Back to the North Channel…

It’s a cruising summer. Nearly two weeks ago we left our slip at Duncan Bay Boat Club and motorsailed across the top of Lake Huron to the Detour Passage and dropped anchor at one of our favorite anchorages: Harbor Island is a 695-acre horseshoe-shaped island located just north of Drummond Island. The island was acquired in 1983 by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service from its previous owner, the Nature Conservancy, and set aside as The Harbor Island National Wildlife Refuge. We stayed here for 5 days–a long stay–as we attended the Great Lakes Cruising Club’s wilderness rally. The weather could have been a bit nicer (lots of rain), the water a bit warmer (for bathing), but we had a great time together with boating friends and were entertained by these guys:

A week ago, we left Harbor Island and crossed into Canadian waters, checking into Canada at Thessalon. Fortunately a friend had shared the security code to the building with showers and bathrooms because turns out the marina is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. There wasn’t a soul around to help us dock, we couldn’t have gotten fuel or a pumpout had we wanted one. They hadn’t changed the wifi password since the last time we visited (2014) so our computer and iPad connected without problem. However, the wifi wasn’t very reliable. Their router seemed to be having a problem keeping the connection.

Thessalon was a quick overnight visit. We walked into town to buy provisions at the Valu-Mart and libations at the LCBO. The restaurant we always loved at Thessalon has been out of business a couple of seasons now. However, there is a lovely small bakery (open at 6:30 AM) that had homemade cinnamon rolls for just $2.50 CAN. I should have bought more than just one that morning…

From Thessalon we motored on flat calm seas to one of our favorite anchorages that is often busy with local boats: Long Point Cove. We learned from friends that there were just 4 boats in the anchorage and that 6′ of water was reported this season in a small inner harbor. It’s been years since we’ve been able to anchor back in that sheltered area so we checked it out, now that we have a sailboat that draws just under 5′. Sure enough, the least depth we saw was 5’7 and the water was 72, just right for a bath. We stayed 3 nights. Ron caught fish for one evening’s supper, we collected the first of the ripe blueberries, and I paddled the sheltered waters, amazed at the incredible beauty of the area.

We’ve spent a couple of days in a harbor that normally guarantees us a fish supper, but not this trip. Not one bite. And the heavy winds produced an uncomfortable swell (again) that we need to remember next time!

It’s been nearly two weeks and that’s about the limit for our holding tank, so it’s into Gore Bay as soon as this wind lays down and we can comfortably make the passage across the Channel to Manitoulin Island.


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