Wind is the sailor’s friend. From a favorable direction it means that we can sail and don’t need to use our engine to get places. And one of the great things about the North Channel is that it is full of little bays and coves to duck into for the night, and many give very good protection from nearly any wind direction, some thing almost impossible to find during our winters in southern waters.
This summer has thus far been very windy. In just two days, we sailed more than we sailed all last winter on Thyme Hyssop & Wry. Wind direction has been dictating where we’ve sailed and where we have anchored. The forecasts aren’t always correct–sometimes they’re off by a few degrees (making a NW wind more W or a SE wind more E)–but we’ve mostly been comfortable once arriving in a protected anchorage.
Lake levels are up nearly a foot from the last couple of years’ low levels, and for the first time in 4 years we were able to visit Spanish this past week. There’s not much of a town (though it has your requisite grocery store, LCBO, hardware store, and a pretty good restaurant), but it has one of the nicest marina facilities in the North Channel. Once in their marked channel, we never saw depths less than 7 feet, a huge improvement over last summer’s reported 4.5 feet. (Annwfn draws 5’2″) Obviously, Spanish Marina is seeing much more boat traffic this summer.
We hid out from heavy NE winds in one of our favorite anchorages, Sturgeon Cove. The opening is a bit tricky transiting (there are a couple of rock shoals in the entrance so one needs to do a zigzag through the entrance, lining up marks located at 3 separate areas at the entrance) but once you’re in the cove, protection is pretty superior, especially any winds from the E and S. As NE winds howled outside our cove, we felt nothing inside. Very comforting. It is also a wonderful anchorage for sunsets:
P.S. As I write this post, the forecast is calling for north winds at 15 knots. The wind is actually a light NE. Who knows what the night will bring?