2016 Cruising the North Channel

Winfall-Boyles

After visiting the boat in May, and driving up without Jane 🙁 I got the boat launched and mast up. Because of some family issues, we decided to get a slip at Boyle’s marine so we can run home when needed and not worry about Windfall. 4 days of 90 degree (F) heat and high humidity.

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Friday, July 22, 2016 – Blueberry Bay to “Grumpy Bay”

Departed Blueberry at 9:30 am before I’d even finished my 1st cup of coffee. Two other boats, Wanderer and Esprit de la Mer came as well, with Wanderer in the lead. Had a fairly uneventful motor through the narrow channels up to Iroquois Bay’s North Channel. Anchored in “Grumpy Bay”, named by our friends because an American power-boater yelled at them for coming into the bay on their dinghies. Swam and went to shore to get a better cell signal. Last Resort and Biscuit City arrived around 5:30 and we had a gathering on Windfall. Had a relaxing evening listening to Brian on Esprit de la Mer play guitar and sing folk songs.

Thursday, July 21, 2016 – Blueberry Island

Had a nice morning coffe and looked up to find we’d pulled the anchor into deep water, and were drifting across the bay. The anchor was dangling 60′ down, not touching bottom! So glad it didn’t happen last night!! Went to Swallow for Birthday cake (Donna’s b-day), then rushed back to the boat to re-anchor after Last Resort and Biscuit City left for Little Current. Just got the anchor down when a huge thunderstorm rolled through. Torrential rain and many close lightening strikes. Back to Swallow for Chili & Taco chips.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 – Little Current to Blueberry Island

Had another great sail to Blueberry Island. Left Little Current in time for the 11:00 bridge. Wen we arrived, there were 7 other boas there: Last Resort; Wanderer; Swallow, Esprit de la Mer; Biscuit City and Better Than Working. Set the anchor twice and crossed my fingers. Rock Bottom. Very deep harbor (40 -60′), but shallower on the West Shore. Went for cocktails on Swallow after a nice long ride in the kayak.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 – Dead End Bay to Little Current

Had another wonderful sail down McBean Channel and up Wabuno Channel to Little Current. Pumpout & fuel at Spider Bay Marina and into our slip at Boyles. Met Lynn & Dan in the next slip for the night. They just bought an Aloha 34 in Midland and brought it up to the North Channel. He’s a professor of astronomy and she teaches English at the same school. Went shopping an for a walk and ice cream. After dinner, another walk.

Monday, July 18, 2016 – Dead End Bay

Stayed another day at Dead End Bay due to high winds from the East. There aren’t many good anchorages in the area that provide protection from the East. Went for a kayak ride around the bay and into McBean Habor.

Sunday, July 17, 2016 – Belle Cove to Dead End Bay

Had a beautiful sail to McBean Harbor, then back into Dead End Bay behind Anchor Island. Great hurricane hole. Anchored East ofthe local landing and went to shore for a weight workout. Went below at mosquito time!

Saturday, July 16, 2016  Little Current to Belle Cove

Departed Little Current around 12:30 pm. Motored and sailed to Belle Cove and anchored on the West Shore Met Brian and Jean from a beautiful double ender Clairvoyant.,made by Toshiba. Went for a long Kayak ride and after dinner went below…COLD!

Friday, July 15, 2016 – McGregor Bay to Little Current.

Pulled up anchor at around 11 am. Had a wild sail (7-8 knots) all the way to Little Current. Made the 3:00 bridge. Tied up at our slip and Jane went to the store while I cleaned up work email and made a few calls.

Thursday July 14, 2016 -S. E McGregor Bay

Had a leisurely morning. The winds howled all night and we didn’t get much sleep. Went for a long kayak ride. Swallow (Dave & Donna) invited us for cocktails along with Brenda and Linden on the 26′ poweboat Lady Jane. Wind still strong, but supposed to lighten tonight after 10:00.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – Heywood to Little Current to McGreggor

Had a quiet morning with the last of the alcohol (got 2 pots out of it!). Called all the shops in Killarney. No one had any. Made the decision to run back to Little Current. Had a nice sail and made the 11 am bridge. Bought alcohol, topped the water tank and pumped out and stil made the 12 pm bridge! Jane even made it to the grocery store and back. Had a rousing sail and entered Bay Fine to go to Mary Ann Cove. Boats packed in like sardines so we went back out an around to McGreggor Bay’s S.E. corner, arriving about 5:00 pm. Long Day! Took a couple attempts to get the right spot, but had a nice evening.

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Tuesdaty, July 12, 2016 – Heywood Island

Leisurely morning. Lots of coffee. Realized we we’re out of alchohol for the stove! Just enough for coffee tomorrow. Kayaked around the lagoon and took the dinghy to see if there’s any fledglings in the eagle’s nest.

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Beaver dam and eagles nest are SO similar!

16-7-12a1Only one fledgling this year. As soon as I put the camera and tripod away, one of the adults flew in.:( Here’s a shot of him from a distance handheld with a 400 mm lens:

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Monday, July 11, 2016 – Heywood Island

Grocery shopped. Finished getting the boat ready and motored to Heywood Island. Hanked on the Mainsail and relaxed.

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Beautiful evening. Swallow was there. Dave stopped by to chat. Alsomet Lawrence and Jean on Better Than Working, an English couple that were on a 26′ Australian built sailboat with twin keels.

 

Sunday, July 10, 2016 – Little Current

Finally made it up to the boat. Left Lake View at 8:00 a.m and arrived at 3:30 p.m. Whew! Long drive. Spent the afternoon cleaning (Jane) and installing a new battery charger (Larry). Treated ourselves to dinner at the Anchor Inn, then relaxed on the boat. Beautiful evening!

2015 Cruise – The North Channel!

August 29, 2015 – Saturday – McGregor Bay E.W. Channel to Little Current

Woke up early and took Penny to shore. As it’s a rainy day, we decided to head to Little Current and change the oil on our engine. As we left the anchorage, here’s a picture Jane took from where we were leaving.

Windfall anchored in the East West Channel of McGregor Bay

Windfall anchored in the East West Channel of McGregor Bay

August 28, 2015 – Friday– McGregor Bay North Channel to McGregor Bay E.W. Channel

Reversed our route from North Channel and returned to the E.W.. Channel. Check the tab “Windfall’s Route” at the top of the page to get an idea where these spots are. We anchored behind an island with 2 other boats and tied the stern to shore. After taking Penny to shore for exercise, we kayaked for 1 ½ hours and found a beautiful natural channel for small boats that goes all the way out to the open bay.

Narrow channel in McGregor Bay - We kayaked about 2 miles down it and back!

Narrow channel in McGregor Bay – We kayaked about 2 miles down it and back!

Beautiful rock formations. It’s hard to believe these are natural channels!

Kayaking down a narrow channel in McGregor Bay

Kayaking down a narrow channel in McGregor Bay

Kayaking a channel in McGregor Bay

Kayaking a channel in McGregor Bay

We saw a beaver dam that sounded like there were baby beavers inside! Could that be possible in late August?

I released our line to shore for the night as I feel more secure swinging at anchor should bad weather arise. It rained during the night, but no significant winds.

August 27, 2015 – Thursday – McGregor Bay S.E Channel to McGregor Bay North Channel

Visited Wanderer to see his sonar display, as I’m looking at updating my chart plotter. Departed McGregor S.E for McGregor N. Followed a route that we went over with Glen this morning. There are several tight spots to get through, and I thought I’d studied them enough. Got to the spot referred to as “The Shoal” and made the turn I thought was right. Jane on the bow started screaming STOP! I put Windfall in reverse and almost stopped her when we hit..hard! The keel was resting on the rock, so when we pulled back another bang as we came off the rock.

The route we SHOULD have taken

The route we SHOULD have taken

Everyone says it’s not if you hit a rock up here, but when..well, we found ours! Continued on through Roosevelt Cut, a really narrow (20’) channel, that was cut for Teddy Roosevelt so he could fish in Iroquois Bay. With no more mishaps we found a beautiful anchorage in North Channel.

Our anchorage in the North Channel of McGregor Bay

Our anchorage in the North Channel of McGregor Bay

Had a nice swim and checked the keel for damage. We knocked a little rust off the bottom and had a small scratch forward of the keel.

August 26, 2015 – Wednesday – Kilarney to McGregor Bay S.E. Channel

Departed Kilarney for McGregor Bay. Sailed until we got to the McGregor Bay entrance channel, then motor sailed up to what we thought was the S.E. Channel to meet Last Resort, but found we were in the wrong spot. Turned south and found the anchorage they were in. Also there was John & Sandy Manson on their tiny tug Wanderer. They were on shore with a fire so we joined them. Penny and Glen’s Parson Terrier Jay got along well! Met on Last Resort for dinner with the others and had a nice visit, discussing things we’ve done to our boats. Went for a spin around the bay in the dinghy and retired for the night.

Wanderer

Wanderer

Last Resort

Last Resort

August 25, 2015 – Tuesday – Killarney to Kilarney…one more night ‘cause it’s cold!

Cold and rainy day. Decided to stay at Kilarney one more night. Mostly read and walked the dog. Bought what we thought was blueberry pie at the new bakery at Mountain Lodge, but I think it was hawberry, and too little sugar

August 24, 2015 – Monday – McGregor Bay to Killarney

Up late – windy rainy night. Had coffee and checked the holding tank – FULL! Decided to brave the winds and make a run to Killarney for the night to get pumped out, shop and do laundry. Had to motor from the anchorage all the way to the entrance to Landsdowne Channel as the 15 – 20 knot winds were on the nose. Arrived around 3:00 and got all the chores done. Cold, windy and rainy. Holed up below with the heater on.

August 23, 2015 – Sunday –McGregor Bay

Up early to get Penny to shore. After coffee we went ashore and worked out with weights. Gotta get into shape for skiing! Exercised Penny as well. She’s doing great for a 15 year old in renal failure!! Took the Kayak for a spin. There’s a channel cut from this channel to one north of us. It’s only 6’ wide, so it’s a REALLY small boat channel!

Channel cut between East Channel and the bay to the North!

Channel cut between East Channel and the bay to the North!

Paddled about a mile into the channel, but after a weight workout, we were fading fast!

You can get into really shallow water with a Kayak!

You can get into really shallow water with a Kayak!

Beautiful day (supposed to rain & TS.). Went for a swim. The water is very warm (for the North Channel).
August 22, 2015 – Saturday – Little Current to McGregor Bay

Departed Little Current at 11:40 to make the 12:00 bridge.Had a nice sail all the way to the entrance to McGregor Bay and motored up to the Eastern Channel. On the way, I had to dodge a shoal by turning 90 degrees left, then back to course, then jog back to the original heading. Jane who was on the bow taking pictures looked back and said “REALLY!”. You really want to know where you are up here! Dropped anchor in about 25′ of water and put out 80′ of scope. Not enough, but the anchorage is small and very protected.

Windfall Anchored at the end of East Channel - McGregor Bay

Windfall Anchored at the end of East Channel – McGregor Bay

Interesting erosion on local rock formations.

Interesting erosion on local rock formations.

Interesting erosion on local rock formations.

Interesting erosion on local rock formations.

Interesting erosion on local rock formations.

Interesting erosion on local rock formations.

Checking out the rock erosion in McGregor Bay

Checking out the rock erosion in McGregor Bay

After taking Penny to shore we took a ride in the kayak to explore the area a bit. This is the prettiest spot we’ve been to this summer! Went for a swim/bath and relaxed. Dinner, reading and nature watching, bed.

August 21, 2015 – Friday – Little Current

August 20, 2015 – Thursday – Little Current

August 18, 2015 – Wednesday – Little Current

August 18, 2015 – Tuesday – Mary Anne Cove to Little Current

Got up at 7:30 and made coffee. The motor started, so when I took Penny to shore I untied us from shore. Bob from Hunky Dory came over to discuss solar panels and generators. We pulled anchor and motored out into Baie Fine. Beautiful misty morning! Took some pictures, and couldn’t decide which I liked best. You can decide!

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Baie Fine Morning

Very little wind, so we motored through calm waters past Strawberry Island to Little Current

Strawberry Island Lighthouse

Strawberry Island Lighthouse

I charged both batteries and let the cooler run on high for an hour. The questionable battery seemed to hold it’s own, so I’m hoping it’s OK.

August 17, 2015Monday – Mary Anne Cove

After coffee and taking Penny to shore, we went for a swim. The water here is “warm” (ie: bearable). I took a thumb drive over to Winsome II with the pictures I took of them, along with our card. Had a nice conversation. We have a lot of common interests! They pulled anchor and departed for Covered Portage. We had breakfast and launched the kayak. We paddled across Baie Fine to a cove that is protected in an East wind.

Tree roots underwater at bay across from Mary Anne Cove

Tree roots underwater at bay across from Mary Anne Cove

Kayaking off Mary Anne Cove in Baie Fine

Kayaking off Mary Anne Cove in Baie Fine

Very pretty. There is a trail head there that you can portage to McGregor Bay on. We decided that it was probably too late in the day to go back, get our stuff and come back to hike it…next year.

The lack of sunshine where we anchored plus overusing the battery caused the battery that handles the cooler to discharge. I tried to figure out if it was a bad battery or just not charged. Couldn’t tell! It was down to 4.8V, so I turned the cooler off. Better to lose a little food than kill the battery entirely! Bob Dunan from Hunky Dory, the boat next to us offered to let us use his portable generator if we couldn’t get the motor started in the morning. What a great and helpful group these North Channel cruisers are!

