Week 6 – July 31 – Our Final Week of 2015 Cruising Memories
Friday, July 31 – Saturday, August 1 – Beaver Island Harbor
Strong wind warnings in effect, primarily westerly, waves up to 1 meter
On our last evening in Little Current we ended up eating dinner without our new friends Joe and Jan on their Catamaran because they needed to shut down for the evening. We had a nice dinner at the Anchor Inn and then returned to the boat to listen to the forecast, which called for heavy wind warnings the next day. We hemmed and hawwed, but Barbie needed to “get outa Dodge” so we agreed to head for the Strawberry Channel approach to Beaver Island Harbor under stay sail alone, expecting the “mainland” of Manitoulin Island to offer some protection from the westerly winds. So, we rose early Friday morning and sipped our coffee in the cockpit, protected from small flying objects (aka mosquitoes) by our no-see-um screening. We sleepily watched a boat across the way in our marina finger as it prepared for an early launch with no one else about. We marveled at the skipper’s handling of the boat as it backed out of its slip in the strong “Little Current” current, Andy went on alert to be prepared to help although hindered from quickly getting on the dock by our screening and awning, when suddenly the current caught his whole boat and dragged it sideways toward us – slam it hit the dock between NorthStar and Dues Paid, hit Dues Paid’s stern, fortunately with just a minor scrape to her, and off he went apologetically into the channel with more dents in his boat than elsewhere. Barbie marveled as Betty from Dues Paid calmly said to him “the current is really strong” and shrugged it off. Needless to say, there were lots of folks out on the dock in a flash and we all shook our heads in amazement and gratitude that it hadn’t been worse.
We took a quick shower and awaited the dock hands’ check-in time before departing. Everyone was on hand to help and Andy carefully explained to the young dock hands that we would back out and wanted them to pull our stern around with a long spring line he had prepared until we were around and able to clear the dock and Dues Paid. All went well until the final critical second when the dock hand threw the line thus failing to get us headed properly – instead of pulling, they let it go as trained for no-thinking departures. Andy scrambled with the steerage and had to take it out of gear so the line wouldn’t wrap in the prop, which resulted in the current dragging us straight toward Dues Paid as Barbie scrambled to pull in the line – while loudly saying “NNNOOO!” At the last possible moment Andy put it back into gear to avoid Dues Paid with a little prayer that the rope had sunk below the prop level, as everyone else stood by helpless to afford assistance, and Barbie continued to pull in the 75 feet of line as fast as she could. Phew! we made it, and off we went waving to our friends on Dues Paid and Ultimate Therapy. Kind of felt like the Wizard exiting Oz in his hot air balloon with Dorothy and the crowd waving goodbye.
Expecting a full week away from port, we motored over to Wally’s for a preparatory pump out and then nicely made the 9 am swing bridge without further incident. Andy took the tiller and we unfurled the stay sail as the wind was already blowing pretty well for that early and headed in the direction of the Strawberry Light House, turning to starboard to head into the Strawberry Channel between Strawberry and Manitoulin. We had a nice, but focused sail as the winds eventually clocked in at 30 mph. We were happy we had made the good decision to seek protection from the waves, which worked wonderfully. As we rounded the southern tip of Strawberry into the harbor formed by Beaver Island to her east, we had a bit of open water where the waves had built up, but it was a short journey to our anchorage. We spied two sailboats rounding Beaver’s southern tip and they reached the anchorage first, so we selected a spot a bit to their north near the reeds along the Strawberry shore. After getting nicely situated we realized that although we had the protection of the island, there was very little elevation, so the strong wind was swinging us around on our anchor more than we desired. So we got into Little Dipper and explored the whole shoreline to check depths and see how close we could get to shore. Because we didn’t want to tangle with the reeds and possibly jeopardize our anchor hold, we opted for a change to the south of the other two boats, which had rafted together. After we got set the other boats had to re-anchor because their rafting strategy on a single anchor in the strong wind proved to be a bad idea. Once they got set, one of the skippers came by in his dingy and said they would probably pull up and head into Little Current to get out of the wind. We advised him about the strong current and the challenge of getting past the bridge in those conditions and suggested a location just outside of Harbor Vue in a little cove, and they set off for there. Now we were alone in the wind but out of the waves in a beautiful little nature preserve, hoping we’d do well. Andy threw in another Bruce anchor for good measure and the two held us well for our entire stay.
Happily, a beautiful, well-tended older sailboat came in and anchored where the other two had been. After they got settled we dingied over to say hi and that we were glad for a little company. We hung out for quite a while and met Spitfire’s skipper Grandpa Bruce and Grandma Gabrielle, dad and mom, and two cute girls. Grandparents had been sailing up here for about 40 years, raised their son on the boat, and were now raising the grandchildren on the boat as well. It was grandpa who told us this was a nature preserve as we marveled at the flocks of mergansers and geese swimming among the reeds. We had a nice visit and then went home to the kitties, glad for friends nearby. Early Saturday morning our neighbor departed. Jennifer wanted to go for a ride in Little Dipper, but there were no rock islands to take her to, so Barbie took her over to explore the reeds. When we got there she meowed so we returned home. Then Barbie wanted to see if we could get closer to the water birds so she persuaded Andy to take her for a row in Little Dipper where they proceeded to scare everyone away – luckily they came back after we returned to NorthStar. Later that day we got some day-visiting family power boats and one beautiful, red sailboat named Rubicon. We waved at the Rubicon family as dad rowed his hard-core dingy row boat around in the reeds, so they stopped by to say hi. Later we went over for a brief visit and enjoyed being aboard and meeting the family – Ben, Vicki, Alex, and Nikolai. The children were enchanting and engaging and we had a nice visit. With the weather permitting, we determined we would set sail for McGregor the next day.
Sunday, August 2 – Wednesday, August 5 – McGregor Bay
Winds continued from the west but moderate and waves subsided
Sunday we awoke to a nice sunny day and westerly winds. We weighed anchor, set sail for the south of Beaver Island and then headed north between Beaver and Heywood, keeping our eyes peeled for OC power boats – fortunately there were none. The wind was just right to take us across Frazer Bay and north past McGregor Point, which forms the north side of Baie Fine, and into McGregor Bay for a new adventure. Our only mistake was to keep tuned, as is advised, to Channel 16 to be aware of any conditions or folks needing assistance. Here it was, a weekend again, and there were endless mayday and panpan calls – two children blowing out to sea on a rubber raft, a boat taking on more water than they could pump out after hitting a rock in Sturgeon Cove (well marked as a rocky area), and at least one more distress call we can’t remember at the moment as we sit in comfort on our Lazy Boy watching the college football season openers. This was accompanied by endless, inappropriate but understood chatter from miscellaneous other boats offering to help the coast guard communications because they couldn’t hear the sinking boat transmittals. Some of it turned out-right nasty as one boater criticized the coast guard for not knowing the area (due to budget cuts reducing the number of coast guard sites) and an un-trained reaction that wouldn’t acknowledge offers of communication assistance without following the communication protocol to the letter. After a while we realized all of this was ruining our day and was occurring in locations we couldn’t possibly assist so we just killed the radio.
