July 14-15, 2016 – We are delayed getting this out (it’s August 5), after finally headed home for a few weeks before we return to the boat. With some good ol’ Time Warner internet service, we can finally get the blog updated to present day!
We departed Five Fathoms for a quick 60 mile trip to Kilarney at the Eastern edge of the North Channel. The Channel is on the northern side of Lake Huron, about 80 miles long and 20 miles wide. Kilarney and Little Current are the most well known towns in this otherwise forested area. We spent a night in Kilarney, and a few hours in Little Current. Kilarney is on a small channel that connects Georgian Bay to North Channel, and is mainly a boating town. Of course, there is the requisite fish and chips (Herbert’s World Famous, for those keeping track of such things!). There was even a movie night that the marina projected onto a screen across the channel from the boat. Pretty interesting! Our dock hand was from the Bahamas, and working his way through engineering school in Canada. Like us, he had no interest in being there during the winter months, but agreed it was beautiful in the summer.
Leaving Kilarney we headed to Baie Fine, maybe 20 miles away, which is a fjord carved by the glaciers. This is apparently one of the most beautiful fjords in Canada, and one of the largest freshwater fjords in the world. About 10 miles long, it had absolutely clear water, and some good size mountains on each side, with much exposed quartz rock and cliffs. Having said that, we actually expected something with much more grandeur, but nonetheless it was some spectacular scenery. This time, even though there were some narrow, shallow channels with a circuitous route to follow up the fjord, we managed to avoid any new prop strikes – way more vigilant navigators now!
From Baie Fine we headed to Little Current. Little Current was quite a bit bigger than the name implies, and was bustling with a number of marinas and crowded with boats. It’s so called because the current there can be quite tricky and run several miles per hour. There was a rendezvous of PDQ brand catamarans ( a popular looper boat) taking place, and once again we saw some folks that we met in Norfolk and had actually toured their boat there. The downtown area was nice, with shops and such on main street. Lots of history and nicknacks, along with First Nations craft work (maybe not politically correct, but by explanation, people of First Nation’s ancestry in Canada are Native Americans in the US).
It was a bit windy leaving Little Current……then the weather got rough for real! The long draw of the North Channel funnels wind blowing west to east, and we hit some of the biggest waves of the trip (see the video below – and no, these weren’t the biggest waves we saw).
We were hoping to make it about 40 miles west, but sanity dictated that we take a quick detour to Kagawog, a town that is mostly deserted in winter (only 20 or so folks remain), but had a town dock and was protected since it was located at the southern tip of Mudge Bay – you just can’t make these names up, eh!. In Kagawog, we took a hike to a local waterfall, and wandered around a bit. The townsfolk were nice and very happy to see us (I don’t think they get too many transient type boaters there). Donna, Kelly and Brian once again made a great feast on the boat for dinner, and the day ended pretty well!
After the big blow, we left the next day headed to Mackinaw Island, back in the good ol’ US of A. It was rough to start out, and we actually took a time out to get fuel and a break from the weather, meeting up with a couple of other boaters doing the same thing at the tiny town we stopped at. All of us departed after and hour or so, and as the weather cleared up, we made it to Mackinaw without drama!