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Thread: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Looks like it was a fun day.

    I always found Hornpipe's best point of sail was a broad reach. Alaska's long waterline really comes into its own.
    Alex

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  2. #37
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    A stronger and more durable way to make a mast step is to encase the lower 8 inches of your mast in aluminum or copper pipe bedded in epoxy, or wrap it with several layers of 8 inch glass tape in epoxy, then bore a good sized mortice into the heel. Seal the mortice and the mast heel with all of the epoxy it will soak up plus 1 or 2 coats.

    Now remove that water and dirt entrapping step and replace it with a hardwood block screwed and glued in place and bore a hole for a hardwood dowel tenon. Drop the mast on the tenon and you're good.

    Thanks for the pics Tom. I haven't been anywhere in a while and enjoy them very much. The inspiration doesn't hurt anything either.
    That's an interesting thought on putting the tenon on the step instead of on the mast. Is there a reason that the standard way is tenon on mast, hole in step? As you say, that does create problems with collecting water in the step. I, for one, made my drain too small.

    Tom
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  3. #38
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    Looks like it was a fun day.

    I always found Hornpipe's best point of sail was a broad reach. Alaska's long waterline really comes into its own.
    The BEST day! It was 10 miles from Hen Island to where I dropped the sail. We covered it in less than 80 minutes, and that includes time needed to row offshore, drop the rudder, and hoist the sail.

    Tom
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  4. #39
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Beautiful! The Alaska seems like a wonderful boat. And such cruising grounds!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Mike

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Day 12 brought light airs. By the time I made it to Killarny--only 7 or 8 miles from camp--I was ready to call it a day. But first, a quick run into town to pick up "supplies" before tying up again in Thebo Cove, just a mile out of town:

    DSCN5823.jpg

    Took care of the boat:

    DSCN5821.jpg

    And then took care of the "supplies"--

    DSCN5816.jpg
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-20-2019 at 05:29 PM.
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    The BEST day! It was 10 miles from Hen Island to where I dropped the sail. We covered it in less than 80 minutes, and that includes time needed to row offshore, drop the rudder, and hoist the sail.

    Tom
    10 statute miles or nautical miles?

    Either way, you were exceeding nominal hull speed most of the way. Any instances of actual surfing?
    Alex

    A man in an open shirt, sat gazing out to sea; A young man, a hale man, and I wished that I were he and that the things that I loved were as they used to be
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  7. #42
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by AJZimm View Post
    10 statute miles or nautical miles?

    Either way, you were exceeding nominal hull speed most of the way. Any instances of actual surfing?
    Statute miles. Yep, lots of surfing later in the ride. I found the boat handled noticeably better when I moved to the sternsheets seating to get my weight just that much farther aft. It was close to the edge of my comfort zone but the boat seemed fine with it. No doubt the fastest sustained sailing I've ever done so far.

    Edit to say: I figure theoretical hull speed at about 5.5 knots. And by my numbers, we must have averaged 6.5 knots over that 80 minutes. No wonder I was having so much fun!

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-20-2019 at 12:19 PM.
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  8. #43
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon1 View Post
    Beautiful! The Alaska seems like a wonderful boat. And such cruising grounds!

    Thanks for sharing.

    Mike
    Mike,

    it really is a perfect place to cruise. Not too far away from the east coast, either... Assuming a guy had a boat and wanted to drag it out here for a long-ish trip, hint hint.

    Tom
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    [QUOTE=WI-Tom;5918183]
    Is there a reason that the standard way is tenon on mast, hole in step?

    I've often wondered the same thing. I guess it's just tradition. Way back when folks were just starting to experiment with masts it was just natural to drop the heel into a hole of some sort I suppose.

    I wonder about centerboard pivots that are below the waterline too. Where's the advantage?

    Your post #40 is showing me one photo and 2 "attachments".

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    I’m a savage, but on a wee boat like these, the type I also play around with, I don’t alter the foot of the mast, at all. Big old whomping round or square foot into an open step. Lots of drainage, and lots of wood on the stick and the surroundings.

    By which, I mean a couple inches square .. Still. And seriously. I don’t cut tenons on the wee jobs, like 2-4 inch diameter masts.

    Peace,
    Robert

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Rob,

    that would work well, too, I suppose. But I always thought the purpose of a tenon on the foot of a mast was so that the shoulder of the mast rested on the step, so the weight of the mast was taken by the step, rather than by the keel. I could all too easily imagine a mast pile-driving itself through the keel with enough repetition.

    I like your lake, by the way. Hard to beat granite, water, and pines (or cedars). I gotta get back out to the Sierra sometime. It's been more than 10 years since I was last in the Yosemite high country.

    Tom
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  12. #47
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Looks like some great cruising! I hope you have a good air mattress for all that rock. I've spent many nights in tents, but never once on bare rock.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    That smooth granite is surprisingly comfortable. I use a yoga mat and a ratty old 1/4" RidgeRest foam pad, and a blanket or two underneath--no air mattresses for me. Then again, I rarely find a mattress firm enough to suit me when it comes to actual beds.

    Tom
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  14. #49
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Are you coming back this season?

