Returning to Fox Island

on August 10th, 2014 in CRUISING : by | Comments Returning to Fox Island

Fox Island 1 Returning to Fox Island

When we left South Benjamin Island we headed for Fox Island, located only about four miles from South Benjamin. We had anchored here once before with our Silverton and remembered how beautiful it was. The landscape is rocky all around the anchorage, offering good hiking and photo opportunities along the perimeter. When we anchored here previously, we were the only boat on the hook in the channel, this time there were several boats already at anchor, so this time we settled on a spot all the way in, up by the reeds.

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We were looking forward to our afternoon hike on the island. Some parts are just challenging enough, we had to figure out how we could continue along without wading through water or climbing up the steep side of a smooth rock. Just over the crest of the rocky shoreline we were surprised by this little land locked natural pond (below). It looks like it is home to some very lucky birds, animals and aquatic life.

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Next, we followed the eastern shoreline around the anchorage to see how far we could get before turning back.

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We found lots of berries on the island, so we picked handfuls of blueberries and raspberries and ate them while we walked.

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When we were anchored off South Benjamin with Mike and Jess, we all took a walk on the outer island, the one that protects the anchorage from the open channel. One thing we noticed while there were an abundance of spiders clinging to the evergreen trees, EVERYWHERE. That is where Mike and Jim procured a few aptly coined “spider sticks” to forge ahead while swiping the air in-between trees for spider webs. Even though we noticed the absence of spiders and webs on the trees, Jim found a spider stick anyways, saying he was protecting his “woman.”

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We ended our stay with a dinghy ride through some reeds and rocks, the little channel opened up into a little well that we decided we’d keep in mind for a future anchorage.

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Many Thanks to All…

on August 9th, 2014 in CRUISING : by | Comments Many Thanks to All…

Tugs at Dock 9 Many Thanks to All...

We want to thank everyone who attended the first Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous and look forward to meeting up with many of the participants on the waterways in the future. Boats in attendance ranged from far away as Alberta, Fort Lauderdale, Rhode Island and Texas. This was the first time cruising the North Channel for 9 of the 15 boats.

Group Shot 1 Many Thanks to All...

Although we could not have had a successful rendezvous without those that were in attendance there is lot that goes on behind the scenes well before the rendezvous starts and during the rendezvous that we are all very thankful for. Thanks to Debby Turner at Little Currents Turner’s for suppling the Manitoulin Island/North Channel maps for our ditty bags. We also had donations for our ditty bags from Prism Polish, GMC Flint Assembly Plant and the UAW (including the bags), Ranger Tug hats and key fobs. Thanks to Reid Taylor for making arrangements for our dockage at Little Current Town Docks and use of the Pavillion, everything was delivered as promised.

One of the things when organizing a rendezvous of this sort, is that you never quite know for sure how everything will work out until it happens. Kelly, owner of Anchor Inn, did such a great job, the food was exceptional, everyone was extremely pleased with the quality and quantity… thanks Kelly for all your hard work, being on time (even though having to deal with a power outage during prep work), professional and on budget.

Roy Eaton, Little Current Crusiers Net coordinater, was very well received by our attendees. The very first night he hit the docks and delivered his own welcome bag to each attendee and it included Little Current information as well as free ice cream coupons and free pump out passes. A visit to his live Cruisers Net broadcast and his wonderful North Channel powerpoint presentation helped to enhance the even offerings to each Ranger Tug owner. Thanks Roy. Mark Coles, of Boating Georgian Bay, gave us a detailed history lesson of Georgian Bay and passed out some boat wax and some special BGB hot sauce.

Reed Yacht Sales and Lefroy Harbour Marine and Resorts were not only sponsors but they were part of our experience. Thanks to Paul Reed along with Ryan Stovold and Jim Ward for being in attendance and supporting our Ranger Tug community of boating. We truly hope our mass presence in the North Channel leads to positive things for both of their organizations.

Lastly, but certainly not least, a special thanks to Jeff Messmer at Ranger Tugs for his rendezvous guidance, financial and promotional support as well as sending Kenny Marrs all the way from Kent, Washington to join us, we think he had a great time. Kenny always does a great job working to help Ranger Tug owners and this trip was no exception, thanks Kenny for your support, your friendly smile and positive, professional, demeanor.

Tugs at Dock 1 Many Thanks to All...

Mark and Jodi, on Irish Mist, took this amazing panorama of our boats at dock in Little Current. Thanks for sharing Mark.

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Dave, on Bucket List has a Portland Pudgy dinghy with a sailing kit he had yet to install. He got lots of help on the dock today and Dwain helped him with the sailing mechanics after it they launched it.

Tugs at Dock 3 Many Thanks to All...

