Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Early August

August 1, 2012

Leave the marina at 8:00 heading for Snug Harbor to anchor out and go to Gilly's.  Weather looks good.  Headed for "The Hole in the Wall".  This was a little out of the way (about 4 miles), but it seemed like fun and it was.  Glad we had time to do it.  Then headed north (or west) towards Snug.  We bypassed Canoe Channel which we had been told was too small for our boats.  Arrived at Snug about noon and anchored.

Anchoring was very difficult.  There are rocks on the outskirts of the anchorage which limits manouvering and the rock bottom makes it difficult for the anchor to hold.  It took about 3 tries for the anchor to get a grip.  Then we dropped the dingy's and headed for Gilly's.

Gilly's is a small marina with a very quaint restaurant over the first floor store (the store has wonderful smoked white fish - wish we had gotten more).  The store is not much.  But it serves the local area.  If they don't have it they will order it for you.  The restaurant is a nice facility and a surprising step up from the store.  The food was good, the dining room was nice, and the service was good.  Had lunch and dinner there.

After lunch Michael, Judy, Joy and I dingy'd around the bend to Canoe Channel and had a look.  It was plenty wide for us to get through and the water was deep enough.  We would have been ok.  It is only wide enough for one boat at a time and a securite call would have been necessary.  Most boats up here do not carry radios so it probably would only have been marginally sucessful.

After dark, the winds which were supposed to lay down got friskier.  We started to drag anchor some so I spent the entire night up and monitoring the situation.  Did not have any further problems. (We had 2 nice visits while we were at anchor - a couple from Virginia dropped by to tell us that they had seen our Looper flag and said that they had done the loop 2 years ago and came back and bought a cottage on the island around the corner so if we needed anything they would be happy to help us out.  Then we had a lovely surprise visit from Laura and Ross from The Zone who have finally caught up and dingyed to Gilley's for a late lunch. - It was great seeing them.)

Michael and Judy from One September

Boy they grow these rocks big and beautiful
They even decorate them 

Judy and Michael from One September

More rock art
Jim has decided to add his own touch of art before we get back in our dingy
I do hope he was looking for snakes as he picked up rocks
What a view and this trip was definitely better by dingy

The end of another wonderful day

August 2, 2012

Headed to Pointe au Baril about 20 miles away.  The weather was pretty dismal but manageable.  Winds were up a little bit (about 20 mph) but, not a beam sea.  It was rainy and just not very nice. We were comfortable however.

After tying up I heard on the radio a Mayday call to the CaCG.  It seems a 55' Sport Fisher named "Painful Pleasure" hit a rock at speed near the Pointe au Baril Lighthouse and was taking on water faster than they could handle it.  There were 2 people on board and a dog.  They were able to deploy their dingy and the mate and the dog got off.  The captain with some help from another boat were able to ground the boat in a nearby cove.  I did not hear what finally happened but, everyone was ok.  At least they could walk away.  I am surprised this is the first sinking I have heard of up here.  "Knock on Wood".  They really do mean it when they say "Slow Down!".

There is not much in Pointe au Baril.  There is an LCBO (Liquor Store and yes we visit each one we see), a grocery/hardware store which appeared well stocked (we visit these as well but just not as often), and a Library which is open from 9:30 to 11:30 on Wednesdays.  They even have wifi at the Library when it is open.  We were not there on Wednesday so we had to do without.

We did set another record here as it was the lowest priced marina we had stayed in at $0.55/ft Ca.  Ate dinner onboard and listened to the wind.

The wind was sure blowing

They don't make their channel markers easy to see

August 3, 2012

The winds have died down some and the rains have moved out.  We are heading to Britt on the Byng Inlet.  It is about 30 miles away.  The winds are about 10 mph out of the N to NE.  The seas are fairly flat with waves less than 1/2 meter.  Consequently, we ran outside for about half the trip. It was comfortable.

Coming into Britt, the long channel was well marked, thank goodness, as there were many rocks.  The Canadians have done a tremendous job in marking some very difficult channels.

