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!

15-8-12-Beardrop3

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!

15-7-31-BlueMoon-Moyles

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.

3 thoughts on “2015 Cruise – The North Channel!

  1. Hi, We are the couple with Sweep in Mentor. Are you guys already back home.? If not and a stop in Mentor is on your float plan let me know and you can dock at our place.

    • Fran & Dave,
      Thanks for the offer! We enjoyed the North Channel so much we decided to winter the boat up there this year. We’ll probably be coming back through next fall, so keep us in mind!
      Jane & Larry

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