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Thread: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

  1. #386
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Good to see some photos of cruising in Drake. More to come, I hope?

    Tom
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  2. #387
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Well, I have come on board a bit late to this photo gravure and comments concerning your fine ship! Having been around wooden boats a bit, all I can say is; Whats's not to like! That Captain's handkerchief and the mule get two thumbs up from me!
    Fine Boat!
    Jay

  3. #388
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Sure, it was a 50-day season on Drake. That might not mean too much to southerners, but in central Canada, it's a big deal! So, yes, lots of photos.

    Jay, I'm afraid that Photobucket kind of screwed the thread, but thanks for the kind remark.

    Anyway, so in July, I coerced a crewman into coming along for the voyage north (I told no lies... but the bald truth was a poor weak thing...) and we set out.

    Initially there were a number of hitchhikers...



    But "there they be dragons"... so we shook them off and launched.

    Of course Frontenac is a dragon of a different kind...



    The open lake has clear water... too clear unfortunately. It's a result of the zebra mussel. But it is pretty.


  4. #389
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Robert R joined me. He'd been up to the North Channel many years ago, in a trimaran, and was anxious to get back.




    The last anchorage before you head up the 50x100 mile stretch of Georgian Bay is Great Sandy Bay of Christian Island. It's called that because the (Christian) Wyandot starved to death there in 1650. There's no protection from the prevailing NW, but perfect calms from the South.



    And South winds were forecast! Great Elation on board the ketch! Look at this...




    Would any sane person expect a calm, and then a light North wind?

  5. #390
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Based on that forecast, we expected a fast shot right up the center of Georgian Bay. This is greatly to be desired because the prevailing winds there are NW, right on the nose. We were elated! North Channel here we come! Out of bed before dawn and under way! 6 kts easily, and in the right direction.

    And by 10:00 it died. Light airs from all directions. Zephyrs. Dribs and drabs. We stuck with it for a while, but there were thunderstorms in the forecast -- which can be enormous here -- and we didn't want a 3AM maelstrom, so we turned left and made for the Bruce Peninsula. Thirty miles of drone-diesel-drone-diesel... Eventually we anchored in the bay at Cape Croker (frustrated, but hey, that's sailing).

    Next morning the thunderstorms passed us by. Drake was in a perfect place. We had a big bacon-and-egg fry up, did boat chores, watched the storms, and felt lucky!




    After lunch we pulled out, and had an hour of sweet sailing, 6 kts of SW wind pushing us on course. And then... directly to the west, right upwind, tracking directly for us, another storm-cell grew and darkened. We had plenty of time to batten-down, but there was no dodging this one. Lots of lightning, black-black sky. Fortunately there wasn't too much wind. But man, did it rain! Like sailing under a waterfall!



    And immediately following that the wind went on the beam at 30-plus knots...



    … which was more than I wanted, although it came off the land so the seas were not too high, and it sure sped us along! Drake handled the hard heavy gusts with panache, and flashed along that coast like a frisky colt enjoying a good gallop.

  6. #391
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    We gained shelter once we rounded Cape Chin, and anchored in open roadstead of Dyer Bay. The wind was forecast to stay SW, and the front had cleared. And crossing the large bay to Cabot Head would have been ugly in the 30 kt wind and seas. So we anchored, and put things together down below where the occasional beam-sea roll had rearranged the furnishings.

    The dinghy, BTW, weathered the events perfectly, although I had to bale it out after the Deluge. It scooted across the wavetops like a bug, but during the 30 kt reach I was glad I'd put a new tow-rope on it (half of a new wakeboarding rope -- good value).



    Next morning it was dead flat calm. Never mind the new 20 kt SW wind forecast. We motored away on glassy water.



    After round the end of the Bruce Peninsula, Cabot Head, we continued on for a few miles, hoping for the forecast wind to show up so we could cross to Manitoulin, but no luck. So we did the short 180 to Wingfield Basin, the most protected natural harbour in all of Lake Huron. It's a perfect hurricane-hole. You shoot the very narrow entrance, and then it opens up into a lovely big pond with easy room for about 50 boats to anchor. On most July nights there would be 15-20. The Basin used to be a fishing station, long ago.




  7. #392
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Cool! Following along with great interest--thanks for posting.

    Tom
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  8. #393
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    So, we puttered around on the boat. Swam. Cleaned up. Did maintenance chores. Had a fine rest-afternoon. Then in the early evening, while starting to cook some supper, there was a knock on the hull. I popped up my head above decks, and there was a mermaid alongside, in a kayak! I understand from other skippers that this happens all the time, but for me not so much.

