Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 8: Leaving Blind River for...


Looking up anchors online and agonizing over the decision to stay or leave
One thing we can say about our trip so far is that we've definitely learned a lot about the North Channel that you can only get from experience. Ben spent a lot of time talking with some experienced locals on our dock (including a charter captain named Bill, who is currently writing a book about the North Channel) about what anchors to use, favorite anchorages and what to look out for while navigating. We were still debating back and forth whether to press on further east, or whether to head to familiar waters in Michigan.

Once we realized that every boat in the marina had the same anchor (a Bruce claw style anchor), we decided the first thing we needed to do to continue was see if we could track down one for our boat. The second thing we did was ask Bill, the charter captain, to mark our maps for us to show us the best routes and anchorage for that night. Bill's favorite anchorage is Croker Island in the Benjamin Island group, so that is where we decided we would go (if we could get a new anchor).

Boaters are just so darn nice! After marking our maps for us and showing Ben on his GPS the best way to get to Croker Island, Bill also called Canadian Yacht Charters in Gore Bay for us to see if they had the anchors in stock... and they did! So after breakfast and saying goodbye to all our new friends, our next stop was Gore Bay to buy an anchor, and then hopefully on to Croker Island!

Leaving the safe harbor of Blind River
It was about 30 miles southeast to Gore Bay to buy the anchor, and thankfully the seas were kind to us that morning and we made the trip in a little over an hour. We were allowed to dock for free at the Gore Bay Marina to run up to Canadian Yacht Charters to look for the anchor. We found it, and a few other supplies, and hurried back to the boat to install.

Installing our new Bruce anchor in Gore Bay
Final decision... we are continuing on in the North Channel! Today's destination Croker Island, 14 miles northeast of Gore Bay.

Looks safe so far! Approx. 2pm heading north to Croker Island