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Cruising the North Channel 2010

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Cruising the North Channel

 
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05 June 2010

     Left the marina for the 28 mile run down the St. Marys River to Harbor Island, the start of the North Channel. We will wait in this beautiful anchorage for favorable weather for our open water run to Blind River to check in Canadian Customs and then on to Bear Drop Harbor and hopefully some good fishing.
 

14 June 2010

     Well we are finding out trying to stretch the seasons here is going to be at the mercy of the weather. While July and August are usually quite stable months, June and Sept. are iffy. We had a wonderful spring with unusual warm weather but that all changed on the day we launched.
 

15 June 2010

We finally got a perfect day for our open water run. And perfect it was. Flat calm after the 30 plus mph winds of yesterday. We even baked a loaf of bread while underway. We checked in Canadian Customs in Blind River and continued on to Bear Drop Harbor where we will spend several days teaching the fish a thing or two. It is one of our favorite anchorages and our best fishing spot. However today looks like rain.
 

21 June 2010

     A week at one of the best anchorages but fishing was spotty. Actually poor. Weather unsettled but we had the whole place almost to ourselves. Last night several boats came in. When the favorite time of the year for North Channel cruising, there could be 30 or 40 boats anchored here. Today we moved a few miles to Moiles Harbor on Johns Island. A very well protected harbor that also usually is good fishing. Moiles Harbor was a former lumber camp and mill. Much of the ruins are still here. It also is the site of boys and girls camp run by the YMCA from Sudbury, Ontario. It is a beautiful day but forecasts for 20 mph winds from the East later. East winds are rare here. Well protected for fishing if only the fish cooperate.
 

24 June 2010

     Left Moiles for Oak Bay. A short hop of about 14 miles. Fishing again slow and we didn't see another boat all the time we were there. Another popular anchorage we have used for over 40 years. Alone at Oak Bay also. Weather snotty and windy so we didn't fish.
 

25 June 2010

     Left for Benjamin Island and another very popular anchorage. We are again alone in this beautiful harbor. Weather nice in the morning but windy and rainy after noon. We will Meet another BOC'er (Ridgekid) here Sunday if all goes according to plan. It will be his first trip here and he is in for a great experience. He trailered from Pennsylvania.
 

26 June 2010

     Day started out rainy but cleared up with the sun out and calm winds. Made a loaf of bread and washed 3 loads of clothes. We had a male mallard duck the last two mornings at the boat, begging. Of course I fed him some bread. He left and an hour or so later he returned with his mate. More bread. The male didn't attempt to get any for a while and I thought it was nice he let her have it. He then got a piece and the female lit into him and took some feathers out of the male. I then realized he wasn't being polite but it was fear. They left and an hour or so later here comes the female with 8 small ducks. Came right up to he boat to be fed. Opened a box of Cheerios and fed them. They left but soon returned so now we have 10 begging ducks. The dog and cat enjoyed them also but the ducks were a bit standoffish when they were out. It was strange they returned with the whole family after checking us out. We enjoyed them.
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27 June 2010

     Rob and Marie arrived. We had a great visit. They will be leaving for another anchorage tomorrow. They are trying to see as much as they can in their short time here.
 

30 June 2010

     We have had several days of windy weather. We waited it out at Benjamin Island and arrived in Little Current today. Finally a nice day. Did some shopping and anchored behind Picnic Island. We  met Marc and Margaret (Spitfire on BOC). They spent the evening on our boat and we had a great visit.
 

1 July 2010

     Canada Day and we enjoyed the various things going on in Little Current.
 

02 July 2010

     Rob and Marie arrived at Little Current and did a bit of shopping and refueled. We both left for Baie Fine. Weather was great but the wind came up later. We were safely anchored in one of the most beautiful boating spots in North America. Rob and Marie did a bit of hiking up the mountain. We passed. Later they said they understood why we passed. We visited our friend at the pool in Baie Fine. We have known the family 46 years. The cottage has been in the family for over 100 years. What stories we have heard over the years. We are invited to dinner tomorrow night. An event we do several times a year. She puts on a wonderful meal. I try to give her a good supply of fish. It was also our 56th wedding anniversary.
 

03 July 2010

     Beautiful sunny, calm morning. We need to see if the fish are biting.
 

