Sunday, August 10, 2014

Road to North Channel, Ontario, July 2014

International Bridge Crossing
Friday, July 11, 2014: The long-awaited day has finally arrived! Late last winter we decided that we would do whatever we could to make it back to the North Channel this summer, and we've been looking forward to it ever since. After very little sleep (and no sleep for Dana), we picked up Seapickle and were on the road by about 2:30 a.m. CST.  We had a pretty uneventful tow (which is a good thing!), and only needed to stop for one rest-area nap near Lansing, MI. 

We crossed the International Bridge right around 2pm, and thankfully had no trouble at customs.  The drive from the border to Spanish took another 2 1/2 hours, which got us there right before 5pm EST. Aside from a bit of construction, it was a very smooth drive.

Just launched at Spanish Marina, Ontario
 Once we arrived in Spanish, it took just under 2 hours to load all our clothing, food, kayak, etc onto the boat, get the boat launched, and get the truck and trailer secured in the parking lot at Spanish Marina. We had checked the wind direction forecast (S/SW) on the way to Spanish and decided on anchoring at nearby Fox Island or Gibson Cove for the night. Once we were leaving Spanish around 7pm though, we decided that we would leave the tricker Fox Island anchorage for another day and head to Gibson Cove.  Also of note, there was NO wind warning for once in our trips up to the NC!

Spanish channel leading to North Channel
 Following our GLCC charts and maps we've purchased over the years, we navigated out of the Spanish channel, through Little Detroit Narrows, and around to the NE shore of Fox Island, which is referred to as Gibson Cove. Turning in, we discovered only one other boat anchored, tucked into the NW corner of the cove. We investigated a few different spots to anchor, until Butch from Bandit II (the other boat at anchor) rode over in his dinghy to find out who in the world would be trying to find a spot to anchor so late (haha... us of course) and lead us to a good spot that they used to stay in with their smaller Sea Ray. 

Butch from "Bandit II" assisting us with tying to shore
 With smooth rocks and a fire pit on shore, it seemed to be a perfect spot to tie up for the night. Butch was even nice enough to take our lines to shores for us and tie us up to a couple trees. :-) It was about 8pm by the time we were anchored, and even though it stays light out so much later than at home, we only lasted another couple hours before we were out for the night. Vacation mode = ON!!!

"Bandit II" at anchor in Gibson Cove
Port Departed: Portage, Indiana (by car, towing boat)  Time: 2:30am, CST
Port Arrived: Spanish, Ontario   Time: 5:00pm, EST (with 1 hour nap at rest-stop)

Weather: Mix of sun & clouds, warm (70's), light South / Southwest Winds

What & Where we Ate: Road Trip food, with a stop at a gas station Arby's for lunch.  Bagel and cream cheese for dinner, because we were too tired to cook.

Money Spent: $46 for truck/trailer storage in Spanish, plus ice & worms