UPDATE #19 08/08/06 thru 08/15/06
#19 08/08/06 through
period 4/1 thru 8/07 has been covered in Updates 1 through 18.
are very interested in hearing from ya’all.
If you have missed out on any of the previous emails and would like us
to re-send them, please let us know.
let me know if these emails containing pictures are too large and we will send
you a version with text only.
TUESDAY MARY ANN COVE,
BAIE FINE TO BUSTARD ISLANDS HARBOR ANCHORAGE
It was a beautiful, sunny morning here at the lovely Mary Ann Cove.
From here, we swan, bathed, washed our hair everyday off the back of the boat.
We had explored, picnicked, relaxed, and visited with friends.
Although we thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this place, it was time
to be moving along to seek new spots and adventures.
We put the dinghy up atop the sundeck in ready for travel.
Tom, from “Change of Pace”, helped us free our stern line from the
tree at shore. The windlass
tugged away at the anchor line and chain until we were, once again, underway.
It was about 9 am as we gently eased out of the cove and motored down
Baie Fine into Frazier Bay. About 11 am, we pulled up to Killarney Mountain Lodge to
refuel our dinghy gas tank, fill the water tank, and add a bag of ice cubes to
our cooler. Our next stop was the
waterfront General Store. We tied
to their dock as we picked up some bread and other miscellaneous supplies.
Within 45 minutes, we were eastbound into the Georgian Bay.
Killarney is the dividing point between the North Channel region to the
west and the Georgian Bay to the east. Having
missed some of the favored locations of our trip through, we wanted to return
to check them out.
As we cleared the lighthouse point at Red Rocks,
the crystal, blue water route passed alongside beautiful red rock formations
framed by the white quartz of the La Cloche Mountains.
(La Cloche is French for “the clock”)
Our course took us across the bay, and into the spectacular Collins
Inlet. Collins Inlet provides the
passageway for the Small Craft Route. Channel-like
in nature, it features tree studded, rock lined walls from 50 to 75 feet high
and widths as narrow as 150 feet.
Beaverstone Bay awaits at the eastern exit and leads back out into the
Georgian Bay. About 5:30 pm, we
had arrived at our destination in the Bustard Islands.
We had threaded our way into the unmarked anchorage harbor using our
charts and guidebook instructions.
We chose our spot and dropped the anchor.
With about 150 feet of chain and rode off the bow and about the same in
nylon rode tying the stern to a tree, we finally felt secure after the
We enjoyed cruising by dinghy through the northern Bustards.
Dinner consisted of a wonderful, crisp salad,
grilled chicken breast, and Au Gratin Potatoes.
08/09/06 WEDNESDAY BUSTARD ISLANDS HARBOR TO GREEN ISLAND ANCHORAGE
The breeze was still out of the southwest in the anchorage.
We climbed into the dinghy for more exploration through the myriad of
rock outcroppings that punctuate the Bustards.
Some are narrow, some are shallow, and all are gorgeous.
The more open areas of water were wind blown and made for wet, cool
splashes. When we could, we chose
to weave in and out of the rock-congested sections.
A fairly interesting sight in this area is the little rock statues
called “Inusuk”. They take
the form of a little man and are likened to those used for navigation markers
by the Indians, or “First Nations People” as they are now called.
We retrieved the stern line, raised the anchor, and got underway towing
It was already noon and we wanted to see the French River.
We proceeded up the Main Outlet of the French River leading to McDougal
Bay. It was very windy and not as great as it looked in the books.
We thought a jaunt back into Obstacle Channel would be fun so we
twisted our way through the narrow channels to the Eastern Outlet of the
French River just north of Obstacle Island.
This anchorage was also more vulnerable to the strong south-west winds
than we had expected. As we returned to the Georgian Bay, we were headed into the
wind and rougher waters. The
dinghy in tow was taking a bit of a beating.
