The North Channel is North of Manitoulin Island and is a part of Lake Huron. The locations mentioned in this section of the blog are noted by numbers on the map shown: 6- Collins Inlet anchorage; 7- Killarney; 8- Heyward Island anchorage; 9- Little Current; 10- Mosquito Bay anchorage; 11- Hotham Bay anchorage; 12- Beardrop anchorage; 13- Blind River; 14- St. Joseph Island anchorage; 15- Drummond Island (Customs & Immigration); 16- Detour; and 17- Mackinac Island.
On the 28th of July SONATA turned toward Collins Inlet, 50 nautical miles away to the North. Once there the first interests were to get "suited" up and in the water. The current through the anchorage at Keyhole Island on Collins Inlet was running so a safety pool was placed around our personal swim area so we would not drift away. Bonnie enjoyed the water and Charlie cleaned the propellers and shafts.
The morning fog, the evening sunset, the bright moon in the early morning all case a spell on the Collins Inlet that we love visiting for three days.
Passing the Collins Inlet West end lighthouse SONATA's next stop is Killarney where we
meet up with Patti and Alan Sutton onboard FAIRWAYS. They had invited us to join them at the Monk boaters get-together in Killarney and we joined in with the group for a few days of conversations, stories, and good food.
FAIRWAYS and SONATA travel together after Killarney. First stop was to look into Snug Harbor, which we found to be too crowded on the edges and too deep in the middle to anchor, so, we pressed on to Heywood Harbor and anchored. There we enjoyed another beautiful sunset, a dingy tour to see the eagle family with two "teenagers" in the tree. One youngster left and flew to the top of a nearby tree. The youngsters had not yet grown to develop white feathers on their crown. Along the shore was a totem pole and a rock statute (marker called an INUKSUK). FAIRWAYS was anchored near SONATA and the cloudy day was ended with a partial rainbow.
SONATA passes the lighthouse at the East entry to Little Current. After the lighthouse SONATA must wait for the hourly, single lane automobile bridge to open. The current next to the bridge is fierce. While in Little Current we went to the Cruisers' Net broadcast which is run by Roy Eaton, shown above with us. A boater can listen to the Cruisers' Net each morning during July and August on VHF Channel 71 at 9:00 a.m. to hear marine weather, news of the world, sports, business, health, local history and upcoming events on Manitoulin Island and the North Channel. The net also acts as a relay for boats at the opposite end of the broadcast range so messages may be passed.
First stop was at Mosquito Bay where Bonnie secured this picture of a close by loon. We love to watch and listen to the loons every season we are in the North Channel. From Mosquito Bay we were off to anchor behind Hotham Island for a few days.
On the way to Beardrop Harbor we pass through the channel known as "Little Detroit". The guide books and signs alongside the channel make it sound scary ... it is narrow, but deep and there is no problem passing through ... following FAIRWAYS.
From Little Detroit we pass down Whaleback Channel to Beardrop and anchor for a few days to play in the water. Off to paddle around, look at the rocks and inlets by "small-boat" and just enjoy the quiet.
Beardrop to Blind River, a town on the north shore of the North Channel. Then after a day of wind and waiting, cross the Channel to the Southeast end of St. Joseph Island, Milford Haven, an anchorage. The next morning FAIRWAYS and SONATA were engulfed in fog and it was not until about 1000 that the sun appeared.
We could hardly see Wilson!
On Friday, August 14, 2015, SONATA, departed it Canadian anchorage and crossed back into the United States of America, N46-06.326 W083-44.721 and proceeded to Drummond Island Yacht Basin to be greeted by customs and immigration. They confiscated 2 lemons and 2 limes and were given an all OK #3030815151125. Yay! So glad to be back in the good ole USA! Completed some repairs on SONATA, and, due to a closing weather window, proceeded into the Mackinac Straights for Mackinaw City and Mackinac Island passing our first Laker.