Randy and Cindy, on I Think I Can, took these great photos (above and three below) from on top of the hill behind the marina. Thanks Randy and Cindy for sharing.

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Two Presentations and a Pizza Party

on August 9th, 2014 in CRUISING : by | Comments Two Presentations and a Pizza Party

1 Roy 1 Two Presentations and a Pizza Party

On the last day Roy Eaton, from the LCCN, gave a wonderful powerpoint presentation at the Anchor Inn Bar, an overview of Georgian Bay and the North Channel highlighting some of the history and many popular anchorages.

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Later, back at the pavilion, we gathered for a presentation by Mark Coles (above), of Boating Georgian Bay, who gave a geological and historical overview of Georgian Bay. Mark also spent the afternoon photographing and video taping Ranger Tug owners for a piece he was doing on the Boating Georgian Bay’s website.

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Later in the afternoon we had a boat crawl. It’s always interesting to see what additions, improvements and/or enhancements others have made to their boats. I came away with a cave area, storage shelf, idea I saw on Mike and Jess’s boat, Illusions. Lisa liked a spice rack (above-left) that was hand built by Randy and Cindy on, I Think I Can., she also liked their Yorkie (above-right).

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A delicious lunch was again served by Kelly from the Anchor Inn (above-left). Annie, on Gentle Lady, was beaming ear to ear, she must have had a good time.

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The Rendezvous concluded on the evening of the third day with a pizza party in the pavilion followed by a lot of lively conversation about the fun we all had, with most boaters sharing their future cruising plans with each other.

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Mike and Jess on Illusions (above).

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Pauline and Ken on Shipperly (above).

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Gregg and Kathy on Santolina (above).

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Dwain and Jackie on Lydia (above).

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We were so excited to finally meet Jean and Ken, on Puddle Duck (above-Left), at this rendezvous. We’d heard their story and read articles on their late-in-life boating adventures. Their story is inspirational, they know how to live life that’s for sure. Joining them as crew on Puddle Duck, during their cruise to the rendezvous, is the well known Captain Patti Moore (above-right), from Sea Sense Boating School.

You can read Ken and Jean’s story here…
Puddle Duck – Maiden Voyage

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Greg, on Tug R Knott II (above) with Jim from Lefroy Harbor Marine.

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Dave and Donna on Bucket List (above).

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Mark, on Irish Mist (above) with Carolyn, on Pour House.

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Harry, on Pour House with Jodie, on Irish Mist (above).

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Kenny from Ranger Tugs and Ryan from Lefroy Harbor Marine  (above).

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Dave, on Sequel (above) with daughter and granddaughter.

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Chris, on Sequel (above) with grandson.

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Randy, on I Think I Can with Mike, on Illusions (above).

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Wayne and Anne on Sine Wave (above) with Cindy, on I Think I Can. Mike and Jess always seem to ready for a photo and they sure know how to smile.

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Roy Eaton – Little Current Cruisers Network

on August 8th, 2014 in CANADA, CRUISING :, GREAT LAKES:, North Channel by | Comments Roy Eaton – Little Current Cruisers Network

Cruisers Net 1 Roy Eaton – Little Current Cruisers Network

At 9 a.m., most of us hiked up to the Anchor Inn building where Roy Eaton gives his live VHF broadcast of “The Net” on channel 71 for boaters cruising Canada’s beautiful North Channel.

Roy Eaton founded the LCCN in 2004. The Cruisers’ Net, in operation during the boating season between July 1st and August 31st, not only broadcasts weather, sports and news, (world and local – Roy sometimes injects a little bit of humor), but also helps boaters cruising the area to handle emergencies while also relaying news from one boat to another. Following the news Roy provides a check in for boaters anywhere in the North Channel, giving an overview of where boaters are and where they intend to head to.

If you’ve boated in the Abaco Islands you’ll be familiar with the format as Roy got the idea for the LCCN when cruising that area.

Roy is a bit of a celebrity in these parts. If you’re a boater staying in Little Current you don’t want to miss attending the daily morning broadcast in the studio above the Anchor Inn Restaurant, and when cruising the North Channel, make sure to check in each morning with Roy, he’ll be tickled if you do.

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Roy Eaton – Founder,  Little Current Cruisers Net

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We even got to see our Yacht Club’s burgee (Grant Traverse Yacht Club) already tacked on the walls of the Cruisers’ Net studio. (Above-Top Left.)