  15. #50
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Are you coming back this season?
    That's a bit up in the air at the moment--I think my brother is coming along with his Phoenix III this year, so I'm letting him pick the destination. There's Georgian Bay, but also the Pukwaska on L. Superior. Or or or... lots of choices.

    But a launch in the Killarney area to visit the Thirty Thousand Islands again seems as likely as anything.

    You'll be heading north in Drake at some point, yes? It'd be neat if our paths could cross out there. Do you have any set timelines?

    Tom
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  16. #51
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    So, Day 13 began with me slipping through town (Killarney) early in the morning. There were about a gazillion power cruisers from the Great Lakes Grand Banks Association in Killarney for an annual get-together. I snuck down the channel under oars, thinking "At either end of the social spectrum, there is a leisure class"--and knowing that I was at the opposite end from all of these people! My entire boat, sail included, probably cost less than a couple of hardware bits on these big powerboats.

    Reached Killarney Bay and hoisted up the sail on a good wind. Again, an easterly wind. Two days with a wind perfect for sailing north and west!

    Here's a short clip of my "self steering" set-up--just a line-and-bungee combination, and the sheet tied off to an oarlock with a slippery hitch. The ability to be hands-free and still making progress is essential for small boat cruising, and this whole set-up is the simplest, best one I know.



    You can see the whole system is just two things:

    1. An athwartships line from gunwale to gunwale under the tiller.

    2. A bungee loop wrapped tightly around the athwartships line AND the tiller.

    That's it. The friction of bungee on line holds the tiller in place whenever you let go, but you can grab hold and steer at any moment without adjusting or releasing the tension. It really is great.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  17. #52
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    I didn't stop at all on Day 13--just cruised west through the town of Little Current, where (of course) I just missed the swing bridge opening. I was dithering around trying to decide if I could slip under without dropping the mast--it looked close--when I realized that there was more clearance (maybe an extra foot) under the central swinging span.

    So:

    DSCN5856.jpg

    I lowered the sail so the tip of the yard was lower than the mast, and simply sailed right on through. Once past, tightened up the halyard and kept right on sailing.

    The wind stayed easterly most of the day, right up until the Benjamin Islands were in sight. At which point a big thunderstorm was sweeping in from the northwest, heralded by a gust that put the rail under.

    Day 13.jpg

    I let the sheet fly, but then the pre-storm calm set in. Just a couple of minutes away now, the sky yellow, the clouds dark. Without much inner debate about it, I dropped the rig.

    The mast, though--my repairs (wedges, lines, and mono-pod) made getting the mast down a little more complicated. I decided I'd be ok with it up.

    Then the wind hit--BIG wind, from the northeast. I was really glad the sail was down. Really windy, and whipping up some waves pretty quickly. Wind moving more easterly as the storm went on. I tried to turn downwind and run off under oars--waves were too big to take comfortably on the beam. But with ballast and cruising gear up front, the boat didn't want to head downwind.

    Oh, well. It was a bit of a struggle, but I kept at it. Eventually I rowed right through the main anchorage between South Benjamin and North Benjamin, snuck out the western side, and (at last!) into the wind shadow of North Benjamin Island. Safe.

    Day 13 full.jpg

    I pulled into one of my favorite camping spots, a shallow lagoon on the west side of North Benjamin, where I've never seen another boat:

    DSCN5904 (2).jpg
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  18. #53
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Total mileage from Day 13--about 41 miles. Not bad. Again, mostly broad reaching, and no stops at all.

    With the car and trailer just 12 miles away, I decided it was time for a rest day on North Benjamin. Went exploring on foot:

    DSCN5873.jpg

    Enjoyed some stuffed grape leaves that some cruisers I met in Killarney had given me:

    DSCN5863.jpg

    Did a little reading:

    DSCN5875.jpg

    And watched a heron stalking the shallows nearby, until it flew off:

    DSCN5884 (2).jpg

    I also ran into what I'm pretty sure was a pine marten--it was standing on shore like a welcoming committee when I arrived, but scampered off into the woods before I could get my camera out.

    Did a couple of long swims out to some outlying rocks. Looked for blueberries--but I found only a few sad wrinkled berries the entire trip. Summer too warm? All the leaves were scorched and brown, kind of withered. And this was high season for blueberries.

    All in all, a good day, despite the lack of blueberries. I didn't get in the boat at all. And that was Day 14.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 06-21-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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  19. #54
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    "At either end of the social spectrum there is a leisure class".

    I love it. It's all about manifesting a certain amount of humility, and it's so much nicer and more rewarding to be that relaxed. Good on you Tom. Can we have some more?



  20. #55
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Day 15 was an easy sail back to Spanish, through the narrow passage called Little Detroit (just visible in the video off the starboard bow in the distance):



    And that was about it. 15 days, about 244 miles total (43 rowing, 201 sailing). Not counting rest days with 0 mileage, that's an average distance per day of 22 miles. Not bad. In fact, over the best (i.e. longest mileage) 5 days of the trip, we covered 156 miles--better than a 30-mile average for each day. A heck of a lot faster than my Pirate Racer, Jagular!