August 16, 2015 – Sunday – Heywood Island to Mary Anne Cove

After getting coffee and listening to the Cruiser’s Net (a daily staple), we pulled anchor and headed to Mary Anne Cove. There was little wind, so we had to motor the whole way, arriving around 11:30 a.m. We tried anchoring twice, but the water depth was 25’, not the 5’ on the chart. A 100’ rode would be minimum, but it’s not that large a cove. A couple on Winsome II, a CS 34 (Jill & Bill) came over in their dinghy and offered to help get us tied to shore. He took our line (an old halyard, 110’ long) and tied it to a tree. We anchored, then backed up toward shore until we could reach the line. Now we’re in the most protected spot in the cove!

We took Penny to shore to fetch a stick in the water to get her tired, then put her below to nap. We took the dinghy to shore at a trail head for hiking to Caison Peak. After 40 minutes of hiking, we got to the top and enjoyed the view.

View from the top of Caison Peak

View from the top of Caison Peak

View from Caison Peak at Mary Anne Cove

View from Caison Peak at Mary Anne Cove

At the top of Caison Peak

At the top of Caison Peak

Jill and Bill were there and we took pictures of each other with this fantastic backdrop (it really was a 100’ drop behind us!).

Jill & Bill from Winsome II

Jill & Bill from Winsome II

We had lunch (late at 3:00) and then hiked back. We were overheated as it was 91 F and humid. The water was perfectly cool, and more so when I dove down 20’ to check the anchor. Really refreshing. Had a snack and a beer, dinner, reading, bed.

August 15, 2015 – Saturday – Heywood Island

Slept in ‘til 8:30! Penny made it through the night without accident, so I prepared coffee and woke Jane to time it while I took Penny to shore. Got back just in time for Cruiser’s Net. 3 power boats that were back in the west channel departed and we pulled anchor and moved there to get away from the noise of the camp. Took 2 tries to get the anchor to set. The trip line I have been using tangled with the anchor, so I dove down and removed it. Much quieter! We then took Penny for a longer shore time, and let her swim after a stick for a while. After getting her back to the boat, we launched the kayak and went for a nice paddle around Browning Island. Stopped and talked to the couple on Sae Bridd about some different anchorages, then went back to the boat. We decided to stay another night at Heywood, as it is so pretty. We saw an eagle fly over a couple of times. Went for a swim. My anchor was still upside down, but seemed to be holding, so I left it. I don’t know how the days go so quickly! Beer, dinner, reading, bed.

August 14, 2015 – Friday – Little Current to Heywood Island

Stayed in Little Current until 12:30 and then made the 1:00 bridge east toward Heywood Island. Got there around 3:30. We anchored in the bay, but noticed that the camp at the head of the bay was being cleared and tired of the stereo and chainsaws. We were about to move in closer to the West Bay, but still could hear the noise. We got into a conversation with the couple on Kokomo, a Hunter Legend 37.5. he told us about going into McGregor Bay, and gave me the coordinates where to turn. He only gave me the longitude, so I had to “reckon” what the latitude was, and I marked it on my chart plotter. He had a Labradoodle puppy, CUTE! We took a long ride in the dinghy, to check out the east bay. With the wind forecast, it didn’t look as protected, so we stayed where we were. An eagle flew the length of the bay. Too quick to try to get the camera out.

August 13, 2015 – Thursday – Beardrop to Little Current

Up early – made coffee – pulled anchor and departed Beardrop.

Whalesback Channel - See how it got it's name?

Whalesback Channel – See how it got it’s name?

Whalesback Channel - See how it got it's name?

Whalesback Channel – See how it got it’s name?

The anchor was hard to get up after all that wind! Light winds, so we started motoring to Spanish Harbor to grocery shop and do laundry. Got a radio call from our friend Glen Parsons on Last Resort offering use of his car to get home to pick up our car. We changed course and headed for Little Current, passing through Little Detroit, a narrow channel from Whalesback Channel to McBean Channel.

Going through Little Detroit

Going through Little Detroit

We were able to sail for about an hour, but the wind died again and we motor sailed into Little Current, arriving at 3:00 p.m. Met up with Glen, his wife and grandchildren. Did laundry, Jane went grocery shopping and I did some boat maintenance. Quiet evening, early to bed.

Sunset in Little Current

Sunset in Little Current

August 12 , 2015 – Wednesday – Blind River to Beardrop Harbor

Departed Blind River at 10:00 a.m. Light wind, so we motored until the wind came up, then pulled out the Genoa. Had a beautiful sail! Pulled in to Beardrop Harbor at 12:45 p.m. and set anchor.  Took Penny to shore and watched several boats come into the bay.

Anchored in Beardrop

Anchored in Beardrop

Penny at Beardrop

Penny at Beardrop

Jane's signature sailboat cairn

Jane’s signature sailboat cairn

Still smiling after 2 months on a boat with me! Amazing!

Still smiling after 2 months on a boat with me! Amazing!

The winds started to get stronger and were gusting to 20 knots. Howling in the rigging! Some had difficulty setting their anchors with all that wind! Jane spotted an eagle sitting in a treetop nearby. I grabbed the Nikon with the 400 mm lens we inherited from Jane’s Dad and started snapping. Sorry for the quantity, but you don’t see this everyday!

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Eagle at Beardrop Harbor - You can see how windy it is...his feathers are ruffled.

Eagle at Beardrop Harbor – You can see how windy it is…his feathers are ruffled.

Eagle watching us in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle watching us in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle grooming

Eagle grooming

Eagle watching us in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle watching us in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle watching us in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle watching us in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle taking off in Beardrop Harbor!

Eagle taking off in Beardrop Harbor!

Went for a swim/bath. The water was bearable! It was only cold when I got out in all that wind. We went for a ride around the area and found more places to anchor! I think we’ll join the Great Lakes Cruising Club for their archive of remote anchorages. The wind died down around 11:00 p.m.

August 11, 2015 – Tuesday – De Tour Village to Blind River

Departed De Tour Village at 9:45. Motored for about ½ an hour and pulled out the Genoa. Had a nice sail into the North Channel. As the wind faded, we raised the main, but the wind finally died down too much to sail. Arrived in Blind River at 4:30 p.m. to light rain. Finally got a decent wifi connection! Windy afternoon! This place seems to attract wind!

August 10, 2015 – Monday – Government Bay to De Tour Village

Pulled anchor at 9:00 a.m. Motored out of the Les Cheneaux Islands and motored to De Tour Village. No wind. Had a relaxing day on the water and pulled in to De Tour Harbor around 4:00 p.m. Jane did laundry and I tried to repair the internet connection. After a pork chop dinner, I went to the gas dock to see if I could get online. It turns out they just have a little desktop router that won’t reach the docks! I’ll get my system going some day!

August 9, 2015 – Sunday – St. Ignace to Government Bay

Departed St. Ignace around 9:00 a.m. Had a nice sail only having to take one tack to make the West Inlet for the Les Cheneaux Islands. Arrived at Government Island around 3:30 and anchored. The anchor release line fouled under the boat and dragged the anchor. Had to jump in with my goggles to see that the float had caught on the prop (thank goodness it wasn’t turning!). Released it and got the anchor set. That was the coldest water I’ve been in!! Took Penny to shore.

Anchorage off Government Island in the Les Cheneaux Islands

Anchorage off Government Island in the Les Cheneaux Islands

This is a picnic/camping spot and there were a few boats there. One was a pretty Peterson design sailboat around 32’. Went for a short hike with Penny. Sad how people have littered the woods. Later, a Pearson 365 arrived. Other than it had a Bimini, it was Blue Skies’s twin! (Blue Skies is Jane’s father’s boat, now owned by her brother Doug). Chilly night. Closed up, read for a while…sleep.

August 8, 2015 – Saturday – St. Ignace w/ Piedes

Had a leisurely morning. Rode our bikes up to the Straights campground to see the Piede’s campsite.

Piede's Camper at the Straights Campground

Piede’s Camper at the Straights Campground

Went for a hike to see the views of the Mackinaw Bridge.

Mackinac Bridge from campground

Mackinac Bridge from campground

View of the Mackinac Straights Bridge from the campground

View of the Mackinac Straights Bridge from the campground

Rode back to town and took Windfall out to go under the bridge. This is our chance to stick our noses into Lake Michigan! The sound of the vehicles going over the metal decking was erie!

Mackinac Bridge from the water - we touched into Lake Michigan!

Mackinac Bridge from the water – we touched into Lake Michigan!

Bob at the helm

Bob at the helm

Bob steering with his toes...like he was born to it!

Bob steering with his toes…like he was born to it!

Had a nice sail. Bob faired well, with wrist bands and steering the boat. Only had an issue when he went below for a minute. Tried to go for a hike, but poison ivy turned us back. Went to the Driftwood Inn for dinner. Great fish in a bag! Stopped for an ice cream on the way back to the boat. Said goodbye to the Piedes and called it a night. There was fireworks, but we stayed below and relaxed.

August 7, 2015 – Friday – Mackinaw Island with the Piedes

After coffee and breakfast, the Piedes met us at the Starline’s Ferry Dock. We rode over to Mackinaw Island on the ferry, which threw a huge rooster tail! Reminded us of skiing behind Dave Doty! Went for a nice bike ride around the south end of the island.

Arch Rock on Mackinac Island

Arch Rock on Mackinac Island

Percheron draft horses on Mackinac Island

Percheron draft horses on Mackinac Island

Motley crew overlooking Mackinaw Harbor

Motley crew overlooking Mackinaw Harbor

Gingerbread cottage on Mackinaw Island

Gingerbread cottage on Mackinaw Island

Rewarded ourselves with an ice cream at the Grand Hotel. Pretty fancy. They wanted $10 just to see the lobby! Returned to St. Ignace around 4 to relieve Penny. Jane and I were beat, so we just had dinner on the boat and called it a day.

August 6, 2015 – Thursday – Hessel to St. Ignace

Departed Hessel around 9:30 a.m. Motored out of the Les Cheneaux Island West entrance and set sail for St. Ignace. Had a great sail and arrived at the St. Ignace Harbor at 3:30 p.m. We beat the Piedes after thinking we might not be able to make it! The Piede’s came to the harbor and showed us their new camper. Very nice! Met Lakoda (without Penny). She’s lively! They went up to the campground and set up and then rode bikes down and we went out to dinner at the Village Inn. Had fish on a plank. Very tasty!.

August 5, 2015 – Wednesday – Harbor Island to Hessel, MI

Slept in a bit after a long day yesterday. Tough to leave such a pretty spot! Motored out past DeTour Village and into Lake Huron. Past several ships coming and going to the Soo Locks in Sault St. Marie. Turned west and headed to the Les Cheneaux Islands. Motored in the middle channel and to Hessel. Past some amazing “cottages” along the way as well as some interesting ones!

A modest cottage in the Les Cheneaux Islands

A modest cottage in the Les Cheneaux Islands

Interesting cottage on the Les Cheneaux Channel

Interesting cottage on the Les Cheneaux Channel

Past a lot of Pearson Ensigns in the channel. Must be the perfect boat for this spot!

Pearson Ensign in the Les Cheneaux Channel

Pearson Ensign in the Les Cheneaux Channel

Got the last slip as there’s a wooden boat show starting tomorrow. Our slip is reserved for the weekend, so we have to head out. Several boats came in for the show. Amazing varnish!

August 4, 2015 – Tuesday – Blind River to Drummond/Harbor Island

Happy Birthday to me! 65. I’m on Medicare now! Finally looks like we can make a break for it. The wind was light (albeit on the nose), and wasn’t supposed to increase until 4:00 p.m. We left the dock around 9:00 a.m and motored to Drummond. The wind kicked up on cue at 3:30. We tried to call customs, but didn’t have a signal, so we motored in to Drummond and reported in there. The port was small and the wind was strong, so we opted to anchor out at Harbor Island. What a beautiful anchorage! We ran in to George and Jane who we met at Blind River on Plain Jane, their trawler. Nice couple. Ran Penny to shore and went for a swim. Warmest water so far! Even though the winds were strong, we slept well in this very protected anchorage

August 3, 2015 -Monday– Blind River – Another bike Ride!

Got up to check the weather at about 6:30, hoping to get out of Blind River. The wind seemed OK, but as I watched the fog rolled in! Then the wind kicked in again! Went for a nice long bike ride to Hope Lake. Saw 3 or 4 pileated woodpeckers! Went to the store and bought groceries. The box I packed them in fell off (check the bungies next time!). One box of blueberries popped open and spilled on the side of the road…5 second rule! Jane and I gobbled as many as we could (even a little gravel). A nice lady stopped in her pickup and offered to take the groceries back to the marina. Thank you miss!!

August 2, 2015 – Sunday – Blind River

 

High winds and thunderstorm forcast kept us in port. Dreary day, but a chance to fix the Dunkirk YC website and update this blog!

View out the port in Blind River

View out the port in Blind River

Thunderstorm off Blind River. Glad we stayed in port!

Thunderstorm off Blind River. Glad we stayed in port!

August 1, 2015 – Saturday

Although the weather report called for high winds in the afternoon, we figured we could make it to Blind river before they started. We pulled anchor in Moiles at 8:20 a.m and motored out of the Walesback Channel.

Leaving the Whalesback Channel.

Leaving the Whalesback Channel.

Motored into waves and arrived at Blind River around 12:30 p.m. Decided to go for a bike ride and rode up Rt. 557 to Cataract Falls River.

Blind River Bike Ride to Cataract Falls River

Blind River Bike Ride to Cataract Falls River

The wind kicked up on our ride which made the return trip a bit more challenging. We stopped for ice cream to reward ourselves. Back at the boat, Jane did laundry and I messed up our internet trying to fix it. Project for another day! Had dinner and read ’til bedtime.

