Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Next Wave...Little Current!

We geared up that morning in the little bay at Darch Island to head up toward Spanish, a little town gauranteed to be beautiful, somewhat populated, and worth the trip. The rest of the week we would follow the wind back to Gore Bay. Seemed like common sense to us.
However, Nana was hobbling on her leg, convinced to let us know she was fine, but Papa wasn't believing it. And to make matters worse, when we started the engines - only 1 fired up. The second wouldn't so much as turnover...something was wrong. A call into CYC told us we could 1. return to Gore Bay and wait for a mechanic tomorrow, or head up to Little Current for fixin' today. So we headed up to Little Current, limping on 1 motor the entire way.

Keely cuddled and cuddled, but tried hard not to sleep.

Adalynn helped Daddy put up the sails.

A little island off the point near Kagawong - I thought it looked tropical and fun. Later, in Kagawong, we found out that this island is near the late Daniel Dodge's cottage, quite a story in and of itself.


The Purvis fishes during the week and delivers fresh fish into Gore Bay each weekend. Nana bought fish when we returned to Gore Bay at the end of the week. Nummy stuff!

The little point is Meridith Rock. The lake headed into Little Current is broad, but littered with rocks and shallow points. We carefully watched the GPS for our marks to stay en route.

Keely, quiet for a moment in the backpack.

Finally, 4 hours later, we arrived at Little Current.

Little Current is the largest town on Manitoulin Island, population around 1,500. It serves as the link to the mainland, this bridge being the link. On the east, mainland. On the west, Manitoulin Island.

We were surprised to find a random snake swimming in deep water directly next to the dock. Not cool, in my book.

Adalynn stretched her legs pushing Keely in the stroller for a bit.

And at night we bought Farquar's Ice Cream, local to Manitoulin Island, and goooood.


We docked on the wall for the night.

Little Current, the town.

Adalynn found a flower and educated Keely in the art of smelling flowers.

Keely thought she might like to eat it instead.

Papa discovered a vintage Rolls Royce, in stellar condition.



Hanging out on the wall, we saw a tall ship come in with a bunch of kids hanging from the sails.

Later that night we saw another, headed towards the wall where we were docked. They raised their sails as if to sail into the wall, but didn't quite make it.

Still, the tall ships are so graceful and amazing to watch. They carried one 20-something as Captain, and the rest of the crew made up of kids who were learning to sail. What an opportunity!

We left Little Current the next morning, after the mechanic found a loose connection that, once restored, fixed the engine issue. Fun little town to stop at for a night, but more adventure awaited!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Wave 2....the 2nd Day, aka: Darch Island

At this rate I'm pretty sure I'll still be blogging about our North Channel trip come Christmas, but I'm going to try to make a more concerted effort to get 'er done. But there are sooo maannnyyy picccturress! k. enough whining.
So, on Sunday morning we left Gore Bay, headed towards Darch Island. According to the stewards at the CYC (Canadian Yacht Charters), this beach was to be sooo beautiful, we wouldn't want to leave.

Adalynn rested quietly on comfortable cozies under the table, while Keely napped in their bed. I highly recommend this arrangement while on the move, if you can.

The Sea Doo followed us faithfully wherever we went. It served as a good little dingy.

T and Papa - our navigators and Captains extroidinaire!

We sailed this day, technically motor sailed, but in my ignorant mind anytime the sails were up I decided we were sailing.

Adalynn came and visited at times, con 'jacket, of course.

Darch Island, coming around the bend:

Keely thought the water was too cold and preferred this bucket. Little did she know, the water hailed from the same lake. She enjoyed the beach, but desired to be carried. The exfoliating sand irritated her toes. Mine, on the other hand, quite enjoyed the brief massage.

Little Poser, as much as you can in a bucket:

We spoke with the locals hanging out on the other boats (evidently Darch Island is quite the little party island of the locals), and they encouraged us to visit the fishing cabin. I still find it crazy, decorated with lights but no electricity?

