Bays of Islands

It’s been an interesting week of visiting some of our favorite spots west of Little Current.

Sturgeon Cove is a beautifully protected anchorage with a great vantage point for gorgeous sunsets. Its zigzag entrance (lining up three sets of range marks to pass clear of some extensive rock shoals) is always an interesting time. Unfortunately, the shore is now littered with “No Trespassing” signs posted by the owner of La Cloche Island. Sad, because there are some roads cut out from the cove that are great for walking. The signs don’t exactly make us feel welcome, but they’re not deterring us from anchoring.

The Bay of Islands in the North Channel is another beautiful area. This area is made up of channels of deep water, littered with hundreds of rocky islands, some small, some larger. It can’t really be called wilderness as there are many, many cottages and homes throughout this area. But Jumbo Bay, made up by the large La Cloche Island, is currently cottage/house-free. There is a beautiful, small, clear water cove on the west end that is well protected from all winds but those from the east.

Since discovering Jumbo Bay, we have visited and often sat for at least a couple of days, up until 3 years ago. That last visit, we discovered “No trespassing” and “Private Property” signs littering the shoreline surrounding the cove (same island, same owner). Again, sad, since the only way to get a cell signal is by climbing to the top of the rocky bluff that overlooks the harbor. It’s also a great spot to view the Bay of Islands.

We left a crowded anchorage at Sturgeon Cove and wanted to find a spot for the night that we would have better chance to be alone. So we headed the short distance to Jumbo Bay.

We ended up having the little cove to ourselves; two smaller powerboats and a houseboat shared the large bay in the little cut-out to our northeast. We were far enough from each other to feel we had anchorages pretty much to ourselves. Later that afternoon we witnessed something we had never seen in all our years of boating: powerboaters taking on one of their own for throwing a huge wake that left those anchored along the shore rockin’ and rollin’. This was a wake that throws untethered children and pets across cabins, and dislodges books from shelves. We have experienced boaters admonishing powerboaters for their wake over marine radio; large wakes are probably the main factor on the sailboater’s side for disliking powerboaters; but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one powerboater confront another, in this manner, for his large wake. These guys were angry!

I was reminded of the Stephen Tudor poem, the one about looking behind to see what you’ve disturbed.

As the large powerboat turned around (and we caught sight of his stern), we cringed to see his large U.S. flag waving proudly in the stiff breeze. Shit. They are from the U.S.; these other boaters were Canadian. Once again, we Americans look like assholes.

From Jumbo Bay, we had a great sail in an unforecast east wind to Middleton Cove on Amedroz Island. As we approached the Cove (which is open to the east) our wind veered more to the south, then southwest, and we spent a beautiful afternoon and evening, alone at anchor, in a perfectly protected harbor. Ah yes, this is what cruising is all about!

We ended our week at Beatty Bay, on Clapperton Island. This anchorage isn’t particularly scenic (as in the Benjamins or Croker, which we can see from the anchorage), but I love it all the same. It isn’t heavily used, so we are often alone, but it is well protected from most winds and again, one views great sunsets here. And because it’s a low island, and the wind was out of the south and southwest much of the time, we were lulled to sleep at night by the waves crashing on the narrow spit protecting our anchorage.

We are continuing to move west, toward home. The sun is setting earlier and earlier each night, becoming noticeably dark by 9:00 PM. And, we have yet to see a bear this summer. What is up with that?

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