The village of Tobermory is situated right at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. it is a place of incredible beauty perched at the edge of a white ridge of silurian dolostone, at the point where the ancient reef dips beneath the sparkling blue waters of Georgian Bay.
This was once a thriving community that relied on fishing and its three saw mills around little tub Harbour for its mainstay. In the 1920’s the logging industry died with the dwindling timbers of the northern Bruce and by 1940 the arrival of the Lamprey eel had sunk the fishing fleet (figuratively speaking). Today it is tourism that remains, rock climbing, hiking kayaking, diving and the unbeatable scenery that is a photographers dream.
The divers are especially fortunate, the cold turquoise waters are absolutly littered with wrecks and underwater geological features. The three narrow channels just off shore were treacherous waters for the 19th century schooners. The Main Channel between cove and Lucas Islands is seven kilometers wide, the Devil’s Island and Cape Hurd Channels are both around 300 meters wide, surrounded on either side by rocky spires that rise to within a few metres of the surface. It would have been a major feat to navigate one of the great old schooners along one of these narrow trenches. The lake’s frequent and sudden storms added to the difficulty.
Here in a local dive shop – one that my caving partner tells me “caters more to the technical diver” the cylinders are lined up for a day of use – nitrox and trimix included.
SEE THE RELATED POST, “GREAT LAKES SCHOONER LIES SHIPWRECKED JUST OFF THE COAST OF THE BRUCE PENINSULA (June 5th 2006)