We returned to enjoying the scenery as we entered McGregor Bay and a whole new region of islands, beautiful dwellings on the mainland-accessible land, and enjoying the anticipation of a new adventure. We were thankful for the detailed way points provided by Tom on Mistress way back at Thomas Bay, but Andy was just too nervous after all the radio chatter to chance it under sail, so we motored the rest of the way in. As we approached the critical “rock & a hard place” pair of little rock islands Tom had pointed out as the proper course, we were blessed by two sets of greeters – a loon swimming around, undisturbed by our approach to starboard and a pair of bald eagles, one having just caught a fish, enjoying lunch on the rock to port with a few seagulls begging unsuccessfully for a bite. We were happy to have our focus shifted by these beautiful inhabitants of our new, temporary home.
We had planned for our first anchorage to tuck into a little bay Tom had told us about at the end of the approach channel and as we rounded the southern tip we found a nice little bay with six or seven boats already anchored. So we found a vacant spot near shore of the little island way to the southeast part of the entire bay area (can’t find a name for this one of many islands in the huge McGregor Bay area). The spot seemed to be protected from the west, so we dropped anchor, letting out just enough rode for the shallow waters. Oops! when we went to set it, the anchor slipped because we had hit smooth rock with no grab. As Barbie steered us back we were a bit too close to the next sailboat who watched us carefully, so after we reset to our satisfaction, she rowed Little Dipper over to say hi and explain what had happened. Everyone was copacetic so we settled in for the evening. It was a beautiful evening so Barbie power-dingied around the next island and back, locating a good spot for Jennifer’s outing the next morning. She got back before a squall came through and we got below after Andy threw in another Bruce before the rain. The wind blew hard and we clocked 25+ but the gust must have been more. It only lasted a few minutes but when Andy looked out a port-side window, one of the anchored boats was not there anymore. We got outside and found that a Tartan-37 had dragged about a hundred yards in between a couple of other boats and right next to a big power boat with all the inhabitants caught away from the anchorage in their dingies. Fortunately they arrived back in time to get reanchored without incident, but the boat sure left in a hurry the next morning. So much for that anchorage – too small, too many rocks, not really protected from such gusts.
Monday we took a dingy ride up the channel connector to the East-West Channel along the east side of East Sampson Island to explore the anchorage east of East Sampson that Tom had pointed out. Little did we know what we would find there – to quote Rick in Casablanca “Louis this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.” We motored into a nicely-protected area where a huge trawler was tied off to shore in four directions to the left of the entrance, 3 big power boats were rafted and tied to shore beyond that, 3 sailboats were rafted and tied to shore to the right, and two yahoos were floating in a dingy near the sailboats with bare chests, feet up, one in full bandana, and bigs grins.
Well, we thought the dingy was most approachable so we puttzed over and said hi – what are you doing. Thinking about our anchor was the reply. Yeah, sure, Barbie quipped. And so it went, then and for three more days. They showed us where we could anchor, said everybody ties off over here, and after some exploration and a wave we headed back to gather up NorthStar, kitties and the whole kit-n-kaboodle.
When we got back Robert and Brian had fully scoped out our spot, took our lines amid jokes about whether we’d ever get them back, and tied off to one of the two trees they had identified while Andy tied the other line. There was much chatter about whether the knots would hold and why Barbie didn’t give them more line, and we ended up nicely tied up and ready to get to know them better.
But we had prior plans for the day. We knew that Richard and Joan on The Adria were probably still anchored up in the East & West Channel following the conclusion of the Great Lakes Cruising Club Wilderness Rally we had missed, so we headed out in Little Dipper to explore. As we entered the channel, we passed canoeist campers, threes power boats heading out together, and spied a trawler a bit further on.
As we neared the trawler, a fellow messing around on the deck hollered “is that NorthStar?” Yep, it was Richard.
So he invited us aboard for coffee as Joan pulled out coffee, tea, smoked fish, and a million other goodies. Pretty soon we found out what he was doing on the bow – figuring out how he was going to approach salvaging a 15K stainless Bruce and 150 feet of 7/16ths stainless chain that had been abandoned by a solo woman after she couldn’t get it out of the rocks below. Richard had put a float on it to mark the spot and pretty soon he and Andy were plotting and scheming what to do and how to avoid damage to The Adria or themselves in the process.
Joan and Barbie chit-chatted in between the more dominant topic of conversation and supported the rescue effort as they could. To Richard’s amazement, Andy’s astute analysis of the problem and suggestions for how to approach it, resulted in their full success and a grand photo taken by Joan. Subsequently it has been learned that the value of this over-the-top approach to anchoring is $8-10,000 American! The final resolution of the salvage operation and ownership is still pending. However, this called for champagne, which Richard promptly produced and now we were getting into happy hour time.
Barbie had little to offer other than the BLT’s with Wisconsin cheese she had originally prepared for their lunch, so she offered and Joan declared we could have “canapés.” So Barbie cut the sandwiches into small triangles and tried to arrange the mess on a nice plate and everyone gobbled them down while toasting the mighty men. We headed back early that evening and stopped to say hi to our sailboat friends. This turned into a brief conversation about Andy’s work on our rig and the fact that we had two fat cats on board. So we agreed some of the folks would stop by to check all this after we got settled from our long day. Kathy and Barbie spent the next hour below telling all the cat stories they knew while Andy talked with Brian and Mike about our swim platform and awning setup.
After our new friends left we had a light dinner and settled in for the night. We had noticed that the prior power boats had departed but the ones we had passed on our way out had now rafted together. Although our usual quiet evening and bedtime were delayed by the blast of motor-boat-choice music over their party-animal-enhanced sound system, they eventually turned it off and we got a reasonable night’s sleep.
