Day /Date /Wind /Skies /Location /Events

Fri / 8-1 / light wind / sunny & warm / Since this is our first major post, it is in increasing date order (except for this comment).  Next week (or whenever) we’ll post above this.  Things got much better after we got to the cruising part of our trip.  We’ll try to post some pictures too.  We’re presently at Killarney slip – Andy’s doing the laundry while I’m doing this (he drew the short straw). We’re happy our head, fresh water, and ice held for the entire week, with a quick replenishment of one block of ice day before yesterday. When done with our chores we’ll get some more of that delicious fish & chips and then head for Thomas Bay for our next anchorage today.  More about that in our next post.

Tue / 7-15 / Depart Madison 6:30 am. Arrive at Blind River 7 pm. Trip uneventful. Another delicious dinner at Monique’s Bistro.

Wed / 7-16 / Arrive at Little Current for breakfast at Garry’s Family Restaurant. Took kitties to Red Lodge Resort, got them settled. Boat wasn’t ready so we returned to Red Lodge for dinner.

Thu-Fri / 7-17 & 18 / Two more nights at Red Lodge due to engine problem. First the computer was smoked. Then tried replacing the panel but had to await delivery. On Friday we launched the boat, stepped the mast, got the sails on, and loaded living space to receive us on Saturday.

Sat-Wed / 7-19 thru 23 / Lived on boat, did lots of maintenance and prep work – needed this time to really get ready. Engine electrical problem solved late Wednesday – hooray!  On Monday, Kevin Rose, the co-owner of Harbor Vue Marina, gave us a bottle of delicious wine and moose steaks, venison sausage and burgers from last year’s hunt. Barbie cooked it all up and we feasted on various dishes for a week. Tuesday was a big blow – 35-45 knots – and a thunderstorm. Glad we didn’t have to worry about an anchor for that. Wednesday we celebrate with co-owners Stan and Kevin by opening Steve & Leigh’s elegant bottle of champagne given to us last year at our bon voyage party. The right time to open had finally arrived.

Thu / 7-24 / Loaded lazarettes, cleared out storage bin into Big Dipper aka our Yukon, resupplied, pumped out, and ready to go.

Fri /7-25 / sw 15 / fair / Heywood Island / Departed Harbor Vue Marina in Little Current Ontario for points East flying a reefed main and full genoa. Sailed past Strawberry Island Lighthouse, which we learned is occupied by an elderly couple who has lived there during the summer months for many years. We had a nice sail and a large cruise ship came up from the southeast. Traveled 4 miles to our first anchorage at Heywood Island – Browning Cove. Lowered our 10 kg Bruce anchor with our new windlass and set her with 115 ft of rode in about 16 ft of water. The windlass worked like a charm and the anchor held true for the next several days of our stay. Dingied over in Little Dipper to meet our closest neighbor and to compare “how much we had out”. Had a great time talking with Lou, who is from Green Bay and had been up here since early May, wondering what that “white stuff’ was (ice). Settled in for our first beautiful evening with two large trawlers nearby and watched the bay fill up with later arrivals, glad we got our pick of a good spot early.

Sat / 7-26 / sw 15 / fair / Heywood Island / At 2 am, the kitties woke Andy to go outside and enjoy the night air from the cockpit.   Andy noticed the nearby trawler with all its lights on and a lot of chatter on a nearby VHF radio. Suddenly about half a dozen loud blasts came from the trawler’s foghorn, scaring Andy and the kitties half to death and waking Barbie from a deep sleep. We put on the VHF channel 16 to the announcement of a Mayday and learned that the man on the boat was suffering a cardiac incident and they were looking for medical assistance in the immediate area. We offered to go lend companionship and that’s how we met Adria’s owners, Richard and Joan and then Jubilee’s owner Dean who arrived on the scene from the other trawler. After what seemed an eternity the Thunderbay Coast Guard arranged for the Little Current O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police) to come to Richard’s rescue and transport him back to the Little Current hospital. Richard’s condition turned out to be recoverable and he and Joan returned later in the afternoon to our relief. It’s kind of hard to remember what else we did that day, but we made some good friends and enjoyed their company the following day.

Sun / 7-27 / wind??? / fair / Heywood Island / Joan and Richard invited us all for coffee on Adria in the late morning and we and Dean all visited until about 1 pm. We learned that Joan and Richard are from Evanston and they are very active in the Great Lakes Cruising Club. They are both lively and very self-sufficient sailors and boaters with lots of interesting stories about their various adventures on the Great Lakes. Richard is quite a photographer and we hope to share some of his photos with you. Dean is a retired FBI man with quite a set of stories about sailing/cruising, etc. and delivering Seahorse Trawlers from Hong Kong to the US. He invited us to join him for cocktails Sunday evening and that turned into quite a party with two other couples as well as Richard and Joan and us. One of those couples, Dale and Kathy, corn and soybean farmers from central Illinois, own Albin & Co. , a 1936 converted tug. The other couple is from British Columbia and they just put in to begin their 13-month looper journey, hoping to arrive in the Caribbean for Christmas.   Dean’s trawler is built like an ocean liner ship and is quite a sight to see. We thoroughly enjoyed our interactions with these folks.