    Heather T, a friend from old-airplane/car groups, has a cottage in Tobermory, and had seen my FB postings, and decided to visit. She brought her son and his friend -- who swam across the harbour to Drake. Heather grew up summer-cruising on boats, so she knew what to bring: ice, a bottle of wine, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh-baked cookies. We had a great visit! (And later she took away 2 bags of garbage. A perfect visitor!)



    Next day we had a good forecast: SW wind at 15 kts for a beam reach, and "chance of thundershowers in the early evening". Great! Up at dawn and go. 40 nm. No harbours along the way other than Lonely Island, which is an unhelpful round blob.

    The breeze grew stronger than that, but stayed in the SW, so we eventually settled on 2 reefs in the main, plus working jib and mizzen. Lovely movement, but a sultry hazy sky. 5-6 kts. Semi-surfing on a very broad reach.



    Drake wasn't steering all that well -- some shuttle-valve in the hydraulic steering was not remaining seated, and the wheel would occasionally spin-free for half a turn. So we put a reef in the mizzen, and this helped the steering considerably while costing us almost nothing.

    The tender surfed along with almost no drag, as she has done for thousands of miles, skiing on her flat aft underbody.



    There was no cellphone service of course, and the day was fraught with danger -- the crew had to stay on the qui-vive.


  9. #394
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    So, we puttered around on the boat. Swam. Cleaned up. Did maintenance chores. Had a fine rest-afternoon. Then in the early evening, while starting to cook some supper, there was a knock on the hull. I popped up my head above decks, and there was a mermaid alongside, in a kayak! I understand from other skippers that this happens all the time, but for me not so much.

    Heather T, a friend from old-airplane/car groups, has a cottage in Tobermory, and had seen my FB postings, and decided to visit. She brought her son and his friend -- who swam across the harbour to Drake. Heather grew up summer-cruising on boats, so she knew what to bring: ice, a bottle of wine, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh-baked cookies. We had a great visit! (And later she took away 2 bags of garbage. A perfect visitor!)



    Next day we had a good forecast: SW wind at 15 kts for a beam reach, and "chance of thundershowers in the early evening". Great! Up at dawn and go. 40 nm. No harbours along the way other than Lonely Island, which is an unhelpful round blob.

    The breeze grew stronger than that, but stayed in the SW, so we eventually settled on 2 reefs in the main, plus working jib and mizzen. Lovely movement, but a sultry hazy sky. 5-6 kts. Semi-surfing on a very broad reach.



    Drake wasn't steering all that well -- some shuttle-valve in the hydraulic steering was not remaining seated, and the wheel would occasionally spin-free for half a turn. So we put a reef in the mizzen, and this helped the steering considerably while costing us almost nothing.

    The tender surfed along with almost no drag, as she has done for thousands of miles, skiing on her flat aft underbody.



    There was no cellphone service of course, and the day was fraught with danger -- the crew had to stay on the qui-vive.

    Imagine! A sailboat large enough it doesn’t even matter which side you nap on!

    Glorious travelogue. Thanks.

    Peace,
    Robert

  10. #395
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    This fine productive state of affairs lasted until 14:30. By then we'd rounded the point and were crossing Wikwemikong Bay. Cellphone service came back. Immediate weather-check... Oh Crap! Big line of hard showers sweeping over us from the west. No place for shelter. Nothing to do but get ready.

    I don't usually sail in thunderstorms you know. As a pilot I respect them, and stay out of their way. And here I was sailing in them twice in three days! What happened to the forecast "in the early evening"? I grumbled, but got the boat ready. I stripped the jib entirely, took down the mizzen as well, but left the double-reefed main -- which in that condition is hardly bigger than a Laser's sail. Sent all loose items down below. Dogged the forehatch and skylight. Put on warm clothes.

    It wasn't enough. The westward sky darkened to black. Thunder was continuous. In just a few minutes, a line of white spray came racing across the water at us, the "White Squall". In the Stan Rogers song he sings, "... and it goes off like a bomb". Well, Stan nailed it. KA-BOOM. The wind went God-knows-how-high. The rain was horizontal. I was pummelled.