14 July 2010

     Well we have been here several days. Our favorite spot and an area we spend several days each year. We watch boats come and go, most wishing they could stay. We can and do. Fishing has been very good. Had a little excitement the other day. I am trolling for fish when a water snake crawled next to my bare foot. A nudge with my fishing pole and he went back in the water. Living in Florida part of the time makes my relationship with snakes a bit negative. Its a rough life. Get up, make coffee, watch the news on TV, go fishing. Return for breakfast, clean fish, read/nap, visit friends, read some more and do it again the next day. Its called smelling the roses. I took our friend Christina's two grandchildren fishing. Ezzra is 8 and Rebecca is 14. We have watched them grow up. Rebecca caught a big fish and was excited. Fellow BOC'ers Be Happy 2 and Permission Granted stop by for some fishing. Ken took the honors while Alvin practiced on small bass.
 

15 July 2010

     Bayiner Owners Club meeting in Little Current on 17 July 2010. We move to Heywood Island which is 8 miles from Little Current. It is another beautiful anchorage. Most anchor in the large bay on the island but we go off the bay along a narrow but deep cut to another anchorage. It is well protected from all wind unlike the large bay which is open to North winds. Boats going by can be seen over the low points and provide some very nice pictures.
 

16 July 2010

     Be Happy 2 and Permission Granted joined us at Heywood. Permission Granted had Mike and Doreen (WhiskyWizard) aboard. They had drove up for our BOC meeting.
 
 

17 July 2010

     We all returned to Little Current. I anchored out. It was very windy. I recorded 25 mph winds. We had whitecaps but were riding very well. I bought some plywood to rebuild the seat on the Sea Nymph we tow. Cut 5 squares for the seat base in that wind, glued and screwed them together, sealed the edges with 5200. Everyone carries a power saw aboard, don't they? We all met on Permission Granted for cocktails. We cooked fish for everyone. Steve and Vera (Relaxation 3) didn't make it because of weather. JeffW and Tara joined us all the way from Arizona. It was good to see them again. A good time with good friends.
 

18 July 2010

     Mike and Doreen had to leave today. We will see them again in Florida this winter. Jeff was recovering from his long drive. Well part of his recovery was due to the long drive anyway. We socialized and I finished the seat. Mona made fish chowder for our evening meal.
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19 July 2010

     Back to Heywood for Permission Granted, Be Happy 2, and us.
 

20 July 2010 and 21 July 2010

     Steve and Vera finally caught up with us. A couple of days getting acquainted. Steve and I didn't do well at cards. Again.
 

22 July 2010 and 23 July 2010

     We all left Heywood. Be Happy 2 and Shannon to Covered Portage Cove. The rest went West. Covered Portage Cove is another beautiful anchorage just a couple miles from Killarney. Great protection and so beautiful. We went to Killarney and got on the internet to catch up. Looked up my friend in Killarney and we caught up on what happened the past year. I used to know a lot of people in Killarney but many have died. Over the years we have come to meet the same people on the water year after year. Not what you would call close friends but people you look for every year. They one year you don't see them. You don't know what happened but you never see them again.

 

24 July 2010 through 27 July 2010

     We are in Mill Lake. Another of our favorites. Doing a little fishing again. Mona caught 2 nice fish, one 7 pounds nine ounces yesterday. I caught a pike that weighed 14 pounds, 2 ounces this morning.
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28 July 2010

     Saw a bear getting the fish left overs the gulls and ravens didn't get. Expect to meet up with Be Happy 2 as they said on the Cruisers Net broadcast they were on their way here. Expect Relaxation 3 shortly also. I better go fishing.
Be Happy two arrived for a couple of days. They left on Friday 30 July 2010.
 

