We left Beausoleil at 8:30 Saturday morning, our intention was to go to Jones Island and meet up with the former owners of “On Business”. The winds were light and the sun was shining, as we progressed north. Mid morning a strong wind warning was being forecast for Georgian Bay starting in the late afternoon. We decided that rather than anchor out we would try and make the run to Britt while we had a good weather window. Having been to Britt in the past, I knew we would have to traverse some interesting waters after passing Port a Barrel.We needed to go through the Hangdog reef and then shortly after that the Norgate rocks. At one point it was like slalom skiing- the red and green markers were lined up in a row and you just skirted around them.As we were making the approach to Byng Inlet, the wind was starting to really blow. We arrived at Britt at 6:30. A 10 hour day and 98 miles. Glen and Julie, from Meant to Be II, who we had met in the final locks on the Trent, were docked next to us and helped us tie up, Graham Lacey, the owner also helped, as he was aware of our late arrival. As we were coming in to Britt we had heard a Pan-Pan over the radio, a larger Carver was reporting that they had slammed into some rocks, in Black Bay just on the other side of Byng Inlet, and there were 2 adults, 2 children and 2 pets aboard. Several hours later we saw the Coast Guard escorting the Carver into port.
On Sunday the wind warning was still in effect, with 2 meter waves on the Bay, so we stayed in port. We did some reprovisioning and succumbed to a visit to ice cream on the rocks- where Andy indulged in Kawartha’s new flavor Sugar Shack Maple., I had the Salty Caramel and Black Raspberry Thunder. There were some ominous clouds in the evening, but very little rain.By Monday, the winds had subsided, so we were on the move again. We left Britt at 8:30 and went through the Cunningham’s channel, where I saw this skeleton and Roger’s Gut where thechannel was quite narrow. We had several hours in open water on Georgian Bay before arriving at Collins inlet. We arrived at the Mill Lake anchorage at 2:00. It was a great day, except for those little biting black flies!! Here’s the sunrise from our anchorage.We left the anchorage and 8:40, and traveled back into another portion of Collins Inlet that led us back out to the Bay. We were then in open water for a short time and then pulled into Killarney, which claims to be the gateway to the North Channel.As we were going through Killarney, we saw Meant to be II. We told them we were off to Baie Fine and the pool. They said they would likely join us there later in the afternoon. We saw a Métis canoe leaving Killarney, with a number of paddlers.After crossing Frazier Bay, we took the 8 mile trip up Baie Fine, I did some of the driving and then the additional mile of two to get to the end of the Pool. This is the Mecca of boat anchorages in the North Channel and is referenced in the Waterway guide, Skipper Bob, and the Ports book. Andy tried fishing, but nothing was biting. Glen and Julie came over by dinghy later for after dinner drinks. We were the only 2 boats there.
On Wednesday, Meant to be II left and we were all alone, the captain went for a little row.We put the motor on the dinghy and went to the dock at the north end of the pool. We had wanted to hike up to Topaz Lake that we had also read about. The bush was full of mosquitoes, army worms and possibly ticks, and we had dressed with long sleeves and pants, and had applied several layers of repellent. We walk up the steep path for quite a while following a blue path, and couldn’t find the Topaz trail, on our way back we saw where the Topaz path broke off.We started going up the trail, and met 2 guys on their way down. They were checking out the Lake, as one of them was getting married there the next day. We made it to the summit, and I took a couple pictures. I also brought back a couple of small rocks for the rock garden at home. We went back to the boat, and relaxed for the remainder of the afternoon. I’ve been reading about 1 book every 3 days, and have been working on my sun tan.
On Thursday, it was overcast, and we weighed anchor at 7:45, We backtracked the 9 miles to Frazier Bay, and crossed over, going by Heywood Island in order to reach Little Current. On our approach to the channel between Goat Island and Manitoulin Island, Andy noticed that our Port engine seemed to be overcharging. He tried calling several of the marina’s to see if someone could come take a look. We went through on the 11:00 swing bridge opening and tied up at the Little Current. Andy called a guy, that he had met when he went through Little Current in 2015. He recommended Wayne as a good instrumentation guy, Andy called him. He came over and between the two of them they determined that one of our regulators was likely malfunctioning. They think they have rigged up the boat so both batteries will be charged- only time will tell! Andy will be calling Xantrex dealers to order one in the morning.
We decided to stay in Little Current for the night. We did some chart shopping at Turners, as we didn’t have charts for the lower Georgian Bay around Meaford and Owen Sound. We went out for supper and picked up some fruit. Later in the evening 2 couples stopped by, One couple recognized the boat as they had met Andy in 2015 at the Pool.
Woke up this morning to light drizzle and fog, we will be waiting it out here before our trek to the Benjamins or Croker island for the night.