    It made the last thunderstorm look like a sprinkler party. I have been outdoors a lot in my life. Farmer... canoeist... pilot... sailor... I've been exposed to a lot of wind. But this was like nothing I'd ever felt before. The rain was striking the side of my hood with such force that it HURT the skin inside. 70 kts? 80 kts? I don't know -- no experience beyond about 50 kts.

    The mainsail lasted about :20 seconds, then it reefed itself. Good thing. I couldn't do anything about it. And it's remnants gave me just enough forward motion to steer.



    For a few minutes I wondered if this was game-over. The thunder was deafening and the seas were building by the second and we could do nothing but hang on. But after about 15 minutes -- very long minutes indeed -- the worst was past. We took stock. We were lucky we'd rounded the point of land. The waves only had about a 5 mile fetch. Otherwise they would have had many miles to grow and might have turtled us. The masts were still up. The bilge pump cleared the hull-water quickly. I started the engine -- it worked. I was in one piece -- a bit dazed, but uninjured. Nothing had actually blown overboard. We still had other sails...

    The only awkward thing was the tender: for the first time ever -- in 18 years of sailing! -- it had flipped. But it was unstable in that position because of the pool-noodle fenders, and the 2" pink foam floatation that runs underneath the fore-and-aft seat. I was able to get it alongside and right side up. However that didn't help much -- the waves were washing into it, and I was scared that if Drake took a hard bump against it, we'd stave-in a plank. So, adrenalin thoroughly flushing through my system, I maneuvered it astern, got it close, and then HEAVED up on the towline. Heaved mightily! It was one of those Lift-The-Volkswagen-Off-The-Poor-Trapped-Kid kind of heaves. And the bow did come up and about 200 lbs of water sluiced out over the stern transom. The next heave was easier. Another 100 lbs left. And after that I was able to jump in and bail. Anyway, I have no pictures of that. Just an unforgettable memory.

    Carrying on, grinning at each other a bit now that the lightning was all in the east, Robert and I raised a bit of sail again, and motor-sailed to Browning Cove on Haywood Island. We could have diverted to Kilarney, but that port would not have helped us much. No real supplies other than food and booze, and that we still had plenty of.


  11. #396
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    And what we found in the Cove was such a perfect place, and perfect peace, that we were immediately heartened.



    Mind you, there was a certain amount of heartening that came from another source.


  12. #397
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    If you nap on the lee side, it's more snuggly.

  13. #398
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    If you nap on the lee side, it's more snuggly.
    CCE82769-8142-4918-AF3F-3175BAFD9298.jpg
    If I do it, I get wet!

    Peace,
    Robert

  14. #399
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Still a bit rattled, and having achieved our goal of getting to the North Channel, we declared a Rest Day. We dawdled at breakfast, and admired the place.






  15. #400
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    But... me being me... it turned into a work day

    During the storm(s) I nearly fell overboard when the cockpit bench paint became too slick. So I laid out some areas and painted on a rougher surface using non-skid sand additive. (And then taped it off, having no confidence whatever in my memory.)



    Then we removed the torn mainsail and realized it was not worth trying to repair. Too old. (That's why it ripped, really.) So we measured it carefully so I could scout for a replacement once we regained cellphone service...

    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 02-04-2020 at 12:33 PM.

  16. #401
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    I'd say your squall just proves the adage that the boat can usually take more weather than the crew! Seems like everyone came through just fine though, mainsail aside. If I was a sailor this is the sort of sailing I would do. Lovely boat. Beautful cove at the end of the day. Pancakes the next morning.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  17. #402
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    CS, yes it can be very sweet indeed. The North Channel has sweet water, undeveloped shores, and enough size and space to get lost; but it's small enough to find a town every 3 days or so.

    Next, I dug out the mizzen staysail. It is very old -- 1970s? And we transferred the hanks...



    … and set it up on the sail-tracks. It looked ridiculous, but not so different from the double-reefed normal main. And there was no choice anyway.



    And then we went rowing and shore-walking. A bear had been reported on Heywood who'd learned to swim out and take the garbage off boat swim-platforms, but we didn't see him -- besides, Drake had a guard-detail



    I love sunset rowing...




  18. #403
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Lovely.
    Haven't been since 2015 or so.
    I miss it.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  19. #404
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch



    Tides high in this pic, right up to the overhanging trees. I've been reading your thread for awhile now Dave. Tks for the intro to your cruising ground. / Jim

  20. #405
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Quote Originally Posted by chas View Post


    Tides high in this pic, right up to the overhanging trees. I've been reading your thread for awhile now Dave. Tks for the intro to your cruising ground. / Jim
    Indeed--the tide has been high on Lake Huron/Lake Michigan for a couple of years now... Causing lots of problems, actually. Floods in Milwaukee right now, and some North Channel marinas (like Spanish) with water levels above the fuel docks, etc.

