Diva Di's Cruising Adventures

Day 54 - Drummond Island, MI (North Channel)

26 July 2016
Day 54 - Thu 21 Jul 2016
Docked - Drummond Island, MI (North Channel)

[photo: sunset at the Yacht Haven]

It was another comfortable night on the hook and we didn't wake up until almost 0600. I quickly checked the weather and decided if we were going to go today, we should go early and go fast. We weighed anchor at 0620 and quietly stole out of the anchorage, with no other crews stirring.

The water was almost flat in the very light wind, and I accelerated to our 'fast' cruise speed of 12.5 kts. It was not an hour later that the building wind strength made the waves noticeable. I suspected that it would continue to get worse for most of the run, so I veered off course to the S somewhat for two reasons. That would put the waves a better angle for comfort, and it would let us approach the S shore of the North Channel where the waves would be smaller due to less fetch. The tactic worked.

With the sky in front of us to the W looking rather dark, I used our Canadian phone to call up a RADAR app to find a really bad-looking squall over eastern Lake Superior and heading straight for us at a good clip. I tried to estimate when the squall would reach our destination on Drummond Island and when we would get there. My best estimate at the time had us both arriving together.

The good news was that each time I checked the RADAR, it looked like the intensity of the squall was decreasing. We passed one slow boat a half hour before arriving and were passed by several faster boats about the same time. We heard quite a few boats hailing the marina looking to come in for a slip or to clear US customs. The storm was forcing everyone's hand.

The arrival was a non-event and we beat the storm by 30 minutes. We had not even tied up and there were two US Customs and Border Protection agents standing there. I dealt with the agents as Diane finished securing the boat. They had to take all our documentation and record it, asked the usual questions, and we were cleared back into the USA with no hassles. I suspect they were eager to get back in their office before the rain started.

When the rain hit, it did not have the fierce winds that could have been. We had to turn on the A/C, however, because the humidity build-up in the boat was oppressive. I never did get the crockpot lasagna going before we left, but since we were staying in a marina, we decided to do that.

After the storm cleared, we had bright sunny skies and moderate winds. We walked up to check-in and then take showers. As Loopers, we got a nice discount off the regular price. The place is somewhat remote and they have a small fleet of older cars you can rent for $12 to make runs to the store or a restaurant. We needed nothing of the sort and I was content to hang on the boat, take a nap, and read. We had another round of the beef crockpot stew for supper.

Tomorrow, we will run up the St. Mary's River along the same route that the large freighters take to enter or leave Lake Superior. Our destination for the day is Sault Ste. Marie on the MI side (there is a larger city on the ON side with the same name). Assuming we get the right information there, we will use the Canadian lock that is better suited to smaller craft to enter and cross Whitefish Bay to an abandoned fishing camp dock. It is recommended, so we'll see how that goes.
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