This is a very short video taken from the air of the 100 Mile Cruise back in August of 2012. This appears to be the final gathering place at the top end of Little Lake Joseph. You can really get a sense of the amount of antique boats that accompanied us on this historic cruise. I was fortunate to be on the RMS Segwun for this special cruise. I wish I knew who to credit for the video.
This is the Wenonah II riding shotgun during last August’s recreation of the historical 100 Mile Cruise that took place on the big 3 lakes, Muskoka, Rosseau and Lake Joseph. I had the pleasure of riding alongside on the Segwun steamship for the 12 hour journey. It was the first time they embarked on this historic cruise since 1958. I hope it doesn’t take another 50+ years to do it again.
The sun was dropping rapidly as we approached Gravenhurst after spending 12 hours on-board the Segwun steamship during The 100 Mile Cruise. Hundreds of beautiful heritage boats followed us on our journey this day and now at the duration there was one last boat tracking us on the final journey. It was the Edith II a 26 ft. Fay & Bowden circa 1905, recently brought back to life by Dukes in Port Carling. As the Edith II ran up beside us I was surprised to see my friend and infamous Muskoka photographer Bev McMullen shooting us as we waved frantically. Well, what to do but grab the camera and shoot back.
This past weekend I had the privilege to board the RMS Segwun steamship and take part in the 100 Mile Cruise. This historic event was the highlight of the summer in Muskoka and will provide enduring memories for many years. Here are a few pics of the journey which departed Gravenhurst at 8:30am and returned 12 hours later. Please click on each photo to get a 1600 pixel shot.
There were many cottages and boathouses crammed with people cheering us on as we passed the shorelines.
Arriving in Port Sandfield at the swing bridge was astounding with more large crowds greeting us and taking photos. As we passed through the channel you could see an amazing flotilla of wooden boats waiting to join us.
This is the Wenonah II passing through Port Sandfield with other boats starting to tag along for the journey.
A large number of the most beautiful vintage boats toured alongside of us. It was breathtaking to see just how many there were. Unfortunately I was not able to recreate the scale of it through photos from one ship. When the aerial photos come out you will see how grand the entire event was.
Take me to your Captain. I had the opportunity to go up on the bridge and visit the Captain and navigator. Very cool people with nerves of steel.
The final destination was up on Little Lake Joseph. I was surprised the route we took as I have often taken my own boat through here and you need to be very careful of the shallow water. I had heard the Captain had spent the day before testing depths for this journey. At the end of the Bay in Little Joe is a large cliff once called the Natural Park where the steamship would stop and let people out for a walk. Today it is private property. At this point the entire flotilla of boats jockeyed around the two steamships while helicopters zoomed bove taking aerial footage of this remarkable event.
The Wenonah II coming back from the top of Lake Joe heading towards Port Sandfield
I shot this photo off the bow of the Segwun as we passed through Port Sandfield heading back towards Port Carling in the late afternoon. We were just about to be called to the dining room for a great dinner.
The RMS Segwun returning home after a very long day. I’m just glad I didn’t have to shovel the coal.
For the first time since 1958 this Saturday August 18th, 2012 the 100 Mile Cruise will be recreated with the RMS Segwun and the Wenonah II tracing the original route of the SS Sagamo steamship. There will be over 100 other historical wooden boats accompanying the steamships on their journey on the Big 3 Muskoka Lakes . The proceeds of this event are being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society. More info here
If you are interested in seeing the steamships and the large flotilla of classic boats they will be traveling through the locks at Port Carling and Port Sandfield. Itinerary below.
8:30 am Depart Gravenhurst Wharf
11:00 am Arrive at Port Carling Locks
12:00 pm Arrive at Port Sandfield Locks
2:00 pm Arrive at Little Lake Joe
2:30 pm Depart Little Lake Joe
3:30 pm Arrive at Port Sandfield
4:30 pm Arrive at Port Carling
8:00 pm Arrive at Gravenhurst Wharf
A historical handout on the 100 mile cruise here
View Big Cruise for a Big Cause in a larger map
The original 100 mile cruise brochure from 1950
In celebration of the Segwun Steamship’s 125th anniversary the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds performed a flyby at the wharf in Gravenhurst on Friday June 29th, 2012. I found a cool 35 second video on Youtube below.
Note: the Segwun and Wenonah II along with a flotilla of over 100 antique and classic boats will be recreating the original 100 mile tour on the Muskoka Lakes Saturday August 18th, 2012. Apparently the last time this journey was made was in 1958 so there is plenty of interest in this years 125th anniversary celebration. The Segwun steamship is listed as sold out however you may be able to get on the Wenonah II. Details here.