Tuesday we took an all-day dingy ride around McGregor Island and in this way explored a large portion of the channels, cuts through the rocks, fellow dingy travellers, and fantastic cottages on the lake. We encountered folks we had met previously and chatted as we passed one another. We had to carefully check the charts and the compass a few times to make sure we were going the right way and although we passed other explorers and local fishermen from time to time, we were mostly travelling alone looking at the beautiful scenery and occasional waterfowl.
Early during this trip we came to a dead-end to starboard and the narrowest cut in the rock that you can possibly imagine to port. One dingy that had headed out the same time we did decided to abandon the trip but we cut off the motor, raised it, and carefully squeezed through the cut under rowing power– glad for our rigid bottom – and emerged on the other side just in time to see two dingies (one from our friend on the boat Shadow stationed next to us at Harbor Vue) approaching from the other direction. They laughed and hollered out “what happened to your securité-securité hail?” We laughed too and said we’d be sure to hail next time (we must have been traveling at least 100 yards per hour at that point – a real high-risk encounter!)
Further on we stopped on an elevated bank to eat our lunch and stretch our legs. We carried on and re-encountered another dingy that had gone ahead and was now fishing on a return voyage. We had to carefully check the charts again to find the correct passage, and carried on until we came upon an anchorage with several sailboats looking very peaceful in that setting. Two fellows were out on a little rock island with their dogs so we went over to say hi. Turned out to be Glen from Last Resort and a fellow whose name I’ve forgotten who had been rigging at Harbor Vue the same time we were. We had met Glen two years earlier in John Harbor and so we had a chance to catch up. One of the dogs greeted us enthusiastically by jumping right into Little Dipper and obliged Barbie who wanted to scratch behind his ears. The other dog completely ignored us because he was busy wading in the water looking for fish. We queried them carefully and poured over the charts to understand how they had gotten there along an easterly route and then said farewell. This anchorage looked much more peaceful that the one we were in and we thought at the time that we might seek it out on a future journey.
We carried on until we found the final blasted cut, which was created in the days when FDR came up here to go fishing. Since at the time there was only one water exit from the place, the US government negotiated an agreement with the Canadians to let them blast a second exit point for security reasons. Some of the blast area is now carefully marked in the shallows by boaters using empty LP cans as shown in the photo.
As this journey concluded we passed some magnificent cottages that are clearly only accessible by water. We can easily image why the formerly isolated owners were disappointed when full navigation charts were issued, because the area is now swarming with non-property owners. We came to a beautiful passage between Middle and East Sampson Islands and Barbie wanted to go in so Andy agreed and we startled a beaver inside its home, judging from the scuffling sounds that came out. After a little exploration, we returned to our main channel, passed quite a few more boaters, several powerboats anchored in some tight spots, and one anchored sailboat in the middle of the channel. We visited the sailors for a few minutes and then returned to our little spot.
Wednesday after Jennifer’s ride in Little Dipper, we took a hike up the steep, rocky path just south of the channel to our anchorage at the eastern end of McGregor Point, which forms the north shore of Baie Fine on the other side. We had a beautiful hike with lots of views but decided to call it quits before summiting. Not sure if Baie Fine is viewable from the top or not, but we had excellent views into McGregor Bay and were very satisfied with the hike. About half way up as we were resting on a rock and enjoying the view, who comes up but Brian, Kathy & Laurie with cameras and big smiles. We enjoyed their company for a bit of the hike and then decided to let them continue on as we paused and then descended. They caught back up with us near the end of the trail and we all headed back – this time us in our high-powered dingy with them in the rear – three in a smaller boat more suitable for hoisting onto the foredeck of their sailboat when under sail.
On the way back, Barbie told Andy she wanted to invade Windrush for happy hour. So when they got back, they pet the kitties, cut up the remaining Wisconsin cheese, laid it out nicely on a plate, and got back into Little Dipper bound the few feet to Windrush. As we approached, Barbie dug out the only fish she has ever caught up here – a large stick she used to dig herself out of the mud behind the island at Long Point Cove two years ago – took on the Captain Morgan pose in the bow, and hollered “argh! prepare to be boarded” to the delight of Robert & Laurie and Brian & Kathy. They helped us aboard, fed us “lobster” (really very good shrimp) and introduced Barbie to “Costco Crack” – a Chicago Popcorn blend of caramel and cheese popcorn. Warning – don’t ever touch the stuff or you’ll be immediately hooked.
We had a hilarious evening together and said we’d see each other for our morning departures & then again in Little Current for our final evening. The next morning, Robert caught some wonderful photos of NorthStar and us, and we took a few of them as they passed us during the journey to Little Current under motor in the still air created by the high pressure system that had descended on us for our final journey.
Thursday, August 6 – Little Current
We awoke Thursday morning to a windless day as seen in the photos above. We left early and motored all the way to Little Current, with Windrush and the other sailboats overtaking us near the Mary Islands. When we got to the Little Current town dock, totally by chance the dock hands loaded us into the slip right next to Windrush, so we said hello again. By now we were all settled into the inevitable – we would all be departing for home the next day. We went over to the Anchor Inn a little earlier than the others, who were celebrating their final evening together. Barbie had the waitress deliver a small sampling of Robert’s favorite gorp ingredients to him at their table and another photo was snapped of this honoring of our hosts from the preceding evening. We returned to NorthStar near sunset and Andy wandered the docks to catch a few final photos in the evening light. Our friends departed just as the sun rose on Friday morning and we left a bit later for a mid-morning pull out at Harbor Vue.
Friday, August 7 – Wednesday, August 12 – on the hard and Touring Manitoulin Island by Land
We were unable to get reservations at our usual Red Lodge Inn but found the Silver Birches resort willing to take us and the kitties come Monday. So we and the kitties slept on NorthStar on the hard for two nights as we began packing her up. This worked out fairly well and we were able to get our boat cover and life sling to Michelle, an excellent local canvas seamstress, for a few minor modifications, which she completed in record time for us.
After getting the kitties settled into the resort, we ended up with a solid day of rain and so we took that time to do a little touring by car. We had previously agreed to do a little touring to break up the work of putting NorthStar away and to enjoy a few sights we otherwise wouldn’t see. We drove to Manitowaning and checked out the small marina and very good grocery store there, thanks to the advice of Chris and Diane from Gunkholer. We will keep that in mind as a future provisioning alternative to Little Current if we have the time and want to avoid the crowds. We also checked out South Baymouth, which is where the ferry heads across to Tobermorey, took a nice little walk along the beautifully created boardwalk park within the wetlands surrounding the marina. It was really quite lovely. We ended this visit by getting a good supply of fudge at the recommendation of our Windrush friends. It was delicious.
