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"Cygnus" - Cruising the Great Lakes
Boyle Cove to Snug Harbor
Gary Harkins
08/10/2012, North Channel

Working out with the CycleOps on the foredeck.

Well, this morning dawned cold, rainy, and very windy. Wait! That's exactly how I started yesterday's blog...and that's because this morning is a carbon copy of yesterday. As the day progresses the winds are supposed to get stronger and come directly out of the north. North is the worst possible direction for Boyle Cove, so we will be moving this morning to another anchorage called "Snug Harbor." Snug Harbor is aptly named, as it is protected from all wind directions and big enough for several boats to take shelter. We were exposed to the bigger waves when we were on the north side of Badgeley Point. We picked up protection from the waves after rounding the end of the point and entering the Lansdowne Channel. A short trip from there brought us to Snug Harbor. We got the anchor set on our second attempt. I have more trouble getting an anchor set in this anchorage than any other I've been in. I took Scupper to shore since it was too rough at Boyle Cove for him to go to shore. We did a little hiking and then motored around the perimeter of Snug. The rain has stopped but it is still cool and windy. I did a 50 minute workout on the CycleOps, then left it set up so I could do another workout later. I was below, relaxing when the winds picked up and it started to rain. The CycleOps is not really designed for outdoor use, so I quickly removed my bike and handed the CycleOps down to Patty through the forward hatch. It has continued to rain now for quite some time. I moved the grill from the rail to the cockpit table so I could grill the venison steaks we are having for dinner without getting wet. We had steak, green beans, and a salad for dinner. It's now so miserable outside that we put the companionway boards in and closed the hatch for the first time this vacation. Patty is practicing her steel drum and I am working on this blog and downloading some pictures from two different cameras which I will include in the blog when I get internet access next time. Tomorrow's forecast isn't sounding any better....YUCK!

Staying at Boyle Cove
Gary Harkins
08/09/2012, North Channel

Scupper and I hiked across the peninsula and ended up overlooking Frazer Bay. The two points of land that form Boyle Cove, where we were anchored yesterday, are shown in this picture.

Well, this morning dawned cold, rainy, and very windy. The wind generator is working overtime and the solar panel is taking a break. That's one of the reasons that they are such good compliments to each other, if it's bright and sunny it's usually not very windy, if it's overcast and rainy it's often windy. We do get some bright sunny windy days, but that's a bonus. It's much less common to get overcast rainy and calm days.
Patty made an egg dish for breakfast. It was essentially a scrambled omlet with a little bit of everything in it. It was very tasty and only 300 calories for a large serving. I made a pot of coffee by boiling a pan of water on the stove and then pouring it through the hopper on the electric coffee maker. We checked in with the Cruisers Net when they asked for check-ins from our area. We now have to say this is the "Michigan Cygnus" as there is another Cygnus up here this year. Next order of business was taking Scupper to shore. I beached the dinghy and we went hiking with Scupper for a while. Scupper is a bit too independent and sometimes will scare me by running off out of sight. He always comes when he is called, but not always as quickly as I would like! We got back to the boat and Patty was practicing on her new steel drum. It has a very "South Seas" sound to it. She is getting better very quickly.
We have decent protection from the strong winds and waves where we are anchored so we'll be staying here today. We've had an unusual number of less than ideal days so far this vacation, so were hoping that things will improve soon.
It's 1345 and the winds have not gotten anywhere near as strong as they were predicted to be, also the clouds are getting thinner and breaking up a bit. I can actually see an occasional shadow. I studied the charts for an area called MacGregor Bay. This is an area we have never been before and I'm thinking that we just may check it out. There's lots of navigating through narrow channels, so it will probably be all motoring.
Scupper and I went to shore in the dinghy and then went for a long hike along the shoreline. He gave me a couple of opportunities for great pictures but I had neglected to bring a camera! We got back to the boat about 1640. I'm going to move the grill to an area on the boat that is protected from the wind so I can grill burgers for dinner. Although the wind never got as high as the prediction, it is still more than enough to give the grill problems. Scupper and I went for another hike, only this time I had a camera and got some nice pictures. I did a 50 minute workout on the CycleOps and then Patty and I played a game of Rummikub which she won. Patty is now playing a game of solitaire and I'm going to check my eyelids for leaks!

Little Current to Boyle Cove
Gary Harkins
08/08/2012, North Channel

Scupper playing on the rocks in Boyle Cove with Cygnus in the background.

We got up about 0830 and made breakfast. I had my standard ham, cheese and eggs on toast and Patty had oatmeal with blueberries. At 0920 we realized that we were missing the "Cruisers Net." Fortunately they had not yet asked for check-ins from Little Current. We checked in with the Cruisers Net and then I took Scupper for a 3 mile run with the bicycle. When Scupper and I got back we got the boat ready to travel. First priority was taking on water, as we are on the second tank and have been for a while. Patty got everything below decks ready to travel and I worked above deck. The current was down to virtually nothing so I cast off all the lines, jumped onboard and backed Cygnus out of the slip. Next priority was getting the heads pumped out. The forward head has been full for several days and the aft head has got to be very close to being full. At Harbour Towne getting both heads pumped, then flushed at least a couple of times each would cost $10.00. In Little Current they pump the heads once each and don't bother to flush at all!! The cost in Little Current...$24.85! We made the 1200 swing bridge opening. They open the bridge on the hour for as long as it takes for the waiting boats to get through OR 15 minutes, whichever comes first. Our next stop is Boyle Cove. After we cleared the buoyed channel east of the bridge and had a couple of miles behind us, the winds became favorable for sailing. We put out the genoa and were making reasonable speed, but were loosing ground to a 34 Catalina that was under full sail, so I put out the main and overtook him quite easily. We weren't able to track directly to our next waypoint, so I set the autopilot to steer to the relative wind at about 40 degrees off our port. Our next leg was going to be a 15 degree port turn which would have made us bring in the sails or start tacking. I chose another option...we had lots of deep water ahead of us if we stayed on the course we were on so I did that for a few miles. As time passed the winds backed several degrees and we were able to get back on course. We ended up being able to stay on the same "point of sail" and sailed all the way to Boyle Cove. The only wind direction Boyle Cove Is not protected from is north, guess where the winds are from??? Fortunately the waves are insignificant, and other than swinging a bit at anchor, all is quiet. I took Scupper to shore in the dinghy and Patty swam to shore then she swam back to the boat.
Patty did her first workout on the CycleOps during this vacation and burned about 250 calories, along with other things she did today she burned a total of 400 calories. I worked out after her and burned 484 calories. We're going to play a game of Rummikub, which Patty will probably win, and then it's off to bed.

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