On the eastern end of the North Channel we entered the community of Killarney, Ontario and stayed at the Mountain Lodge Resort & Marina on Friday, August 5. Quite a large group of looper boats had arrived at Killarney and we had a "Docktail" gathering of about 20 people. All of the boaters ran out of boat business cards to exchange with each other and the suggestion was made that for large gatherings in the future we should all just wear name tags. It was a delightful evening exchanging travel stories (translation - oops stories).
The next day we had a short run of about 25 miles to Little Current, Ontario. It is hard to describe just how clear the water is in this part of Canada. There were several loopers that headed out to some remote island anchorages. The weather, however, turned nasty and it rained and was windy for a couple of days. We were delighted to be in a protected marina with restaurants, grocery, and liquor stores very close by.
We left Little Current on Tuesday, August 9, our wedding anniversary date, expecting to find that perfect anchorage near the Benjamin Islands. About midday the winds kicked up and the forecast changed to nasty winds all night. So instead of having a quiet peaceful anchorage where we could see stars perfectly, because there are no lights on land, and sip our traditional bottle of champagne, we changed course and went to Gore Bay Ontario to the very well protected marina there. As it turned out we heard from some friends who were in an anchorage that night that they didn't sleep much because their anchor kept dragging due to wind gusts and they had to watch out for drifting too close to the boulders near shore. Again, we were delighted to be tied to a dock plugged in and we slept very well.
The winds kept up for three days so we stayed in Gore Bay. There was an awesome ships store there and a nice grocery store as well. It was there that we purchased our last package of butter tarts! Conrad has developed a real fondness of having them with his morning coffee.
The whole time we were in the North channel area we had evening low temperatures of 50°. This was another factor in not getting to overnight in a remote anchorage. Generally, a boater never runs their generator at night and you wait until a respectable time to start it in the morning. Being plugged in at a marina means the heat can be on all night. Ahhh! With winds and cold air continuing we left the North Channel on Friday, August 12, vowing to come back next summer to do some of those beautiful anchorages. As we completed the 140 mile length of the North Channel, we entered US waters near DeTour Village, Michigan. Re-entry is pretty eas.y...you complete information online and then call in from your arrival point.
After nearly 8700 miles we experienced our first real "boat" problem as we approached the channel to enter DeTour Village from Lake Huron. One of our engines stopped and wouldn't restart. Conrad changed the fuel filter on that engine but it made no difference. So we limped into the marina on one engine which made docking more than just a bit interesting! After conferring with the service manager where we purchased WaterMarks, Conrad was able to find a loose fuel injector connection, re-prime the engine, and got it to run normally. Crisis averted.
We are back in the USA with no more need of Canadian "loonies" and "toonies", one and two dollar Canadian coins, but alas, no more butter tarts.