We like it here
07/27/2007, Aird Island Harbor 7/25/07
As expected, we stayed anchored at Aird Island another day. After a few cups of coffee I retrieved the sander from below the lower drawer of Kathy's dresser and began the task of resurfacing the fiberglass in our cockpit. It has always be oxidized to the point that that it always looked dull and has been difficult to keep clean. The process took most of the remainder of the day, but the results are well worth the time and energy. We also put some grommets in the shade extensions that Kathy has been sewing together.
In the late afternoon two boats joined us here. Now realize that we are not located in a designated anchorage, we just pulled over and threw out the hook. There are hundreds of thousands of places to anchor here and it amazes me that folks would park on top of us. A little later a third boat "Monkey's Orphan" stopped and asked permission to anchor as well. We have met these folks before, both at South Manitou Island, at Beaver Island, and in Gore Bay, and they seem to be fun. They are traveling with their one year old daughter and a niece. Most importantly, I begged some flour to fry walleye.
After a wonderful fish dinner, we headed back to see if we could catch a few more. It was slow going , but just at dusk as the mosquitoes began to be a problem, they started hitting. We ended up with three more nice walleyes in the refrigerator.
We ran out of water (in our tank) and are going to run back to Gore Bay today to refill. Our tank has a capacity of 100 gallons and there is a gauge, but it is not working at the moment. I think I've found my next rainy day project.
Although not a problem at this point, we are certainly going to have to be more frugal with out water consumption in the future.
Just a short hop
07/27/2007, Aird Island Harbor 7/24/07
We left Beardrop Harbor at about 10:30 am and worked our way east through the maze of rocks and islands that make up this section of the Whalesback Channel. Although we didn't really have any destination in mind, a place called Jackson Island looked interesting to us. Upon arrival about 2 hours later, we could see a mega-yacht parked there so we found a spot on the north side of Aird Island which was well protected by Schultz Island, a small island. There is a fish finder attached to the dingy so as soon as we were anchored, I scouted out the area. I could see what I thought were rocks near shore but upon inspection found them to be 12 inch diameter pilings spaced about 30 yards apart and lining the shored for at least ½ mile. Although a few broke the surface, most were submerged. I assume that they were old stake nets of some sort but hadn't seen any use for some time.
Scouting trip finished, we had some lunch and while was I was tying on a new lure, noticed a bald eagle watching us intently form the top of a nearby tree. Kathy got the camera out and we got some good shots with the zoom but we could have been closer. I slipped into the dingy with the camera, cast off, and drifted toward the island. I got about ½ way before the eagle was tired of posing and took off.
While I was fishing, Kathy spent her afternoon scrubbing the cockpit and cleaning. Things tend to find their way beneath our cockpit grate, bugs tend to get smashed into the fiberglass and dirt just seems to appear overnight....Kathy had reached the limit of her tolerance level.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon reading and grilled some pork chops for dinner which we had with a salad.
We decided that a romantic, after-dinner, dingy ride was in order so we opened a bottle of wine took off. Luckily, I had had the forethought to stow the fishing pole and net ahead of time. As we motored across the bay, Kathy mentioned that some people had been fishing on the opposite shore that afternoon and since we happened to be at trolling speed at the time, I put an expensive night crawler on a harness and tossed it over. After about 10 minutes working our way along the shore we passed a rock about as large as a house and bam... fish on. After about two minutes, we netted a nice walleye without spilling the wine.
We worked the same area for the next half hour and caught two more without difficulty. They ranged form 17 to 22 inches and currently reside in our refrigerator.
It is now 9:15 the following morning... another beautiful day. I'm tempted to stick around here for another evening fishing trip.
So much to see!
Mike -Another beautiful day
07/27/2007, Beardrop Harbor 7/23/07
We left Gore Bay after having our propane tank filled and picking up some ice. The second propane tank has a slow leak around the threads and will probably need a new valve when we are in the vicinity of a propane dealer. Both of these tanks are new and hold 10 pounds. Since one tank will last us about two months, it's not really a concern.
We rigged the spinnaker before leaving in about 5 knots of wind. If was the first time this year that we had this sail out and, thanks to Jeff Simpkins, it worked perfectly. I had one line in the wrong spot but it was easily corrected. After about 45 minutes the wind died to nothing and we repacked everything for another day.
We traveled north and a little east about three hours to Beardrop Harbor. Beardrop is a mile long bay that is about a quarter of a mile across. There were around 20 boats here by 3:00 in the afternoon but there is lots of room to spread out. We spoke with some folks from Alpena and an older couple from Bayfield Ontario, a port that we may be visiting.
The big news is that I finally caught a fish. Armed with expensive night crawlers from Gore Bay, I put a 1 inch piece on an 1/8th ounce jig and dropped over the side. Nothing happened right away so I grabbed the binoculars to check out the other boats in the anchorage. Out of the corner of my I saw the rod twitch, I set the glasses down and set the hook expecting a perch of about 4 inches. I was shocked when it jerked back. I was hoping for a walleye but when it came out of the water doing 2 back flips, it was apparent that I had a nice small mouth. Kathy rummaged through one of the lockers in search of the net while I played the fish for a few minutes, but finally we got it on board. It was about 19 inches long a probably 3 pounds. We still have some frozen whitefish to eat so we put the small mouth back from which it came.
For those of you who haven't been here, the terrain consists of rocks, trees, and water. The popular spots are crowded but there are thousands of protected bays to slip into for the evening. From here we will travel through the Whalesback Channel to the east and will look for someplace with fewer people and more fish.
We considered stopping at Abigail Island, but we passed it by. It has been hot here in the North Channel. I haven't had my fluffy (fleece) on for two days.