Toward North Channel

We bid our guests farewell and slipped lines late Saturday morning, our destination somewhere north about 5 hours’ cruise. We decided to head for Echo Bay, part of the Massasauga Provincial Park, at the recommendation of local cruisers we spoke with. We arrived about 4PM, and found the anchorage not empty, as expected for a weekend. We made a pass into the main anchorage where most of the anchored boats were shore-tied, very common as we’re learning. Having little experience with the process, we hesitated, then withdrew to the western bow of the anchorage where there was a bit more room. We dropped the hook, then dropped the dinghy and put together some long lines for a shore tie. Maerin was bow anchored and in good position, so I took the line to shore in the dinghy and sounded the bottom in the process. All good, deep right up to shore, so made a line fast to a tree, laid the line on a rock, then returned to Maerin, pulled her stern toward shore with the dinghy, retrieved the line from the rock and took the end to Maerin, making it fast to the stern cleat. Done! Not a well-practiced procedure, but we didn’t garner an audience, and there was no shouting, so an unqualified success!

The anchorage was as quiet and peaceful as any we’ve experienced thus far. Lots of weekend boaters, a few came by and chatted us up, as we’ve come to expect, lots of questions about the boat. We’ve come to the conclusion that there just aren’t many Selenes that folks in the area have seen, there’s always interest and folks dinghying by and commenting on how they like the boat. We returned the sentiment when the folks in the photo idled by pulling their dog in its own mini-dinghy! It was very comical and we shared a laugh with the folks while trying to keep Molly from getting any ideas! The dog in the mini-dink reminded us a lot of Sammy, he’d have loved that ride! We took a ride up the creek that feeds the anchorage, lots of weedy grass on the bottom, but very peaceful. We were able to stop for a brief explore and, of course a swim for Molly until the mosquitos appeared. Time to head back! We spent a peaceful night and headed off the following morning to continue northward.



Our cruise Sunday took us north toward Bying Inlet, where we decided to anchor for the night. There are a number of suitable anchorages that would provide protection from the W winds that had been building during the day to about 14 gusting 22 by the time we stopped. We chose to anchor behind Golden Sword Island which offered good protection from the wind, but we experienced some surge due to the wave action wrapping around the ends of the island. Not nearly as calm as the previous night’s stop, but a nice stopover. A dinghy ride after we anchored reveald some very nice spots in the surrounding Black Bay area, but tricky to get into, so we took the easy route since were were planning to only stay overnight. Many local cruisers are familiar with the area and have negotiated the tricky entrances to those very isolated anchorages where it can be blowing 20 knots but the anchorage is still mill pond smooth! For the non-local (us!), entering those areas with only the charts and no prior knowledge can be treacherous; there can be a house-sized boulder just under the surface in the middle of what looks like wide-open deep water! A communication with a forum acquaintance revealed that the Great Lakes Cruising Club has many hand-drawn charts produced by the club members that give detailed instruction on entering many of the areas that are lacking in details on the “official” CHS charts.

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