Earlier today, before the rain, I was able to head "up the hill" to the outside of town, to a cafe for lunch with a couple new friends, Steve and Lili, who are docked beside me. We are in a little town, Kagawong, on the northern shore of Manitoulin Island, in the North Channel. The town dock is small, reflective of how small the town is. I don't think they have a gas station, but there is gas available for boaters at the docks. They have one church (maybe two), and the 86 year old town mayor runs a small convenience store across the street and lives above his store. This little store carries approximately one of a variety of things: ketchup, mustard, milk or butter... just one each... but no half and half. I had to go up the hill to the other convenience store for half and half. They do have an abundance of ice cream! Fortunately, when I came in, the dockmaster drove me up the hill, so I only had to come down the hill, a scenic walk by their famous "Bridal Veil Falls", where half the children in this town were swimming. The other half were at the docks, swimming. Today, there was another group of kids playing chess. They have a couple mazes, one from pines and the other made with rocks. It is a great little town!
I had a "this is a small world" moment after docking my boat. I pulled in beside this large cruising boat, "Good Karma", with a gold looper burgee. (Gold burgees are flags for people who have completed the Great Loop. I have a white burgee, meaning I am in the midst of doing the Loop.) In April, 2013, as "Good Karma" was heading through Southport, and stopped at Bald Head Island, I had been contacting Katherine about working online, while doing the Loop. As they came through, I was able to take the ferry to Bald Head Island and have dinner with Katherine and Kermit along with two other couples doing the Loop. It was definitely a good surprise to see them again. They have just bought a new boat, and had barely put the name on the boat the day before. They are taking it back to their home port in Ohio. It is a crazy small world! It was great to catch up with them.
Over the last week, I have been trying to stop at all the places I have been told are great places. I have been successful at some stops, unsuccessful at others. After Parry Sound, I headed up to Pointe a Baril, which is a small town up an inlet in the Northern part of the Georgian Bay. It was somewhat disappointing, with just a small store for provisions. However, there was an anchorage nearby, which was very peaceful.
After anchoring, I headed towards Britt, a town in Byng Inlet. The best part about this town was all the other loopers, who also stopped there for the night. I met 3 couples on a catamaran, "Joint Adventure". Tom and Tim from "If" showed up, as well as Diane and Henry from "DeDe". I had not seen Diane and Henry since Norfolk and had not seen Tom and Tim since Waterford. We were able to talk about our plans for the next few days, and we ended up meeting a couple more times during the week.
From Byng Inlet, a couple of us headed to the Bustard Islands to anchor for the night (DeDe). Another looper boat joined us there, "Tata", who I had met in Parry Sound. From the Bustard Islands, we all headed off to Killarney. In Killarney, we were again joined by If, and a couple other Looper boats including Halcyon. While sitting on Halcyon with Diane and Richard, I saw Tom from No Compromises (from Southport) head by! I gave Tom a call, and met him and his friend, Vera, a little later for a drink at the marina.
The following day, the plan was to head to Baie Finn, where there is a beautiful anchorage. It is very well known. However, I also knew that there was going to be bad weather today, and wanted to be at a marina for any storms. My thought was to head to the next stop, Little Current. Little Current is the town one has to go through to get from the Georgian Bay into the Northern Channel. There was a line of boats entering Little Current.
Early in the day, I tried calling to make a reservation at the Little Current City docks. I couldn't get through to anyone. So, I figured I would just get there and find a spot. This proved to be the first time on this loop that I was turned away! As I came in, I was told there were no transient slips available. I then asked if I could tie up just for lunch, and I was told there wasn't any space for tying up for lunch either! Fortunately, Jim and Tricia, from Joint Adventure invited me to raft up to their boat, which was at the end of a T-dock, so I could at least enjoy lunch. I had lunch with Tom and Vera. I went back to my boat, visited with Jim and Tricia for a while, then headed here to Kagawong. Little Current is quite the busy place, especially this weekend. They had a cruise ship come in, a rendezvous and a regatta. However, I feel I still got to enjoy best of Little Current, the fish tacos at Anchor Inn!
|Not sure which lighthouse, but all the lighthouses have the same distinctive red roofs and white walls.|
|Pointe A Baril Lighthouse|
|Strawberry Island lighthouse|
I have to include some of the other pretty pictures I have taken... just because it is so beautiful up here.
|View from my anchorage spot in the Bustard Islands|
|Leaving the Bustard Islands at sunrise.|
|Killarney - A great little town!|
|Regatta Sailboat headed to Little Current|
|Regatta Sailboat headed to Little Current|
|Looking out from Kagawong into Mudge Bay|
Meanwhile, for a few more days, I will enjoy the North Channel.