This past summer I found myself with even more free time than usual, and none of my usual fellow travelers (i.e. my brother) available for any sailing trips. And worse, I didn't even have a boat of my own to use (although my mostly-completed Alaska (http://www.dhkurylko-yachtdesign.com/designs.htm) will launch this spring! No, really--it will!) But my brother was nice enough to let me load up his Phoenix III (designed by Ross Lillistone, http://www.baysidewoodenboats.com.au/) and haul it up to Canada by myself for well over a month.
I spent the first ten days sailing Lake Nipigon (A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon), and then drove down to my usual North Channel launching point, the municipal marina at Spanish, stopping off to admire the northern and western shores of Lake Superior, planning and plotting many return trips:
Then it was on to the North Channel again. But my plan this time was to launch at Spanish, then keep on sailing eastward and southward, well into Georgian Bay, where I'd never sailed before. Here's a look at the general area for those not familiar with the Great Lakes:
After a few days mucking about finishing up some writing projects and catching up on emails at the Spanish public library (the weather was cold and rainy anyway, with no incentive to set out), I finally launched late in the afternoon on a pleasant day. (Weather had been so cold and rainy in the North Channel that business was down about 30%, the marina staff told me). Again, Canadian marinas are hassle-free. Nice showers, coin-op laundry, free parking, and no one to hassle you if you were dumb enough (or broke enough) to spend a few days sleeping in your car.
From Spanish, you don't have to go far to find nice cruising grounds and sheltered anchorages. This was all familiar to me from quite a few trips, but still enjoyable. First, you have to cut through the narrow passage at Little Detroit, almost the only gateway into the eastern North Channel:
From Little Detroit, I sailed on into the evening, a casual beam-to-broad reach day, and ended up anchoring in a small (and very shallow) rocky cove that probably sees very little traffic except for kayakers:
I'd only come about 7 or 8 miles, but with all summer to sail, there's no hurry. Here's a look at the day's journey:
More to come.