We arrived at St. Amant's Marina about 11:30 and waited about 1/2 hour for access to the fuel dock.  We topped up for probably the last time in Canada.  It took a while for us to get fueled as they ran out on the tank we were pumping from.  I hope the fuel is good.  I do have one set of filters left.

Ate dinner at the Britt Inn in their upstairs restaurant.  Joined by Ross and Laura from "The Zone" and "Carried Away" (Bill and Joyce) as well as Michael and Judy.  Great dinner.

Ross told me that after we saw them at Snug Harbor they had a problem with their dingy on the way back to Killbear Marina.  Seems that the wiring harness burned out.  They were able to call the marina on their cell phone and they towed them back in.  I suggested he call West Marine and talk to them about it as he bought the whole thing a package from them.  It may be out of warranty but, who knows what they will do.  Good luck with it Ross.

Tomorrow's weather is very iffy.  We'll see what it looks like in the AM before making a decision on leaving.

All of a sudden we are seeing lots of lighthouses again but still the same amount of rocks - go figure

Beautiful but oh so narrow and thin

Every day we see more beautiful water, rocks and trees - my finger just can't click fast enough

Probably last season's kill?

August 4, 2012

We awoke to a very poor travel forecast.  The winds were out of the south at 15kts gusting to 20 with the forecast for thunder showers this afternoon.  In addition, since we were planning to anchor out tonight and tomorrow looks even worse, we decided to stay put.  The weather at the docks was not too bad.  We had a  potluck dinner at about 6:30 with grilled chicken and pasta and a salad.  Nice day in port.

At about 9:30 pm things changed.  A strong intense thunderstorm came through.  Thank goodness it was brief.  High winds with considerable rain and it kept me up for a while.  The winds leveled off at about 20kts and continued through out the night.  Glad we stayed in port.

Our Time and Karma

Carried Away, One September, Karma & Joy from Jim's Joy

August 5, 2012

The winds are still howling this morning.  The sun finally comes out about 10:00, but it is really breezy.  The weather from Environmental Canada (same as NOAA weather in US) has predicted 25 kts winds and I am sure this is conservative.  By mid afternoon it is really blowing hard.  I would guess it's in the mid 30kt range.

We walked up the hill behind the marina to the town recreation center and watched a few innings of a softball tournament which has been held here every year for about 45 years.  I can't believe they can put enough teams together to have a full blown tourney but, they have been doing it for a while.  I think the entrance rules are somewhat relaxed.  Everyone seemed to be having a great time.

The power at the marina began to go off and on about 3:30.  Right in the middle of the Pocono NASCAR race.  What a bummer.  I had to shut everything down as I was afraid it would damage the equipment.

Walked back up to Britt Inn and ate in the downstairs bar for dinner.  (They cook with gas)  Still good food.  Sure wish the winds would lay down.  Don't think it will happen for a while.  We will probably be here again tomorrow.

One September

The Coast Guard is trying to assist this sailboat who apparently can't get their sail down

The sail is now starting to rip

The sailboat dropped anchor, the coast guard left them and then the sailboat finally had to cut the lines on the sail and drop it down - wow what front line live entertainment we are getting

August 6, 2012

It's time to blow this Popsicle Stand.  The winds are down this morning and the Weather Man says that it's supposed to get better as the day goes along.  (He lied.  It was 15 knots when we left Byng Inlet and it got stronger as the day went along.)  We are going to anchor out, probably up the French River.  We have enjoyed St. Avants and the Britt Inn, but it's time to move on.

Followed One September out about 8:00.  We quickly caught up with Our Time and Carried Away.  They were traveling a little slower than we were used to.  Karma followed a little behind.

The area we are passing through is about as rocky as we have had up until this point.  We got just past Dead Island Cut and Our Time and Carried Away took the outside route and the rest of us went inside.  The further we went, the more rocky and closer it got.  Went through Dores Run with my heart in my throat.  I just thought that was close.

Carried Away and One September
What a day we are having - we are traveling with 4 other yachts and this area is so narrow and twisty that we are all going in different directions at the same time

Carried Away

Our Time

We continued west and approached Obstacle Island which we had to go around.

