We are behaving in our COVID 19 bubble but my travel habit got the best of me. I had to break free. So, we are road tripping to Northern Ontario (Surprisingly, it is a place I have never been).
We are headed to Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. It is the largest freshwater island in the world and is home to three lakes of it’s own on the island. (They, in turn, also have islands. The island is actually an extension of the Niagara escarpment and has a population of roughly 13,000. There are several reserves on the island and aboriginal peoples comprise 40% of the population. They are predominantly Ojibwa.
We travelled north to Southampton for an overnight with my sisters and then continued this morning on to Tobermory.
Tobermory is the terminus for the Bruce Trail and the home of Fathom Five National Park. I completed my open water diving certification here over 40 years ago and the place has not changed that much. It was packed with tourists because of, you know – COVID, and they were not social distancing well.
We took the Chi-Cheemaun ferry from Tobermory to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island. It typically carries 648 passengers and 143 vehicles including tractor trailers and buses. It gobbles cars and people like a giant PacMan. It is designed as a RORO (Roll on – Roll Off) ferry and it makes the 2 hour passage several times a day. With COVID, it is only carrying 1/3 the passenger capacity and mask compliance is required at all times. It is still impressive sight.
The ship has been doing this route for 45 years and it is immaculate inside and out. Clearly maintenance is a top priority. If I contrast this ship to the ferry between Newfoundland and Labrador – no comparison. The Newfoundland ferry was rusty with paint peeling off of it.
Our B&B on Manitoulin is Willow Shores B&B which is amazing. Set on a two acre lot we have a massive master bedroom and a baked goods feast every morning.