Friday, June 16, 2017

Little Tub Harbour

The main harbour in Tobermory is known as the Little Tub Harbour, and during the summer it is full of boats, surrounded by stores, and swarming with tourists.  On the north side is the ferry dock.  So it's a busy place at times, especially during July and August.  But we were there on Monday evening in mid-June, and it was relatively quiet.

What we knew we wanted to see was the new large design on the Chi-Cheemaun ('Big Canoe').  This has been installed as part of a major renovation and marketing program for the ship.  It's a huge decal, and is applied like wallpaper.

The design is in the 'Woodland' style of native art, a style developed by native artists on Manitoulin Island.  It features bright colours, with typical dark outlines, and native symbols.

The Chi-Cheemaun is a front and rear loading ferry, and can carry 140 vehicles, including full size transports.  As I mentioned yesterday, we have ridden it many times.  Ferries appeal to us.

The rest of the harbour contains much smaller boats.  On the opposite (south) side, the old fishing boats are usually found, often now working as dive boats.  Recreational diving is very popular here due to the clear water and all the shipwrecks.  This is the sort of boat I road on when I originally visited Flowerpot Island 50 years ago, taken there by an old fishing captain. Cap'n Smith.

In another week or two the rest of the harbour will be crowded with yachts and sailboats.  Every year recently they have been extending the docks to meet demand.

And here's a rare pic of the Furry Gnome, beside the Bruce Trail Cairn, originally unveiled in 1967.
The 50th Anniversary of the trail was celebrated here last Saturday.  I believe I was here in 1967 originally, and if I could ever find the picture, I could celebrate my own 50th Anniversary on the trail!

Looking across the harbour from the cairn are more docks of sailboats and tour boats, with the Chi-Cheemaun in the background.

And just around the corner another of those Canada Coast Guard self-righting ships that patrol the Great Lakes.  This one is the Cape Commodore.  I think I've now seen three of these ships this spring.

We stopped by the Blue Heron Cruises to ask about a cruise for the next day and were pleased to learn it wasn't busy.  On the other hand, after reading several places about visiting off-season to avoid the crowds, we discovered the evening Sunset Cruises weren't offered yet, because it was the off-season!  Bit of a vicious circle there!

Someplace under the docks this big Water Snake was hiding.  It the morning it slipped out briefly as we were waiting to board our ship.  Not a snake I would want to handle.  Not poisonous, but it could give a nasty nip.  Tomorrow - shipwrecks!


  1. Love going there off season as we have done in the past, nice to actually see a pic of you too !

  2. What beautiful art work on that vessel! I would recoil to see that snake!

  3. The Chi-Cheemaun is looking good. I was there once but never took took the ferry boat. Looking back I wish had.

  4. Harbors are always colorful and interesting places; the ferry is quite the colorful subject for photography.

  5. I love the Big Canoe and te regional art!

  6. Superb make-over, great art work, great pic of you, and then along came the man holding the sign for Blue Heron Cruises. Did he take a nod from you? What a delightful place to visit and stay.

  7. Hello, the ferry and mural are cool. I like the shot of Furry Gnome and the cairn shot. Looks like a fat snake. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  8. All my visits to Tobermory over the years have been pleasant ones and I have nothing but great memories of that whole Bruce Peninsula area. Three of us once helped a friend take his sailboat from Little Tub Harbor down the coastline to Wiarton in the month of September. Spectacular memories. Have ridden the Chi-Cheemaun several times and love that new paint job. Only been to Flower Pot Island once nearly 25 years ago but the memories are still fresh. Tobormory is truly a gem and best visited in the 'off-season tourist time' for sure. Always like your photos...........

  9. Remember Flower Pot Island only from a child's perspective, haven't been there since. So cool the creativity to name these places. So, that is why you are called F.G.! :)

  10. That is a wonderful design on the ferry. But I most especially appreciate a rare picture of the Furry Gnome! That entire area is really delightful. :-)

  11. What a beautiful area. That sure is some big decal!!
    Nice to see a picture of you. : )

  12. That's a great spot, I would love to see all the boats and that first ship!! I am glad I did not miss this post, I don't think I have ever seen a picture of you - you look just how I imagined!!