Slogging through Georgian Bay
07 August 2012 | Pt Elgin
Tony & Kat
Little Current gave us a great send-off with a wonderful fireworks display - in 20+kts of wind no less. In the morning both boats left Little Current docks in an excellent manner. If only the other boaters were up they would have applauded! Down past Strawberry Lighthouse we started sailing and were able to keep the sails full until Cape Smith where the winds turned west on us and started blowing.
We know that Georgian Bay has a bad reputation but holy bucking broncos - it picked up to 20+ true on the nose with 5-6' waves and a regularly spaced rogue wave breaking over the dodger. Felt like a car wash in a convertible! Of course 'Environment Canada' blew that forecast - they must use the same prediction model as NWS.
The genny came in but we kept a twisted main out to balance the boat. Eight hours later, much to our relief, we were behind Flower Pot Island to drop the main and tidy up the boat before heading into Little Tub.
Fuel, Pump-out and a little monetary persuasion and we scored two spaces on the wall in town. Nice! We were too tired and it was late so we opted for dinner at the Crows Nest (Michael, it has been remodeled). One observation: this boat really handles rough Great Lakes weather well. With the wind/waves the boat was perfectly balanced and required very little effort to steer. Note to Tobermory: Even Detour and Pt Elgin have free wireless get with the program!
Forecast for tomorrow? From the West 15 lightening to 10 early afternoon. Waves 1 meter down to ½ meter by early afternoon.
Tobermory to Pt. Elgin: In the morning the weather was calm all the way through the Cape Hurd Channel, and then it gradually picked up. The wind went south because of course we were headed south. The waves picked up as well. We put up a full main again, more for balance than additional speed although we did get another 1/2 kt. as we started bashing into the waves. Sooo much for that forecast, it was 15 true all day 4' waves with an occasional one breaking over the bow and dodger.
All in all wasn't a bad day and certainly better (and shorter) than the day before. So now we're in Pt. Elgin relaxing - with reservations already made for tomorrow at Kincardine which will be a relatively short trip. I'm sure there will be a lot of reflections about this trip. A couple that standout for me: I like the beauty and pristine environment in the North Channel, but I like exploring new towns and interacting with the other cruisers even more. Heck we even liked Cheboygan (too strong of a comment?).
With that we're starting to talk about next year's trip - Lake Michigan? Lake Superior? Lake Ontario/Thousand Island region? Who knows where but what we do know is that we're having fun and want to continue cruising!