Fred is not one to enjoy being the centre of attention so I knew he would not be happy if I threw a party to celebrate his 70th. What to do. 70 is a big milestone, so I did want to do something to mark the occasions. I wanted to show him that he is loved and that the world has been a better place with him in it.
Then one day, in the Owen Sound paper, there was a big ad for the Chi Cheemaun's final crossing of the season. Dinner, entertainment and a 5 hour boat ride south down the east side of the Bruce pennisula to the Owen Sound harbour, where the Big Canoe rests for the winter.
Fred and I have a special connection with the Chi Cheemaun. For more than 25 years we spent our summer vacation time on Manitoulin, arriving on the island via the Chi Cheemaun. Our very first ride was memorable as we naively underestimated the number of people that ride the Chi Cheemaun and couldn't get on the boat for our intended sailing time. Missing the boat means a 4 hour wait. There were rides when we raced up Hwy 6 to make the boat, when we stayed overnight in Tobermory in order to be on the 7 am ferry, or the ride when everyone in our party got on the boat except my single-Mom sister and her 3 small children. If that ferry could have held one more car, they would have been on. Instead we waved good bye to the 4 of them as they forlornly sat, first in line for the next ferry.
With all that history, coupled with the fact that both Fred and I enjoy being on the water, I booked the day away as his birthday gift.