The weather cleared nicely for our final day and we got everything dried out, packed up, covered up, good for the winter ahead. Said good bye to the folks at Harbor Vue, packed up back at the resort, and headed out early for a non-stop drive home. Barbie strategized to take a longer turn at the wheel before the approach to Green Bay and turned it over to Andy so that he got the privilege of driving through the construction this time 😉 Man-handled Matilda (our GPS) to take the route we wanted through the UP rather than the scenic route through Mackinac that she seems to prefer, and got home nicely just a little before sunset.
We found a whole new tempo to North Channel living this summer. While we had a few incidents that disrupted our peace, most of the journey was filled with quiet times at anchor, challenging sailing, many wonderful new and old friends, and the wonders of nature all around us. We learned after returning home, that we hadn’t heard bull frogs at our Hotham anchorage early in the journey, but rather they were green frogs. This makes sense as we saw green frogs on several occasions and Andy snapped a picture or two of them. We’ll leave you with these lovely sounds of mid-summer on the water . . .
Green Frogs in the Evening (stop video when done to skip random next selection)
Week 5 – Update
Here are a few pictures that didn’t get into our last post.
Week 4 – July 15-21 – A Glorious Week in Thomas Bay
July 15 / Wind light to moderate but significant waves from preceding days’ blow / Left Covered Portage and sailed briefly toward Killarney and then motored in to do our chores and post our blog, all of which took the whole day, but we left for Thomas Bay anyway and got in very late. On the sail to Thomas, Barbie wanted to head out to sea again because the waves from Georgian Bay reflected off the rocky shore, knocking us about quite a bit. We are learning the limitations of NorthStar’s capability to handle wave, much to our disappointment but we are gradually becoming wiser about heading out in these conditions. (Our wisdom doesn’t always lead to prudent choices thus far.) Anyway, Andy urged Barbie to head closer to the shore marker on Flat Island, signifying the entry passage to Thomas (and to Collins Inlet further east). The waves at this point were so “confused” as our friend John on Suffolk Punch describes them, that taking down the main as we entered the channel was a significant challenge. We bounced around like a bobber in white water, but we got the job done, motored through the rocks following our well-marked chart points, passed “mailbox rock” which was more awash than last year due to the high water, puttered around the other anchored boats at about 7 PM but in full daylight, and anchored nicely right in our spot from last year next to one of Jennifer’s favorite rocks.
July 16 – 21
Weather and wind direction varied but we mostly enjoyed beautiful days at our anchorage and the sound of the surf on the rocks outside Thomas Bay. Came to really understand that although the charts show these northern Georgian Bay anchorages as a coastline of bays and inlets, we are actually positioned at the northern side of the full fetch of the north-south Georgian Bay, which extends for 60 + miles. The sound of the surf was magnificent when we had southerly breezes. On our swing anchor the southeast breeze tended to get us shifting about on the anchor, giving a bit of comfortable motion and varied views from our cockpit. The temperature and skies were pleasant but the water was very cold as the wind direction drove in the cold water from Georgian Bay. We had to going dingying around the rocky little islands to find a protected area for our bathing, but this was fun.
We met two sets of boats during our stay. The first group included our old friends John and Angela on Suffolk Punch, rediscovered friends Bob and Helen on Tango, and new friends Tom & Nancy on Mistress, Dean & Cheryl on Annadell, Chuck & Linda on Teem ____. Tom & Nancy threw a birthday party for Cheryl and we all fit in their cockpit around their pilot wheel and shared great foods, booze, and news. There were so many conversations going on at once that it would be impossible to recount any with any degree of accuracy. Suffice it to say that we thoroughly enjoyed meeting this group of people. After a few days everyone but Suffolk Punch pulled up their hooks and headed their separate ways and a whole new group came in the same day.
Our second group, in addition to Suffolk Punch, include all new friends for us but old friends of John and Angela (mostly). We met Chris & Diane on Gunkholer, David & Barbara on Robert Sydney (the only trawler in and otherwise sailor-only group) who were journeying with their old friends John & Lise on Polynya, and finally Jerry & Claire on Magic Carpet. Barbie had previously organized the firepit on Jennifer Rock and invited everyone for happy hour and possible fire and dinner on the rock. Unfortunately the wind blew too hard for the fire, but that didn’t dampen the fully-attended happy hour with more conviviality and getting to know one another. On subsequent days we all watched out for each other as various folks went kayaking, dingy yachting, or –the fools on NorthStar – sailing again in too much wind and waves. That day we thought we’d try our hand at sailing and returning to our anchorage, but it was less fun than hoped for because of the waves again. So we high-tailed it for Killarney to get some ice, food, and liquor, bumped into Panda Bear, had lunch while the strongest part of the wind blew over as did a one-cloud bit of rain, then we sailed back to Thomas, again with Barbie going out way too far to get away from the confused waves near shore. But we got back, had another nice evening with Chris & Diane as Suffolk Punch and Magic Carpet had moved on and the Robert Sydney & Polynya folks were doing their close-buddy thing. Learned a lot about Gunkholer’s travels through all five Great Lakes, and back through the Trans Severn. We expect to meet up with them again before the season is over.
Week 5 – July 22-29 – Exploring and Rediscovering – George Island, Lansdown Channel, Frazer Bay, Baie Fine, Little Current & Surrounding Area
Wed, 7-22 / Snug Harbor / Predicted – nw 15 & clear, Actual – gusts to 27
As we got up early on our last morning at Thomas Bay we had not yet decided what to do, but we watched each of our neighbors pull anchor and head out to sea so with that and the nice NW prediction, which meant to us lesser waves, we decided to depart as well and thought we’d head back to Heywood for the night following the southern route below George Island, which forms the southern boarder of Killarney and then continue south of Badgeley, Centre, and Partridge Islands, up toward Badgeley Point, and on to Heywood. The thought was that this would stage us for later trips a bit north but still on the eastern side of Little Current.
“Not so fast!” as our famous College Gameday host Lee Corso likes to say – wish we had his pencil grip and a proper mascot head now to predict the future.