    Tom
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  21. #406
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    The Great Lakes actually have tides: wind tides. A big sustained blow can pile up water at the downwind end, but it rarely amounts to more than a few inches. Overall, water levels in 2019 were at their highest since the 1980s. This was very tough on marinas and operators with non-floating docks.

    In fact, next day we motor-sailed to Little Current, passing through the swing-bridge...



    … wiggled into the service-dock for a pumpout, fresh water, ice, and worms, and then moved along to the town dock to tie up while we went for groceries. As you can see I hope, the water was only a few inches from lapping over the top of the dock. I was concerned that my fenders could get pinched up and lofted on top, particularly if a large boat-wake rolled Drake, so I suspended every soft thing I had to spare in the gap.





    Nice little town, Little Current, but not all that handy now for boaters. The downtown hardware store has closed, leaving only big-box stores too far away to walk-to. And there is no easy way to handle heavy groceries -- no borrowing carts. You must carry, or hire a taxi. (Maybe this is good, when it comes to limiting your liquor purchases!)


  22. #407
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    We called every marina to see if anyone had a sail they could sell us -- any old thing we could modify -- but no luck. So, having no wish to stay at a town, so we put it behind us fairly quickly.

    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 02-05-2020 at 10:38 AM.

  23. #408
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    We motored west into a light wind, then turned north into the Wabuno Channel and sailed. Happily, the little mainsail seemed to do OK, better than expected! Most of the pull was of course from the genoa and mizzen, but the little old staysail was definitely doing her part.

    Turning right at the north end of La Cloche Island, we anchored in Bell Cove, and had the late-afternoon to enjoy doing nothing.



    Peace and tranquility, and a scotch, were pleasantly interrupted when one of our new-bought worms fooled a smallmouth bass.



    He was perfect dinner-size. Robert wastriumphant! (Many times we have been skunked on these trips, although I am not adedicated fisherman. But not this time!)




  24. #409
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    After a bit of careful slaughtering...



    … we dined!



    And in the morning, woke up to this:


  25. #410
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Navigation in the North Channel can be a bit confusing. It's far easier now with GPS of course, but all I had was a hand-held. Trying to spot what's-an-island, what's-the-mainland, and where's-the-channel can be tricky. And there's a LOT of hard rock.



    Also, there is no real Coast Guard presence (not that would arrive in any useful time, anyway). You're on your own, with the help of other boaters, some of which seem to be kindred spirits.



    But it's rarely crowded. And if you want to anchor creatively, with lines to shore, you can squeeze into some perfect hideaways.

    We motored west again, and anchored behind McTavish Island. A small swell bent around the point, so to prevent rolling we took a stern line to a tree and thus were able to point into the waves. Unusually though, this place had a spider population like I'd never seen before. Millions of fat-bodied orb spiders. Every bush, almost every branch had a resident. I started looking around for Shelob!



    When I rowed ashore, I ended up with about 30 of them in the dinghy with me! I don't have a phobia about them, but no one was happy about the event.






  26. #411
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    We had no battens for the new mainsail, so I decided to go on shore and cut some maple sprigs, and carve them. It was easy to find good straight scions growing from a clump, but I grabbed a stick first and beat the branches. Sure enough, hundreds of big spiders parachuted to the ground. Not a pleasant experience! No shore-walks on Spider Island, even though there were some blueberries.

    Anyway, I took the selected sticks back on deck, and whittled for an hour.



    These turned out quite well. In fact I used them until the end of the season.

    It was a lazy warm perfect afternoon. Robert went swimming, and tried out his underwater camera. BTW, he's standing on the swim stage, a platform that clips into place from the stanchion bases, and gives us waterline access.



    Here's a waterline photo of it -- and me whittling battens.






  27. #412
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    Rowing, with bony knees.



    The tender is 10 ft, my own design, but similar to Phil Bolger boats. It's easy and pleasant to row. The fore-and-aft seat plus 2 sets of oarlocks means you can be in perfect trim with 2 people on board -- or 1 or 3. It's stitch and glue, of 1/4" ply. The bottom is glassed on the outside, other than that, painted. I don't really like the non-feathering oarlocks, but my guests, many of whom have never rowed anything before, ever, find them easier.