To go around Obstacle Island we had to go through Parting Channel.  This is Parting Channel.
When we got to the edge of the area we got a radio call from One September asking us to come a little closer and check this out to help decide whether to go or back track
We looked and said OMG! and then this little boat came by and said - no problem - follow me
So here is One September on their way - yikes!

Thank goodness for the bow thruster that helped get him back to starboard so that he could line up for the next rocks

These are some of the rocks about 3' away from the boat as we approached the first turn.  One September has a bow thruster.  We do not.  The guy in the aluminum with his son was my bow thruster.  We went through at dead low idle often running one in reverse to make the turns.  There are really 5 turns in about 100 yards.  I just waited to hear the awful sound of brass props hitting hard granite rock.  I could not believe the sound never came.

And now it's our turn and man are those rocks everywhere!

Boy are those rocks close and we don't have a bow thruster so those wonderful Canadians in that little boat came along side us and act as our thruster and push us back in line so we can make the next turn
This is truly an a amazing trip as we keep saying - One September took pictures of us but we aren't able to post them due to a difference in media types but the books all say don't go through here if you are over 40' - we were 44' and One September was 50' so I think we have set new records today.

Until later.  About 3 miles up the way I hit a rock with the port side prop.  Thankfully I was traveling very slow at the time and I don't think it did much damage.  I am not getting any vibration that I can feel.  However, we are not traveling very fast.  I'll check it when we get to the next stop.

We got to the French River and could not find room for 2 boats to anchor so we back tracked about a mile to a small spot off Doiron Island.  We dropped the hook, rafted up, and tried to tie up to the rocks.  That didn't work so we reset One September's anchor and set out ours also.  It seemed to work.  We did't drag much which is good.  We did not have much room to go to hit the rocks.

So here we are now trying to find just the right spot to drop the anchor and ride out the winds that are picking up. We are at Do Iron Island and are on the second or third anchor drop so far

We have dropped the dingy and gone over and climbed onto some of the rocks and tried to tie lines to the rocks to make sure we are secure but the lines are not holding so we are now rafting up with One September and will stand watch through the night to make sure we don't drift - fun fun fun

August 7, 2012

We left the anchorage at Doiron Island about 7:00.  It's rainy and dreary and the winds are blowing but, we need to get to Killarney.  The seas are about 3' but we were able to keep them on the bow most of the time.  The cats don't like it much.  We don't either.

We got to the turn off to Beaverstone Bay and made the choice to run inside again.  We only had a short run to Killarney outside but, inside would be calmer.  Boy are we glad we did.  Beaverstone Bay was absolutely breathtaking.  What a beautiful place.

So, the wind is still up and the water is real choppy so of course the cats are sick again - life on the water
Today we are heading for these hills/mountains before we end up at Killarney and we are hoping that the day will clear up down the way

We got to the north end of Beaverstone Bay and approached a section with the bouys very close together.  All of a sudden One September came to almost a complete stop.  He called to take it slow because it was shallow.  He wasn't kidding.  My depth finder said I had .2' below my props.  I think that is about 2".  I could not believe I did not hit.

We entered Collins Inlet from the east end, and again, the scenery just took our breath away.  What an amazing place.

As we pass the lighthouse we can see Killarney in the distance and of course we can see the liquor store so the marina's aren't far away

Hmm - I wonder how northern pickles differ from southern pickles?

Walked up the way and had fish and chips at an outside, dockside, fish hose that sells out of a converted School Bus.  It was good.

We are planning to stay in Killarney 2 days and then go to Baie Fine (pronounced Bay Fin).  We plan to anchor out and dingy up to "The Pool" and climb up the mountain to Topaz Lake.  Should be interesting.

August 8, 2012

Awoke this morning and our water tank, which I just refilled yesterday since it was empty, was empty again.  That is about 3 tanks in about 6 days and we have been out of water for at least one of those days.  Been flushing the commode with river water.  Got to find out what the problem is.

I start looking around.  There is fresh water in the bilge, but no evidence of where it came from.  The engine room is dry, and none of the appliances appears to be leaking.  I go up to the front head and find that one of the cats has left us a little present on the carpet.  No, that's not right.  There is water on the carpet.  And there is water on the counter over the bed. And the wall, which is fabric lined is wet as well as the mattress.  I open the anchor locker and find the problem.  The wash down hose has been leaking and the pump has pumped all the water into the front compartment.  What a mess.  Thank goodness it's fresh water and an easy fix.  Guess what I did today.  Dry the place out.