Mon / 7-28 / w 15 veering to n–>ne 25 / fair & T-storm/ Heywood Island / We awoke to predictions of a strong northeast breeze, so we pulled up anchor at Browning Cove and motored up a little side channel Andy had scoped out so we could tie off on the lee side of an island and use a stern anchor.   Mid-day we dingied over to say farewell to Lou and Dean since we knew we’d be leaving in the morning. Had nice chats with each of them and then returned for a quiet evening on NorthStar with the kitties.  As dusk fell, Andy heard a bear and Jennifer heard it too because she came out to the cockpit seat and stared intently into the woods. The next morning . . . so, when you hear northeast, that can mean anything up to 89 degrees. We awoke to a strong east wind that blew us hard but could not pull out that tree we were tied to. We enjoyed hearing what we think was a fledgling eagle and saw an adult fly over until we became concerned that the adult was not returning because we may be too close. Hopefully all is well now that we have departed.

Tue / 7-29 / w 10 and down to nothing / fair / Covered Portage Cove / We had a wonderful sail with a due west wind taking us due west so we got lots of sailing by the lee, wing on wing and jibing opportunities. We worked our way from lower terrain islands to increasing elevations of granite islands with a great view of the Killarney Ridge in the distance to port. When the wind went to zero for a few moments, Barbie took a bath off the swim platform as Andy sailed us steadily along with the wind increasing again to about 6. We had planned one final jibe a ways ahead when we notice a bunch of sailboats in an outer bay and realized we had already arrived, so Andy headed to wind so we could quickly douse all the sails and get ready to motor into this fully protected cove. We dropped a stern anchor and Andy took an anchor line in Little Dipper over to a beautiful, wooded granite shore and tied off to a substantial tree. On the way into the cove, Barbie noticed Intangible, a Tartan 3700 that had been at Heywood so she shouted hello. This resulted in Mary dingying over to invite us for cocktails where we enjoyed Mary and Tom’s company and met John and Angela as well. All are accomplished racers and sailors. Tom had just finished second in his class in the Mac and we had a good time talking with him about all the refinements he had made to the Tartan to make it a class winning boat. Tom and Mary hail from the Chicago Yacht Club while John and Angela, originally from England, now sail out of their summer home on Manitoulin Island.

Wed / 7-30 / sw 10 / fair / Covered Portage Cove / After breakfast we climbed the granite hill we had tied off to and got a wonderful lookout over our bay and the bay to the far side of the peninsula. We then dingy-yachted to Killarney to check out the facilities and get some famous fish & chips, well worth the trip. After our return we joined Angela and John for tea. Angela (79) and John (81) have been sailing together since the 60’s. They sailed across the Atlantic to their homeport in England in a boat John built. They were here sharing this beautiful anchorage in another sailboat he built for them called the Suffolk Punch after a type of English draft horse. We had a lovely tea with them in the late afternoon and learned about their many adventures including sailing from Sicily to Greece, which they heartily encouraged us to do. Back in the day there were no GPS or other really suitable electronics so John navigated across the ocean using a sextant. These two are an engaging and inspiring couple of long-time sailors and friendly folk. Oh, by the way, their home-made boat is heated by a coal or word burning stove and it has many classic and beautiful, homey features to support their life style.

Thu / 7-31 / w 10 / rain ->fair / Covered Portage Cove / Woke up to a heavy rainy day with Andy’s fleece out getting soaked in Little Dipper along with Barbie’s sandals. They got left there because we were returning from tea with Angela and John last night and Barbie had to protect the old paper sextant log form John had pulled out of his log book and given to her and she wanted to be sure to store it in a safe place. Andy tied off the dingy and by the time they remembered his fleece, the mosquito netting was down and Barbie forbid a return for our clothing. It rained half the day and finally lightened and then turned into a beautiful, partly sunny afternoon. We jumped into the water to wash and then Barbie enjoyed a swim and got our kitty Jennifer interested in looking into the water. At this time we spotted an otter less than a hundred feet away sunning itself on a rock next to an abandoned beaver home. He rolled around and scratched his head on the rock and then disappeared just as a hero alighted on the same rock to hunt for a dinner of fish or frog. As we watched a muskrat swam by the same spot, so we had quite a menagerie of critters to enjoy. We now sit here in the peaceful quite of the approaching evening with 15 boats in this little cove all quietly enjoying their own activities.