July 31, 2015 – Friday

After coffee and checking the weather, we decided to push on to Moiles Harbor. We enjoyed that anchorage last year. After filling the water tanks and walking Penny one last time we headed out. The winds were a consistant 15 knots, but the Walesback Channel isn’t that long, so the waves weren’t too bad. Arrived at Moiles about 12:30 and anchored in the middle of the western bay. We followed another boat in that took the spot I had wanted, so we took Penny to shore and scoped out the area. Winds kicked up to 30+ Knots. Getting back to the boat, 2 more boats came in and took the spot we had chosen before we could move. 🙁

Stayed put and went for a swim (bath). Had my evening beer and dinner, then relaxed in the cockpit to read. Looking up, we’d moved across the harbor and were almost on the rocks! Anchor dragging! Tried another more protected spot, but dragged there as well (toward another boat). We pulled anchor again and moved out of the West end. In discussing it with other boats, this harbor bottom is all sawdust from the old logging days and is known for poor anchor holding. Finally got the anchor set and watched the Blue Moon rise. Wow! This picture doesn’t do it justice. It was HUGE!

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July 30, 2015 – Thursday

Still thinking about the web page problem, I was up at 6 a.m. making coffee. After about an hour, I discovered it was the server the website is on…not in my control. I emailed, called and texted them and hopefully they will get the issue resolved. If not, on to a new server company! I made up a reduced feature page, and hopefully it will suffice.

Jane and I climbed up to the lookout over Spanish Harbor and took some pictures.

View from Spanish Harbor lookout

View from Spanish Harbor lookout

View from Spanish Harbor lookout - High Wind Warnings!

View from Spanish Harbor lookout – High Wind Warnings!

View from Spanish Harbor lookout

View from Spanish Harbor lookout

How'd you say this camera worked - Spanish Harbor

How’d you say this camera worked – Spanish Harbor

The winds are howling. Gusts up to 80 kmp (50 mph). We decided to stay put and relax. Jane, of course, had to climb to the lookout a dozen times or so. Wish I had her energy!

 

July 29, 2015 – Wednesday

After coffee,aahh, coffee, we motored out of the bay at Eagle Island and through the Little Detroit channel to the Whalesback Channel. Almost out of everything with empty water tanks and full holding tank, we opted for Spanish Harbor Municipal Marina. After fuel and pumpout, we tied up and rode our bikes to Almenara En El Rio Marina and Campground. Glen from Last Resort recommended this as a possible place to leave the boat for the winter. They have inside and outside storage and the pricing is right. Then into “town” (not much there) for groceries and the OLCB for beer. Back at the boat, I went to update the Dunkirk Yacht Club web page, and something was wrong. I gave up trying to fix it at 11:00 p.m. and went to bed in disgust.

July 28, 2015 – Tuesday

After a couple of coffees, we departed Matheson Island for Hotham Island. Found a dinghy oar floating in the channel and reported it on the radio…no response. Almost to Hotham Island, I decided I liked the looks of Eagle Island, so we turned in there. Another beautiful anchorage! The only fly in the ointment – Stranger, a powerboat from Boca Raton, FL.- ran his generator all evening until 9:30, ruining the “magic hour”. When he finally turned it off, I yelled “THANK YOU” – one ugly American to another! Jane wasn’t amused (nor was Penny).

Our rides

Our rides

Island in Eagle Island Bay

Island in Eagle Island Bay

Windfall at Eagle

Windfall at Eagle

Took Penny for one last ride to shore and enjoyed the sunset, but not the noise!

July 27, 2015 – Monday

After a leisurely morning, we departed Louisa Island for Matheson Island a couple of miles West. Nice gentle breeze, so we sailed most of the way. Saw a tall ship, the Pathfinder, sailing out of McBean Channel! Had almost every sail up.

The Pathfinder

The Pathfinder

The Pathfinder

The Pathfinder

Pulled in the Genoa and motored up behind Hog Island. This is an anchorage, but not much protection in a westerly (which is what is forecast). Dropped anchor at Matheson Island. Beautiful anchorage! Jane took some nice sunset pictures (her forte’).

Matheson Island Sunset

Matheson Island Sunset

Jane's Matheson Island Sunset!

Jane’s Matheson Island Sunset!

July 26, 2015 – Sunday

Up at 8:00 a.m. Made coffee and enjoyed a relaxing morning. Took Penny to shore. Interesting landscape. Flat rock for about ¼ mile with an occasional boulder strewn here and there. Penny trotted around in the water, which was 5” deep with the same flat rock. Pulled anchor and sailed away. 5-10 knot breeze. Sailed directly across the McBean channel to another anchorage called Louisa. Fairly protected, but my anchor dragged the first time I set it. Re-set it and it held. Took Penny for a walk on shore and then took the kayak all the way around Louisa Island.

Very pretty! Took Jane to shore across the harbor so she could kickboard back and went for a swim. Talked to 2 gentlemen on Incipient, a Hunter 26 that is from Oklahoma! He trailer’s his boat up almost every year. They later stopped by with a treat for Penny (she was very appreciative, as it’s not on her diet…life’s not worth living without a treat once in a while!). Cooke a steak for dinner, Penny to shore, closed up to hide from the mosquitos!

July 25, 2015 – Saturday

Drizzly morning. Took Penny to shore during a break in the rain, made coffee and departed Snug at about 9:30 a.m. Motored out of Lansdowne Channel and pulled out the Genoa until the wind died. Motored into Little Current and made the 12:00 bridge opening. Got a pump-out and tied up at the east end of the harbor. Took Penny for a walk (to the ice cream parlor) and then having put her back on the boat, went for coffee and internet connection. Walked to the grocery to re-stock the boat, and left Little Current at 3:30 heading for Amendroz Island. Sailed north in Waubuno Channel, then had to turn West into the wind and waves. Had to turn on the motor, and pounded into the seas. Half way to Amendoz, we’d had enough and turned into Bedford Island and Cutknife Cove. Anchored in 8’ of water and had a peaceful night.

July 24, 2015 – Friday

After coffee, we departed Killarney and headed for Snug Harbor. Motored there as the wind was out of the West and we were heading right into it. As we entered Snug Harbor, we saw a black bear swimming across the entrance! It saw us coming, turned around and went back to shore. Anchored in about 20’ of water and took Penny for a walk across the Lansdowne Peninsula to the shore of Frasier Bay. Played fetch with Penny to wear her out, walked back and took her to the boat. Jane and I took the kayak and went for a long paddle. On our return, I jumped in for my daily bath, but didn’t stay in long! The water was bone chilling. Cooked chicken on the grill for dinner. Did our evening ritual with Penny and closed up for the night.

July 23,2015 – Thursday

Had a relaxing morning. Took Penny to shore and had coffee. No other boats in sight except an occasional fisherman. Made coffee and motored back West in Collins inlet. Wind was on the nose, so we motored to Killarney and tied up for the night. Got laundry done and refilled the water tanks.

 

July 22, 2015 – Wednesday

Slept in until 8:00 a.m. By the time I made coffee, Cajole was gone. Pulled anchor and headed east to Mill Lake. Had Jane man the helm while pulling anchor. I need to be sure she can handle the boat if something happens! She did great.

Had Carl’s muffins on the way to Mill Lake. Collins Inlet is amazing! It narrows down to 150’ in spots and seldom exceeds 250’!

July 21, 2015 – Tuesday

Rose early and took Penny to shore after perking coffee. By the time I got back, Jane was up, so we took Penny for a hike after breakfast. After taking Penny back to the boat, we went to shore and climbed to the top of the rocks hunting for blueberries. Found a bunch! Picked about a pint and gave half to our neighbors on Cajole. Went back to the boat and had a bath in the bay. 68 degree air (25 mph wind) and 64 degree water…REFRESHING!

"Cajole" at Keyhole. We gave them blueberries...He made us muffins!

“Cajole” at Keyhole. We gave them blueberries…He made us muffins!

Carl from Cajole stopped by and gave us a couple of blueberry muffins! He backed a half dozen from the blueberries we gave him. He does all the cooking and shopping for his wife and himself. THANKS CARL!

Cooked the second half of the trout filet. Penny tried to eat mine. Dog with good taste. Nite all!

July 20, 2015 – Monday

Had a pot of coffee and perked another. Had a nice discussion with Carl from Cajole, a Beneteau 33 across the dock from us. He was heading for Keyhole Island, and as we had never been there, we decided to go as well. Had a nice relaxing sail up over to and into Collins Inlet and to Keyhole. Beautiful anchorage!

Keyhole sunset - Collins Inlet

Keyhole sunset – Collins Inlet

View from the boat at Keyhole in Collins Inlet

View from the boat at Keyhole in Collins Inlet

Found a spot and anchored in about 12’ of water. The winds began to rise and thank goodness the holding is good. Forecast for tomorrow is 20-40 km (12 -25 mph) winds. Carl and Joanne invited us over for a drink, and he shared a liter of beer that his son had given him for Father’s Day from a Toronto microbrewery. Very good and potent! Discussed boats, families and pets. Penny didn’t want to leave! Back to the boat for dinner and bed (potent beer!).

July 19, 2015 – Sunday

Left Heywood around 8:45. Had a nice sail all the way to Killarney. Got diesel, pump-out and filled water tanks. Tied up at Georges Island across the inlet. It took 4 men to tie up the boat due to the winds. Took Penny to shore and then went to the grocery (had a sundae on the way!). After visiting with some other boats, we saw the fishing boat come in, so we went to the market and bought a huge filet of lake trout. Went over to Clarissa Lee to visit Mark and Sandee. Got a tour of their boat, as we have discussed getting a trawler in 10 years or so. Nice boat! Mark has done a lot with her and has plans for more. Must be a boat owner Sautéed half the trout for dinner and saved the rest.

July 18, 2015 – Saturday

Went for a walk to Boyles Marina. Talked to the owner about winter storage. They don’t have any inside, but they do have outside. Got pricing. Need to think about it. Went back to the boat to drop off Penny, then to the Anchor Inn for breakfast and to make some calls and get reliable internet. Called Dad…no answer again. Checked with Jo Brown. She wasn’t aware of any issues but will check. Called to get off NY State of Health in lieu of Medicare. It took 40 minutes on the phone. Bye minutes!

Went grocery shopping, then decided to head east to Heywood Island. Spent a nice night there, took some pictures of the eagle’s nest.

"Baby Eagles" at Heywood Island

“Baby Eagles” at Heywood Island

Wish I hadn’t forgotten my tripod! Went for a long ride in the dinghy, took Penny to shore and just beat the mosquitos back to the boat!

July 17, 2015

Up early to get going. Made coffee and tried to clear as much off the anchor line as I could. Started the engine and tried pulling up the anchor. What a mess! After about 40 minutes of backing around the anchorage (to keep the seaweed out of the prop and motor intake), we finally got the anchor up and fairly free of seaweed. Clarissa Lee stood by offering assistance.

The side wall in Bai Fine (pronounced Bay Finn).

The side wall in Bai Fine (pronounced Bay Finn).

Motored down Bai Fine and noticed Clarissa Lee near the shore not moving. Called him on the radio to see if he needed help. He had followed a bear that was swimming across the channel! He watched it climb out and up the hill.

Had a rousing motor sail to Little Current cold and rainy, arriving at 1:30 (after a 30 minute  wait for the swing bridge). Tied up and went for hot showers. Went to a happy hour at the Anchor Inn for the listeners of the Cruiser’s net. Met a few of the sailors we listen to every morning. Jane did laundry. Very spotty internet connection.

July 16, 2015 – Thursday

Up early.15-7-16-Pool-Mahayana 15-7-16-Pool-MistMornPut my glasses on the top of my head to photograph the misty morning and they caught on the jib sheet. Splash. An hour of diving found nothing. Watched several boats leave. Big balls of seaweed on their anchors! Not looking forward to that! Had coffee and took Penny to short for a hike to Artist Lake. More like a swamp, but the water lillies were beautiful! 15-7-16-ArtistLakeLilly15-7-16-ArtistLakeGirlsTook Penny back to the boat and lunch. Then Jane and I took a longer hike to Topaz Lake along with the crew from Clarissa Lee, a Nordic Tug (Dad talked about getting one of these before Mom got sick). 15-7-16-TopazJump1 15-7-16-Topaz1

Topaz Cliff Jump

Topaz Cliff Jump

Another pretty spot. Kids were cliff diving into the blue water.

Looked for a trail to an overlook of the Pond, but was not able to find it.

On returning to the boat, we found that our anchor was dragging in the weeds, and had to pull it up. Guess what! Big ball of seaweed. Re-anchored where we were told there was less. We were visited by a snapping turtle, which freaked Jane out. We couldn’t figure out why he was hanging out by the boat. Quiet evening – early to bed.

Visitor - Snapping Turtle in the Pond

Visitor – Snapping Turtle in the Pond

July 15, 2015 – Wednesday

Departed Killarney at 10:00 stopping at the LCBO to see if they found my coffee cup. Nope 🙁  Sailed for about an hour until the wind died. Motored into Baie Fine and all the way up to The Pool. Beautiful channel and a real hurricane hole for an anchorage! Thor Powell is here with Mariner’s Cat. His niece is with them.  Took Penny to shore and stopped by Mariner’s Cat to chat. They went for a hike and Jane and I paddled around the perimeter of The Pool, then returned to the boat for a swim/bath. The couple from the boat next to us stopped to talk. They are from Buffalo too! John and Deborah Rapp. They both work for Holiday Valley as well! Hard to believe we’ve met 3 other boats with connections to WNY. Had beer, snacks dinner, then on the way to taking Penny to shore we stopped by the Rapp’s boat Mahayana to talk some more. They married 3 years ago and bought a boat in the Caribbean. They live in Ellicottville, NY during the winter.

