Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Plan: Straight to North Channel

Days on cruise:   117

Distance traveled:  37.5 miles

Travel time:  4 hrs, 13 mins

Total trip odometer:  2,576 statute miles

When we went to bed last night, our plan was to get up this morning and travel to Bad River, anchor out, and shoot the Devil Door Rapids today in our dinghy. We got an email that changed that plan, as well as the one for the following day.


A couple weeks ago a guy named Ken posted on the Great Loop forum that he keeps his boat in Killarney (the town and channel separating Georgian Bay from North Channel), he plans to do the Loop next year, and offering anchoring recommendations for those coming through North Channel soon. He also offered to answer questions anyone might have. Cathryn, always eager to take advantage of local knowledge, and always having lots of questions, shot off an email to him and has become his daily pen-pal (or pest?) for the past week.

GB049-1 Beaverstone sketch

Ken gave us lots of information about North Channel anchorages and advised us NOT to take the Beaverstone Bay/Collins Inlet route into Killarney, as shoaling has occurred and a boat grounded mid-channel there two weeks ago. He also said the Bad River is only an “ok” anchorage, and we should not attempt to shoot the rapids with our 4 hp motor on our dinghy.  Ok, Ken really seems to know his stuff, is credible, and nice too, so we heeded his advice.

After coffee and enjoying the view below out our sundeck window for the last time (Bustard Island Harbor), we pulled up the anchor and headed out into the big Georgian Bay.


This collection of rocky islands needed THREE lighthouse markers to scare boaters away instead of the usual one.


We were out on the Bay for 25 miles, and our good fortune continued in that the weather was perfect, wind was light, and waves were about one foot. Can’t beat that!


We entered Killarney mid-day and pulled up to the  dock for the LCBO, which stands for Liquor Control Board of Ontario, to buy some “ship’s stores”. Our kind of drive-up!

Killarney is a sweet little town and looks to be prospering, with construction going on to build more/new docks and amenities.


Herbert Fisheries is famous in these parts for good, fresh fish.


The Fish and Chips Bus, as it’s called, serves cooked-to-order take-out fish, and we partook.  We liked the fish lunch we had at Henry’s Fish Restaurant on Frying Pan Island in Georgian Bay a week ago, but this was, frankly, twice as good. Less batter, more fish, and seemed fresher, served piping hot. We also bought some fresh to have for dinner tomorrow night, as well as smoked fish for some other time.


There are a couple of marinas in town, but we were eager to proceed to a pretty anchorage instead.


This gaff-rigged cat (above) is our North Channel friend Ken’s beautiful boat, moored in Killarney.


After lunch we proceeded 1.5 miles as the crow flies, but it took us 3 miles to get there by boat, winding our way through more rock shoals to Covered Portage anchorage. Astonishing how different this place looks from Georgian Bay! Photos tomorrow. Obviously, we again have a 4G internet signal, after two days in the Bustard Islands with only 2G or 3G. We remain happy and well!

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