We started out with a beautiful morning breeze to starboard and happily headed southeast below Killarney and well away from the rocky shore and any potential wave reflection. The waves were small and we were thoroughly enjoying our sail. Barbie even looked off at the distant shores of southeast Manitoulin Island and asked Andy if there might be any practicality of heading that way to avoid the eventual tack into the wind that would be needed for our intended course. As we contemplated the remote possibility of this, wondered about the distance, passed the east entrance to Killarney and made our way along the southern coast of George, the wind picked up a bit and we sailed along at a pretty good clip. Then the wind picked up some more . . . and some more. As we were well past the mid-point of George, we pulled in the genoa and Andy asked if we might consider returning to Killarney. (He meant to pass through, get out of the wind and return via the inner channel called Lansdowne Channel, but Barbie thought he meant go stay at Killarney and so she said she didn’t want to. This was the beginning of a few days of errors in thoughts and communications – more to come.)
So we reefed the main, turned on the motor, and decided to head into the Lansdowne Channel between George and Badgeley Island. As the wind gusted to 27 we thought we’d head to Snug Harbor but pause at a little cove on the east side of Badgeley to get out of the wind, douse the main, and regroup before completing this highly-truncated travel plan. As we rounded the outer point of Badgeley and spotted our channel buoys, we watched several power and sailboats navigating in the protected waters and then around the corner spotted a huge ship pictured here as the Robert S. Pierson. Turned out to be sitting right in our intended cove mining for quartz, as we learned later from Roy, the Cruisers Net creator and gentleman of the North Channel. To shorten an already long story, we got the main down, circled about a bit, took some pictures, and tucked into Snug Harbor snuggly without incident. Not much to do there other than be snug, so that’s what we did for the rest of the day and we left early the next morning.
Thu-Sat / 7-23 – 7-25 / Frazer Bay to Baie Fine
Thursday morning we awoke to another beautiful day, light to moderate NW -> W wind, and renewed optimism. We decided to head into Frazer Bay, reputed to be a beautiful place to sail, which proved to be absolutely true. Initially we thought we’d anchor north of Blueberry Island at the eastern most reach of Frazer, but decided en route to go to Baie Fine instead because that anchorage wouldn’t be protected from the predicted southerly winds on Friday.
Almost immediately after leaving Snug we set the genoa and then the main in the Lansdowne and navigated between the channel markers past Badgeley, Centre, and Partridge Islands to the south and Badgeley Point to the north, rounded the point, and entered the western entrance to Frazer Bay. Once in the deep water we had a glorious sail and Barbie even took a moment to call a friend on the phone to tell her we would be delaying our web posts because we were having such a great time away from the technological world. We sailed a good ways up the bay, able to really sit back, enjoy the wind and the water, and to look out at the lands all around us at various distances. Eventually we made the Baie Fine decision and Andy found a viable entrance using an approach east of the usual approach to the channel. So we furled in the sails, picked our way through a few rocks, made a U turn past the resort at the main entrance, and then tried a bit of downwind sailing in the channel with our genoa unfurled. I’m afraid we mostly managed to disrupt the exit of several power boats, who politely gave us our right-of-way as the wind died to almost nothing. We thought we could see it, but it must have been just wishful thinking, so we finally furled the genoa and motored the rest of our way to the nice little cove opposite Mary Ann Cove, that we like because it is small and because we “discovered” it on our first trip, where we met our Ottowa friends on Bebob and Fyresail. Thursday evening and Friday morning we and NorthStar and Jennifer and Mindy (and Little Dipper) had a peaceful anchoring in the solitude of this little bay.
Friday morning we got up early to a glassy sea and resolved to take Little Dipper on the long dingy ride up to The Pool and an eventual hike up to Topaz Lake, a lake devoid of life due to acid rain but reputed to be beautiful and well worth the hike. The motor up on a full plane on the wind-less, wave-less water was very nice and we kept close to the portside cliffs to be well away from the occasional rocks in the center of the channel. We found at the pool the cabin depicted here, which we believe may be the one formerly owned by Evinrude, who made the Johnson motor Andy’s dad Pepper had with a story to go with it, which I’ll omit from this post. We realized we had brought the chart but not the book to tell us where the trail head was, so we puttered over to some boats anchored at the Pool and got the advice we needed to make the hike. Lucky we had our mosquito dope because they were thick. The hike was through the woods along a dry, rocky riverbed. It was steep. It was hot. We had to look down. We couldn’t see much. We got to the top, looked at the lake – which was pretty, drank some water, ate some gorp, talked to some people, enjoyed meeting the folks on Wind and a Prayer, and headed back down the trail. Andy didn’t bother with a photo because, although it was pretty, neither of us felt it was worth the uncomfortable hike. Some kids enjoyed jumping off the rocks into the water, but we just trudged back. The motor back was a bit uncomfortable because a bit of wind had filled in and the waves had begun to build a bit. So we took turns at the tiller to share the pain of the pounding in the bow seat. Barbie wished she had brought a sports bra but left that at home.
Friday evening with only a light breeze, we decided to have a fire on a rock (Barbie’s passion) and cooked hotdogs and ate beans out of a can and drank a couple beers. The weather has been really dry and the wood flared up very quickly so we tamped it down immediately and waited for the coals to form to cook dinner and then poured four buckets of water on the dying coals. To our dismay the next morning we learned from the cruisers net broadcast that the entire area is under an extreme fire hazard warning, although not a ban. We’re glad we took care to keep it small and get it out, but wish we had realized the potential danger and not lit it in the first place. That’s probably the only fire we’ll have this summer unless the weather changes and brings in a lot of rain – something we’re not hoping for as cruisers although the people who live here probably wish for it.
Saturday Barbie did penance by thoroughly washing out Little Dipper and all sort of other chores while Andy shook his head in amazement. We stayed where we were and had a nice evening for our last day at Baie Fine.
Sunday, July 26 – Thursday, July 30 / Little Current Town Dock / HOT & sunny
Sunday morning, July 26 brought moderate breezes from the southwest and we set our sails back into Frazer Bay to go back to Little Current for provisioning before continuing out in nature. We began the day with a positively magnificent sail, again with very nice breezes and little to no waves. We had enough flexibility and time to be able to chase the wind with several tacks as we saw some light patches we wanted to avoid to our south around the lee of Heywood Island and elsewhere. We sailed back and forth south of the Mary Islands and had a great sail.
