Saturday, August 3, 2013

Day 9: The Long-Awaited Journey to Baie Fine!

Sunrise - Eagle Island Anchorage
Boating Breakfast - Pastries from Spanish and Coffee from our Propane Coffee Maker
Saturday, August 3rd: We enjoyed a peaceful sunrise in the Eagle Island Anchorage, then went back to sleep for a couple hours before enjoying coffee & breakfast around 8am. We prepared to leave Eagle right away and make a run for Baie Fine. From the anchorage we were protected from the wind, but we heard "strong wind warning" for the afternoon on the radio and knew we needed to make a decision quick. If we didn't move from Eagle now, we may be stuck another day or two. So we took advantage of the calm and started the journey to Baie Fine.

Armour Island Anchorage - right outside Eagle Island
Sailboat anchored in one of the South Benjamin Island coves
Tall Ship with Manitoulin Island in the background. Note the 2 little people on top of the sails!
As soon as we left the protection of Eagle Island, we were greeted by a strong West wind and 2-3ft waves. As we continued on past Armour Island, the Benjamin Islands, Croker (our favorite last year!), the waves went down to about 1 foot, and the ride was a little more enjoyable! We took it pretty slow for the most part, which gave us plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Finding the Channel outside Little Current
Right on time for the swing bridge! It opened a few minutes late at 1:04pm
And then promptly closed at 1:08pm :-( 
 With the strong west wind to our backs, we were a little nervous for how the current would react in Little Current under the swing bridge. We timed it out perfectly to arrive at the bridge at just a little after 1pm (it's open for 15 minutes on the hour). At 1:04 the bridge opened, and we started moving towards it to go under... taking video to show our cool bridge passing!! But sadly, just a few minutes later, the bridge closed just as we were getting close! No cool video... boooo. It turns out, our size boat has no problem going under the bridge, so there was no need for the bridge operator to keep it open for us. At least we know now that we don't have to try to time out our Little Current crossings on the hour! And we had no trouble with the current, even with the 15k wind.

An example of what we look at to help us navigate through the islands
Strawberry Island Lighthouse (shown on the map above)
The narrow entrance to Baie Fine
After crossing Little Current, it was a smooth journey to Baie Fine following the Small Craft Route. The entrance to Baie Fine/Frazer Point was a little difficult to locate, but we followed the route and ended up directly in front of the entrance. We could hardly believe that we had made it this far. Last year in the North Channel, this had seemed like just a dream, and after having to cancel our plans halfway through the trip, we weren't sure if we'd ever make it to Baie Fine! But here we were... staring right at the entrance with the mountains rising in the distance. A dream come true!