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Day Two – Activities and Good Food

on August 8th, 2014 in CANADA, CRUISING :, GREAT LAKES:, North Channel by | Comments Day Two – Activities and Good Food

Day 2 3b Day Two – Activities and Good Food

Pot Luck 6 Day Two – Activities and Good Food

Day two started off with a catered breakfast prepared by Kelly, owner of the Anchor Inn. We could have gotten by without eating the rest of the day, the meal was so plentiful and well prepared. Breakfast was followed by a visit to the Cruisers’ Net at the Anchor Inn (see next post for details). (Above Left) Mike and Jim were having some fun at the marina up the road.

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Later that morning Kenny Marrs conducted a “Ask the Factory” session in which a lot on questions were answered by Kenny with a good exchange of helpful information between Kenny and boat owners. Late afternoon, we had a North Channel chart review followed by a marine related app session.

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Jess and Mike (above) on their way to Happy Hour.

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The day ended with another well received catered meal by Kelly. After dinner Mike Rizzo conducted a “Last Person Standing” contest. We had two cash prize winners and Gregg and Kathy from Santolina (below) won a $350 parts package for their tug from Ranger Tugs… make sure you claim this on your taxes Gregg!

winners Day Two – Activities and Good Food

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Rendezvous In Full Swing

on August 7th, 2014 in CANADA, CRUISING :, GREAT LAKES:, North Channel by | Comments Rendezvous In Full Swing

Rendezvous Day 2 1 Rendezvous In Full Swing

It is often stated that the North Channel is some of the best inland cruising you’ll find anywhere and we could not agree more – it is, after all, our backyard boating playground. Lisa and I talked about the possibility of having a Ranger Tugs/Cutwater Rendezvous in the North Channel shortly after we bought our red tug several years ago. With that in mind we approached Jeff Messmer at Ranger Tugs while we were cruising in the Pacific Northwest last summer and by fall the Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous was put into full planning mode. Jeff and I contacted several dealers in the area, Reed Yacht Sales and Lefroy Harbour Marine and Resorts and got them on board as sponsors for the rendezvous. Dates for the three-day event were set at that point and we slowly worked out the details during the winter months. It didn’t take long to make the decision on the location for the rendezvous as Little Current is geared towards accommodating boaters traveling through the area. The local businesses we worked with, for food and give aways, were very generous and helpful, they made the whole process seem like a breeze.

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Day One of the Rendezvous Began with Introductions, a Pot Luck, and Lots of Smiling Faces

on August 7th, 2014 in CANADA, CRUISING :, GREAT LAKES:, North Channel by | Comments Day One of the Rendezvous Began with Introductions, a Pot Luck, and Lots of Smiling Faces

Pot Luck 1 Day One of the Rendezvous Began with Introductions, a Pot Luck, and Lots of Smiling Faces

All morning tugs arrived at the town docks in Little Current until all fifteen boats (35 people) were secure at the dock. Introductions continued all day as we met people from all over the United States (8 boats) and Canada (7 boats) – 14 Ranger Tugs and one Cutwater. The boat coming the farthest distance in the U.S. was from Texas and the farthest Canadian boat hailed from Alberta. Many different people, tastes and personalities all sharing one common passion, their Ranger Tugs/Cutwater boats.

Carolyn, on Pour House (above), brought a big pan of ribs for consumption by the hungry boaters at the scheduled pot luck.

Pot Luck 2 Day One of the Rendezvous Began with Introductions, a Pot Luck, and Lots of Smiling Faces

Soon after arriving and getting settled at the town docks, everyone was busy getting a dish ready for the pot luck that night. Mind you this was no ordinary potluck! It is truly amazing what elaborate and delicious dishes can be made on our little tugs.

Pot Luck 3 Day One of the Rendezvous Began with Introductions, a Pot Luck, and Lots of Smiling Faces

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Rendezvous Early Birds

on August 6th, 2014 in CANADA, CRUISING :, GREAT LAKES:, North Channel by | Comments Rendezvous Early Birds

Rendezvous Early Birds 1 Rendezvous Early Birds

We arrived in Little Current one day early for the 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous, Jim is the organizer of the event, the first ever for Ranger Tugs in the North Channel. First things first. We headed to the town dock for a pump out before going to our slip assignment.

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We had a surprise guest to the docks tonight around dusk. Roy Eaton, the Net Controller and  originator of the Little Current Cruisers’ Net. Roy came down to the docks to welcome all the Ranger Tugs coming in for the rendezvous in Little Current. He had welcome bags and coupons for free ice cream in town. Well known to locals and boaters alike for his efforts to provide the community a valuable and entertaining resource with his radio broadcasts geared specifically for North Channel cruisers. I didn’t know I’d be having my photo taken with a celebrity so soon after arriving in Little Current. (More on Roy in a future post.)

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With seven out of fourteen boats in attendance already we slowly formed an informal dock party before we headed up to town and the Anchor Inn for dinner.

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