We thought yesterday was a long day!
08/12/2007, Port Sanilac, MI
Friday, August 10 Kincardine to Bayfield
We left Kincardine in calm seas and motored to Bayfield. In route I scrubbed the decks while Kathy worked on the cockpit. After about a hour things were looking better than they had in a long time. I went below for a shower to get a little grime off myself as well.
There was very little of interest on this leg, but one thing I found interesting was that for about 40 miles the shore is lined with huge wind turbines. It would seem that conditions here would be very close to the western shore of Lake Michigan...if wind power is a viable option over here why isn't it in Michigan?
We have also noticed that all of the Canadian ports that we have visited there seems to be and on-going investment in the waterfront areas. There are new docks, walkways, hiking paths, as well as many other civic improvements. Canadians complain about their taxes but the improvements are going to make a difference.
We arrived at Bayfield at about 2:30 and were turned away. Both of the marinas that normally have slips were full. Without many options, we decided to cross Lake Huron and ended up anchored inside the jetty in Port Sanilac.
We had our hearts set upon spending all of our remaining Canadian money in Bayfield. We are thinking about mailing it to Tom and Carol ..."Start'n Monday" and having the Admiral select a couple of T-Shirts for us.
We are heading down to Port Huron this morning but are still thinking that Kincardine may be a place to return.
......Jimmy if you happen to read this ... I need a couple of small pieces of aluminum stock ... you may be able to help... email me. thanks
A long day
Kathy and Mike
08/10/2007, Cove Island to Kincardine
8/9/07 Cove Island to Kincardine
We arrived in Kincardine to the sound of bagpipes. We knew there was a history of piping here, as we had read about it in the Handy Harbor Guide. We got tied up and settled in and then went for a walk. They have a wonderful boardwalk here along the beach and beautiful flower gardens along the way. There were pipers playing in the park that runs along the other side of the boardwalk. We walked through part of the residential district, but did not go up into the town. I'm sure they have everything one needs, but we don't really need anything! We had an eleven hour day on the boat so we didn't get here until 7 p.m.
We came back to the boat and heard a piper coming from a different direction-and he (or she) was really good. We found he was playing from the lighthouse and people gathered around to listen. The story goes that many years ago Donald Sinclair and his family were on a boat in a storm trying to find the harbor. He played the pipes on the deck and a piper on shore answered. They followed the sound and were saved. After that, Sinclair would "pipe down the sun" in the harbor every night and the tradition lives on today.
A note about the blog and map- If you have Google Earth installed on your computer (which is free and very cool), and you click on the +Google Earth on the left hand side under the map, it takes you to Google Earth and you can click on a spot, like Wingfield Basin, and it will take you to a satellite photo of that spot.
Kathy seems to have forgotten the biggest news of the day.... This morning we went aground. On our way out of Cove Island we were tracing our route from the night before when.... WHAM we hit a submerged island at about 2.5 knots. The bow was in the air 2 feet and we were dead in the water with the engine still in forward. After the initial shock, it appeared that we had done no real damage. The bilge pump came on but quickly went off so we didn't have any water coming in. It was looked bad.... for all I knew we were there for the day. As I was mentally walking through possible solutions to our dilemma, Sapphire moved a little more broad-side to the wind and shifted on the rock a little. Since the stern was in 20 feet of water, I shifted to reverse and in about 15 seconds we gently slid off. At some point when I gather the courage, I'll go under to survey the damage. I'm assuming we lost some paint. However, if we had a boat with a dagger keel, our trip would be done for a while.
Little Tub Harbor
Mike and Kathy-Beautiful day
08/08/2007, Tobermory, Ontario
August 7th Wingfield Basin to Tobermory.
We left Wingfield Basin at about 7:45 and motored west along the north shore of the Bruce Peninsula. The water is deep so we motored close to the shore. There isn't really much shore ... it is actually a 15 mile long bluff with cliffs down to the water. I had a pleasant coffee hour boat ride while Kathy did her work-out video and took a shower below.