July 14, 2015 – Tuesday

Up early and brewed coffee. Decided to ride out the rain and winds in Killarney. Motored over sipping coffee and arrived around 10:30. Jane did laundry, and we filled up water and fuel and pumped out. Did some grocery shopping and walked Penny. Went to the fish store to buy fresh fish when the boat came in. Lake trout! Also stopped for a sundae on the way back to the boat. The wind has been up and down. The marina (Sportsman’s Inn) tied the finger docks to one another to prevent any breaking free. The winds so far haven’t been THAT strong, but I’ll sleep better tonight.Showers, beer, dinner, goodnight!

Sunset in Killarney

Sunset in Killarney

July 13, 2015 – Monday

We were going to stay another day at Heywood, but the weather forecast changed our plans. Tuesday the wind is supposed to howl, so we want to be in a secure spot. Motored to Covered Portage Cove and anchored in  busy spot. Went for a hike with Penny and were glad we had a can of Cutter’s! Back to the boat for a swim, beer & dinner. Dinghy ride around the cove:

Covered Portage Cove - Beautiful Rock Formations!

Covered Portage Cove – Beautiful Rock Formations!

Covered Portage Cove - Still waters!

Covered Portage Cove – Still waters!

Covered Portage Cove - Quiet Evening

Covered Portage Cove – Quiet Evening

Covered Portage Cove - Beautiful Rock Formations!

Covered Portage Cove – Beautiful Rock Formations!

Covered Portage Cove - Beautiful Rock Formations!

Covered Portage Cove – Beautiful Rock Formations!

July 12, 2015 – Sunday

Up early. Went to the Anchor Inn to the Cruiser’s Net. Had breakfast while observing the controlled chaos of the Little Current Cruiser’s Net

Roy Eaton doing Cruiser's Net on Sunday, 7/12/15

Roy Eaton doing Cruiser’s Net on Sunday, 7/12/15

With Roy Eaton at the Cruiser's Net. The Anchor Inn in Little Current, ON

With Roy Eaton at the Cruiser’s Net. The Anchor Inn in Little Current, ON

Departed Little Current at 11:40 a.m. to make the 12:00 p.m. opening of the swing bridge. Proceeded to Haywood Island. On the way received an email from Sue Brannan that she and Jack on Journey along with George and Pat on Outlaw. They were anchored in the East branch of the Haywood Anchorage. Anchored next to them at 1:30 p.m. After a quick visit, we launched the kayak and paddled over to see the eagle’s nest. There were 2 “babies” there!

"Baby Eagles" at Heywood Island

“Baby Eagles” at Heywood Island

Went to take pictures, but left the camera’s battery in the charger back on the boat. 🙁
After paddling all the way back to get it, I got a couple of nice shots. Went back to the boat and jumped in to bathe, then joined Outlaw and Journey‘s crew on Journey for Happy Hour. Caught up on each other’s travel and travel plans. Back to Windfall for dinner, bed.

July 11, 2015 – Saturday

Departed the Benjamins around 8:30 a.m. for Little Current, arriving about noon. Had a great sail most of the way.

Islands in the mist...View over my morning coffee on a sail from the Benjamin Islands to Little Current

Islands in the mist…View over my morning coffee on a sail from the Benjamin Islands to Little Current

Took care of all the necessaries, pumpout, fill water tank, upload pix for the blog, walk Penny etc. Rode our bikes to Harbor Vue Marina, but they closed at 12:00 p.m. Continued the ride and ended up on a gravel back road through a windmill farm. Went for a Sundae after. Did laundry and went grocery shopping. Long Day! Beer, Dinner, Bed!

July 10, 2015 – Friday

Decided to stay in the Benjamins and had a lazy morning. Penny has been great, considering she’s 15 and in kidney failure!15-7-11-PennyWe took Penny to N. Benjamin Island to do some blueberry picking. She had a ball (or stick)!

She really tried to help us, but couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was in the bushes!15-7-10-BlueberriesAt one point she tried to go down a steep incline, lost her footing and just jumped. Luckily there was water below! She was really surprised to do a belly flop.

We took a kayak ride around N. Benjamin Island and saw a couple spots we could use to bathe. The kayak has been a wonderful addition to our cruise!15-7-10-Kayak1

July 9, 2015 – Thursday

Departed Gore Bay at 9:15 a.m. and motored to the Benjamin Islands, arriving at around noon. Anchorage pretty full, but we found a spot tucked in behind the NE point of S. Benjamin. Took Penny to shore and decided to take a ride in the kayak. We went all the way around S.Benjamin Island. Beautiful! 15-7-10-Kayak2Long way…blisters for Larry. Jane built a cairn to honor her father’s instilling in her the love of nature.15-7-10-CairnOn the way back someone yelled “Like your rubber duckie!”. Our kayak has a name!

July 8, 2015 – Wednesday

Lazy morning.Decided to spend another day in Gore Bay. Spent some time trying to find PVC adhesive to put numbers on the inflatable to no avail. Inflated the dinghy and made a bridle for it. Went for a bike ride to the Gore Bay Lookout and took some pictures.

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from lookout over Gore Bay

View from the Gore Bay Lookout

Then after a quick visit to the bank, we rode out to Campbell’s Drive In for a Sundae!! Went back to town, did a little more shopping – beer & blueberries – and returned to Windfall to do some chores. Tried out our new Kayak. We have some coordination issues to work out!

 

July 6, 2015 – Monday

Crossed the International Boundary about 12:15 p.m. Great sail! Good News and Mariner’s Cat are right with us. Sailed up Mississaugi Strait and motored around the corner to Meldrum Bay, arriving about 4:30 p.m.

Meldrum Bay

Meldrum Bay

We’re in the North Channel! Tied up, cleared Canada Customs, and took Penny for a nice long walk. Windy evening, but it’s as beautiful as I remember! Jane did a load of laundry, dinner, bed.

2015 Cruise – Detroit to the top of Michigan

I am breaking the blog into sections, hopefully to make it easier to read!

Enjoy our posts and comment if you wish! -The little bubble on the top right.
(Newer entries at the top so you don’t have to scroll so much!)

July 6, 2015 – Monday

Departed Presque Isle at 8:30 a.m. headed for Rogers City, MI. As we were leaving the harbor, Jane asked what we were going to Rogers City for. I thought about it and changed course for the North Channel! Had a nice beam reach (wind coming from the side of the boat). More on the North Channel post!

July 5, 2015 – Sunday

Lay-over Day! After a relaxing morning (2 pots of coffee), we went for a bike ride. Went to Stoneport Quarry (a Lafarge facility), seeing lots of signs that said “NO QUARRY CREEP”, and back.15-7-5-PresqueIsleBike

We have been keeping in touch with 2 boats (both Nonsuches by Hinterhoeller) that are going North too. Good News, with Bob and Maggie Jenkins, and Mariner’s Cat with Thor Powell and his wife. They were a few days behind us due to mechanical problems, but they pulled into Presque Isle today! Went on board Good News and caught up with their adventures. Went back to Windfall and changed the oil filter and replaced a leaky fuel filter bleed washer.

Jane walking Penny

Jane walking Penny

July 4, 2015- Saturday

Departed Harrisville at 8:45 a.m. headed to Presque Isle, MI. No wind. Motored North with a group of 3 other (larger) sailboats, and they slowly pulled away. Passed the Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse at 12:20 p.m. and fell off a few degrees, but the wind was still pretty much on the nose…continued motoring.

Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse

Thunder Bay Island Lighthouse

Passed the Middle Island Lighthouse at 2:15 p.m. Arrived in Presque Isle, MI at 4:20 p.m. Discovered there were fireworks that night! Enjoyed the show…Penny DID NOT! Went for a nice walk to the smaller Presque Isle Lighthouse.

Fireworks in Presque Isle 2 shows - one in the water!

Fireworks in Presque Isle
2 shows – one in the water!

July 3, 2015 – Friday

Departed Port Austin at 10:00. Light SW winds, so we pulled out the Genoa and motor-sailed. Beautiful day. Arrived at Harrisville at 4:00 p.m.

Harrisville Harbor

Harrisville Harbor

Walked into town with Penny for…more groceries! Showered, talked to couple who have a Norse 40. 75 made. Very nice boat made for ocean voyaging. Discussed his boat and some of the changes he’s made. He’s travelling with 2 other boats. Trying to decide whether to stay here for another day for the fireworks, or head on to Presque Isle Harbor.

July 2, 2015 – Thursday

Departed Harbor Beach about 8:45 a.m. Motored until we got to Point Aux Barques and raised sail! Had a nice sail until we reached the Port Austin Reef Light and motored in to Port Austin, arriving at 2:00 p.m. Saw a Rybek’s ice cream shop poster in the Harbormaster’s office and decided to ride our bikes there. Nice ride through beautiful farmland. The shop is in Grindstone City. Ordered a medium carmel/turtle/cookiedough ice cream cone. It was HUGE! (and really good). Jane saw it and opted for a small. It was still pretty big. Visited an art gallery across the street. Nice, but we aren’t in a position to buy. Rode back and got Penny. Walked to the grocery for a few things.

July 1, 2015 – Wednesday

Departed Port Sanilac at 8:45. Motor Sailed North until around 10:30. A front came through and the wind shifted from NW to N. Had to pull in the Genoa. 🙁 Arrived in Harbor Beach at 2:30. Purchased fuel – 8.6 gallons. Walked into town and did a little shopping for groceries.

Beautiful Evening and Sunset!

Port Austin DuskPort Austin Sunset

June 30, 2015 – Tuesday

Departed Port Huron at 8:45 a.m. Motored & Motor-sailed to Port Sanilac. Arrived at about 3:30 p.m. Purchased oil at marina next door to the municipal pier and changed the oil on the engine. Thought I had a filter, but couldn’t find one. Will change in the next few days once I find a auto parts store. Had a Sundae (there’s a shop at the marina). Had the special ice cream Carmel turtle & M&M. Almost too sweet!

June 29, 2015 – Monday

Filled the fuel tank – 8 gallons. Filled the water tanks and departed Algonac Boat Club at 9:40 a.m. Motored to Port Huron, arriving at 3:30 p.m. Passed a bunch of freighters and ferries along the way:

15-06-29-StClair315-06-29-StClair615-06-29-StClair5 Tied up on the East wall at the Port Huron YC. Nice member run facility. Monday night is “Fogies Night”. I qualify! .25 off beer. Rode our bikes to Kroger to pick up some groceries. Turned too early (my fault), and got really lost. Rode in front of an SUV by accident…Whew…close call! Jane won’t soon let me forget that! Found a much shorter and more pleasant way back. Had showers, went in for a beer. Met some nice members. Went back to the boat for dinner, then sleep.

June 28, 2015 – Sunday

Had coffee and tried to decide when to leave. I had planned to get to Alognac in time to go to West Marine to get tools and flax for Windfall’s stuffing box, but a EBC member loaned me 2 15″ wrenches (gotta buy some) and I was able to tighten it up. We got away around noon, as the rain had stopped, but the wind was still howling at 20-30 K. Motored out to Lake St. Clair and headed North toward the Grosse Isle YC to try to get a better angle on the wind and waves. Once we turned toward the St. Clair river, we put out a bit of the Genoa and increased the speed and comfort to about 5 knots. Motor sailed across the lake and motored up the South Channel past some neat houses. 15-06-29-StClair2Arrived at the Algonac Boat Club around 6:30, worrying they’d be closed, but we were given a slip and help tying up. Had dinner and a long walk with Penny. Took some nice shots of sunset. Ran back to the boat to beat the skeeters!

June 27, 2015

Woke to rain and heavy winds. Lay Day in Edison Boat Club. They are roasting a pig for their “Island Party” and having it inside due to the weather. They normally have it at the end of their harbor, where there’s a small island. Lazy day, reading and waiting.

Rainy morning at the Edison YC

Rainy morning at the Edison YC

Dennis loaned us his car and we went grocery shopping. There’s a nice store about 2 miles up the road. Got back and did some laundry. Decided that we hadn’t gotten an invite to their party, so we had dinner on the boat. The music sounded lively! Slept to the sounds of wind and rain.

 

 

2015 Cruise – The fun continues! – Dunkirk to Detroit

Once again Jane and I are heading to the top of Lake Huron. Departing June 19 from Dunkirk, with plans to arrive home the first week in September. In preparation, we have upgraded our solar panels from 110 W capacity to 220. Hopefully the beer will stay cold now! We also installed a new 3 bladed Flexfold prop to hopefully get us up the Detroit & St. Clair rivers faster and help us punch through seas and wind better.

 

flexfoldEnjoy our posts and comment if you wish! (Newer entries at the top so you don’t have to scroll so much!)

June 26, 2015

Got a 9:00 start for the Detroit River. Winds out of the NE at 10-15 knots. Beautiful sail with just the Genoa…6 -7 knots all the way into the river!

Leaving Middle Bass Island behind.

Leaving Middle Bass Island behind.

Looks like the Ambassadore Bridge is higher than 53'. Whew!

Looks like the Ambassadore Bridge is higher than 53′. Whew!

Sailed about 2 miles up the river before the wind got too fluky. Motored until 7:30 and tied up at the Edison Yacht Club in Detroit. Welcomed by Dennis and Ron to the docks. Long day, but we’re moving along!

Sunset at the Edison YC

Sunset at the Edison YC

June 25, 2015

Woke to a cloudy morning with a forecast of rain. No Thunderstorms predicted, so we decided to head out to Middle Bass Island. Had coffee, purchased fuel (6.2 gallons for 13.5 hours of motoring!), pumped out.  Departed Vermilion at about 10:00 a.m. The winds were non-existent so we motored through light rain.

Perry Monument at  Put-in-Bay

Perry Monument at Put-in-Bay

 

Middle Bass Island

Middle Bass Island

Arrived about 2:30 and had a lazy rainy afternoon. Walked to the “General Store” and bought a few supplies, Dinner, read for a while and bed.

