Address: 8 Eliza St
Date: September 2022
There have been ferries travelling between Tobermory and South Baymouth, Ontario for over 100 years. Tobermory is at the top of the Bruce Penninsula and sits between Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. If you wish to travel further from here you will have to either take a boat or else head back and go the long way around. On a trip from Sault Ste Marie, Ontario we travelled south by ferry to Tobermory.
The ferry service started in the 1920s with the SS Hibou. Later came the MS Normac which could hold up to 16 cars. There were a couple of other ships before the SS Norisle came along in 1946. You can still find the Norisle docked at Burns Wharf in Manitowaning on Manitoulin Island.
The Norisle was capable of holding up to 46 cars as it made its journey from Manitoulin Island to Tobermory and back again. In 1958 the Normac returned to help share the work load. When the Normac retired, the MS Norgoma joined the Norisle in making the 46 km voyage.
The Chi-Cheemaun can also hold large transport trucks like the truck full of livestock in the photo above. You can get an idea of the size of the Chi-Cheemaun as it prepares to dock.
Like the Norisle and Norgoma that came before it, the Chi-Cheemaun was built in Collingwood, Ontario.
The beautiful indigenous art, like the turtle pictured above, gives the Chi-Cheemaun a bright colourful look.
The sides of the ship also feature birds and fish.
In South Baymouth we entered the ship through the stern. We first had to wait for the vehicles that had arrived from Tobermory to leave from the same opening at the back of the ship.
Upon arrival in Tobermory, the bow of the ship flips up to allow the vehicles to exit and a new group to enter. If you see the Chi-Cheemaun in the harbour with its front flipped up you have not yet missed your ferry, but you better hurry.
It was a beautiful, clear day when our ferry left South Baymouth to head south to Tobermory.
The Ontario flag at the front of the ship blew in the breeze as we started our one hour and 45 minute journey.
The Chi-Cheemaun passses by the famous Flowerpot Island. The flowerpot formations made from the rocks are shown in the mural above. Unfortunately as the Chi-Cheemaun passes, these rocks are on the other side of the island.
The ferry does pass Cove Island and you can get a good view of its lighthouse.
At some points during the journey you can see nothing but water as you look from the deck of the Chi-Cheemaun.
Map of Our World
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