Diva Di's Cruising Adventures

Day 48 - Hotham Island, ON (North Channel)

16 July 2016
Day 48 - Fri 15 Jul 2016
Anchored – Hotham Island, ON (North Channel)

[photo: Norm and Elaine of Hotham Island]

The day dawned rather gloomily, with gray clouds stretching from horizon to horizon. Our plan was for me to wash the boat, Diane to get a few items at the store that we forgot, and then take off by 1000 or so. Well, it was raining quite a bit and the N wind had picked up by then, so after we got our chores done, we decided to postpone departure. The dock hands said we were fine to stay pretty much as long as we liked during the day. That was nice to hear instead of having to check out by, say 1100, as many marinas insist.

The rest of the PDQ folk had their own plans for the morning, but no one seemed in a hurry to leave. With nothing for me to do, really, I made a pot of turkey soup, using the meat I had so carefully picked from the bones last night and early morning. It was different than what I usually make because of the sauce clinging to the turkey, but it turned out really good and made a satisfying lunch in the rather chilly weather we were suddenly experiencing.

By 1330, the cold N wind seemed to be moderating somewhat and having examined out route among the islands, I decided it would be comfortable enough to leave. At one point we saw waves a little bigger than a foot, but it was a remarkably smooth ride for the most part. There were only 3 other boats in our sight underway for the whole 3 hour trip. Most people had decided it was not a good travel day. The weather ahead of us to the W looked like small rain showers were popping up here and there, but by the time we got there, they had all missed us or dissipated.

We finally got to the bay where the famous Norm and Elaine have their summer cottage. They are former cruisers who love the company of other boaters and are known to extend invitations for cocktails at their beautiful cottage. With the weather still cold and mostly gray, and it being 1630 as we readied to anchor, we figured tonight would not be one of those nights. We first heard about them through our Canadian friends, Bud and Suzanne, and then later read all the accolades on ActiveCaptain.
Well, as we circled to our anchor spot, Norm was out on the dock and hailed us to come closer to chat. He immediately invited us to join him and Elaine and the other 2 boats for cocktails and appetizers to share at 1700 – just 30 minutes from then. I expected Diane to balk, but perhaps since she had not had time to get into relaxation mode, she accepted.

Then it was a rush to get anchored securely, get the dinghy down, get an appetizer ready, and get cleaned up and changed. We arrived just as the other two dinghies came in, tied up, and the party began. One captain was a Scotch whisky aficionado and he brought two bottles (1/3 full) of some really good single-malts. I brought some Canadian 100% rye whiskey and even the turkey soup I had made in the morning.

The spread of appetizers was varied and delicious as we chatted about all sorts of things. The others were long-term veterans of cruising these waters, and all were Americans. Apparently, the other two boat crews knew Norm and Elaine well, so we were the new kids on the block, especially with this being our first visit up here. Another thing we keep discovering is how many Canadians have visited our new home town of Punta Gorda, FL. They either have a place nearby for the winter, or have stayed with friends, or otherwise spent time there.

One highlight of the event was that Norm had caught some fish (bass and pike) and prepared some appetizer portions for us to enjoy. If we had been served fish that was that delicious and moist at Herbert’s in Killarney, we would have been singing their praises instead of being disappointed. Norm’s fish was simply amazing.

We were warned that it would not be possible for anyone to overstay his welcome on their beautiful patio because the mosquitoes would eventually drive us away. He recommended getting back to our boats before that happened, so we hugged goodbyes and got back to Diva Di about 2030. It was a magical evening, to be sure.

Tomorrow, Sat, we plan to move to one of the Benjamin Islands to see them. The wisdom we got from the veterans last night was to skip them because they are too popular, but then they all realized you have to see them at least once.
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