I was contacted by the
folks crew at Woody Boater recently, a very cool website that is dedicated to classic boating and watercraft. I was honored that they asked if they could use some of my Muskoka Blog photos for a story they were working on.
On Saturday August 18th, 2012 departing from Gravenhurst the 100 Mile Cruise will be recreated on the RMS Segwun tracing the original route of the SS Sagamo steamship. There will be over 100 other wooden boats accompanying the 1887 built Segwun on her journey. The proceeds of this event are being donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
For additional details Click Here for the Woody Boater article.
If you happen to pass through Port Carling you will notice the RMS Segwun Steamship is in for a pedicure and manicure. The locks have been drained creating a drydock while they perform the work. The Wenonah II is right behind her and will be taking her turn next.
One of my old Segwun Steamboat shots appears on the cover of the Summer and Fall (Huh, Fall?- that’s a bad word right now) edition of Absolutely the Best – the ultimate shoppers guide to Muskoka. They were also nice enough to include a full page about the MuskokaBlog in the rear section. You can browse the shopping guide Here or click on it for a large sized original photo of the Segwun on Lake Joseph.
If you have traveled around on the Big 3 lakes in Muskoka for any length of time you have probably noticed the Idyllwood. Captain Randy Potts was born and raised in Muskoka and used to captain the Segwun Steamship. Now he has his own gig operating Sunset Cruises. One of the cool things they will do is set you up on your own custom cruise picking 12 people up at your dock. I plan to do this with a group of us someday. Small businesses like Captain Randy’s deserve a plug. Its not easy making a living as a seasonal business.
PLease click on the photo for a larger version – thanks
This is Grace and Speed located at the Muskoka Boat and Heritage Centre in Gravenhurst. It contains a great museum that features the history of Muskoka’s boat building, grand hotels and the steamship era. The boat slips contain many different antique wooden boats that were built in Muskoka. It is well worth a visit especially if you are planning on going out on one of the Steamships.
Please click on the image for a boathouse sized photo
On a rather drab day this summer I hiked up to Huckleberry Rock near Milford Bay in Muskoka. I’m not particularly happy with this shot as the light was wrong and I never brought the proper gear with me as I wanted to save some weight. However, the timing was good as the Segwun Steamship was cruising through the bay on Lake Muskoka. The other object in the background that looks like a boat is actually a rocky island. You can see it better if you click for a larger size.
If you are Canadian – have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
I had a chance to spend some time in the pilothouse with the Captain of the R.M.S. Segwun steamship in Gravenhurst earlier this month. I thought it would be rather fitting to also visit the engine room to see whats happening. Well you can see by the look of crew Grumpy that he was none to pleased to see me and my camera. Oh well, I’m sure he got over it.
A group of us were out on the Segwun steamship recently and as we disembarked we noticed the Wenonah II was filled with well dressed people unlike our obligatory T’s and Sneaks. It was a weddings day in Gravenhurst and your soup spoons on your right?
As we strolled down the dock I noticed the bride and groom walking towards us. I had to do some advanced ninja contortion moves to get the camera out in time to fire off a couple of quick shots before they disappeared into a new life.
It was a blustery 4th of July when I had a chance to board the R.M.S. Segwun steamship out of Gravenhurst, Ontario. The Segwun is North Americas oldest operating steamship and one of the crown jewels of Muskoka. The R.M.S. designation stands for “Royal Mail Ship” and you can still mail a letter or postcard from her today. I had the opportunity to spend some time in the pilothouse with the Captain discussing his many adventures on the Muskoka Lakes.
Port Carling, Ontario – located in the hub of Muskoka features one of Canada’s great roadside attractions. The worlds largest historic photo mosaic spanning 111 x 45 feet.
“The Wall” as locals refer to it is made up of 9028 individual photos of Muskoka’s first 100 years – 1860 to 1960. Each photo was digitally manipulated to show the superimposed S.S. Sagamo steamship circa 1922 which regularly passed through these locks. When you get up close you can see the original log cabins, the bearded homesteaders and the nautical machines of Muskoka’s great historical past.
click the image for a Steamboat Size photo
I was passing through the town of Gravenhurst this morning and noticed the Muskoka steamships docked at the wharf. On the left is the R.M.S. Segwun built in 1887 and re-launched June 1st, 1974, by Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau. On the right is Wenonah II a replica (2002) designed with the style and grace of a 1902 Muskoka steamship. There is also the 1915 Wanda III (not shown) originally commissioned for Mrs. Timothy Eaton of the Eaton department stores currently being restored.
Long before the era of modern roads, steamships sailed the Muskoka lakes from early spring to late fall, carrying passengers, mail and freight to the many resorts and villages not served by the railways. If you have not had the opportunity of taking a cruise on one of these historic beauties I would highly recommend it.