We tried various combinations of length to the towline, but neither
shorter nor longer seemed to help much. Returning
to the Bustard Islands Harbor anchorage, we found that our spot had been taken
and that several more sailboats had taken up residence. We moved over to a, seemingly, more protected spot behind
Green Island. We had seen another
yacht there the previous night. After
setting the bow anchor and chain, we attached a 200 foot nylon rode to a tree
off the port bow. We added a
stern line of about 150 feet that we tied to a large boulder.
After listening to the weather forecast, the thought of a changing wind
concerned us. We opted to shift
the 200’ rode to the starboard side and tied it to a large boulder.
This web should keep us away from the surrounding rocks and shoals if
the wind change materialized. In
the breezy, cool conditions of the evening, Judy prepared “Frito Pie”,
consisting of chili seasoned beef topped with cheddar cheese and ripe olives
piled on top of Frito Corn Chips. Delicious.
I was feeling very achy today and was glad to stretch out for a good
THURSDAY BUSTARD ISLANDS
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUDY!!!
The morning dawned to a very cool 62 degrees and
rainy with the wind piping out of the northeast just as forecast.
We were very pleased that we had changed the position of the bow-shore
line. Both that line and the
stern line would stretch tight in the gusty winds.
Although we had hoped to move on this morning, these winds would make
our departure from anchor much too hazardous.
At least we had a seemingly strong mooring web and remaining right here
would be more than acceptable, albeit, other than ideal.
With the northerly winds forecasted to strengthen, we ran the dinghy
out to check the lines and added a safety loop around another boulder to
backup the starboard bow line. With
these type conditions, we were cautiously aware of any chaffing on the lines.
The safety loop should provide that extra measure of safety should the
primary fail or slip free.
Satisfied of our own security, we visited the surrounding bays in the
dinghy. We chatted with
“Breakaway”, a 49 foot Cruiser from Irvine, California.
They had loaded their boat onto an ocean freighter in Ensenada, Mexico
(just south of San Diego). Their
boat traveled as cargo to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where they began their
“Loop” trip. An interesting
story that illustrates the variety of ways people commence their dream voyage. They also told us about being stranded by the floods in the
Erie Canal and needing to be evacuated from their boat between Erie Locks 8
and 9. Although AMARSE had
experienced some lock closures due to flooding, I’m sure glad that our
timing was better and that we avoided those more severe events that occurred a
few weeks later.
I had been feeling a little ill all day and was
running a mild fever. I spent a
lot of the day resting while Judy caught up on her reading.
Perhaps not the most exciting way to spend a birthday, however, she
seemed to enjoy her “electronic” birthday card and the gift of “ a day
on a private yacht in the sparkling, crystal waters amidst this island
N45 53.816 W080 54.108
08/11/06 FRIDAY BUSTARD ISLANDS TO COVERED PORTAGE ANCHORAGE
The thermometer read 53 degrees F and the wind had settled down to East
North East at about 10 knots at 7:45 am as we started out of the anchorage.
The wind direction provided the challenge to getting away from our
spot. We, first, dropped the
stern line directly into the water and I motored the stern to starboard and
eased forward, snugged up the starboard bow shore line, commenced the raising
of the anchor chain. We, then,
dropped the bow line down into the water and finished raising the chain and
anchor, thus, freeing us to back out of the slot and into the small bay
nearby. We reset the anchor and
chain in the turn between Pearl, Green, and Tie Islands.
Using the dinghy, we went ashore to retrieve those lines we had
intentionally dropped. We untied
the ropes from the huge boulders that had held us securely and we dragged the
soaking wet lines into the dinghy. Back
at AMARSE, we unloaded the dinghy and hoisted it to its mounting cradle on top
of the sundeck. As the windlass
hauled up the anchor and chain, Judy had to use the full power of the washdown
pump to eliminate the large clumps of mud from the ground tackle.
It had taken us 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the whole operation
thus allowing us to cruise out of these beautiful Bustard Islands.
Back in the Georgian Bay, we crossed paths with
our friends aboard “Siris”. Al
and Marilyn Smith were heading back to their home in Eastern Ontario.
