Friday, August 5, 2011

Ships log, the North Channel

July 29th
Pulled into the Bad River anchorage last evening, and this morning was eventful. Little Johnny said there was water on the floor of his cabin, and there was. The seawater hose for the toilet had cracked. I used a piece from the garden hose to fix it, and pumped the water out. The only causality was all of the canned goods were stored below, and all of the labels came off. A couple of those sailbote guys came rowing over, and complained about the Coleman generator on the swim platform running all night. What was I supposed to do? The kids wanted to watch movies, and Joan wanted the AC on. What a whiny lot. The place is nice, but you can't get a TV signal at all. Sent the kids ashore to dump the garbage some place, pumped the holding tank out, and we headed for Killarney.

July 30th
Bought gas in Killarney, and went over to the Covered Port something place. The kids as usual said the water was to cold to swim in, and spent the day in their cabins. This is a really narrow and rocky place, and boy does the generator exhaust noise echo around this place. 

July 31st
The generator stopped about 2:00 am, last night, and I couldn't see what was wrong with it in the dark. Someone came up to the swim platform at night, and shoved a potato into the exhaust pipe. Sheesh, what's up with these Canadians? The TV also broke this morning, and in the kids view, this is a major crisis. Joan made lunch using the new kids game I made up called "guess what's in the can." I ended up with a water chestnut, and mayo sandwich. The can sure looked like it should have had tuna in it. We pulled anchor, and while we were leaving, all of the boaters started to clap their hands. I guess those Canadians aren't that bad after all. We got to Little Current late in the afternoon, and tied up at the city dock. I took everybody out to eat. The food was good except for that poutine stuff, I mean who puts gravy and cheese on french fries when you have real catsup, but both Joan, and the kids noshed it right down.

August 1st
Joan and the kids got up early, and went grocery, and DVD shopping, and I went out to get a new TV, batteries for the GPS, and lots of booze. Who'd a thought you could buy a TV at a tire store. The TV was expensive, but worth it, especially if it shuts the kids up, and when did the Canadian dollar become worth more than the US dollar? We did get a TV channel there, but it was some sort of a stuffy educational channel.

August 2nd
We left Little Current and went to a group of islands to the west. They were very cool, with very little vegetation, and we could actually tie the boat up to shore. The kids also thought it was neat, and wanted to use the mini bikes. I put them on shore, and off they went. About two hours later a park ranger came up in a boat, and said this is a park, and you can't drive motor vehicles around. I told him there weren't any signs that said no mini bikes. He just said almost everything here is a park, and he gave me two $150.00 dollar tickets. It was stupid, it wasn't like they had run over somebody. I told him I would mail the tickets in when I get back into the US. Hah, do you think I'm that stupid?

August 3rd
I had read in some book that there was a real fjord around here and decided we should take a look. This was a big mistake for two reasons. The first was the kids started to say "fjord you" every time I said something, and it was boring as all get out. The weather was lousy. We saw a bear, but not a single wolverine ripping some animal apart, or a moose. 

At the end of the fjord there is a pool, a couple of cabins, and nothing else. Zilch. This was the middle of nowhere. Used the anchor winch to lift the anchor, and it stopped when the anchor just broke surface, and shorted out. The anchor was loaded with some sort of sea grass. It took an hour with the boat hook to get all of the stuff pulled off, and I had to haul the anchor up by hand. We blasted out of there and headed to Sault Ste Marie. 

August 4th
What a day. We went up the St. Mary's river, and somehow I ended up in the down bound traffic channel. I should have taken one of those chart reading classes. It was really scary, and boy do those freighters have some hugely loud horns. I'm sure that if I had the VHF radio on, someone would have been hollering at me. The current was really moving, and when I went through the marina breakwater by the locks, I scraped the whole side of the boat. A local newspaper photographer showed up and took pictures of us, and then two guys from the Coast Guard appeared and yelled at me nonstop for twenty minutes, then said, what I suspected were a few bad words about me in french. Joan and the kids had conveniently disappeared, no doubt they were shopping. I bought a case of beer, and I had to mortgage the house to buy it. I don't know why you can't just buy the stuff at the grocery store. What a day!

August 5th
I got pretty buzzed off of all of the beer I drank and slept in. When I woke up Joan and the kids weren't there. I opened a can of "hair of the dog" and found the note.


A self portrait of the Installer, and Kate lost somewhere in time on Georgian Bay. Kate says she is sure this is where God goes on vacation.

All photographs by the Installer with the exception of the Army Corps of Engineer's aerial photograph of the Soo locks. 

A selection of links about cruising Georgian Bay, and the North Channel.
The updated version of Marjorie Brazer's original book "Well-Favored Passage." We always referred to it as a "Well Flavored Passage."

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