Many people had come before us, documented in the visitor's journal. Quite a few people even mentioned sailing on the Nauticat, our boat! Adalynn signed her name A for memories sake.

People, over the years, had dropped off random items. Signs, rocks, bottles ... a variety of cultures infiltrated this little cabin.

Keely rode in style (there were clear evidences of mouse/mice. no way was she getting into that!).

Our boat, docked in the bay.

Travis and Nana water skied in the bay, the water was clear as glass. Breathtaking. Not breathtaking was the injury that occurred as Nana fell during one of the takeoffs. Very graceful, but painful as well.

On Sunday we glimpsed another rainbow.

And watched the sunset over the island.

In the morning we took a quick dip, just off the boat this time. Adalynn hung onto T, he really enjoyed swimming that way!

We crawled back in the boat and readied for departure...then disaster struck, changing our course! Stay tuned...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

North Channel: Wave 1

I decided to write about our North Channel trip in chronological order, because that's me, I'm orderly. Stop laughing...
So we left off driving from St. Ignace northeast, towards St. Sault Marie to cross over into Canada. Many, many moons ago we family tripped it to the Soo Locks, but I barely remember that. We certainly didn't cross into Canada that day, other than on the water, and I haven't been in the area since. Needless to say, I had no idea what to expect.
So the US/Canada border is directly over water. We drove over a bridge, and came to this:

where we stumbled through seemingly odd questions, fumbled for our license plate number as Miss Border Control expressed her frustration over our bike covered license plate, and then was waved through. Yeehaw!
The entire drive from that point on led us down 1 4-lane street for, maybe, 30 miles? then entirely on 2 lane, paved roads with a couple of passing lanes. No highways. It must be like driving through Iowa, only with forests instead of cornfields.
Until we grew close, and the GPS directed us to turn...down a road littered with warning "Construction!" signs. Entirely dirt, with a desolate aura. Exactly like what I felt when we turned down the dirt, water covered road to our property the first time. Only this was 5 miles of desertion...hmmmm.

But, we made it, and ended up nearly in someone's driveway where the 2-lane dirt road narrowed suspiciously into a grass covered 2-track with a small, handwritten sign "Careful!" pointing down, down, down a steep hill. And here's what I don't like about GPS'. The little voice, still demanding, "GO STRAIGHT ANOTHER 200'", and as our common sense told us to turn, TURN! the GPS droned on, "Make a Legal U-turn". Really? Really? I don't think so.
The highlight of our funky driving path arrived:

Deer must like us lately, the close encounter with a doe by our house, T's buck just before we left, and then we drove up on 3 deer just hanging out by the side of the road. In fact, when we appeared, one of the deer was walking quietly up to a car pulled to the side of the road WITH PEOPLE IN IT. Unheard of! Unfortunately, the mighty rumble of our diesel engine ended the Kodak moment.
And so we arrived in Gore Bay and unloaded our possessions onto a 36' Nauticat Catamaran. 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, a galley kitchen (is that redundant? sorry.), dining area, and control center. We filled the boat quite quick, using every available storage space to cram life jackets, clothes, and other odds and ends. The important thing is, we fit it in.

Papa, relaxing on board, gearing up for adventure.

The Gore Bay Marina. The Canadian Yacht Charters rents space from the marina, providing very nice facilities for their customers.

I'll take you on a quick tour of the necessities.
The stove (to the left is a door into the girls' bedroom, to the right is a counterspace and microwave. across from the counter, a sink, and next to the sink, across from the microwave, a fridge.):

The potty (the little pump is to pump the p's and poo's...switch to add water for rinsing as necessary):

Oh, Canada! All the charter boats flew Canada flags, and most other boats and even cottages gave homage to their homeland. Go team spirit!

Keely put up a good fight for sleep at first. We learned to let her run herself down, till almost sleepwalking, then toss her in bed.

End of Day 1.