Okay, so we weren’t exactly sailing, nor did we go away per se. But we were on the Segwun, nonetheless. Here’s what this historic boat ride is like.
This post was originally published in 2009. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.
After arriving in Toronto, I was immediately whisked away to Muskoka to spend some quality time with my mum at a friend’s cottage. Muskoka, a world-famous cottage spot which is about two hours north of the city, holds many fond lifetime memories for me; visiting the cottages of various family friends; getting cabin fever with high school friends (we thought it would be a good idea to cram six of us into a one-room cottage for a week when it was too cold to be outside); and riding my motorcycle on the scenic twisty roads during the annual bike rally in Parry Sound.
Re-learning to drive on the “right” side of the road was not as much of a challenge as I had thought. When approaching the car I rarely manage to correctly guess which side of the car the steering wheel is on, but this is a trend that has simply continued since Thailand, where the driver’s side is on the opposite side from what I’m used to in Canada. That, and because the turn signal and windshield wiper controls are switched around, my intent to turn left is usually signified by some frantic windshield wiper action.
Okay, on with the story, Nora.
Every time I have had the good fortune to go for a ride in a friend’s boat on Lake Muskoka, we usually passed by the Steamship Segwun, carrying passengers on afternoon cruises, or wining and dining them for a sunset dinner.
And as tradition has it, if those in passing boats beep their horn and wave, the Segwun will return the favour with its beefy bellow. This time I got see the game played…from the other side.
The Royal Mail Ship Segwun has a storied history as North America’s oldest passenger steam ship. Since its inauguration in 1887, it has been retrofitted (to be more environmentally friendly, in addition to structural work to make sure it doesn’t sink) and treats passengers to Muskoka’s beautiful vistas every day.
What a treat it has been, to have the historic Segwun experience during my visit back home. It is a wonderful way to come full circle in Muskoka – still one of my favourite places in the world.