Heading back to the familiar: the North Channel and Georgian Bay

We left Blind River at 8:00, it was a little blustery with larger waves than I like for the first hour as we traversed  open water.  Once Andy headed between islands, we had some relief from the waves.  We passed by John Island, through the Detroit cut, and the Croker islands.  We saw several sailboats on the water, some  with their sails up.

We arrived in Little Current and docked on the wall at 2:10, having gone over 50 miles.  After we had tied up a couple came by and the woman asked if I was Twylla.  It was Jim and Marti Hart, from Cedarville MI, who Andy had met in 2015, and we had both met in 2017 here in Little Current.  Later in the afternoon we walked up to the grocery store for a few things, and then met Jim and Marti for docktails.  Later while making supper, I ran out of propane for the stove.  Andy changed to the  partially full reserve tank. I checked with the marina staff, and was told that Shell had a re-filling station.

On Sunday Andy called Shell, and was told they did re-fill tanks, so we pulled out the cart and dragged the tank up the hill to Shell.  Once there we were told that they don’t fill, but rather exchange tanks- which was fine with us.  However they didn’t have any full tanks on hand- so off we trucked with our empty tank, back down the hill to the boat.  What a waste- she could have told us that when we had called!!  We lazed around, and then went to marine supply store to see if they had a life-ring bracket that we wanted to use for our 150 feet of anchor rope from our spare anchor.  We then got ready to leave the wall, as we wanted to make the 12:00 opening of the bridge.  It was clear and calm and about 20C.    We met this tour boat,

out in the Bay and a little while later we saw this boat, pulling a flotilla of canoes.

We had been told by  Marti, that on  Saturday there had been  a canoe event between Little Current and Killarney, and these must be the canoes coming back to Little Current.  We went about 15 miles and then pulled into Snug harbour which was already occupied by two sailboats- there was plenty of room and we dropped the anchor around 2:00.    By nightfall a third sailboat had come into the harbour.

On Monday we got up at our usual 5:30, and after coffee weighed anchor at 6:50. As we were leaving, we heard on the coast guard channel, that there was a sailboat near the Killarney channel requesting assistance.  Shortly after 7:30 we came upon Escape Pod who had fouled their prop and were using their dinghy and motor to propel them forward.

We asked if we could assist and they said they were under control—we did follow them until they were tied up at  Rogues Marina.   We proceeded through Killarney

and headed out into Georgian Bay, we met 5 powerboats and 4 sailboats that were headed to the North channel and beyond.

Since the weather was  NOT favourable for the next 4 days we had cancelled our excursion to  the south shore of Georgian Bay—we would have had good weather for Monday and Tuesday, but the winds were suppose to pick up Wednesday night and Thursday, and we would have been stuck somewhere while we waited for a better forecast.   So we had decided to stick with the north side of the Bay, and explore some anchorages that we had not been to previously.

Once past the Bustards, we took the Northeast passage and headed north into the French River system.  It was a very windy route, going around Maggie, Flat, Dorion, Obstacle, Dock and the outer Fox islands. Both Andy and I kept a sharp lookout for the markers, as sometimes they were in the water or perched on rocks. We zig-zagged through the Parting Channel which was very narrow and had markers close together, and a rock in the middle.

At one point the water depth showed 4 feet.  We checked out a number of anchorages, but one already had 3 boats in it, and another had a boat, and couldn’t fit any more.

We went up by Fox island and checked out a bay or 2, but didn’t like where the rocks under the water were situated.

  Saw that someone was having a fish meal- but it wasn’t me.

We dropped our hook at 12:50, west of Vixen Island.

I did a little cleaning of the back deck- the shad flies had been hatching recently- so there were a few of them to get rid of.  Andy did some maintenance on the battery bank, and checked the oil in the engines.  After our tasks were done we relaxed in the afternoon.  A loon was swimming around the boat in the evening- hope he was having better luck fishing than us.

On Tuesday, we left Vixen Island at 6:40, we had planned for a later start, but we had cozied up to the rocks during the nights and were in 8 feet of water with rocks so close to the boat we could touch them.


To ensure that we didn’t swing any closer to shore, as I pulled up the anchor- Andy had put down the dinghy and was pushing off the rocks with one of our boat hooks- which swung us into the channel.

We went a couple of miles and then joined up with the small craft channel east of the Bustards.  We stopped behind Dead Island  at 7:45 to check out this anchorage.

Andy tried to catch a fish for breakfast, but again no luck.  I may never get a fresh caught fish this summer from any of the great lakes.  Saw this lighthouse in the distance- I believe it to be Key Harbour.

We saw a number of kayakers and canoeists camping on a couple of the islands.

We stopped by Roger’s island to check out another potential anchorage for a future trip- here there where white poles drilled into the rock that you could tie up to.  This island was currently being used by kayakers.

  We met several boats going westward and we  made our way through the channels

– because we didn’t want to get to Britt before noon, we took our time and travelled at < 5 mph.  We saw this  rubber alligator on the rocks

and the familiar skelton which moves around a fair bit at Cunningham’s cut.

We arrived at Wright’s marina shortly after noon, topped up our diesel, pumped out, exchanged a propane tank and bought 5 gallons of oil for diesel engines.  We had gone more than 100 hours, and Andy figured it was time to replace the oil.  So in the afternoon, after I had put some laundry in, Andy with a little assistance from me, pumped out the filthy black oil and replaced it.  When we leave Britt in the morning we hope to anchor out a couple more nights before going to Victoria harbour on Friday to pick up Andy’s cousin Iain who is going to   spend a few days with us and assist  with the locks on  the Trent Severn Waterway.

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