Diva Di's Cruising Adventures

Day 44 - Covered Portage, ON (Georgian Bay)

11 July 2016
Day 44 - Mon 11 Jul 2016
Docked – Covered Portage, ON (Georgian Bay)

[photo: the only grocery store has a large dock]

The night was as peaceful as could be and I awoke to a very pretty twilight that had the images of the trees, islands, and boats reflected off the glass-smooth water. It was simply gorgeous. Once we saw several of the crews from the other boats stirring, I took the dinghy to our nearest neighbor, Tiger, and said hello. His wife had caught a keeper fish right of the side of the boat within moments of dropping her lure. Good for her!

I found out that the flotilla leader, Dick, conducts a briefing on the VHF every morning at 0800. At 10 minutes before that, we saw him and his fishing buddy, John, racing back from another attempt. We thanked everyone in the group again for their hospitality and camaraderie, but that we would be peeling off to do our own thing again. There are so many places to explore in this 20 mile square region that we will likely be in this vicinity for at least 4-5 days, especially with strong winds coming in again, so it is likely we will see them again.

We weighed anchor after the VHF briefing and headed back into the W side of Collins Inlet (with Mill Lake being in the middle). It was beautiful and we saw a bald eagle, but alas no bears or beavers. Coming out of the inlet into somewhat open water, it was still so calm that it was hard to believe. On the way, we listened for the first time to the North Channel cruisers’ net on Ch 71 conducted by Roy from Little Current. He gives weather, top stories (Canada and US), some history, and then the longest part is the check-in of the cruisers starting W to E. He counted “only” 92 boats today and said that was down a bit from the usual. We got special mention as Loopers.

The town of Killarney is quite small, but looks pretty neat from the waterfront. There is a somewhat narrow channel cutting through the small peninsula and everything is on that channel. First, we got 2.5 US gallons of gas for the dinghy, but did not think to see about getting rid of our trash. When we docked at the cute grocery (Pitfield’s General Store), we were told we could not leave trash there, even though were paying customers.

We left our trash on the boat deck and picked up a few necessary items. It was pretty expensive, but when you need something, you need it. We are saving the rest of our shopping needs for Little Current. While there, we saw Bob and Lynn (from PDQ Moxie) who are staying at the Sportsman’s Inn. That was our next stop to drop off the trash along with a tip for the guys at the fuel dock.

It was just a few minutes later and we were out of the channel on the other side and heading about 3nm to a one-boat anchorage just E of the larger and more popular Covered Portage anchorage. It wasn’t until I was already moving slowly into the cove entrance when we saw there was already a small sailboat there. I kept creeping up and noticed the male doing a few things like maybe they were getting ready to depart. Sure enough, they were, and we had a friendly chat while they motored slowly out.

Every tight space looks even tighter once you are in it, but we did it. First, I chose the exact spot I wanted the anchor so we could swing if needed. Next, we really set the anchor well with as much scope as we could, but then I shortened up to a little over 3:1 so we would not swing too close to any shore. This bottom is really great holding, so I have no concerns. We enjoyed a quick lunch and then set out in the dinghy exploring.

We headed first for the main anchorage of Covered Portage around the bend from us to see what is so special. The main thing is that the water is surrounded by a fairly high, almost vertical, and craggy quartz mountainside. It really is stunning in many ways and it also offers great protection from most wind directions. We stopped to chat with the crew aboard sailboat Magic Carpet, three of whom had just visited us by dinghy an hour earlier.

We tied up at their side for almost an hour chatting about all sorts of topics and had a great time. While we were there, PDQ Traveller came cruising in, and we waved hi, but they were apparently just checking it out before heading to Snug Harbour for the night. Just as we were leaving, we saw PDQ Heron come in for the same reason. We exchanged a few words about how lovely this all is and then they were off. There was room for each of them, but since they need to accommodate about 5 boats in the flotilla, they had to make other plans.

Back at Diva Di, we enjoyed a nice shower off the stern in complete privacy, had a brief nap, and then read for a while. Supper was some frozen fish and shrimp we got at the end of May before we left, and fearing it would not be as fresh and tasty as I would like, Diane had the idea to serve it in chunks in a Parmesan sauce over pasta. It turned out to be pretty good.

After supper, we took the dinghy out again to explore the other direction. This area had none of the numerous, smooth rocky islets to cruise around like we were finding often farther E and S in the Georgian Bay, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful, too. We are just entering the North Channel at this time, so we will reserve judgment.

It was nice not having the noise or wakes of closely-passing boaters as we enjoyed a tranquil evening in the setting sun. It will be an early night to bed again, but a lazy morning. We plan to head back to Killarney because we discovered it would be easier to get the liquor we want for the remainder of our Canadian stay. Also, I want to try the famous Herbert’s Fisheries fish and chips for lunch. It gets such rave reviews that we are hoping it lives up to its billing.

From there, we have yet to decide where to go. Since we will be starting late, we may or may not go all the way to The Pool at Baie Fine, or pick a closer stop.
Vessel Name: Diva Di
Vessel Make/Model: PDQ MV34 Power Cat
Hailing Port: Punta Gorda, FL
Crew: Duane and Diane

Diva Di Crew

Who: Duane and Diane
Port: Punta Gorda, FL