    Here's a last look at the whole trip:

    Trip Overview.jpg

    Will I be back? For sure. If not this summer, next summer. Probably both.

    Tom
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  21. #56
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    And finally, Part II of the video if anyone's interested:



    Happy sailing, everyone.

    Tom
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  22. #57
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    If you can swing it you would love the west coast.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    "At either end of the social spectrum there is a leisure class".

    I love it. It's all about manifesting a certain amount of humility, and it's so much nicer and more rewarding to be that relaxed. Good on you Tom. Can we have some more?


    Well, since you mentioned humility, I have to admit that I stole that line from Eric Beck, a Yosemite climbing bum from the 1960s. I can't tell if I'm lucky that the things I like to do don't cost a lot of money, or if I'm so unambitious that I decided to only like things that are cheap. Either way, I think simple and cheap is the better deal.

    I can't wait to see your big dory in action--I hope all is going well with that project.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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  24. #59
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    If you can swing it you would love the west coast.
    That is on my list of things to do for sure. I'll have to get a handle on those "tides" you have out there. That should be fun...

    Tom
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  25. #60
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Tom,

    Do you see many kayakers in those waters? If not why do you think that is?

    Really enjoyed your postings! Thanks for sharing.

    Woody
    Last edited by Woody Jones; 06-21-2019 at 04:53 PM.

  26. #61
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Very nice. I most definitely have to get up there.
    -Dave

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    ....and one other thing. Are we camping or glamping?

    pizza.jpg
    -Dave

  28. #63
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Jones View Post
    Tom,

    Do you see many kayakers in those waters? If not why do you think that is?

    Really enjoyed your postings! Thanks for sharing.

    Woody
    Kayakers are about the only boaters I see, but I don't see much of anyone. On this last 15-day trip, I rowed past 4 kayakers camped out in the Churchill Islands. That was the only boats I saw except for bunches of keelboats and powerboats in the main anchorages at the Benjamin Islands and the Bustard Islands.

    Actually, I did see a group of wooden boat cruisers in Killarney this time--Howard Rice's Small Craft Academy was just launching their 1-week cruise when I was rowing through town. I got to chat with them for a bit, but they were busy rigging up so I didn't stick around long. A couple of Scamps, a Michalak boat or two, etc. That was the first time I ran into kindred spirits in the boat sense out there.

    Tom
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  29. #64
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Woxbox View Post
    ....and one other thing. Are we camping or glamping?

    pizza.jpg
    I figure going without an engine, and sleeping on bare granite without an inflatable mattress earns me a pizza now and then...

    Tom
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  30. #65
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    This is a special introduction to a part of your world Tom, tks! I hope Don gets a chance to see this thread; what a pleasure that would be for him./ Jim

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Kayakers are about the only boaters I see, but I don't see much of anyone. On this last 15-day trip, I rowed past 4 kayakers camped out in the Churchill Islands. That was the only boats I saw except for bunches of keelboats and powerboats in the main anchorages at the Benjamin Islands and the Bustard Islands.

    Actually, I did see a group of wooden boat cruisers in Killarney this time--Howard Rice's Small Craft Academy was just launching their 1-week cruise when I was rowing through town. I got to chat with them for a bit, but they were busy rigging up so I didn't stick around long. A couple of Scamps, a Michalak boat or two, etc. That was the first time I ran into kindred spirits in the boat sense out there.

    Tom
    Often,there are many smaller boats in Collins Inlet and in the little channels on the south side of South Benjamin.
    R
    Sleep with one eye open.

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Williamson View Post
    Often,there are many smaller boats in Collins Inlet and in the little channels on the south side of South Benjamin.
    R
    Ron,

    I do see boats around the Benjamins--the south side as you say attracts its fair share. Fox Harbor on nearby Fox Island, too; and Croker Island--that whole area. But I guess it depends what "small" means. I've been sailing up around here since 2010, and (other than Howard Rice's group in Killarney last summer) have never seen any dinghy cruisers or open boats, except (twice) as tenders for keelboats. I did see some small outboard-powered fishing boats in Collins Inlet, that's not so remote in feel as the rest of Georgian Bay.

    I find that, staying out of the main anchorages, I rarely see any other boats at all. Suits me fine!

    Tom
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  33. #68
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    I'll bump this thread to add a link to a Zoom presentation about this trip that I just did at Midwest Mountaineering's Outdoor Adventure Expo (normally an in-person event in Minneapolis), in case anyone's interested in a slightly different kind of presentation. Not only a trip report, but also intended to be a bit of an introduction to the idea of sail & oar cruising.



    Some interesting boat-related presentations this year, including one about kayaking the Apostle Islands.

    AND a SUP trip from Duluth to James Bay!

    You can see the list of presentations, and access the free YouTube recordings, HERE ON THE EXPO WEBSITE.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 04-30-2021 at 11:31 AM.
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  34. #69
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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    If it makes you feel any better, it's been several decades since I got a boat wet in Georgian Bay too. And won't be doing so any time soon either.
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

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    Default Re: Return to Georgian Bay, Part II

    Once again I have started reading a thread and not noticed the date till some way into it. Very enjoyable read .
    be modest, and be proud of it.

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