As we neared the northeast point of Heywood and set sail for Strawberry Lighthouse, we had the most frightening experience we’ve ever had on a sailboat. We were in about 15 knots of wind on a starboard tack under full main and genoa when we spied about a 40 foot power boat heading our way. At first we thought nothing of it because we were in the weekend playground area for local and visiting boaters on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. As the boat grew larger in our view we began to wonder if we were on a collision course. We started watching the boat carefully to see if it was going to alter course, but it didn’t. Andy finally told Barbie to get the air horn and she emptied it into the air in the boat’s direction and it still kept coming! Andy at the tiller couldn’t see any escape, not being able to tell whether falling off or heading up would succeed in getting us out of his way. The boat finally headed off just before reaching us, but it appeared that the driver had been below with the boat on autopilot. The driver looked like he got up and turned the wheel to veer away from us at the last possible moment. When it passed us ,it was about 10 feet from our starboard side and we were sprayed by the splash from his bow wave.
We watched him speed on past Heywood in the direction of Badgeley Point but couldn’t pick up any boat identification as he passed. With hearts pounding Andy continued to helm NorthStar as Barbie hailed first the coast guard and then under their advice the local marine police. She wasn’t able to reach the police and then had to abandon reporting as the boat was now out of sight, the wind was picking up, and it was time to reef and navigate around the lighthouse and finally to the swing bridge and into Little Current town dock. We did encounter the police at the dock later and filed a report, but wish we had had the presence of mind at the time to give an all-call to ask boaters to see if they could identify the boat when it was still in sight. We felt it would be important for other boats to be aware of the danger although we hope the driver figured out his error and perhaps would have changes his ways.
We decided to stay in Little Current a few days and get regrouped, re-provisioned, and re-relaxed, which we did.
We reprovisioned and did some recuperation, such as we could in the heat on Monday. On Tuesday we took a field trip with Roy and the cruisers net folks to Sheguiandah to learn about some of the history of the area, go to a museum and a First Nation gift shop. In the evening we went to the cruisers net potluck dinner, attended by about 50 boaters and had lots of nice conversations and good food. On our way back to NorthStar we stopped to admire a 50 foot catamaran and met Joe and Jan on their catamaran. Joe does consultation on the hydraulic systems on American’s Cup boats and is being hired by Peter Harken to design a valve for the next Oracle boat. He’s highly energetic and their boat is magnificent. Unfortunately, they hit a rock on Tuesday coming out of Baie Fine that sheered the ends off the rudders and they’re going through a rough go trying to get it fixed. Andy has tried to help with some advice and we dingied Joe over to Harbor Vue to consult with the mechanics. If they’re up for it, we’re going to take them to Red Lodge Resort for dinner tonight.
While in Little Current we met up with Dues Paid – Leo and Betty, Ultimate Therapy – John & Marilyn Lucy (who know Rex’s dad Tom Jones),, and again with Tango – Bob and Helen. We slept in the cockpit due to the heat and Mindy kept a watchful eye all night long while Jennifer slept on the couch inside.
The Kitties are Lovin’ It
Week 2 Updates
Benjamins: On Thursday 7-2 evening as the full moon rose in the east we looked out to see our old friends Panda Bear – Larry and Flora – in the moon rise, so Andy took several pictures to go with the full moon pictures of them and Fairways at the Bustards last year. (Photo is with original story below in Week 2.) This gave us a perfect opportunity to pop over to see them Friday morning which turned into coffee and catching up followed later with happy hour on Panda Bear with them and Herve and Suzanne. We had two fun evenings together with this crowd.
On Friday we thoroughly checked out North Benjamin via Little Dipper, found our way back to “Birthday Bay” – so called by the Jacksons for some reason involving swimming and birthday suits – and then checked the passage between the two Benjamins very carefully, deciding it would be safe to make the trip out that way when we got ready to leave. On Saturday we buzzed over to Croker Island and fell in love with the beaches there and a very nice anchorage tucked into the southeast hook just above Secretary Island. Met up with Jubilee’s Dean and met his wife Bavaria and had a nice little catchup conversation and talk about plans for the coming few weeks. We’ll plan to stay there on a future voyage.
Forgot to post this shot so here you go:
Hotham Tuesday, 7-7: Borrowed Grant’s old-school hand drill with a big gear and a little bit to allow us to make several holes for cup-holder sized hooks to hand things on in the galley and head. Then had a wonderful visit on their beautiful teal blue boat and talked about family and sailing and how Darla’s daughter’s name is Barbie Allen, just like mine – so I sent her the lyrics to the song after telling tales about the naming of children.
Week 3 – Cruising to the East
Thu & Fri / 7-9, light -> nw 15, chance of rain (didn’t materialize) / 7-10, light -> sw 10, fair / Heywood Island / After Craig got the head tank monitor fixed early Thursday afternoon, we pulled out of the marina and did circles “for an hour” within wifi range to Andy’s chagrin while Barbie uploaded our first post.
We then hoisted the genoa and set sail for the Strawberry Island light house and on to Heywood for our first anchorage to the east.
We sailed by genoa the whole way because we had lots of time, but the going got a bit slow toward the end. Finally motored into the bay and anchored right next to Jubilee.
Later a little dingy with a sail approached us and it turned out to be Larry and Flora from Panda Bear, who had anchored on the other side of the channel within the island.
Then John and Angela from Suffolk Punch showed up in their dingy and invited us for coffee the following morning, which we gladly accepted and enjoyed sharing stories with each other.
Andy took a picture of John’s cork in his drain hole, which you can see here.
We watched one of a pair of loons on the water and Angela pointed out their nest at the shoreline. On our way over we looked for the beautiful beach we had bathed at last year, but due to the high water there was no beach to be found, so Andy motored around and found a nice rock to bath on. Chased down Panda Bear as they pulled up anchor to head out and to our surprise and delight found that they re-anchored near us for one more night of shared fun and stories – Larry has a lot of ‘em. They headed for Snug Harbor the next day as we headed for Covered Portage and we planned to all meet up at Covered soon.
Sat – Tue / 7-11, sw 10 ->sw 15 -> w 15, fair / 7-12, light, fair / 7-13, sw 15 -> se 20 -> e 15 -> se 15, rain at night, / 7-14, light ->se 10 -> ne 15-25, rain & storms predicted but passed us by / Covered Portage Cove / We left Heywood early in the morning and immediately hoisted main and genoa for the sail to Covered Portage Cove. The wind was light and there seemed to be a dead spot in the shadow of the the far east corner of Heywood, but is was a convergent zone of wind coming up from the south west. We sailed along nicely along the south of Badgeley Point and Partridge and Centre Islands. We had to have a bit of discussion about direction with Barbie on the tiller and Andy on the navigation screen. Barbie wanted to head higher for more speed and she, of course, had the tiller. However, navigator Andy didn’t want to have to pay for her fun with a dead down wind run in the hot mid-day sun. So after considerable conversation on the topic Barbie got luck as the wind came up and we had to start to think about reefing. Luckily, we had plenty of time and a little bit of space to the rocky shore of Badgeley Island as this was our first reefing exercise of the season and seasoned reefers we are not. Got it done though, and reviewed our procedure for future reference as the wind came up even more and started gusting to 20, which made us decide to roll in the genoa and still we made 4.5 mph on our run to the entrance of the cove.
