Friday, August 2, 2013

North Channel Day 8: Spanish to Eagle Island Anchorage

Good morning Spanish Marina
Friday, August 2nd: We really enjoyed Spanish Marina and were very glad we decided to stay overnight our first night instead of trying to find an anchorage right away. Between the longer than expected drive and the hours it took to grocery shop and get the boat put back together, it was so much more relaxing to have a leisurely morning to prepare.

Soon after we got up, Ben unhooked the truck from the trailer so we could take a drive into town. We needed to grocery shop, since we didn't bring any meat, dairy, fruits or veggies into Canada (just a precaution). Just up the road from the Spanish Marina is the Freshmart. We were able to find steaks, pork skewers, cheese, milk, produce and snacks at reasonable prices. Across the street was the LCBO, where we picked up a bottle of Captain Morgan White Rum, Fuzion (red wine) and Molson Canadian for Ben.

Then finally... what I've been waiting for... we stopped for poutine at Lucky's Snack Shop! Yummmm. If you don't know what poutine is and think that I am crazy, basically it's fries, covered in fresh cheese curds, covered in gravy. DELICIOUS. I've been slightly obsessed since having it last year in Providence and Meldrum Bay.

Lucky Snack Bar
Poutine!!  And groceries from the Freshmart - to hopefully last the rest of our trip.
Anyway, after we were done with our errands, we waited in Spanish for rain to pass. We used the extra time to hike the shoreline trail and the overlook, which gives an amazing view of the Spanish Marina and the Whalesback Channel.
Stairs up the the overlook and shoreline trail
View from the Spanish Marina overlook
Spanish Lighthouse and the Whalesback Channel
Lots of blueberries on the trail
Around 3pm, the rain seemed to clear up a bit, so we made a run for Eagle Island. We decided on Eagle based on the forecast of strong west winds, since we would be protected on all but the North side. We also wanted to stay pretty close our first night and not try to enter any difficult anchorages, just to build our confidence a bit! 

The sun came out as we started our trip to Eagle, and we enjoyed a beautiful trip through the Whalesback, Little Detroit (we didn't see what the fuss was about), around Frechette Island, and finally into Eagle's harbor. We had a bit of difficulty getting out of the marina since the channel was under construction, but everything else went perfectly.
Leaving Spanish Marina
Construction in the Spanish Channel
Seeing the Little Detroit Channel for the first time
Entering Little Detroit Channel (wasn't as scary as it's made out to be, in my opinion)
Nearing the Eagle Island Anchorage
We anchored in Eagle at the Northwest corner of the anchorage, in about 9 feet over sand. The strong West winds forcasted had now turned into a gale advisory (of course), but we were pretty comfortable swinging on the hook.

Anchored in Eagle Island
View out the back of the boat
Ben preparing the kayak for exploration
One of our fancy boat dinners
We enjoyed a nice dinner, then kayaked around the anchorage, climbed on some rocks, and finally settled back in to enjoy the Canadian version of Thin Mints along with a game of Phase 10.
Kayaking in Eagle Island Anchorage
Exploring the rocks in Eagle Island Anchorage
Dana taking a nap in the kayak
This was actually our first night EVER swinging on the hook (we are usually tied to shore, or have a stern anchor out), and I must say I was a little nervous. Ben was confident about our anchoring, but I felt like I needed to stay up for awhile on "anchor watch" to ease my nerves, especially since it was a New Moon and really hard to see the other boats in the anchorage.
I set myself up in front of the gps (where I could watch our movement on the screen) with the lantern and my book. Soon it was pitch black in the anchorage, and the stars and the milky way looked so close you could touch them. I have never seen stars so incredible. Around midnight, I was finally convinced that we weren't going to drag anchor, and Ben and I both enjoyed a great night of sleep.

Dana on anchor watch

Trip Details:
Departed Spanish, ON at 3pm - Arrived Eagle Island Anchorage at 4:30pm (burned 6.1 gal fuel)
Weather: Sunny in AM, followed by rain at noon, followed again by sun.
Strong Wind Advisory - West/NW winds 15-25 knots
Water Temp (in Eagle) 67.2
New Moon

Anchoring:
We anchored in the front of the harbor (on the Western shore) in 9ft.
The bottom was mostly a sandy mud, with good holding. Light weeds.
Ended up with 70ft of line for a 8 to 1 scope ratio.