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"Cygnus" - Cruising the Great Lakes
On Patrol!!!
Gary Harkins
07/30/2009, Just outside Sturgeion Cove

It's 1545 and so far it has been a very relaxing day. We got up late this morning, I got up about 0800 and Patty got up just a little later. We had pancakes and sausage for breakfast. I went to shore with Buster and did some blueberry picking. I didn't find a lot of blueberries, but enough for a couple of batches of blueberry pancakes. I came back to the boat and then went swimming with Buster. Patty was taking a nap at the time. She got up shortly afterward and went swimming, again with Buster. If either of us is in the water you can bet that Buster will be also. The wind generator seems to be doing a pretty good job of keeping the batteries charged. We've been on Battery #1 now for about 24 hours. It got down to about 50% after the fairly long sail we had yesterday and has remained at 50% since. A little bit more average wind speed and I think that it would get back to 100%. I sat out in the cockpit yesterday as it was getting dusk and saw two deer, both does, they were just wandering the shoreline and came as close as 50 yards from the stern of the boat. Boats anchored in the bay don't seem to bother them. We went to bed early this evening as we will be leaving for Little Current tomorrow very early in the morning

Sturgeon Cove Sunset
Gary Harkins
07/29/2009, Sturgeon Cove

Now that we are in remote anchorages, with no reference to town names, I am going to start including Latitude and Longitude in case you want to follow along. We are currently anchored at Turnbull Island, actually in the harbor not on the island!!! We are at Lat 46d 09.2m N Long 082d 48.8m W. I just took Buster to shore for his morning duties and let him swim back to the boat (about ΒΌ mile). Patty is making "slum" which is a combination of eggs, potatoes, onions, bacon and salt and pepper to taste. She first had it when she was a kid camping with friends. Her friends, the Rosso's, mom was from Wales so it is a Welsh dish. We are planning on going to Sturgeon Cove toady and probably staying there at least a couple of days. Sturgeon Cove is our favorite anchorage for seeing wildlife. Depending on the year it can also have some great blueberry picking! When I told some friends, Kirk and Kay, about these remote anchorages Kay's response was "where do I shop!"

The first half of our trip from Turnbull Island was motoring and a little bit of motor sailing, as the winds were light and variable. After we went through "Little Detroit" at Lat 46d 08.9m N Long 082d 22.4m W, the winds got much better. Little Detroit is a very narrow passage between the Whalesback Channel and the McBean Channel. It is so narrow that two boats going in opposite directions should not be in it at the same time. A boater about to enter Little Detroit will announce it by making a call on the VHF radio stating the direction he is going and the estimated time he will be in Little Detroit. If there is a conflict with another boater someone has to give. We sailed the rest of the way to Sturgeon Cove at Lat 46d 02.9m N Long 081d 54.4m W. Our wind generator is working hard again this evening. The winds are anywhere form very light to about 20 mph. We set the anchor at the very East end of Sturgeon Cove because this is the end where we see the most wildlife. We'll probably spend a couple of days here before moving on. I'm waiting to see what the sunset will be like this evening. It seems we get some incredible sunsets at Sturgeon Cove.

Patty and Buster relaxing
Gary Harkins
07/28/2009, North Channel, Ontario

We didn't get out of Thessalon today until afternoon. The winds were good for sailing east and that's what we were doing!!! We ranged anywhere from 3.5 to 7.4 knots most of the way. A large percentage of that was in the range of 5.0 to 6.0 knots. We sailed right up to the entrance of Turnbull Island which has a great anchorage. We dropped the sails, started the motor, and motored slowly into the anchorage. Patty was on bow watch. The person on bow watch is attempting to spot any underwater obstructions which could be hazardous (i.e. rocks!!!). Most of the entrances to the anchorages are poorly charted. Some are not charted at all, so a bow watch is very important. When we got into the anchorage there were already five boats there. We picked our spot and dropped the anchor. The winds are strong enough to give the new wind generator a good workout. It spins at high speed until it senses that the batteries are fully charged and then goes into "regulation" mode where it almost comes to a complete stop. As the batteries are slowly depleted (lights, refrigeration etc,) it senses the drop in battery voltage and starts spinning again. I'm sitting here typing this blog entry into "Word" and Patty is playing a game of solitaire. It's 2130 and time to take Buster to shore and then hit the hay.

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