We sure enjoyed being with these wonderful folks and hope that we will
have the pleasure of their company again sometime.
The bay provided us with a pleasant, smooth ride
despite the 15 to 18 knot ENE wind. Beaverstone Bay lead us back into Collins Inlet.
The views were even more spectacular than the previous trips.
The sunlight and clarity of the air allows the natural beauty to take
on more vivid colors and hues that accentuate the formations while
highlighting the flora and fauna. As
one person said, this place is “eye heaven”.
While in the inlet, we listened on the VHF Marine Radio to
“Breakaway”, that 49 foot cruiser, talking about the their miserable night
on the rocks in the Bustards Islands. Apparently, some time after we left them, the wind made the
switch of direction and they dragged anchors putting them aground on the rocks
in the bay adjacent to where we were. Although
they were able to free themselves using their dinghy, they had summoned the
help of the Coast Guard and a rescue tow.
By the time the help arrived, they had successfully rescued themselves.
They suspect a small amount of hull damage and perhaps some small
amount of propeller damage. When
we had seen them, it appeared that they had found a nice, peaceful location,
however, they had not adequately prepared themselves for that brisk wind
switch in direction and velocity. Fortunately,
our luck and preparation held, and we avoided any mishap.
Well, I lost another “hat” today.
This makes three gone so far. Perhaps
some lucky fish will look good in them.
At 2 pm, we had been traveling for 5 hours and
were passing through Killarney, Ontario. We bypassed a stop here and continued into Killarney Bay
toward “Covered Portage”. This
is the same place that we had visited before.
It is so fantastic that I craved another opportunity to savor the
At 2:45pm, we set anchor in the company of a half dozen boats swinging
on single anchors.
I was still feeling a little on the ill side.
A long nap seemed to help quite a bit.
Our dinner of fresh, green salad, bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon, and herb,
mashed potatoes turned out to be an excellent, belated birthday dinner for
Judy. It was back to bed early as
my body temperature was bouncing on 100.
Outside, it was clear, winds light and variable, and the afternoon
thermometer peaked around 76 degrees. So,
tell me, where does one find more ideal conditions than this?
I, certainly, don’t have a clue.
N45 59.984 W081 32.324
PORTAGE TO McGREGOR BAY
At 7am, a partial, thin overcast and calm winds held the temperature at
At 9am, we tuned our VHF radio to channel 71 to listen to Roy host this
daily version of the “Little Current Cruiser’s Net”.
Every day in July and August, Roy brings the cruisers together via
radio to provide this wonderful service.
He relays the latest weather and forecast from “Environment
Canada”, reports the latest current events from the Toronto newspaper,
offers a lesson from “today in history”, and will inform cruisers about
local cruising locations and history of the area.
The program continues with “Check-In’s” by the folks in their
boats giving boat name and location. I
find it fascinating to hear the huge variety of different spots that people
have found and the unique names that folks have chosen for their vessels.
Within 30 or 40 minutes, the host signs off for another day.
Immediately after the “Cruiser’s Net”, we
raised a very muddy anchor that took over 20 minutes to clean up.
We snapped some pictures of the rock face that resembles that of an
Indian. (First Nation People).
route through Killarney bay gave us an excellent view of the Killarney Ridge
of the South La Cloche Mountains. Continuing
through Lansdowne Channel past Badgeley Point to Frazier Bay, thence, passed
the mouth of Baie Fine and around the point into McGregor Bay.
This is a wonderful area that is now more accessible with the
publication of the new chart #2206. Previously,
the area remained uncharted and made safe navigation difficult for all but the
local folks. The remoteness and
reported beauty sparked our spirit of adventure and we sought to see for
ourselves. The charts are
somewhat difficult to read and interpret.
All depths are marked in “Meters”, instead of feet.
There are almost no navigation aids and chart scales will keep you very
alert watching for those rocky hazards lurking just below the surface and
eager to catch you as soon as you become complacent.
With Judy following closely on the chart, we eased our way deep into
the bay wandering amidst the little islands and rock outcroppings. It was a “feast for the senses”.