Had dinner at the Sportsman's Inn Restaurant.  Very nice.  Joined by Judy and Michael (One September), Ivy and Bob (Karma), and Fred and Julaine Edd (Boreas).  Fred and Julaine are about finished with their loop.  They are from Michigan.  Actually the are finished since they have cruised this area for years, but they have not finished this trip yet.  So they have not put up the gold flag yet.  I would have.

We picked Fred's brain as much as we could and he was a very willing and helpful guide.  He tells me i should not worry about the time as I have been.  We are bringing up the rear of this year's Loopers, but we have plenty of time to look around still.  I hope he is right.  There is so much to see.

Tomorrow the weather does not look good.  We will check it in the morning, but if it is bad we will probably be here a few more days.

August 9, 2012

The weather is not real good.  The winds are supposed to get real high for tonight and tomorrow and it's raining.  We're staying put.

Joy is in a tizzy.  Her Nook has a broken cord and she can't recharge it.  She's having to read by laptop and it's driving her crazy.

I'm still drying out the front compartment, but it's looking pretty good.  We walk up the road and bought some corn and tomatoes from a local farmer.  Also, stopped in at the fish market and got some smoked whitefish.  Great stuff.  Working on the boat.

August 10, 2012

Mother Nature is throwing a temper tantrum.  While the winds last night were not as gusty as predicted, we still rocked and rolled pretty good at the docks.  The dock hands tied the ends of the docks together to help keep them from moving around some.  I put out every line possible on my port side to the dock and another across the opening behind the next finger pier to the fuel dock.  I figured they had that one tied down the best.  We still moved around a lot.  Woke up around 2:00 am and did not get back to sleep till about 5:30.  Stormy night.

And it's still stormy this morning.  The winds will not die down today and maybe not tomorrow.  If I believe the long range forecast on Weather Underground we will not get out of here for about another 10 days.  What a bummer.  Oh well, Mother Nature rules.

Had breakfast a few doors down at the Gateway Marina Restaurant.  They also sell pastries and breads.  Had to buy some.  Also, their marina store is fairly well stocked for a small place.  They had 8 Racor fuel filters which I use at a good price so I bought 4.  I guess today will be a good day to piddle around on the boat.

More later.

August 12, 2012

Mother Nature has finally agreed that we can leave Killarney and continue our trip.  We awake to a partly cloudy morning which is much better than we have had for a few days.  We have been here far too long, although it has been a nice stop.

Joy and I drop the lines and go to the fuel dock at about 6:45.  The dock is supposed to be open at 7:00.  They promised us!  We don’t need fuel, we need a pumpout.  Oh well, it is nearly 8:45 when we leave and head west.  We are going first to Coverd Portage to do a fly by and look at the area.  It is just north of the channel leaving Killarny and is about 5 miles out of our way round trip.  We are going to see the Indian.  Really.  The Indian is a stone face which is in the rock at the entrance to the Bay.  It is smaller than we anticipated, but it is certainly a facial figure in the rock.   The anchorage looks fantastic, but we move on towards Baie Fine.

Baie Fine is a natural fijord which runs generally east and west a few miles west of Killarney.  The  entrance to the fijord looks very intimidating on the charts.  There is plenty of water coming in.  There are numerous rocks and islands going easterly from the entrance and there is a long (about 4 miles) section which leads to a small area at the very eastern end which is called “The Pool”.  We anchor just inside the mouth of the long section of water.

We drop the dingies and motor up to the pool.  The sides of the fijord are probably about 500’ high and the water is very smooth.  Absolutely gorgeous.  After riding around for a few minutes we go to the dock and take the trail up to Topaz Lake.  It is a walk of about 2 miles which seems like 4 since it is nearly all up hill.  The lake is very beautiful and Michael goes swimming.  Several other boaters we met in Killarney come up and some of the kids join Michael in the swim.  We leave after about an hour and head back down.

