Monday, August 24, 2015

July 28 - August 14, 2015 ::: The North Channel; Tobermory to Drummond

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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

July 22 - July 27, 2015 ::: Port Severn to Tobermory via the Bruce Peninsula


Before going in to the next descriptions of where SONATA is traveling, a review of where we have been thus far may be helpful.  The map above shows from New York to Port Severn.  We left New York City on May 30, 2015.  From New York we came up the Hudson River, as described in the blog, passing Albany, on up the Lake Champlain Canal and Lake Champlain to Burlington, then into Canada on the Chambly Canal to Sorel on the St. Lawrence River.  South-South-West up the St. Lawrence River to Montreal, then around Montreal to the Ottawa River and up the Ottawa River to Ottawa.  From Ottawa down the Rideau River and Rideau Canal to Kingston.  From Kingston to Trenton on Lake Ontario, then from Trenton to Port Severn via the Trent-Severn Waterway.  We have included this map for an overview of those travels. Now  on to the Georgian Bay, Bruce Peninsula, and the North Channel.

Following a one day stop at Penetanguishene SONATA went through an infrequently traveled passage to Wiarton.  Our trip to Wiarton was to visit with "looper" friends, from our second loop, Mark and Terry Wey who cruise on board TERRYMAR IV.  They live on the Bruce Peninsula south of Wiarton where they keep their boat.  They also have a cottage on the water nearby which we went to see. We are ever amazed at the clear water that so much resembles the waters of the Caribbean.


While touring with Terry and Mark we learned about the treatment of snakes, and watched the mink run and play on the docks where we stayed.  Terry and Mark kindly took us to see their cottage, a beautiful place, lunch at Lion's Head, and joined up on board SONATA.  Departure was with mixed feelings ... so good to see dear old friends again.

Mark and Terry suggested that on the way to Tobermory we should stop in the Wingfield Basin at Cabot Head.  There was a nice navigation detail there, a range marker to assist in entry into the basin, and an eagle on the east shore.  As we prepared to depart the next day for Tobermory we were able to say hello to some close friends of Mark and Terry, both in their mid-80's ... and she was pulling the anchor up by hand.  The last is SONATA alongside the dock in Tobermory where we spent one night in the center of town.  It was a very busy place ... they have only a short period of time in the summer to make their annual boating income.