We were a little worried about Tobermory. In truth I am a little worried any time we get near a dock, but to enter a new harbor / marina for the first time without knowing what I'm getting into is a little scary. Maybe I'll get over it with time and experience. Anyway, we pulled in an chatted with Carla the harbor master on the radio who directed us to the fuel dock (just come into the empty spot)... and from there everything was fine.
This place reminds me of Mackinaw City when I was a kid. There are lots of people walking around and lots of shops that won't be here next year. We provisioned at the local grocery had a nice walk. The waterfront in Tobermory consists of two bays: Little Tub and Big Tub. Little Tub is an elongated horse shoe open to the north. The marina circles the inside of the horse shoe while the "town" surrounds the three sides.. Typing this in the cockpit at dark the air smells faintly like fried fish and campfire smoke. Dive boats are returning and tourists are wandering around the docks.
...background info. A few days ago while visiting with some of our new "best friends", Lyn loaned Kathy a book that really wasn't hers to loan. It belonged to a friend and fellow boater... but, after making Kathy swear that she would return it to Bayfield, she handed it over. An Embarrassment of Mangos was written by a lady who described sailing south to the Caribbean and besides being a good read, had some great recipes. The flyleaf had a sticker with the owner's name and her boat name, "Picaroon II."
After docking this morning, securing the boat and getting everything put away, I looked around and two docks down was Picaroon. On our way to the dumpster (trash is somewhat a problem on a boat at anchor) we dropped of f the book ... and made two more new friends . Dave and Lynne have made the trip south and spent a few hours with us today telling us the things that were surprising to them.
We are somewhat amazed that we are still far north and have run into so many people with stories and advice about getting south, being south, and what happens in between. It seems most people from here have been to the Caribbean at some time. Most report that we will not be short of people who want to help us and take up under their wing.
We are hanging around Tobermory for a while-we may leave this afternoon and go to Cove Island with Dave and Lynne if their boat gets fixed. We did the shops in town today and saw some cool things. We bought 2 used books and some candy. So much for my retail therapy. There are many tourist-type shops here and art galleries, similar to towns in northern Michigan. When the ferry stops running to Baymouth on Manitoulin Island, the town pretty much shuts down-I think in October. The Bruce Trail ends here which is a trail through the Bruce Peninsula on the Niagra Escarpment and there are inland trails of the Bruce Peninsula National Park. This is also a diving town where many come to explore the shipwrecks in Fathom Five National Marine Park. Many people have also been lined up the cruises on one of the glass bottom tour boats-tickets are $5.45 for adults-seems like a good deal!
They also have a boardwalk that follows along the harbor and is a nice walk with some excellent views out of the harbor. We had fish and chips today at one of the 3 best fish and chips places in this part of Ontario. One is Killarney, and we ate there. By the way, it is no longer called Mr. Perch, as many of the guide books state. We fear the cormorants have eaten all the perch, so we had whitefish which was very good. Today we ate at Craigies, where we also had whitefish, and we think the chips were better, but the fish was about the same-wonderful! I was also told they had excellent smoked fish at the fish store at the end of the dock and I saw many people head in and out of there today with their fish wrapped in newspaper. Of course, I had to get some and we will let you know how it was when we eat it.
M....The mechanic arrived to install Dave and Lynne's new regulator at about 6pm and was finished in about 20 minutes. We cast off and followed them out to Cove Island which is about five miles off the tip of the Bruce Peninsula. After weaving our way between the rocks and then down a natural channel we arrive at an absolutely perfect anchorage. 360 degrees of protection in a cove of about five acres.
After anchoring Dave shouted over to say that he was putting steaks on the grill for us. We made a salad, grabbed a loaf of bread, and dinghied over for a great meal. However, later on in the evening we found that the meal was just an enticement...... their ulterior motive was to get us on their boat to teach us the game of Farcle and Lynne presented us with our own set of dice. Which, along with the wine that was consumed, made for an absolutely wonderful evening. We dinghied back to Sapphire under some of the brightest stars we've seen yet.