Maritime History of the Great Lakes

With Goal in Sight Saw the WAUBUNO: Schooner Days MCLIX (1159)

Toronto Telegram (Toronto, ON), 8 May 1954
Full Text
With Goal in Sight Saw the WAUBUNO
Schooner Days MCLIX (1159)

by C. H. J. Snider

Toronto-Manitoulin, 1868 - 8

THREE weeks out from Toronto Ripple, R.C.Y.C., 40-ft. schooner yacht of Wm. Cooper Campbell, reached Tobermory, at the top of the Bruce Peninsula, after a stormy passage up Lake Huron. Less ardent sailors would have rested a couple of days in the two Tubs, Big and Little, as Tobermory's double harbor is called, but Campbell and his merry men pushed on for their goal, Manitoulin Island.

Before them stretched one of the finest cruising grounds in the world—try it this summer!-island studded Georgian Bay, with its wonderful North Channel of sheltered water opening up ahead.

Ripple's logbook reads on:

Thursday, Aug. 13, 1868

Weather Fine

Wind Fresh W.

Distance 52 Miles

AFTER a delightful night's rest and an unsuccessful hunt after game this morning, we started about 10 a.m. and stood on past Echo Island, Cove Island, Luvas, Yeo and, Fitz William Islands, to a narrow channel between the East and James Islands. It was very narrow, but we passed through it beautifully. Our route has been over, splendid trolling ground, but although we reduced our sail down to double reefed mainsail and reefed staysail, we could not run slower than 7 to 8 knots with the wind we had. We found out afterwards also that we did not troll deep enough—like many other lessons learnt too late to profit by.


Passing Fitz William Island we came to the high rocky shores of the Great Manitoulin, and steered for Cape Smyth. A tremendous fire was raging on the Island, sending up a huge column of smoke rising high up into the sky and floating far away of brilliant whiteness like masses above it a beautiful fleecy cloud of snow and causing a vivid contrast to the black, dense mass that rose from the land and cast a dull black here on the water as if a heavy thunderstorm were at hand.

Off Cape Smyth the wind failed us, and we cast out our reefs, but no sooner had we done so than down came the wind again and "All hands on deck to shorten sail!" was the cry. About 6 p.m. we reached George Island, and had to beat up a very narrow channel to Killarney, formerly called Shebawanoning. Here we tacked about twenty times, the channel being only about 100 yards across, not enough to gather headway to go about again, but every man was at his post, and as "Hard a lee!" (christened "Harry Lee") was sounded, away went everything, and 'round she came as well as could be wished. At 6.30 we tied up to the wharf and made ourselves comfortable for the night. The cabin was turned into a writing school and all hands were busy with pen and pencil writing home, for the steamer is expected tomorrow.


August 14, Friday

Weather Fine

Wind Fresh W.

A day at Killarney waiting for the Waubuno with news from home. In the morning the Captain caught two fine pike, making a good dinner. Arthur and Morley started off with their guide, but returned wet and unsuccessful. Another pike was added to our store, and a number of fine perch. About noon the steamer came in, and 'joyful faces danced around.'

Followers of Schooner Days will reall the tragic Waubuno, and her "Unheeded Bride's" warning. The Waubuno was bright and shining in her second season on the Georgian Bay in 1868, for this was eleven years before she rolled over upon every soul on board.

"In the evening we had a grand concert with Harley, Morley and Arthur and Capt. Waggoner for performers. The day had been spent getting up the rigging, reeving some new running gear that had got frayed out, and getting into trim for our next start. Killarney is a dull little place, inhabited by Indians and half breeds, but sending away a good deal of fish. Wild berries are cheap, and large quantities are sent to Toronto.

All the Indians are breaking up camp, going to Wekwemikong for a grand procession on Sunday next. Wonderful to say they are quite busy taking their wigwams to pieces, and getting all into their boats ready to start. Away they go, crowded with their household lumber, squaws and papooses. We sail tomorrow.

Wekwemikong is On the east side of Manitowaning Bay, one of the two great bays which almost cut off the east end of Manitoulin Island. If the name seems too long, to speak tripplingly on the tongue, try the place farther south on the butt end of Manitoulin — Wekwemikong. That's all

August 15, Saturday

Weather wet and squally with thunder

Wind W. and Variable

Distance 18 miles

At daylight we started down the channel, to a good place for bass fishing near the lighthouse and had splendid sport, laying in fish enough to last us for some time. We had scarcely reached this place when there came on a heavy thunderstorm, which speedily drenched us. However, once in for it a little more made no great difference, and we fished away till breakfast time.

We decided to start at noon, hoping the weather would clear up but it would not do so and the unfortunate port watch were in for a benefit.

Snider, C. H. J.
Media Type
Item Type
Date of Publication
8 May 1954
Language of Item
Geographic Coverage
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.80007 Longitude: -81.58308
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.493333 Longitude: -81.766666
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.9625 Longitude: -81.517777
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.43337 Longitude: -81.74978
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.971111 Longitude: -81.516111
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.812222 Longitude: -81.7975
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 45.80007 Longitude: -81.71649
Richard Palmer
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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With Goal in Sight Saw the WAUBUNO: Schooner Days MCLIX (1159)