Haven’t moved. I tried to enter the US Sunday (digitally) but was turned back because I wanted a cruising permit and they take a few days to process. Oops. Have it in process now.
Weather is glorious. I have heat and have turned it on at night but sunny and in the 20s now and into the next few days. The Marine forecast looks very good for the later part of this week.
This marina has a few folks who are aboard full time in the summer, and I’ve been getting to know them. Went to the bush plane museum and a movie yesterday. Boat is gradually getting cleaner.
Am actively watching Florence bear down on the Carolinas. This one looks big and nasty.
I’m tied up at the transient marina in Sault Ste Marie. Had a leisurely trip up from the anchorage this morning. Glorious weather, sunny and clear.
Gave the boat a good cleaning, fixed a leaking shaft seal, got my hair cut. A good day. Went to Montana’s Grill right next door for dinner. A bit heavy on the meat. But I did order the sampler plate…
I’m not in any panic to move on. Looks like the lake is too rough for my comfort right now through tomorrow. Monday is maybe ok but then there is a few days of calm sunny weather. So I may be noodling around this area for another couple of days. I like it. Rugged beauty, nice clean green water, relatively few cottages. Will take the ship route out, which is not the way I came in.
I have the heat on, since I’m plugged in. It’s chilly outside. Guess that’s not unusual for northern Ontario in September. Been lucky so far with weather.
If I stay here tomorrow I will see more of the town. I’m close to a couple of museums. Happy to be in a place that’s new to me.
Next stop USA! When I leave here I need to cross the river and have a face to face interaction with a customs official to get a cruising permit for the boat. Sounds pretty routine, but it’s been looming large for me. Will be happy to have it done.
Sorry, no pictures today.
Edit: think I know where I’m going tomorrow: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/ssmarie/activ/experience/canal
This is another beautiful area that I am just discovering. Anchored here for the night. Great anchorage for the expected northerlies overnight.
I got underway at first light this morning, and had beautiful weather all day. Enjoyed the trip through Whaleback Channel then along the coast to St Joseph Island. The trip up river was more interesting and varied than I was expecting. I’m glad to have this detour.
I traveled all day at about 7 knots.
Tomorrow I’ll visit the Canadian side. Haven’t been around here before. I may leave the mother ship here and dinghy there. There’s wind forecast for the next day or two so I’m not in a panic to get into Lake Michigan. Looks good for early next week. I’ll enter the US and get a cruising permit here as well.
Dawn this morning
In the North Channel
These were taken in the St Mary’s River
The water was about 100 feet deep right next to the cliffs. Pretty country, largely empty.
Had a good run today. I should keep daily logs, but don’t. Anyway, ran about 100 nm.
Not much to say except weather is great. Had some chop late and early, but nothing too uncomfortable. I ran at about 10.5 knots all day.
I poked into a couple of anchorages in the Benjamins, but it was a bit early to stop so I pressed on. Am anchored here: https://goo.gl/maps/KSi3et2NADT2
I took these pics earlier
I’m a bit exposed to the north but the weather is benign. It’s dead quiet, no lights, no clouds. Am going to go upstairs and look at the sky when I’m done this.
Weather looks good through tomorrow evening so it should be an easy run to St Joseph’s Island and then up to the Sault.
A couple of more pics from earlier
Have I mentioned this before? I hate waves. I was thinking about how to put this. But that’s it in a nutshell. If I kept a detailed log that would allow me to identify the 100 worst hours of my life I’d bet that the majority of those hours would be on a boat in waves. Before my jaw resection a few years ago it would have been the vast majority.
Some people get squeamish when out of sight of land. Not me. It’s the threat of seasickness that I go to great lengths to avoid. And generally it’s all about waves.
I’m about to jump off on a largely open water stretch, from here to Chicago. I’m in Pointe au Baril now. Plan to stop in Sault Ste. Marie to clear into the US but other than that don’t have any required or even desired stops. My preference is to go down the west side on Lake Michigan. Haven’t spent any time boating in the northwest segment.
The boat is ready. Did some organizing and packing today and checked motor and systems. I got back to the boat yesterday but chose to stay put because of weather. A cold front is just going through and the weather looks benign for the next two days. So it’s off for some open lake cruising.
Tomorrow’s route will take me through Killarney en route to Little Current. I may duck into Collins Inlet – love that passage – but if it’s flat on the lake I’ll likely not. May even bypass Killarney. May get to Little Current, or close. It all depends on the waves.
Floating down the Grand River today. Samantha and Sarah are pictured with me. We had a great extended family and friend group of 15. Fun. Of course I had to put up with the inevitable ribbing about rocks.
Leaving the boat here for a few days. Astute readers of my last post will recall that my car is at Bayfield Inlet. I have a bike aboard, and will ride the 15 km there to retrieve my car then off to southern Ontario for a couple of days.
Dockage rates vary a lot. I just paid $64 for four nights here, with the fifth free. Many private marinas charge more than that for one night. No water or power here, but a safe secure place to stay for a few days at low cost. Lucky I had a cheque book as they don’t take plastic and I’m low on Canadian cash having paid cash in Bayfield Inlet for last weekend’s dockage.
I actually ended up coming in here late last night. Wind came up last night about midnight and I felt a little insecure where I was anchored very close to the lee shore so I came in here and tied up in the wee hours. Slept better as a result.
Mallory met me without incident on Wednesday afternoon. I drove to Britt and met her their, we left her car there and drove down to Bayfield Inlet. Left there early evening and anchored out for the evening close to the Lake. Locals guided us into a little cove that was cute but small, so set bow and stern anchors.
Yesterday we took the inland route as much as possible up to the Bad River Channel. The day started out cool, grey and blustery. We were wearing fleecies and windbreakers. By the time we got there mid afternoon it was sunny, and the evening was gorgeous and clear.
I had been in that beautiful anchorage before and saw boats tied up directly to the rock face. Found the spot, complete with anchor bolts to moor to. Very cool.
I was keen to explore the river channels and rapids in the dinghy but the water levels were very low. Guess it has been a dry summer. Next time…
This morning we had a nice trip back down to Britt where I dropped Mallory off. Like yesterday it was grey and windy in the morning, but again the afternoon and evening was clear and warm. I continued back south to Pointe au Baril. Am anchored now maybe 30m from shore in a nice spot, no cottages around.
Tomorrow I leave the boat to head for Guelph for Samantha’s birthday celebrations, back early next week to continue on.
A few sights along the way