June 24, 2015

Got away from Mentor Harbor at about 8:50 a.m. Almost no wind, and what there was…on the nose! Motored past Cleveland and arrived in Vermilion at 5:00 p.m. Long BUGGY day. We were inundated with “Midges”, little squishy bugs that covered the boat. Jane must have poured 100 buckets of water on the boat to try to get rid of them!

Vermilion 3

Tied up at the Vermilion Yacht Club, had a nice walk (Penny said thank you!) and had dinner.

Cleveland

June 23, 2015

Woke up at 3:00 a.m. to a wild thunderstorm. Sleep wasn’t possible! It lasted almost 2 hours. High winds and torrential down-pores. Lightening, Thunder Wow!

Decided the lake was too lumpy to try t motor (wind on the nose again) to Vermilion. Lazy morning. Took Penny for a walk, and discovered a link to my past! In 1971 my father bought a Tartan 34 (Cross Rip). He had it taken to Grand River to have it converted from a sloop to a yawl, and I spent a month on her doing other work. When Tartan was done, I moved her to Mentor Harbor and was able to dock at a private dock owned by Ed Chimney. Ed was building a wooden yawl in his garage, and a couple of us helped him drop the engine in. As we were walking, I recognized the garage! A woman was pulling out in her car and I asked her if Ed Chimney used to live there. She is his daughter Fran! With her permission, we took a few pictures of the boat

Chimney

After a nice long bike ride and a little more grocery shopping, back to the boat for dinner. Fran and her husband Dave pulled up in their boat for a visit. What a beautiful boat! Years of loving care. Fran’s father and mother have passed, and they are living in the house. We had a great visit comparing boats and experiences! We look forward to looking them up on our return trip. (Fran…email us!)

IMG_4038

 

June 22, 2015

Up at 7:00 am. Walked Penny and filled the water tanks.COFFEE! Moved to the marina fuel dock next door at 8:00. 5.4 gallons for 9.5 hours motoring. 3/5 gallon/hr!! Made the 8:30 bridge. Once again light winds on the nose. Averaged about 5-6K.

At 11:00 am we were stopped by the USCG for an onboard inspection. First time that’s happened to me in 60 years of sailing! Polite (Jane says HOT) Petty Officers went through the checklist with us. We passed with a couple of recommendations. We were told we had the nicest sailboat they’d inspected!

Continued on to Mentor and arrived about 2 p.m. After we tied up and cleaned all the little “gushnats” off the boat, we went for a bike ride, ending in a visit to the Giant Eagle grocery. Came outside to a gully washer. Waited for it to end and quickly rode back to the Mentor Harbor YC. The weather turned nice again!

Dinner and bed.

June 21, 2015
Departed Erie YC at 9:45. Motored out around Presque Isle and headed for Ashtabula. Wind and waves dead on the nose. Passed a huge barge with a pusher tug headed for Erie. Hope he can get by the dredge barges.

IMG_3960
New prop works well! maintained 4+ knots into seas and waves. Arrived in Ashtabula just in time to make the 7:00 p.m. bridge (motored in at 6 knots and got there just as the siren sounded!). Arrived at the Ashtabula Yacht Club had a beer, dinner, a shower and ready for sleep!

June 20, 2015

Up at 7. Started the coffee and took Penny for a walk. Lazy morning, getting some things on the boat taken care of, then rode our bikes around Presque Isle Park. Rewarded ourselves with a Sundae at BruSters Ice Cream Parlor on 12th. REALLY GOOD!!

Went back to the boat and watched a wedding reception while I had beer and crackers. Chicken Dinner on the George Foreman grill. Yum! Beautiful Sunset!

Sunset in Erie

Sunset in Erie

 

June 19, 2015

Managed to leave the dock at 9:45 a.m. Coffee cups full and NE winds! Sailed at 6-7 K until about 1:30 when the wind faded and the waves didn’t. Started the motor and motored in to Erie, arriving at the Erie YC at 5:30 p.m. Penny was terrific! She’s become quite the sailor.

 

 

 

2014 – Trip Home

(newer posts on top)

August 22, 2014, Saturday

Left MBI around 9:30. Sailed much of the way to Vermilion. Another beautiful day! Arrived, got fuel and tied up. There was a nice replica of a 1931 Alpha Romeo Roadster there, owned by a member on the board.

Replica Alpha Romeo 1931 roadster at the Vermilion YC

Replica Alpha Romeo 1931 roadster at the Vermilion YC

Jane went for a bike ride while I worked on the log & blog. Had a relaxing evening.

August 21, 2014, Friday

Deciding to stay another day at Middle Bass Island, we took Penny for a long walk to the nature preserve. Saw eagles egrets and heron. The walk was too long. Ended up carrying Penny part of the way back.After leaving Penny in the air conditioned boat (even Penny thanks Lee!), we took the ferry over to Put-in-Bay and had a great Sundae. Next door there was a Herschell Spillman carousel! Buffalo should find a way to get one of these on the waterfront!

Carousel at Put-in-Bay - Made in NT!

Carousel at Put-in-Bay – Made in NT!

We then went to the top of Commodore Perry’s Monument and got a great view of the Bass Islands!

View from Perry's Monument - Put-in-Bay

View from Perry’s Monument – Put-in-Bay

View from Perry's Monument - Put-in-Bay

View from Perry’s Monument – Put-in-Bay

We then walked to the Butterfly House at Perry’s Cave. Saw some really pretty butterflys!

Butterflies at the Butterfly House on S. Bass Island

Butterflies at the Butterfly House on S. Bass Island

August 20, 2014, Thursday

Back on Lake Erie!!

Departed Ford YC around 9:00 and motor-sailed to Middle Bass Island. Last time we were here the park marina was actually owned by Lonz Winery and cost $10 (no amenities). They gave you $10 in script which you could spend at the winery! Lonz is gone, but the building’s still there.

Lonz Winery (closed) - Middle Bass Island

Lonz Winery (closed) – Middle Bass Island

Now it’s a nice park marina with showers, power and water. The facilities are new and clean.

Middle Bass Island State Park Marina

Middle Bass Island State Park Marina

We walked to St. Hazard’s Resort as they are also a microbrewery (really micro – they only have one of their own beers on tap) and had a brew (good amber!). Went back to the boat for a quiet evening.

August 19, 2014, Wednesday

Left the Detroit YC and headed down river. Tried to stop at the Grosse Isle YC, but they only had a spot on the outside wall and storms were forecast. Called the Ford YC and they had a slip. Went there and went for a bike ride to get groceries and ice cream.

Ice Cream on Grosse Isle!

Ice Cream on Grosse Isle!

Wednesday is their race night and we watched them go out and come back. They had a hotdog cookout (sounds familiar) after, but we had already made dinner. Nice quiet evening in a beautiful setting.

Sunset at the Grosse Isle YC

Sunset at the Grosse Isle YC

August 18, 2014, Tuesday

Left Algonac and decided to go down the “Middle Channel. This area is really remote and beautiful!

Middle Channel - St. Clair River

Middle Channel – St. Clair River

Middle Channel-St.Clair River

Middle Channel-St.Clair River

A bit of a challenge at the south end as the channel wanders and is fairly shallow. Depth meter read 4′ once. Good thing the transponder is 18″ underwater! Motored across Lake St. Clair and called into the Grosse Pointe YC for a slip. They turned us away! The Dunkirk YC would never treat THEM like that! We continued into the Detroit River and having called ahead, stopped at the Detroit YC. Beautiful old building.

Detroit YC - Beautiful old facility!

Detroit YC – Beautiful old facility!

They’re fundraising to refurbish it, and we contributed ($93/night!)! Went for a bike ride around Belle Isle where the DYC is located. All parklands and some of the facilities are being refurbished. Here’s some pix from around the Island:

Fountain on Belle Isle

Fountain on Belle Isle

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Belle Isle Conservatory - Old Aquarium

Belle Isle Conservatory – Old Aquarium

Belle Isle Conservatory garden

Belle Isle Conservatory garden

Green Marble Lighthouse - S. Belle Isle

Green Marble Lighthouse – S. Belle Isle

August 17, Monday,

Had coffee and went in to the Sarnia YC snack bar for a big breakfast. Had a discussion with a member about the lost 19 year old. The member had been stuck down river for 8 hours waiting for it to open up. He counted 30 Coast Guard, Sheriff and Homeland Security boats as well as helicopters searching. He also counted over 12 ships waiting each way for the river to open up. At an average of $12,500/hr, to say nothing of the official boats…expensive float day!  We got off around 9:30 and motored as far as Algonac. Went to the Algonac Boat Club, a full service marina that has a pool, laundry haulout, fuel, pumpout & more. On the site of the old Chris Craft plant. Lots of history here! Chased 3 swans out of our slip as we approached. Did lots of laundry and spent the afternoon at the pool/spa.

3 swans a swimming

3 swans a swimming

August 16, Sunday

After a cup of coffee, we left Sanilac and motored to Sarnia. Light winds on the nose, so we motored. Started down the St. Clair river when we were stopped by the coast guard. “Turn back! The river is closed!” WHAT?!? There was an annual float day and the river was packed with people on tubes and floats.

Port Huron Float Day from Yahoo News

Port Huron Float Day from Yahoo News

The river was closed to traffic until 8:00 p.m. After radioing the Sarnia YC, we went in there and tied up.

Sunset at the Sarnia YC

Sunset at the Sarnia YC

Went for a bike ride to the grocery store. In discussing the float day with locals, a 19 year old (drunk) was lost. Apparently almost every year someone drowns.

August 15, Saturday

Woke early and checked the weather. It looked like the storms would hold off until late afternoon, so we motor-sailed in 10-20 knots almost on the nose to Port Sanilac. Rained the last hour. Arrived around 1:15 and got fuel/pump-out. Went to the Port Sanilac Marina and tied up as they had the GPS receiver I had sent to work with the GPS. Had a sundae for lunch (yum!) and Jane worked out while  installed the GPS on my netbook. Works!

Sea Clear showing my position from GPS puck!

Sea Clear showing my position from GPS puck!

 

August 15, 2014, Friday

Got up early and checked the weather. No respite predicted. Met Marv and Terri on “Quinnessetial”, a Tartan 3700. What a beautiful boat, and really tricked out. Spent hours watching his computer system show the high winds. Also met a couple on a Bennatau 46. Had a 3 way discussion on props.

Port Austin - Dinner ready?

Port Austin – Dinner ready?

They both had Max Props and swore by them. From what they said, I may have one next year! The office posted that the winds would diminish from 15-25 to10-15 late morning. It happened early afternoon and we bolted! Made it to Harbour Beach by 5:30. Motor-sailed most of the way, but did get 2 hours of no motor! Harbor Beach is a good stopping distance if you’ve got a dog that needs to get to shore! The facilities are adequate, but getting a bit rundown. The marina is not near town, so there’s not much around. Had a quiet evening and went to bed.

August 14, 2014, Thursday

Still windy and 8 foot seas. Decided to remain in Port Austin yet another day and went for a long bike ride to Pointe aux Barques lighthouse. Nice country ride with a beautiful lighthouse as a reward.

Port Austin - Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse

Port Austin – Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse

Selfie at Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse

Selfie at Pointe aux Barques Lighthouse

The ride back was into that wind! Good workout. Maybe tomorrow will let us go! Kept watching the weather hoping the winds would ease. The whole night the rigging vibrated and the internal halyards and wires slapped. Good thing the mast’s coming down this winter! The B&R rigging needs tuning badly. Jane had earplugs, so it wasn’t too bad. the waves continued to break over the breakwall, and several boats (including us) decided to wait another day.

Port Austin: Water breaking over the breakwall

Port Austin: Water breaking over the breakwall

The first 2 miles out are directly into the wind and waves, and our little 3 banger Yanmar might not keep up!

August 13, 2014, Wednesday

Departed Harrisville determined to make it to Port Austin, skipping East Tawas. Had a rousing sail! Just put up the genoa and averaged 7-9 knots. Getting out into Saginaw Bay the waves kicked up to 6-8 feet. I was a bit nervous entering the harbor on a lee shore, so I asked Jane to put Penny below. Penny let loose on the port berth. I guess she was nervous too! Made it in OK. The waves were breaking over the breakwall.

August 11-12, 2014, Monday & Tuesday

Departed Presque Isle for Harrisville. Just beat the thunderstorms in. Ran into several boats we’d met before including Vakrete, the catamaran we met in John Harbour. Had a relaxing evening and read and napped the whole next day, as the thunderstorms kept rollign through. The stream that flows into the harbor was a raging river!

August 10, 2014, Sunday

Slept in until 8:00. Jane wants a lay-day and a bike ride, so we’re relaxing.Went for a 25 mile ride through cottage country. Rewarded ourselves with a Sundae!! Discussed the bubbling system with the dockmaster and took a couple of pictures to show the DYC.

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August 9, 2014, Saturday

Coffee at 7:15. Had another chat with the people on the Catalina 25. Departed around 9:30. Motored about 1/4 of the way to Presque Isle, then put up the sails and motor sailed. Gained about 1.5Knots. Long day on the water.

To Presque Isle - Long day

To Presque Isle – Long day

Arrived at Presque Isle about 4:30 having cleared customs by phone 3 miles out (Yes! my phone’s working!). Stopped at the service dock for fuel and then couldn’t get the motor started. The starter has been acting sluggish, and now wouldn’t turn the motor over. Pushed the boat into a nearby slip and tried to call a mechanic in Alpena. Gone for the day. A man stopped by saying he used to have a Hunter 34. Asked him if he knew the motor. I went to show him what was happening, and it started right up! Had dinner and worked on the blog til bedtime.

2014 – NORTH CHANNEL!

(Once again...new entries are at the top)

 

August, 8, 2014, Friday

Departed Blind River at 9:40. Headed to Tolmsmaville on Cockburn Island. No wind – motored. Arrived around 2:30. Rustic port.

