Pushing Hard up the North Channel

First of All -

  • First time listening to and participating in a Cruisers Net
  • First bird: sandhill crane

Namely Speaking-

  • Picnic Island
  • Clapperton Island
  • Gore Bay
  • Barrie Island
  • Vidal Bay
  • Meldrum Bay

Loop Log:

  • Miles Cruised today: Power: 66; Sail: Motor sailed 4 hours
  • Total Miles Cruised to date: 6,320
  • Hours Underway: 10
  • Fuel: NA
  • Morning House Battery Reading: 12.56
  • Wind Speed: 18; Wind Direction: SW
  • Daily High Temperature: 80
  • Water Temperature: 73

DSCF6038Not sure how far we’ll get today, but with wind and rain in the forecast for tomorrow, we want to go as far as possible. We’re off the dock by 7:30 on smooth waters. On our way to Gore Bay I hear a call on the radio, announcing the start of the North Channel Cruisers Net at 9am on channel 71. We flip over to 71 so we can listen in. They follow a standard format, with emergency traffic, weather information, news highlights, this day in history items, and call for boats to check in with boat name and location. When they get to our area I call in. It’s a nice way to keep track of people and network with other boats. We decide to head in to Gore Bay, where I’ve been told they have aDSCF6039 good chandlery. I’m hoping they’ll have an anchor and boat hook to replace the items we’ve lost. We arrive at noon and I look over the stuff in the chandlery. They have anchors, but not the Rochna that I’m looking for. They also have boat hooks, but not one that will work for us. We pick up a couple of minor items, and then have lunch at a nice, nearby outdoor place. After lunch we head out again, into an increasingly breezy North Channel. I’d been motor sailing with main and jib before pausing at Gore Bay, but I decide the jib will be enough in this wind. We must pass the mouths of several large bays, with 6 and 9 miles of open water, so I don’t want to be out with too much sail up in a building wind. I steadily shorten the jib, but occasionally we get hit with a strong gust which heels us over beyond the comfort range. I’m watching a sailboat out in the middle of the channel, under full sail and obviously moving very well. They catch up and then pass us by without difficulty. I call ahead to Meldrum Bay Marina to see if they have a spot for us. I estimate we’ll get in around 7am, and after a long run we make it, just 9 minutes later than I’d estimated. On the way down Meldrum Bay I see that sailboat again, and he’s coming all the way into the bay under sail. The wind is really gusty, but he still doing great. I take some long range photos of his boat, hoping we’ll get a chance to talk with him, so I can e’mail the pictures to him.

It’s great getting in to the dock, after such a long day underway. We decide to head over to the Meldrum Bay Inn for dinner. This turns out to be a great decision. They’re very busy and we have no reservation, but they manage to work us in, serving us dinner in their front sitting room. The food is outstanding. We order fresh caught local fish, I the whitefish and Sandy the lake trout. Homemade desserts finish off the meal.

We’ll take a day off tomorrow, and let the weather pass. We’ve been moving hard for the last 3 days, with nearly 200 miles logged in that period. It will feel good to ease up and relax a bit, before continuing on. We’ll cross the border back into the US with our next move, after being in Canada since June 17.

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