We found a spot to anchor near the navigation limit of the bay.
We enjoyed a nice lunch in the warm, sunny afternoon.
This anchorage was less than perfect as we would swing back and forth
on our single anchor. Swinging
often has the effect of loosening or releasing the anchor hold. This might result in dragging.
With the memory of “Breakaway’s” problems still fresh in our
minds, we chose to seek a more protected spot.
A small cove along the shoreline of East Sampson Island yielded the
ideal location. We dropped the
bow anchor and backed down in hopes of attaching a stern line to the shore.
By the time we could get the dinghy organized, the wind would swing us
around. Fortunately, the folks
next to us in the anchorage offered to help take the line ashore while I
maneuvered the boat under power into the desired position.
This worked great and we certainly expressed our appreciation to the
houseboat, “Mick’s Rose”.
We rode around in the dinghy and visited with Ted and Susan Kelley,
anchored about a half mile away, in their trawler “Moose” from
Connecticut. Further exploration
gave us the opportunity to meet a nice couple and their two young daughters.
They were camping and canoeing the area and wanted to know if we knew
the weather forecast. They were in Canada from Scotland on holidays and had not
seen anyone else in several days. These
folks are adventurers.
We enjoyed a wonderful, peaceful night in this
N46 03.965 W081 34.274
08/13/06 SUNDAY E. SAMPSON ISLAND, McGREGOR BAY TO MANITOWANING, ONTARIO
It was a nearly perfect morning in the calm of our anchorage.
We lounged around and enjoyed the daily broadcast of the “Cruiser’s
Net”. About 10:10 am, we began
the anchors aweigh drill. The
procedure went like this: (1) Drop stern line into water, (2) Winch in about
75 feet of anchor rode to chain, (3) dinghy back to shore to retrieve the
stern line from the tree, (4) haul up and clean the muddy chain and anchor.
Thirty minutes later we were gliding among the rocks on our way west.
We opted for the southern pass out and around the shoals in McGregor
Bay. We had taken the northern
route yesterday on our way inbound.
We could see “Moose” out in the distance
ahead. We hailed them and learned
that they were heading for Manitowaning.
In as much as we had no particular destination in mind, we asked if we
might join them there. In
agreement, we crossed Frazier Bay into Manitowaning Bay.
The winds had freshened to
15 to 18 knots, which boosted the seas to about 2 feet.
Several hours later, we arrived at the tiny
harbor at Manitowaning. The wind
was honking about 20 to 25 knots now and the only available spot was a small,
finger pier. We maneuvered the
boat, backing slowly into the confined area, using a combination of current,
wind, differential power, and sheer luck.
Fortunately, several dockhands were ready to assist in the tie-up of
This quaint little village harbors the retired
S.S. Norisle, the last steam powered ferry to have served this area.
A restored warehouse and a mill building also grace the tiny harbor.
Unfortunately, the ship is now closed to visitors due to electrical
Together with Ted and Susan, we walked into the little village and
picked up some groceries. A visit to the tourist bureau revealed that there would be a
country music concert this evening at the Burns Theatre at the waterfront.
Of course, Judy and I were anxious to get tickets to attend.
Ted and Susan declined. After
dinner aboard “AMARSE” and cocktails aboard “Moose”, it was theatre
time. The stage was small and the seats were retired school chairs
made of hard, curved wood seats on metal frames.
I’m sure many of you remember just how uncomfortable those seats
were. The band consisted of six
local area musicians, five guys and a gal.
We soon found ourselves tapping, clapping, and singing along with the
familiar tunes. They played for
over four hours with only one short break.
Judy and I enjoyed the evening very much.
08/14/06 MONDAY MANITOWANING TO LITTLE CURRENT (TOWN DOCKS)
The morning was cool, damp, and quite windy.
We took advantage of the marina laundry facility.
It was just one washer and one dryer, but, they were new and worked
great. I found the free internet
computer at the Visitor Center and put it to use paying bills and doing
“Moose” decided to head out because the cell
phone service here was nonexistent. They
were waiting for an important call. Their reports of an easy passage prompted us to head north
too. The winds were increasing
steadily and were right out of the west.