Got in, got anchored right near – guess who – Lou from Green Bay who had the pet gull “Fred” last year. So Andy and Lou talked up a storm about the Packers loss to the Seahawks and all the things that were just plain wrong about that.
Then next day, in come Suffolk Punch and Panda Bear, so here we were surround by old friends again. Got invited to a happy hour on the big white cliff on Sunday and met lots of folks after climbing up the southern trail with Larry and Flora.
Rested up on Monday and climbed the northern trail on Tuesday.
Jennifer took her daily excursion in Little Dipper, which she now considers part of her morning routine after Barbie had finished her coffee. She meows if Barbie doesn’t let her eat the grass or makes her stay in the dingy with the motor on, but she begs for more every day. Mindy hides from this activity but thoroughly enjoys getting out in the cockpit both in the early morning and in the evenings before bedtime. Making the bed is still their favorite activity of the day as they can get in our way at every step of this highly complex maneuver. Moved anchor twice on Tuesday, once to improve the view and a second time to recover from a dragging anchor as the wind howled. Had to take down the awning so we wouldn’t go airborne. Guess that’s about it for this anchorage. Off to Killarney and Thomas Bay (our “Golden Pond”) tomorrow if the residual waves from the big blow permit.
Boats we encountered during our journey:
Week 1 +: Preparation
Getting there / setup “on the hard” / final prep on the water but still at the marina.
Mon / 6-22 / Blind River / Left Madison at 7:30 am. Stopped at Rosie’s in Escanaba, Michigan for some old-style lunch and owner chatter – she’s a good cook and entertainer. Arrived at Blind River, Ontario at 7:30 pm. Had another delicious dinner at Monique’s Bistro but unfortunately we missed Monique and Sam who had the day off. Happy to learn they are doing well and now also serving at the golf course.
Tue / 6-23 / Harbor Vue Marina, Little Current / Drove through Little Current to the kitties’ favorite Red Lodge Resort, left them there for the day and headed back to Harbor Vue Marina in Little Current Ontario to begin boat setup on a very windy day.
Wed, Thu / 6-24, 25 / Harbor Vue / Worked hard to get NorthStar prepped for launching on Friday with one day of pleasant temps and one day of hot sun. Spent nights at Red Lodge and saw that Jennifer and Mindy were happy as ever in their cozy resort residence. We can gladly report that the new 2-cycle motor we picked up in Syracuse last October for Little Dipper works like a dream, starts easily, and planes very nicely. We can sadly report that due to an excessively rainy spring and our lack of knowledge about moisture absorption and ventilation devices, Barbie had to spend three solid days washing out NorthStar due to mold on everything.
Fortunately the cushions were fine and her resulting aches and pains are now recovered. But this prevented her from helping Andy with all the setup and installation of his wonderful new inventions, so he got worn out too. We slowed down due to this and fortunately Kevin provided a very nice slip for us to stay in through the weekend to get ready at a more leisurely pace. Barbie took a break in the late afternoon on Thursday to hunt down John and Angela on Suffolk Punch before their Friday launching from the Boyle Marina in Little Current. Found them both in good and relaxed spirits and enjoyed meeting their new kitty, Katie, who seemed equally relaxed in their beautiful salon. Got some advice from John about future mold prevention and some thoughts from Angela about their first anchorage destination, Hotham, just north of the Benjamins. We hope we’ll catch up with them later.
Fri / 6-26 / Harbor Vue / Launched NorthStar again with the able assistance of Rick and Mark at Harbor Vue and got setup in a slip conveniently located to allow for additional work we hadn’t completed yet. Moved Jennifer and Mindy into the boat and they were immediately at home. It was nice to be on the water at last!
Sat, Sun / 6-27, 28 / ne 15, sw 10 – water 2 feet above chart datum! / fair skies / Harbor Vue / Completed most preparation to be ready for a Monday departure but decided we would spend a little time at the Little Current town dock to complete provisioning, a few more setup chores, and to just recuperate before setting sail. Started recording weather reports and were astounded to find out that there is no longer a MAFOR report available on the VHF weather radio although it is available on the web, which we usually don’t have access to. It’s great that the water level is up, which is like “lowering the rocks” we don’t want to hit.
Mon, Tue, Wed / 6-29, 30, 7-1 / s 10 -> light -> ne 10 -> nw 10 -> nw 15 / fair, light sprinkle, fog patches / Little Current Town Dock / Continued preparations and packing up Big Dipper (the Yukon) until late afternoon then departed for Little Current. Note to selves: accept standby help offered when leaving dock. Why? Andy did his usual trick to help guide the bow in the right direction while Barbie backs up: use the bow line to hold the bow into the wind and then jump aboard at the last moment. When Andy boarded and attempted to pull the line aboard it self-tied a figure 8 around the cleat – sheesh! He quickly un-cleated it boat-side and after we were out of the marina Barbie puttzed around in NorthStar while Andy zoomed back in Little Dipper to retrieve the line. That little delay caused us to just miss the hourly opening of the turnstile bridge, so we puttered around and composed ourselves for docking – got our docking lines and fenders onto the correct side and talked through the docking procedure and heading into the slip that we wanted. Arrived safe and sound in our slip with Barbie at the helm and Andy on the lines with no further incident.
Had lots of good dinners at the Anchor Inn and breakfasts and lunches at (or carry-out from) Garry’s as we were still tired from our preparations, but got ready to go and met our first new friends – Herve and Suzanne, hailing from Ottawa, sailing on Grenadier out of Pepin, Ontario – a nice boat about our size and nice people about our style. Invited them for cocktails on NorthStar Tuesday evening, became fast friends, and planned to meet up at the Benjamins on Wednesday. As an aside, Andy had replaced our 10K Bruce anchor with the 15K he got from Don Sanford and we were glad to sell it to Herve after telling him and Suzanne how important a Bruce is in the North Channel. On Tuesday Andy buzzed both of them back to Harbor Vue in Little Dipper – planing all the way with 3 on board! – to retrieve it out of Big Dipper and the deal was a success for all concerned.
