MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry
South Baymouth (Manitoulin Island) tp Tobermory (Bruce Peninsula)
by Gary McWilliams
Below is a video of our “OCEAN” adventure on the MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry.
 “Video of our trip, South Baymouth to Tobermory on the MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry.”
WOW! That was close! We were the last vehicle to board the Ferry!
Chi Cheemaun Ferry 1
“The MS Chi-Cheemaun Ferry”
Here we were in South Baymouth (Manitoulin Island), early! We wanted to check out the town and the Chi-Cheemaun before we boarded. We had a 4 1/2 hour (plus) wait ahead of us for our trip to Tobermory (Bruce Peninsula). That’s when Judi suggested that we visit the Visitor’s Centre!


Chi Cheemaun Ferry 2

“We were the last vehicle to board!”


It had all started when we visited the Ferry ticket counter. We had planned to leave on a later Ferry, but when the ticket clerk mentioned that we could take the “about to depart” Ferry, we jumped at the chance! We told her that “we would take it”. She said “that we would have to leave immediately and HURRY”! We ran (would you believe, walked quickly) to our car and drove directly to the ticket “taker”. We were the only vehicle in the line-up area! The attendant told us to head straight for the Ferry’s loading ramp. As we approached the ramp, we were flagged to the last spot available. As soon as we had parked, the loading ramp came up and the giant doors swung closed! I turned to Judi and said “WOW! That was close!


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“We were told where to park.”


Now that we were safely aboard, we were ready for an exciting “OCEAN” adventure. Judi likes to call Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, her “OCEAN”. The MS Chi-Cheemaun is “364 feet long” and can carry “638 passengers and 240 autos(source Wikipedia). Simply said, The Chi-Cheemaun is a very impressive motor ship!


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“The doors shut behind us. We were safely aboard!”


Our voyage across Georgian Bay had actually started months before. In the spring we had decided that we would travel to Northern Ontario to visit various attractions and friends. Our trip started in Eastern Ontario and then headed north through North Bay to Sault Ste. Marie.

After spending the night on Manitoulin Island at Gordon’s Park Eco Resort, we headed for South Baymouth where the Chi-Cheemaun would depart for the Bruce Peninsula and Tobermory. This was to be the last “leg” of our “fabulous adventure”!


Chi Cheemaun Ferry 5

“We explored the ship. The Gift Shop had lots of great merchandize.”

Our first though, after boarding the ship, was to explore it. After drudging “up and down” the various levels, Judi said “I want to go outside for some fresh air!” I followed. There was a fair breeze blowing, but it wasn’t too bad because we were in an outside corridor on the “starboard– side” (impressed?) that was protected from the wind. We decided to follow the corridor to the “bow” of the Ferry. What a change! The wind was now coming almost straight at us! The “fair breeze” had turned into a “strong wind”! Waves were “slapping” against the hull of the ship while “Seagulls” rapidly “sky-rocketed” by as they “road” the “strong wind currents”! I turned to Judi and said “let’s go in.” She shook her head. I couldn’t hear her! The wind was too loud! I shrugged my shoulders and headed for the comfort of one of the ship’s lounges. Quiet at last! It seemed that Judi had wanted to stay out so that she could take pictures (lots of them… thank goodness for digital!) I just wanted to get away from the wind. We were both happy, after all, I didn’t want the wind to “mess” my hair, what I’ve got left of it! 


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“Walking up the ‘Starboard-side’ corridor.”


Towards the end of our voyage I relented and forced my way through the wind to the “bow”. This time I was the “Port-side” (still impressed?) Judi was still there “snapping” photos! There were lots of other “photo geeks” (no offence) braving the winds. The wind was still strong, so I removed my hat (before it was blown away) and let the wind destroy my “weave”! Not to be outdone by the “photo geeks” (again no offence), I “fired up” my trusty “Sony Action Camera” and joined the “group”!


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“A strong wind hit the bow of the ship as we headed for Tobermory!”

Docking in the Tobermory Harbour proved to be very fascinating! As we approached the docks the “bow” of the Ferry started to rise! It was like the ship had become “JAWS” and was opening “wide” to attack some unsuspecting “surfer”. Oh dear, my mind was beginning to “run wild”. Fortunately the “loud speaker” bellowed “return to you vehicles”.


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“The Chi-Cheemaun became ‘JAWS’ as we approached the Tobermory docks”


Now awake, Judi and I, reluctantly, headed downstairs (we almost got lost!). Eventually we found BIG RED. Even though we were the last in, we were one of the first vehicles out! 


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“Eventually we found ‘Big Red‘!”


Suddenly we were back in the bright sunlight and starring with amazement at the “enchanting” village of Tobermory!


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“Tobermory at last!”

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