  28. #413
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    Dave can you say anything more about your swim stage? I've been thinking about something along those lines for dinghy access on Petrel. Is it reasonably stable? How do you prevent chafing against the hull? Could it work if it were raised up a few inches so it would stay dry(ish)?
    - Chris

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  29. #414
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    There were pictures and an explantion in the early pages of this thread. PhotoBucket may have trashed them.

    It's obviously a wide strong plank. Underneath are 2 metal channels screwed on, which the legs socket into, and are lashed in place. At the hull-end of each of the legs, they are crossed by a 1 ft length of black plastic pipe, ordinary water pipe, about 1 1/2" I think. These are held in place by big screws which go into the end-grain of the legs -- you access the screws by the large holes drilled into the pipe, as per the picture. That way the screw heads never touch the hull planks. However now that I look at the picture, it looks like when I replaced that leg last time, I mortised the leg into the pipe.

    The suspension ropes are threaded through holes in the corners of the plank.

    My stanchion bases are very substantial, and are plenty strong enough. Each is pierced for a shackle, which I clip the hooks to.

    swim stage.jpg

    IMG_4933 (2).jpg

    You can adjust the ropes for any height. But this is my primary method for getting on board from swimming, so an inch or two below the surface makes it easier to mount.

    When not in actual use, I temporarily clip it to the lifelines to get it out of the water.

    swimstage.jpg
    Last edited by Dave Hadfield; 02-05-2020 at 01:48 PM.

  30. #415
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    ^^ Thanks! That's very clear. Just what I'm looking for. I've been sketching various similar devices for a while now so it's great to see one actually put into practice. The stand-off legs with water pipe bearing against the hull is a detail that I had not thought of.
    - Chris

    Life is short. Go boating now!

  31. #416
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    By noon the next day we Made It To The Benjamins! These islands are often considered the jewels of the North Channel. I don't know if that's true -- there are a lot of other wild and lovely places -- but it was good to be back there after (too) many years. However this was the Friday of the holiday weekend -- the August Long-Weekend. And the Benjs are a popular spot. We rounded the north of Croker on the way from Spider Island, and spied a lovely nook in the shoreline on the east side of Porcupine Island, sheltered from any NW breeze by a handy spit of rock. We tucked in with another line to shore set-up.



    Up went the bimini, and we enjoyed a perfect afternoon, just swimming and lazing and fishing in the warm sun...





    The Benjamins probably anchored 100 boats that night! But there are so many nooks and crannies that you can still find your own spot...



    … for your own moments of peace.


  32. #417
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    The bald pink rock of the Benjamins lends itself to shore-walking and climbing. We rowed over to Croker and climbed the knob.



    That island on the left is Porcupine, and Drake is barely visible on it's right side.



    There were a number of good reasons for the climb.



    In no time we had a quart of wild blueberries, quite at their point of perfection.


  33. #418
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    I brought along a novelty item: a Uke made with a fiberglass body -- and a chord chart! Sounded ok to me. And it tucked away easily in the focsle, unbothered by humidity changes.



    It was good to have an instrument for quiet evening playing.



    The painting-school I admire most is Group Of Seven.


  34. #419
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    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    The wind went southwest, which gave a lovely day's sail. We exited via the Sow-And-Pigs, circled clockwise, and headed up towards the mainland. Spanish River was going to have to be our destination due to commitments. Threaded the very skinny Detroit Pasage, passed west of Shanly Island under a warm summer sky with a quartering wind and no diesel at all, and anchored in the Pool on the east side of Wilfred Laurier Islands.

    Again, all alone in a perfect harbour.



    The traditional sunset row.




  35. #420
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    5,794

    Default Re: Drake -- 40' LOD Munroe-influenced ketch

    We'd hoped for one more night out, but another big front was coming from the west, and frankly we were scared of those big fronts now! So we scooted over to the marina at Spanish River the next afternoon. I'd never been there before. Nice place -- lots of investment from the municipality.

    We climbed the hill.





    Next morning it was clean-clean-clean the cabin, and pack-pack-pack up our gear and food, and Robert's wife Diane arrived to drive us back home -- about a 6 hour drive.

    Drake was looking a bit dirty with land-soil, ready and already impatient to begin the next leg!



    BY THE WAY, more than half of these photographs are Robert Rountree. He's a professional photographer. I'm sure not

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