east it was a perfect place to listen for to two days of heavy rain drumming the cabin and wait the bluster of clockwise shifting gusts around 25 to 35 knots causing a thunderous surge on the shores.

Stormy days in Wingfield Basin where Paulinchen hided for a few days in the wilderness

Stormy days in Wingfield Basin

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