Tolsmaville Harbor

Tolsmaville Harbor

Had electric, but no other amenities. Very quiet until the supply boats arrive! The “Warfinger” (their term on the docking papers) caught our lines and told us that with electric it would be .97/ft. Best deal ever! We tried to go for a bike ride, but after ½ mile, it was apparent that our 1” tires weren’t made for loose stone roads. Went for a swim. The water here is crystal clear! A supply boat came in from Maldrum Bay really loaded with people. I had met the skipper when we were there. There were lots of people waiting for the boat, and it looked like a reunion. I found out later that a mother and daughter had passed away within a month of each other and there is a memorial service tomorrow. A Catalina 25 came in with 3 aboard. A New Englanders that hav been vacationing in the North Channel for 35 years. Father from New Haven, CT, daughter from NYC and a close friend from San Diego.

Tolsmaville - Sunset

Tolsmaville – Sunset

 

August, 7, 2014, Thursday

Decided to take advantage of the weather and begin the journey home L. Departed Turnbull at 9:00 and made for Blind River. Motored the whole windless way. Actually saw the deadhead George told us about, right where he said it was! Arrived in Blind River about 11:30. Fuel, pumpout, water. The dock attendant told us about a falls we could ride our bikes to. We missed a turn and ended up on one of the hilliest rides I’ve been on! 2 ½ hours later and beat, we went grocery shopping and back to the boat. Jane cleaned the dinghy out in preparation for starting home. The owner of “Home Free” gave me a ride to the beer store, and showed me where we made the wrong turn. Did laundry and worked on the blog.

 

August, 6, 2014, Wednesday

Left Long Point Cove at 9:00 and motored to Turnbull Island. Anchored off Bassett Island aroundj 10:15 behind a small point as the wind was shifting to the west, and that could cause waves. Rain and T-Storms forecast (60%) for the afternoon. Took the dinghy to Turnbull Island and went for a long hike. Found a trail to the east side of the island and hiked the shoreline.

Turnbull Island - Hike - Janie

Turnbull Island – Hike – Janie

Turnbull Island - Hike

Turnbull Island – Hike

 Turnbull Island - Sediment layers - Anyone know how?Turnbull Island – Sediment layers – Anyone know how?

When we got back to the dinghy, there was a family (George, Lorraine, Cloe and another granddaughter from “Cloe’s Cruiser”. They invited us to a campfire if we decided to stay another day. George gave me coordinates for a deadhead on the route to Blind River that he found last year. Went for a swim/bath and had dinner. Chased in by skitters around 8:30.

 

August, 5, 2014, Tuesday

Left John Harbour at 9:00. Motorsailed (to cool the icebox) to the North Channel Yacht Club for water and pumout. Nice people. A lot like DYC in that they do their own work (30 hrs.). Discussed with them the options of keeping the boat up here for a couple of years. Left NCYC at 12:30 and motored to Long Point Cove. We had heard mixed reviews (too weedy & buggy to you won’t want to go anywhere else). Our friend Jack Gaash from the DYC recommended it too.

Long Point Cove - Wolf shrine placed by widow of man who loved it here.

Long Point Cove – Wolf shrine placed by widow of man who loved it here.

Long Point Cove

Long Point Cove

Small cove super protected and very pretty! There is a chainsaw sculpture of a wolf on a point in the cove in memorial to John Laudenback (sp?). He passed away last year and his wife had it erected because this was his favorite anchorage. Went exploring in the dinghy. Lots of little nooks to anchor in!

 

August, 4, 2014, Monday

Left Beardrop around 9:30. Motored the short distance to John Harbour and anchored behind a point. Found a nice spot for Penny on shore and went for a swim. While Jane got a workout in, I glued the oarlock back on the dinghy. Met couple on “Phoebe”, a 28’ sloop. They were having motor issues on their dinghy, and I told them about a good deal on a Tohatsu at Harbor Vue Marina (where they keep their boat)! Had a quiet evening. Cooked a steak and Jane frosted a chocolate chip muffin for my birthday. 64 L.

 

August, 3, 2014, Sunday

After breakfast and coffee we left Moiles for Beardrop Harbor. Windless day, so we motored. The Whalesback Channel lived up to its name. The islands are rounded on top. Arrived at Beardrop around 12:30.

Beardrop Harbour - View of Whalesback Channel on our hike.

Beardrop Harbour – View of Whalesback Channel on our hike.

Hike onshore at Beardrop Harbour

Hike onshore at Beardrop Harbour

After taking Penny to shore, we took a picnic lunch and went hiking for blueberries. Got about a quart, and a great view! Went for a swim, sat down to update the log and blog. Rain and thunderstorms predicted tonight. Good thing Beardrop is really protected!

 

August 2, 2014, Saturday,

Departed Thomas Island around 9:30. Motored to Moiles Harbour. Beautiful protected harbor.

Moiles Harbour - Windfall

Moiles Harbour – Windfall

Saw a loon sunning himself on a deadhead (logs that are sticking up from the bottom from the logging that was done in the area years ago). Anchored with one other boat (Ultimate Therapy). Two more boats came in, but the cove was big enough it wasn’t crowded. Did a weight workout on shore, then went for a tour around the area by dinghy. The next cove over on Aikens Island looks nice too. Swam, read, steak for dinner!

 

August 1, 2014, Friday

Motored in to Spanish Harbor for fuel, pumpout, water and groceries. Jane went to the grocery store while I got the boat fueled etc. and over to the day dock. Left Spanish about 1:30 and motored to Thomas Island. Another pretty anchorage. Took Penny to shore, swam and took a ride in the dinghy. Kind of wavy on the other side of the island, so we turned back. Met the owners of Reverie from Michigan. Discussed the North Channel. Beautiful sunny Day!

 

July 31, 2014, Thursday

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Little Detroit Channel

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Little Detroit Channel

Departed Hotham Island at 9 a.m. after coffee and Penny to shore. Motored through Little Detroit (narrow channel!). Went to Wilfred Island and anchored. Protected anchorage. One other boat, Skoal with a father and son (dad looked like Santa). Went to shore and climbed to the top of the rocks. Very rugged! Cold and windy. Went below for a while to warm up. Glenn on Last Resort came in and anchored. We went for a swim and invited him over for a beer to pickhis brain about Whalesback Channel.

 

July 30, 2014, Wednesday

SAM_0298

Hotham

Up at 7:15. Penny to shore, coffee and underway by 9:30. Light winds on the nose, so we motored to Hotham Island and Oak Bay. Anchored at Hotham.

Cottage at Hotham

Cottage at Hotham

Very pretty! I probably haven’t said it enough, but the scenery up here is breathtaking. Took Penny to shore. Jane swam back, then I went for a swim. Lazy afternoon. Jane and I went for a dinghy ride to the next cove down. There are several cottages there, but it’s really protected.

 

July 29, 2014, Tuesday

Got away around 9:30 after going to Wally’s for fuel and pumpout. Decided to try the cove that Jack Gaash told us about in an email. As it has no name, we’re calling it Jack’s Cove. There were 3 boats there as we approached, but they pulled up anchor and we had the cove to ourselves. Took Penny to shore and did a short workout with rocks. Jane swam back to the boat then we went skinny dipping! Haven’t done that in 30+ years! After dinner I took Penny to shore. The mosquitoes were pretty bad, but when I got back to the boat they were a cloud in the cockpit. RAID! Got most of them and ran below. Peaceful anchorage.

 

July 28, 2014, Monday

 

Little Current Business District

Little Current Business District

 

Departed Sturgeon Cove after Cruiser/s Net. Had a nice motorsail (to charge the batteries) and arrived in Little Current around noon. The phone had arrived! Went grocery shopping and the man who drove us and our groceries agreed to go to Harbor Vue Marina to get the phone. After 40 minutes on Skype with Verizon, I was told we couldn’t activate it until we got back to the States and a US tower. L We had Fish and Chips for dinner, and read until almost midnight.

July 27, 2014, Sunday

Up at 7:30 took Penny to shore, then coffee.

Penny to shore - 4 times a day!

Penny to shore – 4 times a day!

Several boats departed, and we were visited by “Captain Marty” from Queeny. He invited us to “Happy Hour on his boat this afternoon. He’s from Sarnia, and his wife’s a visiting nurse. She met him in Little Current yesterday and was “detoxing” after a difficult assignment. Took our TRX to shore for a workout and then went for a swim. Relaxed reading in the cockpit until a sunshower drove us below.

 

July 26, 2014, Saturday

With predictions of bad weather tomorrow, we wanted to move one bay over to Sturgeon Cove. The guide book warned of a tricky rock strewn entrance, so we motored over in the dinghy to scope it out. We had pretty well given up hope of getting into this pretty cove, when a boat pulled anchor and departed. I started to backtrack his route and saw he had followed range markings on the shore! We went back to Windfall and motored over with Jane spotting on the bow and anchored in Sturgeon Cove. Took Penny to shore and she chased a stone Jane threw to the water’s edge and stopped. I threw a stick close to her and she jumped in. She came out completely rejuvenated! She ran around like a puppy for 20 minutes! After our daily swim, I put 9 pieces of chicken (with fat and skin) on the grille. FIRE! Jane threw me a water bottle and I put it out. After several more attempts at a controlled fire, they were done. 1) no more fatty chicken with skin!; 2) never cook that much at one time if there’s fat on the meat! It was good though. What a peaceful anchorage.

Sturgeon Cove Sunset

Sturgeon Cove Sunset

We slept like babies!

 

July 25, 2014, Friday

Stayed in Little Current for the morning. Went for a nice bike ride to Turner Cove and back, then went to Harbor Vue Marina to see if the phone had arrived. They had received their shipments for the day. Manitoulin Island next day means 2-3 days! Hopefully Monday. Stopped at Spider Bay for a pumpout and ice, and departed around 2:30 for Bell Cove. Had a nice sail under Genoa and anchored there around 4:30. Took Penny to shore and had a swim. Nice quiet anchorage!

Belle Cove Sunset

Belle Cove Sunset

July 24, 2014, Thursday

Leisurely morning (I’m getting really used to these). We’re out of almost everything, so time to go port to resupply. Once again the wind is on the nose, and in these waters tacking is not usually viable as there are rocks out there! We motored to Little Current and had to wait 40 minutes for the hourly bridge. Finally got through and tied up.

Little Current Business District

Little Current Business District

Called Verizon and they’re sending me a new phone (mine didn’t like the swim it took in Gore Bay). Shopping, Ice Cream (of coarse!) Laundry (3 large bags full) and a real shower!

July 23, 2014, Wednesday

After a leisurely morning we departed Covered Portage Cove and motored to Snug Harbour Cove. Left around 10:30 and arrived around 12:30. Had to re-anchor as we swung a little too close to shore. After lunch we hiked to the other side of the peninsula to see Frasier Bay. Built a cairn in Dr. Bob’s honor.

Caisson to Dr. Bob - Frasier Bay - from Snug Harbor

Caisson to Jane’s Dad – Frasier Bay – from Snug Harbor

Hiked back, went for a swim/bath, dinner, and hide from mosquitoes for the night. Cooler weather, and rain coming for the next couple of days.

 

July 22, 2014, Tuesday

Stayed in Covered Portage Cove a second day. After coffee and breakfast, we hiked to the other side of the peninsula to Blueberry Cove.

Covered Portage Cove - Hike - Picking bluberrys

Covered Portage Cove – Hike – Picking blueberrys

It lived up to its name! We picked a pint of blueberries for our cereal tomorrow. We then hiked to an overlook on the East side of the cove. It has a great view. It’s private property, but owners don’t mind as long as you leave it clean. The deck, made of 4 x 6 lumber had to be 50’ long. Plastic Adirondack Chairs and a fire pit!

Covered Portage Cove - Hike -View from cottage deck

Covered Portage Cove – Hike -View from cottage deck

Their cottage was about a mile away!! Had a picnic lunch, hiked back and went for a swim/bath. Visited with some of the trailer sailors that we’ve been seeing. They have an annual cruise and we’ve shared several anchorages with them. Got to know Donna and Dave on “Swallow” with their dog Sam.

 

July 21, 2014, Monday

Left Thomas Bay around 10:30. Motor Sailed around George Island down Lansdowne Channel to Covered Portage Cove.

Covered Portage Cove - Look closely - boy ready to jump!

Covered Portage Cove – Look closely – boy ready to jump!

Check it out on YouTube!

We anchored in the outer bay and went into the inner bay to take Penny to shore. Jane videoed a kid jumping off the rocks, and we promised to put it on YouTube as Covered Portage Cove Crazy Kids We decided to move the boat in, as it is so pretty and protected. Storms predicted tomorrow afternoon, so we’ll probably stay 2 nights. Went for a hike up the hill beside the bay and got a great birds eye view of the bay.

Covered Portage Cove - Hike - View from the rocks over the cove

Covered Portage Cove – Hike – View from the rocks over the cove

Met the owner of Swallow from Delaware. They anchored a little close, but it was OK. Trailer Sailor group showed up and we ended up with 51 boats in the inner bay and 16 in the outer bay! Also ran into Glen from Last Resort who we met in Heywood. Grilled a pork Chop (MMM!) for dinner.

 

 

July 20, 2014, Sunday

Had coffee and checked the #2 battery. Dead. The solar panels can’t keep up with the cooling plate in the ice box. Decided to go into Killarney to provision and buy ice. Foggy start, but very pretty. Navigation is so much simpler with GPS! Docked at Sportsman’s Inn – got fuel, pumpout, did laundry and went to the small grocery for some provisions. Stopped for ice cream, then left for Thomas Bay in the Northern Georgian Bay. Motored there, as the wind was on the nose, and it was late (4:00).

