SS Norisle

This is the SS Norisle on a picture postcard circa 1970. It’s a ferry that carried travellers and their vehicles from Tobermory to South Bay Mouth, thus cutting off a huge amount of road travel.  This trip didn’t save much time when you factor in loading and off loading, and waiting for departure times.  But it was a nice change from all that driving around the lake, and of course made for great photo ops.  And a boring story to tell the grandchildren.

The Norisle was built specifically for the Tobermory/South Baymouth passenger ferry service and made its first run in 1947. The impressive ship could carry 200 passengers and up to 50 vehicles, doubling the capacity of prior vessels. In 1975 the ship was sold to Manitouaning, Ontario and converted into a floating museum/restaurant.

Now I would have been happy to stay inside somewhere staring at a nice durable and stable wall or something, but W. of course needs to be out there practically dragging his feet in the water. 

As you can see, he’s wearing his high water pants and his Brock leather jacket.  I loved his beard.  All his biologist friends had beards.  I can still remember being totally dismayed when he decided to shave it off.  Now I’m wondering why I had such strong feelings about facial hair – there’s just no explaining some things.   

And this would be me sticking close to the life boats just in case, looking like Eyore, with a cloud of doom hanging over my head.

And here I am proving that I am not a complete wuss.  My indented hand prints are probably still visible on that railing.  I had on my high water pants too!!!  HAHA!!  And clogs!  Gawd.  Moving right along…..

This is obviously a picture I took, making sure I got the flag in there.  I have never professed to be a brilliant photographer.  I’m just happy that cameras continue to improve despite who operates them. 

Stretching 365 feet in length at a weight of nearly 7,000 tons, the Chi-Cheemaun is the largest ship of its kind on the Great Lakes. In operation since 1974, the Chi-Cheemaun, meaning ‘Big Canoe’, can carry 143 cars and 638 passengers between Tobermory and South Baymouth. The ferry can make the 30-mile trip in less than two hours at an average speed of 18 miles per hour.

 This is the one we went on years later with my parents and our kids.  It’s still going strong, and they even have dinner cruises on it now. 

And that’s my little Ontario ferry history lesson for today.  (Not very well disguised as just another excuse to dredge up some old pictures and some ancient memories.)

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