Week 2 – Cruisin’ at last!
Thu, Fri, Sat / 7-2, 3, 4 / nw 10 -> w 10 -> w 15 / fair / Benjamins / Departed Little Current Town dock and headed west to the Benjamins under beautiful skies, wind and sails. The wind held for most of the trip as we started off under full main and genoa. As the wind lightened for a while we furled in the genny and motor sailed for a bit with the main, but then the wind came back up so we unfurled the genoa but then it increased so we rolled it back in and put out the jib for a great couple-hour sail. For the last mile as we shifted a bit north toward the Benjamins it was a little too tight into the wind so we started the motor and used a little of the “iron genny” to get us the rest of the way there with sails fully deployed. Several times we looked to stern and saw what we thought and hoped would be Grenadier following us. Saw them really healed at one point and awaited the stories that came later that evening after we had anchored near one another.
Will have to write about our great times with Grenadier and Panda Bear at our next stop, but here’s the second year in a row that Andy captured Panda Bear at moon rise. Last year in Bustards, this year in Benjamins. What a delight to see Larry & Flora again!
Here’s the update: On Thursday evening as the full moon rose in the east we looked out to see our old friends Panda Bear – Larry and Flora – in the moon rise, so Andy took several pictures to go with the full moon pictures of them and Fairways at the Bustards last year. This gave us a perfect opportunity to pop over to see them Friday morning which turned into coffee and catching up followed later with happy hour on Panda Bear with them and Herve and Suzanne. We had two fun evenings together with this crowd. On Friday we thoroughly checked out North Benjamin via Little Dipper, found our way back to “Birthday Bay” – so called by the Jacksons for some reason involving swimming and birthday suits – and then checked the passage between the two Benjamins very carefully, deciding it would be safe to make the trip out that way when we got ready to leave. On Saturday we buzzed over to Croker Island and fell in love with the beaches there and a very nice anchorage tucked into the southeast hook just above Secretary Island. Met up with Jubilee’s Dean and met his wife Bavaria an had a nice little catchup conversation and talk about plans for the coming few weeks. We’ll plan to stay there on a future voyage.
We dingied over to Croker on a calm day and poked around on one of the several sandy beaches. Andy took these lovely shots there.
Sun, Mon, Tue / 7-5, 6, 7 / se 15 -> strong wind warning s 10-15-20 -> sw 15 / fair -> rain -> fair / Hotham / Waved good-bye to our new and old friends in the Benjamins as we picked our way through the rocks of the narrow passage between North and South Benjamins, which Barbie had sworn she would never do again after our first approach through that passage on the Dane leading Al and Sue through the wrong side of that passage. But we had fully checked it out in Little Dipper and had a line parallel to the shore with a 90 degree turn to starboard at our marker Mr. Grumpy Fish Rock, so named by us because of his big red face and frowny lines. Once we had cleared the rocks and headed between Frenchette and Fox Islands, we sailed beautifully in the morning sunshine under full main and genoa. As we drew nearer the wind died in the shadows of Frenchette so we turned on the motor and reeled in the genoa thinking it might be motor sailing at best for the rest of the day. Fortunately, as we pulled out of the wind shadow, the wind came back beautifully and we tacked back and forth between Hotham and Frenchette in the McBeal Channel under full main and genoa. Just as we past Oak Point at the entrance to Hotham Bay we reeled in the sails, turned on the motor, and waved another beautiful sailboat motoring faster that was gaining on us. This turned out to be Grant and Darla on Sao Bridd (“Sea Bird” in Gaelic), who offered to show us the best route into the particular cove we were both headed for. This was the beginning of a lovely new friendship.
Borrowed Grant’s old-school hand drill with a big gear and a little bit to allow us to make several holes for cup-holder sized hooks to hand things on in the galley and head. Then had a wonderful visit on their beautiful teal blue boat and talked about family and sailing and how Darla’s daughter’s name is Barbie Allen, just like mine – so I sent her the lyrics to the song after telling tales about the naming of children.
Wed / 7-8 / nw 15 -> light / fair / Little Current Town Dock / Set sail early to get to Little Current Town Dock for a pump out and fresh water. Motored through the east passage out of Hotham and through the channel south of Anchor Island, thanks to Grant’s advice the previous night.
This was a beautiful passage and we came upon a bald eagle in a tree at the water’s edge in clear sight with about three dozen gulls flying and swimming around in a very small bay below his tree and one irritated crow complaining at the gulls from back in the trees somewhere.
The wind came up nicely as we got into the main part of the McBeal Channel and we altered from our planned course north of the main islands leading back to Little Current to a southerly route due to the favorable wind direction. The wind held fairly nicely in the morning but got lost in the wind shadow of Amendroz as we headed toward little Bear’s Back Island, so we had to motor for a bit. Andy spied a small rock island south of Bear’s Back that must have had a thousand gulls sitting there carrying on a very loud conversation we could hear across the water. As we cleared the wind shadow we got enough breeze to sail a little bit, but it ultimately gave up the ghost and we motored through the string of channel markers into Little Current. We spied a sailboat to our stern and as Barbie was below clearing out the ice box to make room for a fresh load of ice she heard Grenadier’s hail and responded. To our surprise that it was her to our stern, so we had a very brief rendezvous with Herve and Suzanne as we pumped out. They had to head further east though, so we said farewell again.
We had planned to go on to Harbor Vue overnight to have Craig look in the morning at our head tank level gauge, which has a light out. Since we’re operating at nearly full just before leaving Hotham and the 3/4-indicator light is out, we hope he can fix it but Andy tested the various circuits and it appears to need a replacement. Turned out that Harbor Vue had no room for us Wednesday night so we stayed “on the wall” at the town dock just below the laundromat and Anchor Inn, so we got all the laundry started and Barbie headed to the Anchor Inn for a gin & tonic and wifi to check email while Andy stayed behind to dump and refresh the kitty litter (short straw). Then he joined Barbie at Anchor and we had the “to-die-for” bang-bang shrimp appetizer and another beverage while the laundry got done, folded it, took it back to the boat, and went back for a light dinner at Anchor Inn. Loaded Andy’s photos to the computer before bed, planning to upload on Thursday while Craig worked on the boat.
Thu / 7-9 / light -> nw 15 / chance of rain (didn’t materialize) / Harbor Vue -> Heywood Island / Head fixed, ice box replenished, circling outside the marine while I post this and then off to Haywood for the night and points east in the coming week. More to come . . .
Sunday, June 21, 2015 – Mid-Summer