Morning @ Thomas Bay

Morning @ Thomas Bay

I never would have attempted this bay without GPS! Weaved our way through the rocks and entered a beautiful protected bay. A little cramped…there were already six boats there.

Went for a swim after taking Penny to shore. Have I mentioned what a trooper she’s been? She’s been amazing! Cooked chicken on the barbie and got chased below early (8:00) by the skeeters.

 

 

July 19, 2014, Saturday

Took Penny to shore, then departed Heywood for Mary Anne Cove in Baie Fine. Motored all the way as there was little wind, and it was on the nose. Careful entry to Baie Fine and Mary Ann Cove, as there’s rocks in them waters! Mary Anne Cove is beautiful, relaxing and…did I say beautiful?

View from Caisson Peak - Mary Ann Cove

View from Caisson Peak – Mary Ann Cove

Tried to tie off the rocks, but the wind wouldn’t cooperate. We were told about a hiking trail up a mountain, so we went. It was over an hour of climbing, but WOW was it worth it!

View from Caisson Peak - Mary Ann Cove

View from Caisson Peak – Mary Ann Cove

We had a picnic lunch then reluctantly went back down. Had a nice steak cooked on the grill then were chased below by the mosquitoes. I

 

July 18, 2014, Friday

Up for coffee at 7:15. Leisurly morning. Went to shore with Penny, then back to the boat for the Cruiser’s Net. Thanked Windswept again for bringing us our dinghy. Tried a hike, but the woods were too dense. Went for a ride in the dinghy and ended up towing the “arguing” family back, as they had motor trouble on their dinghy. They asked us to stop in a channel between two islands, and showed us an eagle’s nest!

Look closely - Immature Eagles - Heywood Island

Look closely – Immature Eagles – Heywood Island

Look closely - Immature Eagles - Heywood Island

Look closely – Immature Eagles – Heywood Island

Two immature eagles were sitting in it! We took the back to their boat and went back with binoculars and camera.

Went for a swim/bath, cooked a steak on the grill and relaxed until the mosquitoes came for a visit.

 

July 17, 2014, Thursday

Up at 7:30. Went to Laundromat and shopping for groceries. Got back to the boat ½ hr. late for the Cruisers Net, but when we reported in they asked if we had heard the news…The crew of Windswept found our dinghy! Arranged to meet them at Spider Bay Marina at 1:30. I went back to Wally’s and agreed to pay the freight both ways on the dinghy we bought. We decided to keep the motor as the Tohatsu we have doesn’t run well, and there’s really nowhere to get it tuned. Kevin’s going to have it gone over and sell it on consignment. Left Spider Bay and made the 4:00 bridge (it swings on the hour). Motor sailed to Heywood Island, arriving about 6:50.

Light on Strawberry Island

Light on Strawberry Island

Anchored and tried the new motor on the old dinghy. Started first pull and ran like a top (as a new motor should!). Took Penny to shore, had dinner and moved the boat, as we were too close to a family that seemed to argue.

I woke at midnight and decided to check the anchor. The stars were amazing! The first time I’ve seen the Milky Way that clear since the 1950s!!

July 16, 2014, Wednesday

Slept in a bit. Up at 7 to make coffee. Jane slept in later. Rain’s stopped and the sun is coming out! Reported in to the Cruiser’s Net again and no one seen the errant dinghy. We decided we couldn’t cruise with a dog without one, so off to Little C urrent to see what’s available. Left S. Benjamin Island at 10:45 and arrived in Little Current at 2:00. Beautiful (motor)sail.

IMG_1600Sunny day and following winds/seas. Had to kind of wind around rocks that showed on my chart plotter but not on the charts! I’ll have to ask a local about that. Went to the town dock and called around. No one had an inflatable. Rob at Wally’s Marina called and I ordered one for delivery tomorrow. We went for a bike ride to another marina (Harbor View) and found a 4 hp motor, so we’ll be back in business (with a lighter wallet).

Little Current

Little Current

They were very helpful and delivered the motor to the boat. We had a fish fry and retired to the boat.

July 15, 2014, Tuesday

#%@. Got up and the dinghy was gone. The shackle had unscrewed and it was nowhere to be seen. John from a powerboat nearby Fynder came over in his launch and we spent an hour looking. He went around the bay we were in, then all around the island, over to Croker Island, and Fox Island. We covered about 12 miles of shoreline within a 5 mile radius…no sign of it. 🙁

South Benjamin Island - John taking Penny and I to shore.

South Benjamin Island – John taking Penny and I to shore.

John was a great help. He came over 3 or 4 times to let me take Penny to shore and gave me the advise of calling in to the “Cruiser’s Net” on VHF channel 71. Based in Little Current, you can let people know where you are and report any issues. I gave a report of the missing dinghy and monitored the radio all day, but no joy. Rained all day, so we had a really lazy laid back day reading and napping. Good thing we have a comfortable boat! After taking Penny to shore at 8:30 (Thanks again John!) we hit the hay.

South Benjamin Island - John with his Spanish Water Dogs

South Benjamin Island – John with his Spanish Water Dogs

July 14, 2014, Monday

Left Gore Bay around 8:45. Had a beautiful sail (with Genoa!). Had to motorsail the last hour as the wind faded. Entered the Benjamin Islands around 11:15 and anchored in a bay in South Benjamin Island. Got into dinghy and glued the oarlock back on. Motored dinghy to shore and took Penny for a walk. Dinghy motor running rough, but gets us to shore and back. Found a suitable tree and had our first TRX workout. After dinner and taking Penny to shore, we buttoned up around 8:30 to keep the mosquitoes out. Thunderstorms tonight, so I’ll probably be up to check the anchor.

July 13, 2014, Sunday

Decided to stay at Gore Bay due to high winds. A sailor whose wife is in Gore Bay for a quilting seminar this week (Phil) helped Jane hoist me up the mast. After about 20 minutes, I figured out how to get the jib hoist free! We pulled up the Genoa and furled it. Got our bikes of the boat and the wind knocked mine over. Out of the backpack fell my cell phone! I quickly put on my swimsuit and jumped in…REFRESHING 53 degrees.

Gore Bay Morning

Gore Bay Morning

Put the phone in rice and in the sun and went for a ride (grumpily). Rode up to a lookout high above the harbor. Had planned to photograph it with my phone, but… A local girl with friends from Wisconsin took a picture and promised to email them to me. I’ll put them in here if they arrive. We then rode out to the lighthouse on the other side of the bay and then a few miles out of town to Cambells, where we had “the best ice cream in Gore Bay”. It was good! Dinner, shower, bed.

July 12, 2014, Saturday

Leisurely morning. Departed Meldrum Bay at 8:45. Had a nice motor sail to Gore Bay arriving at 8:45. Stopped at the fuel dock and after almost 15 hours motor-sailing only needed 6 gallons! Jane dropped her RayBans off the dock. I tried to go after them, but after getting in to my waist, couldn’t continue!! BRISK! Jane found a dock staff that said he’d do it in the morning.

Misty Morning in Gore Bay, ON

Misty Morning in Gore Bay, ON

Launched the dingy. Need to glue an oarlock on as soon as the sun comes out. The Tohatsu motor wouldn’t start. I’ll try again tomorrow.

July 11, 2014 – Friday

After going to the bakery for some cookies and to the hardware store, we departed Rogers City for the North Channel. Motor sailed with the mainsail. Entered the North Channel through the Mississagi Channel between Cockburn Island and Manitoulin Island, and rounded Meldrum Point and docked at Meldrum Bay Marina.

IMG_20140711_150545_658WE’RE IN THE NORTH CHANNEL!

 

Meldrum Bay

Meldrum Bay

Met Dave from a Tartan 28 Gamma Seeker, a physicist as the name implies. He came on board and we discussed my solar panel conundrum. It reads the solar panel putting out 20.4V. He indicated that the controller would charge the batteries properly. I disconnected one panel and got 19V, so I believe he’s right.

Meldrum Bay is a beautiful spot. The amenities are a bit more rustic than the Michigan ports, but it’s a lot more isolated! They didn’t have their diesel pump working, so we’re off to Gore Bay tomorrow. Hopefully someone will be able to pull me up the mast!

 

2014 – LAKE HURON!

I apologize for any confusion, I reversed the order of the days starting with Lake Huron thinking it would be easier to see my updates (feedback?). lvd

July 10, 2014, Thursday

Up early and left for Rogers City, MI at 8:00 a.m. Motor sailed with the mainsail (still no resolution to the furler) and arrived around 11:30. Ran into Paul and Angie on a Columbia 37 who we’d met in Presque Isle and we all got a ride from the marina staff to the grocery and back. I haven’t talked much about the Michigan “Port of Refuge” system. Michigan has placed a port about every 20-30 miles all along the Lake Huron shore. These are staffed nice facilities with showers heads, fuel and pumpout, most have laundry, and they ALL have helpful friendly staffs.

Rogers City sunset

Rogers City sunset

 

I had ordered a bosun’s chair and a solar panel monitor to be shipped to Rogers City and they arrived. Spent the afternoon installing the monitor while Jane did laundry. Got some strange readings from the solar panels. Need to look into it.

Paul and Angie sat down with us and went over North Channel charts recommending anchorages. People have been so helpful! No one around that could pull me up the mast, so that’ll have to wait a bit. Tomorrow…NORTH CHANNEL!

July 9, 2014, Wednesday

One more day in Presque Isle. Decided it was so pretty we would go for a nice long bike ride and visit the lighthouse. Took the stairs to the top!

Jane at the top of Presque Isle Lighthouse

Jane at the top of Presque Isle Lighthouse

The Presque Isle Lighthouse

The Presque Isle Lighthousezz

Met Tom and Wendy Young from Blue Water, a Jeanneau 43DS, who gave me a parts diagram to photograph of the Profurl unit (he has the next size up). Gorgeous boat! Also discussed AIS units and the one he has, and a GPS receiver he got from Navionics (I want one!).

July 8, 2014, Tuesday

Staying in Presque Isle. Winds 20-30. Changed the oil on the diesel engine (Jane vacated the boat for a bike ride…doesn’t like it when I’m doing a project!). Went to dinner at the PIYC. Really good food! It’s actually a restaurant that the PIYC meets at in the harbor. Genoa was delivered repaired with a canvas machine, so, no zig-zag sewing. Hopefully it will hold up until we get home! Brad and Jenny Valley of Valley’s Dockside Canvas were wonderful! They came up from Alpena last night picked up the sail and had it back the next morning! If you’re in Northeast Michigan and need canvas work done..989-464-1191!

July 7, 2014, Monday

Departed Alpena at 8:00 a.m. Peacemaker cleared the harbor about 1/2 hr. later. Fun to watch her set sail! Rounded Thunder Bay Island at 9:30 and headed for Presque Isle. The winds kept building until they were 25 – 30k. Weather.com is great at forecasting precip and storms, but they really need to get a handle on wind! About 10 mi. out of Presque Isle, the head of the Genoa pulled out. Got it down and with a double reef in the main and motoring we got to Presque Isle about 3:30 pm. Borrowed a bosun’s chair and after 2 trips up the mast and an hour’s work, still hadn’t gotten the furling head down.

It jumped off the top of the foil. A local (Alpena) canvas shop came up and got the Genoa and although they didn’t have a zig/zag machine, promised to repair it as best the could.  The 3 guys who hoisted me up the mast were great!…patient and friendly. If they read this…THANK YOU!! Exhausted…dinner – bed.

July 6, 2014, Sunday

Got a 7:45 start and headed for Presque Isle. There were 5 boats headed there, but I checked the radar report on Weather.com (what a great site!) and it looked like thunderstorms would arrive before we would. Turned into Alpena and had a rousing sail into Thunder Bay. Alpena’s marina is somewhat sparse, but serviceable. we were the only boat of the 5 to turn in.

On to Presque Isle without us!

On to Presque Isle without us!

Met a sailor from the city’s sailing program and he suggested we go to the NOAA Great Lakes Museum. They had a glass bottom boat that we took a tour on, and saw 4 wrecks and the LaFarge cement ship loading facility (the largest in the world according to the guide, Chuck).

Wreck of a barge in Thunder Bay

Wreck of a barge in Thunder Bay

Alpena Lafarge

Lafarge ship loading facility in Alpena, MI

Chuck found out we had sailed from Dunkirk, NY and made a bit of a fuss over it…a little embarrassing. We then took a tour of the Barkentine Peacekeeper. She wintered in North Tonawanda at Smith Boy’s Marina, and is headed to Luddington, MI on Lake Michigan.

Jane checking out knots on the Peacemaker Barkentine

Jane checking out knots on the Peacemaker Barkentine

Did a little food shopping and went back to the marina. Met a couple and their 3 small children who, with little sailing experience, bought a Dufour 43 and had it shipped to Wisconcin. They were sailing it down to the Carribean. She had gotten seasick in every blow they’d had so far. We wish them well. Some of the questions he had seemed a little basic for what he was attempting to do! Dinner…bed.

July 5, 2014 ,Saturday

Departed East Tawas at 8 for Harrisville. Arrived around 3:00 p.m. Beautiful sail wing-on-wing most of the way. Went for a nice bike ride and went up a long hill  against strong winds and had the pleasure of riding back  “down wind”. Discovered their fireworks were today! Two days of fireworks! Penny was not amused.

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July 4, 2014 Friday

Motored to East Tawas. Departed P.Austin at 7:45. Light winds on the nose. Arrived at 1:30 p.m.

Updating the log on a long motor passage

Updating the log on a long motor passage

Fuel Stop – got 6.5 gallons. About what I expected at 1.2 hr. per gallon. The East Tawas marina is a nice facility. Really busy on the 4th. The docks were crowded with boaters that pulled out chairs to party and socialize. Went for a nice bike ride and went grocery shopping. Really piled my bike high!

