The next morning the wind subsided somewhat, but the sky was dark and it was cold – perfect weather for hiking. From Cedar Spring there’s a nice trail across the island leading to the western shore, a short 30 minutes walk for us to visit the windy, barren western shore of Beausoleil. An interesting aspect of the island is its diversity of scenery, vegetation and wild life: Beausoleil happens to be where the rocky, glacier-scraped landmass of the Canadian Shield meets the St. Lawrence Lowland. Rocky outcrops, old-growth hardwood forest (one of the few remaining in Ontario), wetlands, are all within a couple of hours of easy hike.
We emerged from the canopy of trees onto the rocky beach of the western shore, and saw the full effect of last night’s gale on the open waters of Georgian Bay. Wind had died down to about 20 knots at the shore but the waters were dark with foaming, breaking waves dotted with white caps. I could imagine what it must had been like earlier under the full force of the gale, as defined under the Beaufort Scale Force 8: “Gale; 34-40 knots wind; waves are high and dense, foam blows from the tops of breaking waves, average wave height 6 meters”.