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Chantry Island Enchantment

© By Nancy Loucks-McSloy
  Chantry Island Lighthouse At the age of four I would stand on the beach at Southampton, Ontario gazing across the water at the lighthouse on Chantry Island. To me that island was probably in another country. Maybe there were pirates, who knows what was there but I was enchanted with the island and the lighthouse. Whenever we went to the beach, I would ask my parents to take me to that island. If I could have swum across, I would have!
     That enchantment has stayed with me for years. When I drive through Southampton I have to stop at the beach, no matter what time of day or what season it is.
     People talk about their travels and how beautiful the beach was in Cancun, or how wonderful the museums were in Europe. You hear about the charming Bed and Breakfasts in New England and the lighthouses along the east coast, the sunset on the west coast. Stop and think about it for a minute-Canada has all of that and more!
     I have traveled the continent from north to south, east to west and to points further visiting many lighthouses. Even so there was always a burning urge to visit Chantry Island. Finally my dream came true! The trip to Chantry Island was everything I ever imagined! There weren't pirates and Chantry Island is in Canadian waters, not another continent, but when you get off the tour boat you are sent back in time and can easily relive what it would have been like for the lighthouse keepers and their families.
     The captain of the boat and the crew are excellent as are the tour guides. It is a quick ten minute cruise to the island. That day the temperature was about 33 degrees, so the boat ride was a welcome break from the humidity. Once you arrive there is so much to see and do. A tour of the lighthouse for those who feel like climbing, a tour of the lightkeeper's house which has been restored inside and out, furnished with artifacts from the appropriate era. Many great stories were shared by the guide. For the nature lover there are so many plants native to the area and the island is also a bird sanctuary.

Heritage Gardens, Bird Sanctuary Chantry Island  Lake Huron Shoreline from the top of Chantry Island  Lake Huron Sunet, Southampton, ON  Privy a.k.a. outhouse at Chantry Island 

     Once you are back on "the mainland," a trip to the museum is an absolute must! Not only is there a complete section on maritime history, but an amazing historical display of the area. If you are a child or "a kid at heart" there are many "hands on" things to do.
     If you live in the area and planning a day trip, don't forget the great shops along the main street. Whether it is "fast food" or elegant dining the choice is yours. If you are traveling from further away and need accommodation there are many places to choose from. I topped off a perfect day with a stay at Chantry Breezes, a gorgeous Bed and Breakfast by the beach, which of course gave me the opportunity to watch the breathtaking Lake Huron sunset.
     My mini vacation was not over. The following morning I drove north along the beautiful Bruce Peninsula to Tobermory, toured the Cultural and Interpretive Centre and took the boat cruise to Flower Pot Island, viewing the Georgian Bay shipwrecks.

Nancy Loucks-McSloy is a freelance writer based in London, Ontario who loves to travel and write about her experiences. She is a member of several professional writing associations and has been published in many local magazines and newspapers as well as several national publications.

Photo Credits
Nancy Loucks-McSloy

If you go
Bruce Peninsula
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Chantry Island Tours: www.chantryisland.com or call toll-free 866-797-5862.
Museum: www.brucemuseum.ca or call 866-318-8889 (toll-free).
Chantry Breezes: www.chantrybreezes.on.ca, or phone 866-CHANTRY.
Bruce Peninsula: www.explorethebruce.com or call 800-268-3838, or www.brucecoastlighthouses.com

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Maps (Mapquest) World: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?country=GB
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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