We get to a sign on the trail which points us to Artist Lake and we decide to go.  We walk for about an hour and still have not seen the lake.  We meet some other hikers and they say they have not seen a lake.  We head back towards the docks.  Just before we get there, we see another sign to Artist Lake.  We had taken a wrong turn and did not know it.  We took the dingies back to the boat.

Upon arrival back at the boat, we find that they had drifted over the anchor trip line and it was hung up on the rudder.  Michael had to swim again and get it off.  Had docktails on the boat, leftovers for dinner and I went to bed.  What a day.

August 13, 2012

Pulled anchor about 9:00 headed for Little Current.  I could have stayed in Baie Fine for a week, but we need to move on.  The weather is iffy and we don’t like to be out on the hook when the weather is bad if we can help it.  It’s a short ride of about 25 miles.

Little Current is on the north side of Manitoulin Island which is supposed to be the largest freshwater island in the world.  There is a bridge coming into Little Current which opens for 15 minutes every hour on the hour.  Our timing was not to good so we had to wait about an hour.  Once at the marina it was an easy tie up and we went for a walk about.

This is a provisioning stop and we are here for at least 2 days so we are really just checking things out.  Found the bank, the liquor store (LCBO), the meat market, the grocery stores (only 2 and they are across the street from each other), the beer store, the pharmacy, and a couple of other shops most of which are closed today.  Don’t know why.  The ladies make a strategy for tomorrow.

August 14, 2012

We have breakfast at the Anchor Inn and then go upstairs to the Conference Room on the 2nd floor.  This is where the Cruisers Net is broadcast on VHF Channel 71 each day at 9:00am during the months of July and August.  For those who don’t know what the Cruisers Net is, they give our weather reports, news, and other information about what is going on in the North Channel area that those cruising might be interested in.

Also, boats that are cruising in the area call in and give their location and where they are heading to.  They can also pass along information from home, take emergency calls from those needing help, and answer questions which the cruisers may have.  It is a very helpful service which is performed free of charge by Roy Eaton, an ex High School Principal.  He also was first Commodore of the recently formed Little Current Yacht Club which is very active in the area during the summer.  They have also started to broadcast over the internet.  The site is .

Went shopping after the morning radio show.  Pharmacy, grocery store, gas station to top up the phone, and got a ride back to the boat from the grocery store.  Then back to the other grocery store, LCBO where a major disaster occurred.  Visa refused to accept my credit card for the first time.  Well at least the LCBO will accept American Express.  I’ll have to get this straightened out quick.

Back to the boat and the phone still does not work.  No service.  Got internet so we send an email to the bank about the card and wait.  Don’t here from them so we will get on it tomorrow.

Dinner at The Edgewater Inn Restaurant with One September and Boreas.  Great meal.  Then to bed.

August 15, 2012

After the morning Cruisers Net broadcast, Joy and I set out to try to get the credit card straightened out.  The phone still does not have service so we find a pay phone.  They still have those in Canada.  I have an ATT prepaid card with some minutes on it so I go round and round with an operator who finally tells me that I can not use the card to make calls to an 800 number, even though the card says I can.  So we call a regular number on the back of the Visa card and get some very foreign non-english speaking repeating message and by this time I have just about had it.

We are also just about out of Canadian money as dinner last night was a cash only restaurant.  So we walk into BMO (Bank of Montreal).  We get some cash exchanged at a very unfavorable rate and tell the teller about the credit card problem we are having with Visa.  The teller picks up the phone and dials the 800 number and in about 15 minutes, we have it all straightened out.  I could not believe she took the time to do that for us knowing we are not customers of the bank.  It was over the top service.

The weather is still deteriorating.  We will not get out of here for a few days I don’t think.  Maybe until Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Just got caught up on my reading of your blog!! Couldn't pull it up in July for some reason but working well today!! Hope your foot and ankle is better! If ya'll don't stop falling you will have to take out the steps and put in sliding boards(HA! HA!) You missed Karyn's 10 days in the "nut House" as Whitney calls it!! She has definitely been diagnosed as "Manic Depressive"!! We knew that!! Miss you both but I know you're having a great trip!!