We cruised along the shoreline to ease the waves yet still they
increased. As we turned the
corner westbound at Ten-Mile Point, the seas were smacking us right in the
face. The winds were hitting as
much as 40 knots as reported by the anemometer on “Moose”.
The wind driven wave splashes would hit the upper windshield and send
chilling water onto the seat cushions and us.
Fortunately, we only had to endure the discomfort for less than an hour
until we turned up the pass between Strawberry and Manitoulin Islands.
Moose found an anchorage behind Long Point.
We opted to continue to the town of Little Current and the town docks.
When the swing bridge opened on the hour, the way this town got its
name was evident. When the wind
is strong, there is a 4 knot current that builds in the channel and creates
significant turbulence in the vicinity of the bridge pilings. Perhaps they should rename it “Big Current” today.
AMARSE eased into assigned slot at the main wall of the town dock.
It was convenient to town and had the advantage of a brick building to
block some of the wind.
Judy had been denied her “birthday dinner” a few days ago because
of our remote location. The
Anchor Inn provided the perfect opportunity to remedy this situation.
Judy selected the Breast of Chicken Brushetta and I ordered the Grilled
Manitoulin Whitefish. Both were
excellent choices. I must mention
that Rickards Honey Brown and Pale Ales are very delicious.
An ice cream and butter tart dessert topped off the evening dinner.
Later, in the bar, we caught up on email and internet using their
complimentary WiFi hookup.
Tonight, we mourn the tragic passing of our dear
and cherished friend, Bonnie Simonick. We offer our most sincere condolences to John and the family.
She will always remain precious in our hearts.
CURRENT, MANITOULIN ISLAND, ONTARIO
Another very windy day was foretold by the Environment Canada weather
enjoying the “Little Current Cruisers Net” broadcast this morning,
We hurried over to the Anchor Inn in hopes of meeting the host Roy.
I have thoroughly enjoyed each of his programs and I looked forward
with great anticipation toward meeting him.
Fortunately, we were able to join him in the studio room.
He greeted us cheerfully and we had a wonderful time chatting about the
wonderful cruising opportunities here and elsewhere.
It was a distinct pleasure to meet this accomplished gentleman and to
experience, firsthand, his casual, elegant style.
We did some grocery shopping and picked up some
items at the local hardware store. Lunch
beckoned us from the Anchor Inn where Judy enjoyed a steak sandwich while I
had Haddock N’ Chips.
I spent part of the afternoon catching up on
chores. In particular, I modified
and replaced the part of the hoisting bridle for the dinghy crane.
The nylon cord showed signs of chafe so I replaced it with shackles and
chain. I will be more comfortable
raising and lowering the dinghy now.
Ted and Susan had taken dockage in a slip at the
town marina. Again, they hosted
the evening cocktail hour aboard “Moose”. While still full from our big lunch, we enjoyed the perfect
combination of toasted Tuna sandwiches and SunChips. The wind velocity eased a bit providing a more comfortable
night with less rolling and bouncing at the docks.
As you can see, we are still in Canada.
My Verizon AirCard that operates my computer internet will not operate
in Canada. We will be sending
this out when we can find a WiFi hotspot.
These locations are few and far between.
Our internet capability will be extremely limited for close to two
months. This may be the last
update for a while. If and when I can, I will post what is available.
Judy’s phone will be out of service in Canada.
Fred’s phone will be available throughout the trip in Canada.
I have North American Service and hopefully it will be OK. We can be reached at 210-296-4933. Please
call us if you like, ‘Eh.
is pronounced "AM-ARE-SAY". Our website is:
it out while we will attempt to keep you informed via email
We would like to hear more about what is
happening in your lives. Let us
know as we very interested in what’s going on with our friends and family.
Please DO email us with your thoughts and comments and ideas too. Thanks
Reed and Judy Law
Fred H. Reed
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