West winds…

The sky from our dock at sunset last evening

We came into Little Current on Manitoulin Island, the main hub for those heading east and west, early yesterday morning. The North Channel forecast was for west winds 15, increasing to 25 knots by noon (later increased to 30 knots), then decreasing to 15 knots from the northwest late evening. Those types of winds are not particularly pleasant, even in well-protected anchorages. For safety’s sake, you don’t leave your boat, your boat tends to skate around on its anchor rode, and unless you are anchored right up next to shore, in 25-30 knot winds you are bound to have at least whitecaplets to bounce upon. And at anchor, there is always the risk of your boat dragging, so anchor watches are a must. It tends not to be very relaxing while the winds scream through the rigging!

The wind was gusting to 25 knots as we came into the dock at 9:00 AM. By early afternoon, the wind was averaging 25 to 30 knots with our peak gust registering at 37 knots. The dock hands here did a superior job helping the many boats coming into port for the day. They were using only the up-wind slips, docking no one downwind. Still, the 2+ knot current made for some very exciting viewing. Little Current can have a pretty big current in strong westerly and easterly winds!

Last evening’s sunset ended our day with magnificent color. And with the sun’s setting, the wind began to diminish quite noticeably. I’m not sure why, but high winds tend to tire me out, so I looked forward to a good night’s sleep with less wind whistling through the area. However, at 12:20 AM I was awakened by the sound of the wind once again, and it screamed the rest of the night.

We took the opportunity of being in town to head to the Anchor Inn for a substantial breakfast, and then headed upstairs to help assist Roy Eaton and the North Channel Cruiser’s Net record the boat call-ins from the area this morning. We recorded 141 boat call-in’s this morning. There are still plenty of boaters here!

It is currently Thursday afternoon. The wind is supposed to die down by early evening, and we’re planning to depart our dock as soon as the high winds blow themselves out. We will make our way by tomorrow to a well-protected anchorage from easterly winds as the forecast is calling for another round of strong winds (again, 25-30 knots) on Sunday, this time from the opposite direction. We will be watching the forecasts with care. In the meantime, we are well-stocked with food and won’t need to get back into port soon.
A bow of rain opposite last evening's sunset.


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