Gotta improvise to get all the groceries back to the boat!

Gotta improvise to get all the groceries back to the boat!

The fireworks went off late. They started at 11:00 p.m. The fireworks crew worked all day and still were late.

Getting the fireworks ready-East Tawas

Getting the fireworks ready-East Tawas

Great show! Went to bed right after the finale’.

July 3, 2014 Thursday

Lay Day. Rain & Cold! Went to the library to get WiFi, but they couldn’t handle the bandwidth of all the people online. Went to Green Bean coffee shop and got some blogging and picture uploading done. To bed early.

July 2, 2014, Wednesday

Up early! Departed Harbor Beach at 7:45. Sailed with full sails until we rounded the Point Aux Barques buoy, then started reducing sail. Wind built to 20-25K and we ended up beating with a double reefed main and about 1/4 of the Genoa. Good combination. Had a rousing sail and arrived in Port Austin around 3:00 p.m. Nice harbor and town, but the wifi at the marina wasn’t working.

Mini Stonehenge at Port Austin

Mini Stonehenge at Port Austin

Port Austin Harbor

Port Austin Harbor

Went for a walk with Penny, had dinner and crashed. Two days of beating into heavy winds takes it’s toll!

July 1, 2014 (Tuesday)

Departed Sanilac at our normal time (8:30) and started out for Harbor Beach. Winds gusty at 15-20k. Got to breakwall at Harbor Beach and decided to push on to Port Austin. The wind increased and when we started to round the “thumb of Michigan” the winds were 30 + knots.

Rail down!

Rail down!

After beating into building seas, I decided that we should turn back to Harbor Beach. Arrived at 6:30. Long hard day! Hit speeds over 9 knots with just a few feet of the genoa pulled out and no main! Tied up and had a nice conversation with the owner of a Catalina 39 in the next slip. He’s on the way to Lake Michigan.

June 30, 2014 (Monday)

My phone and data connection as well as the marina wifi went down during the storm yesterday. Finally got a connection on my phone and the weather forecast was good! Pushed off from Lexington, MI at 8:30 bound for Sanilac. Had a beautiful “wing on wing” sail and arrived around noon. South winds around10k. Went for a 20 mile bike ride back to Lexington and back again and treated ourselves to…you guessed it…A Sundae! We’re having great luck finding good ice cream parlors. Went for a walk on the pier and saw swans tending 4 eggs on a nest!

Swans on nest in Sanilac

Swans on nest in Sanilac

4 eggs!

4 eggs!

Met 2 boats from Bayfield, Ontario and they had a bosuns chair. Had them hoist me up the mast to install a radar reflector, and they gave me a chart of Lake Huron (I’d been looking at each harbor with no luck). Had a nice discussion on getting to the North Channel.

June 29, 2014 (Sunday)

Decided to try to beat the thunderstorms to Lexington. Got an 8:30 start as usual and motored up under the Blue Water Bridge between Port Huron (US) and Sarnia (Ca).

 

Passed by a freighter on the way under the Blue Water Bridges

Passed by a freighter on the way under the Blue Water Bridges

Too big for one picture!

Too big for one picture!

Had a nice sail and arrived in Lexington, MI at 12:15. Thunderstorms hit at 2;30! While I worked on the boat Jane went for a bike ride. She got back just as the first drops fell.

 

 

 

 

 

2014 – The Cruise Begins! (Lake Erie)

Jane & Larry’s Excellent Adventure Begins!

June 15, 2014

Up at 6:15 a.m. for coffee. Filled water tanks, more coffee, left dock at 10:00 a.m.

Fathers Day Morning

A beautiful day! Easterly winds at around 10 knots. Had a great sail as far as North East, PA. Wind dropped and following seas made it difficult to keep the sails full. 3 hr. motor into the Erie YC. Beer, dinner, sleep!

June 16, 2014

Layover day at the Erie Yacht club. Thunderstorms that were predicted never showed, so we had a beautiful ride around Presque Isle and treated ourselves to Sundaes! A little shopping and we were done in. Tomorrow’s forcast iffy too.

PresqueIsle

June 17, 2014

After mulling it over and changing our minds several times we took off for Conneaut, OH. Had a nice sail, but wanted to beat the T-Storms so we doused the Genoa and motorsailed with a reefed Main. Winds picked up to 25-30 and it was a windy beat! Arrived in Conneaut at 5:30 and was helped tying up by Jeff and his freinds. at 7:15, the storms finally arrived! 94 degrees. Thank you Lee Booth for installing AC!

SAM_0166

 

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June 18, 2014

The rain has stopped! On to Ashtabula. Saw about 6 or 7 eagles on the jetty leaving the harbor! Got as close as we could,but they flew off. Little or no wind. Motored all the way. Tied up and went for a nice long bike ride almost to Geneva on the Lake. Ashtabula YC is a pleasant place to visit and a great place to weather a storm! At 6:30 p.m. a whopper rolled through!

June 19, 2014

Made the 10:00 bridge and started off to Grand River. Had a great sail and tied up at the Grand River Yacht Club at 3:30! Saw an eagle catch a fish on the way up the river! Our friends Sue & Jack were there to catch our lines and took us to Home Depot to get supplies. Later they helped us review charts and made suggestions on where to stop.

June 20, 2014

Left Grand River at late…about 11:00 and had a lazy sail to Mentor (4 whole miles!). Spent the afternoon working on boat projects. Rode bikes to town and did a little shopping. Early to bed – tomorrow’s a long day!

June 21,2014

Up at 6:30. Coffee Leave the dock just before 8:00 and motor on flat water until a breeze builds at 11:00. 11:45 – breeze dies! Motor until 1:45 and then sail on. Got to Lorain, OH breakwall at 3:30 and decided to continue on to Vermillion. Had to motor for the last 1/2 hr. Long Day!

IMG_20140621_154206_673 Jane and Penny couldn’t take any more! Got up too early.

Arrived at Vermillion at 5:15. Tied up at the Vermillion YC at 5:30 and got penny to shore. Boy was she happy to get on dry land and do what she had to do! I think she must have been a bit uncomfortable the last hour or two.

Vermillion’s a pretty spot. Took Penny for a walk and had dinner on the boat. Bedtime!

June 22, 2014 (Sorry I haven’t posted…haven’t had a connection!)

Took a lay day in Vermillion. Relaxing in a beautiful port. The Lagoons appear to be a closely controlled community with every home white with black shutters, but every home has it’s own waterfront & dock! Perfectly groomed lawns and a peaceful setting…as I said relaxing!

Vermillion Lagoons "Cottage"

Vermillion Lagoons “Cottage”

Took a nice bike ride along the lake to Huron, OH and back. Rewarded ourselves with Ice Cream Sundaes! Dinner and bed.

June 23, 2014 (Monday)

Started adding the day to keep track! 8:15 a.m. departure for Leamington, Ontario. After discussing with some of the locals, we thought this would be the easiest way to the Detroit River. Light winds. Motor/sailed with the main up. Crossed the border line at 11:10 and cleared into Leamington at 3:30. This was absolutely the buggiest sail I’ve ever had!! Huge thunderstorm passed through an hour after we arrived.

IMG_20140629_151330_545A Great Heron waiting for the rain to stop!

A Great Heron waiting for the rain to stop!

June 24, 2014 (Tuesday)

Lay day. Needed to stock up again. Went for a long walk on the Leamington walking trail with Penny. Then in attempting to get the Navionics Gold Canada charts to work on my GPS, I called Lowrance and was told to update the firmware – WITH A 2GB SD CARD! – when was the last time you saw one of those in a store? After walking Leamington and searching to no avail, I found a micro SD card in a camera that Rob gave Jane. I copied all the files, formatted it and IT WORKED! Long day tomorrow – BED!

Leamington Marina's flowers were beautiful!

Leamington Marina’s flowers were beautiful!

A beautiful morning in Leamington!

A beautiful morning in Leamington!

June 25, 2014 (Wednesday)

Fueled up and left Leamington at 8:30. Had a beautiful sail to the mouth of the Detroit River and motored up to Wyandot YC. Russ took our lines and was very helpful getting us settled and advised us on the river transit. Small club within a marina, but very helpful and friendly!

June 26, 2014 (Thursday)

Pulled away at 8:15. Motored up the river to Lake St. Clair through Detroit/Windsor and into the St. Clair River.

 

Stopped at the South Channel YC and were greeted by Shirley. There were electrical wires over the channel which she assured us were 63 feet (high water year!!) and we’re 55. Glad I don’t have an antennae on the mast! She got us settled and we had a relaxing evening. Rustic setting, but very nice.

 

June 27, 2014 (Friday)

Left South Channel Yacht Club at 8:30 a.m. Seems to be our departure time after getting coffee made and Penny walked. She’s been a rea trooper this trip! Turned into the North Channel for a mile or so to go to the Algonac Harbor Club for fuel, pumpout and water. Great marina with courteous attendants! Continued North on the St.Clair river and arrived at the Bridgeview Marina in Sarnia, Ontario at about 5:30. Cleared customs and docked. Met Gary & Sue who gave us a ride and offered advise on our trip. Everywhere we go people are very helpful!

June 28, 2014 (Saturday)

Lay day. Took care of some items we needed at the marine store and went for a long bike ride. Windy! Had a Sundae for lunch (surprise huh?).

Biking under the Blue Water BridgeLooks like the Caribbean!Looks like the Caribbean!

Went grocery shopping – free shuttle service!! Had steak for dinner. We’re really getting a lot of use of the George Forman Grill that came with the boat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 – Cruise Prep

June 14, 2014
It’s been a long spring of getting everything ready for our cruise to the Georgian Bay.

  • Sell the house…don’t sell the house (we’re keeping it!)
  • Replace the full bimini with a bimini/dodger combo
  • Solar Panels – research/purchase/install – Much trial & error!
  • General repair & fixup

The list goes on, but we leave tomorrow!

IMG_20140613_191328_552

Loaded last minute items into the car (another full car!). Rob drove us to Dunkirk, had an early dinner with us (last chance at real Buffalo Chicken Wings!) and left us at the DYC. He’s house-sitting part time for us while we’re gone.

Final prep –

  • Mount the dinghy motor
  • Find places to stow everything (and try to remember where!)
  • Get diesel fuel (had to walk to the gas station to get it – thank goodness for the DYC carts!)
  • Have a last Labatt’s draft at the club.

Tomorrow we leave!

 

 

Jane & Larry’s Excellent Adventure

Welcome to the Windfall blog. This blog will act as a log/blog and travelogue of Jane & Larry’s travels on our Hunter 34 sloop Windfall. After years of weekend cruising, we finally decided to pursue our dream of an extended cruise, starting with the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay, then hopefully heading south to Florida and the Caribbean.

On a 10 day cruise in 2012 on our Pearson 30 Tailwind we started talking about forming a plan to achieve our dream. It was clear that Tailwind was not big enough to spend extended time living on. Also we decided that we should make our move soon while our health is still good. That winter I began a search for a suitable boat. We found Britannia in Grand River, OH. She was a meticulously maintained 1983 Hunter 34 whose owner Lee Booth sadly passed away. We were shown the boat by Lee’s wife Betty and his close friends, Jack and Sue. We made an offer and became her proud new owners

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After commissioning her in the spring, and renaming her Windfall, Jack and Sue helped us get her ready for the season at the Grand River YC. I can’t thank them enough! I’d probably still be trying to figure out the boom vang rig! We had a wild ride home using mostly the Genoa, hitting speeds over 11 knots! With a stopover in Erie, PA, we made it to our home port of Dunkirk, NY in record time.

July 2013

Shakedown Cruise!

Our cruise started with a sail to Erie, PA. We arrived at the Erie Yacht Club in time for a wonderful dinner at the club. The next morning we had a false start as the motor overheated. We anchored in the harbor, and couldn’t find the problem. We were offered a tow back to the EYC, but couldn’t get the anchor up! We finally had to cut the rode. I marked the anchor with a milk bottle, but it was gone the next day. With the help of VC Ed Schuler (also a diesel mechanic), we found a blockage in the water inlet. We stayed another night, stopped to purchase a new anchor and set sail for Conneaut. This harbor has a boat club that was very hospitable. The gravel mounds across the harbor featured immature Bald Eagles on the top of each one!

The next day off to Geneva State Park. What a wonderful spot! Reservations are recommended, but they were able to fit us in. We biked into Geneva to get groceries, and had some great hikes that our Jack Russell Penny really enjoyed. The next day we headed to Grand River, but were turned back by storm warnings of tornados and 70 mph winds. We made it back to Geneva just in time.

Once again we headed to Grand River. As we approached, NOAA advised that due to the heavy rains the day before, the river was hazardous. We pressed on to Mentor Harbor, and tied up at their east docks. What a wonderful facility! We stayed 2 days shopped, hiked, biked and had great dinner with Jack and Sue who helped us commission Windfall in the spring. In the next slip was a C&C 30 from Ashtabula. We followed them back to the Ashtabula YC (with our shoal draft, he out pointed us!) and had a nice time shopping at the rejuvenated downtown. Once again the winds were out of the east. We had a long beat to Erie and once again enjoyed an evening at the Erie YC. After a day of biking, we departed the next morning for Dover, Ont.

Two days in Dover, one of our favorite ports. We enjoyed a fish fry at the Port Dover YC and went for a long bike ride to Turkey Point. It was a beautiful day and we stopped for an ice cream sundae at the Normanville Century Inn on the way back. We planned to go on to Maitland, Ont. but the forecast for later that week was not good! We had a real sleigh ride back to Dunkirk and made it in under 9 hours!

Our cruise gave us some ideas on what we wanted to change on the boat to more accommodate our sailing lifestyle. With Jane retiring in January 2014 and me in May, it’s time to start planning!