30 July 2010

     We were joined by Relaxation 3. Another couple of days and on to Muskrat Bay in Beaverstone Bay. Another couple of days of visits, shared meals, and cards with Steve and Vera and they had to start home. Steve killed the fishing as it died when he arrived. Steve and I gave the Admirals a lesson in cards however. We went for a day trip to the Chickens. The chickens are a group of rocks best described as taking a large flat surface, fill it with large rocks, add water until just the tops of the rocks are showing. You pick your way around the rocks finding water deep enough for your prop. It is different but has a beauty of its own. Of course we used the 16.5 foot Sea Nymph for this. 8/8 Here we are still at Muskrat Bay. We have to leave soon to get to Killarney and a pumpout. Steve and Vera left several days ago and are likely home now. This is another of our favorite places. Beaverstone Bay is beautiful. It is dotted with islands, about 14 or so have cottages. Sad but many now are unused. Some of the cottage owners we have come to know over the years. Then one year the don't come. The Bay is a popular route coming or going the small craft route on Georgian Bay. We watch the boats come and go. We also have some entertainment watching some anchor. One tied his boat from the shore, stern to shore. Wind was off shore. I ask him if he would like me to set a bow anchor for him. No. I was up about 2 Am checking things. Several boats in our small bay and some were up checking their anchor. The wind had shifted and I saw this boat tied from shore in the water. The bow was now tied to shore and he was trying to set a stern anchor. The area is well protected and I knew he wouldn't get in to much trouble and I went back to bed. Some learn hard and the best lesson might be learned trying to walk an anchor out in the middle of the night. I guess some think they can push on a rope. Had a nice time with a couple doing the Great Loop in a converted tuna boat. Took them ashore to get some of the great pictures of the Bay from an island, gave them some local advise and charts on a CD. Oh, ya, after Steve left the fish started to bite so we supplied a fish dinner for them. Its raining today but he have to move. It is so nice to sip slowly this beautiful area. We watch many rushing through with time constraints. We have none and spend a week or so where others are forced to spend one night. This is something I have longed to do from the first time we visited this area in 1963. I am and have been living my dream for over 20 year.
 

10 August 2010

     To Killarney and back to Covered Portage Cove Climbed to the top of the mountain and took some pictures.
 

11 August 2010

     On to Baie Fine and some fishing.
 

22 August 2010

     Hard to believe how fast the time flies when we are at Baie Fine. Some good fishing, great meals at our friend Christina's cottage at the pool. Met some people we have known for years. Haven't seen them for 6 years. Had them over for a fish dinner and some cards. It was good to see them again. Off to Little Current for supplies and necessities. Anchored behind Picnic Island and will stay for the Little Current dock party on 8/24 then we head West.
 

24 August 2010

     Another great time at the Cruisers Net Dock Party. Cruisers Net provided a great service for all boaters in the area. It is put on by the Little Current Yacht Club.
 

25 August 2010

     Not a good day. Started out with our anchor trip line snagging on the prop and pulling the anchor out backwards at 5am. Alerted by the drift alarm. We left for Beardrop Harbor at first light. Wind was supposed to diminish but got stronger. Went on the outside so no protection. I tow the 16.5' Sea Nymph with 1/4" synthetic line rated for 5000#. However it does strange things with knots. You can untie a knot that has been pulled tight. I found out the hard way it also lets a knot slip that just doesn't happen with regular line. Of course it did slip in heavy seas and I had to go back and pick up the Sea Nymph. No fun. Tied a knot that normally would hold but it didn't and I had to do it all over again. Great fun. We got to Beardrop after noon and anchored. Wind was strong. To strong to fish even in the protected harbor.
 

26 August 2010

     Winds still very strong. 8/28 Strong winds yesterday but we got in some fishing today. Poor luck.
 

30 August 2010

     A couple of days of good fishing weather with modest results. This is our best fall fishing spot but not this year.
 

31 August 2010

     Winds strong again.
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10 Sept 2010

     Still strong winds. 5 meters on Lake Superior and 4 meters on Lake Huron. Fearsome seas. We are waiting for a good day to make the 60 mile open water jump. Went to Turnbull Island which is 7 miles closer. Another beautiful anchorage.
 

11 Sept 2010

Ah, a good day. Light seas with quite large rollers but a good ride. Got to Harbor Island and called in Customs. Called the marina to see if we could get in the haul out slip but they are full. So we anchor a few more days.
 

14 Sept 2010

     Just as well as the winds have been strong again. We can get in the haul out slip tomorrow and it is supposed to be light winds. One day window and only 25 miles to go. I have never seen the winds strong like they were all summer and fall. Sept. starts the windy months in this area but there is usually several good days between the winds but not this year. We anchor in protected waters but I had a new flag ruined by the winds. The good thing is we got a few extra days on the water. Today is 102 days, all on the hook.
 
 
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