Roy Eaton – Little Current Cruisers Network

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…

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Day Two – Activities And Good Food

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. 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…

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Rendezvous In Full Swing

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…

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Day One Of The Rendezvous Began With Introductions, A Pot Luck, And Lots Of Smiling Faces

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…

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Rendezvous Early Birds

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. 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…

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And Then There Were Two…

And Then There Were Two…

Coffee tasted extra good high up on the granite rocks this morning. Jim and I discussed how long we should stay in this spot at South Benjamin Island before we headed to the Ranger Tugs Rendezvous in Little Current – we both agreed, it might be one of those long three-day stays. We only have five days before we need to be in Little Current for the rendezvous and sometimes it's just not as relaxing to move every day or two to cram several spots in. We figured it doesn't get much better than this and we should stay put. We are anticipating…

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On The Rocks – South Benjamin Island

On the Rocks – South Benjamin Island

We left Eagle Island early so we would have the best chance to secure a place on the rocks at South Benjamin Island. We anticipated a lot of boating activity in the North Channel this weekend due to the Canadian Civic Holiday falls on Monday. We wanted to get in early in the day to snag a good spot. We had previously anchored in a small cove near the southwest entrance to the channel. Although that spot was free when we arrived, we soon spotted another location further in where we had seen boats tied up before, it looked interesting and it was…

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First Anchorage – Eagle Island

First Anchorage – Eagle Island

We spent most of the late afternoon and early evening organizing and storing stuff on the boat. Since Jim organized the rendezvous, we have boxes and boxes of ditty bag items, printed agendas and books to stow on board. We finally found a home for everything and were able to relax on the back deck to enjoy the last remnants of the sun setting behind the island.

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Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

We arrived in Spanish, Ontario this afternoon to launch Kismet and begin our trek to Little Current for the 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous. After a slow start to our summer cruising activities, due to a family commitment, Jim and I are so excited to finally splash Kismet at Spanish. After passing each other on the highway several times this afternoon, we finally caught up with Gregg and Kathy on their Ranger Tug Santolina. They have trailered their tug all the way from Texas. We each took some time parked in the huge parking lot getting our boats ready to launch.…

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Have A Ranger Tug?

Have a Ranger Tug?

Join Us in the North Channel for the 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous! The More the Merrier!   We’ve been given a one week extension, until June 27th, to guarantee dock space for the rendezvous, so if you’re thinking of attending make sure you get your registration form and payment to me by then. We look forward to seeing everyone soon. Click on the link below to access the registration form and please email me with any questions that you may have. With spring in the air the much anticipated boating season in Canada’s North Channel is just around the…

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Last Stop In The San Juans – Spencers Spit

Last Stop in the San Juans – Spencers Spit

Spencer Spit, situated on the eastern side of Lopez Island in the San Juan Island chain, is a Washington State Marine Park, which means the area has mooring buoys, beach campsites, and hiking. We’ve never anchored or moored here, so we choose this spot as our days end destination, after we departed our yacht club friends at Garrison Bay. What’s nice about Spencer Spit is that one can choose which side of the spit to anchor or catch a mooring ball on, depending on the expected wind direction. We had no concerns about wind that day and spent a calm…

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Toodle-oo Canada

Toodle-oo Canada

We left Vancouver Island in our wake as we bid Canada goodbye, with our bow now pointed toward Haro Straight, we began to feel the pull of our country drawing us back to familiar shores after the close of a long-planned boating adventure. It was late in the day when we arrived back into home waters, so after checking in with customs at Friday Harbor, we idled back out and across the San Juan Channel to anchor overnight in the protected confines of Parks Bay, off Shaw Island. It’s our cruising philosophy, when paying for overnight dockage, to strive to…

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Bear Sighting In Chemainus, Vancouver Island, Canada

Bear Sighting in Chemainus, Vancouver Island, Canada

Always on the lookout for something new to experience, we decided to visit Chemainus on our return trip south, through the Gulf Islands, on our way back to the U.S. The name, Chemainus, originates from the native shaman and prophet “Tsa-meeun-is,” which stands for Broken Chest. Legend goes that the man survived a massive wound to his chest and then became a powerful leader, his people took his name to identify their community, Chemainus First Nation. Later founded as a logging town, in 1858, the town is now famous for 39 beautiful painted murals that grace the downtown buildings depicting the town’s…

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At Anchor In Departure Bay For One Night

At Anchor in Departure Bay for One Night

We left Jedediah Island refreshed and confident in heading out again, we continued our crossing of the Strait of Georgia the day after being literally blown off the water. As you can see Lisa's taking photos again and while this day looked much better it was still a little stormy when we started out, however with some blue sky showing up on the horizon. The water conditions were still a little lumpy, but comparing it to the day before, it was a walk in the park, so to speak. By the time we completed the last 10 miles of our…

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Into The Light… Jedediah Island

Into the Light… Jedediah Island

The closer we got to Jedediah Island the calmer the waters and our nerves became. As we sliced through the channel, with the powerful push of following seas behind us, we traveled between Jedediah and Bull Islands (both islands are protected by two larger islands, Texada and Lasqueti), making our way to the leeward side of all the turbulence in the straits. Almost magically the wave activity became a non-issue. We immediately found a pint sized, well-protected, cove suitable to drop anchor, a boat was just leaving so we hovered out a bit until they were off and the anchorage…

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The Storm

The Storm

Leaving the calm of Pender Harbour behind us, we headed out toward the Malaspina Straight, pointed southwest towards the Gulf Islands. We were aware of the storm that was to arrive later in the day and, based on the weather reports, we thought if we left early enough in the morning we’d miss the high winds, as it’s only about 36 miles across to Nanaimo, on Vancouver island, our planned, end of the day, destination. No such luck! Not long after we left the calmness of the protected harbor, the waves we encountered were steadily increasing in height and uncomfortableness.…

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Pender Harbour… Calm Before The Storm

Pender Harbour… Calm Before the Storm

We timed our departure from Chatterbox Falls to catch the first slack tide at Malibu Rapids; once back into Jervis Inlet we enjoyed a leisurely cruise, retracing the 40-mile route as we headed for our end of day destination, Pender Harbour. A lot of the Canadian boaters we met during our Desolation Sound cruise this summer recommended a stay at Pender Harbour, a natural harbor just off of the Strait of Georgia. The harbor has a number of marinas and a few good anchorages to choose from along with a little town, grocery store and several restaurants close by. By the…

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Leaving Chatterbox Falls, Princess Louisa And Jervis Inlets Behind

Leaving Chatterbox Falls, Princess Louisa and Jervis Inlets Behind

And then it was time to leave, we could have stayed at Chatterbox Falls at least a week and not gotten bored of our surroundings, the other boaters we'd yet to meet or the indescribable energy of, what Jim calls the, "Inner Sanctum." Taking advantage of a picture perfect day for a photo op with falls in background. Back out in Jervis Inlet, we had a clear view of the gorgeous snow-capped mountains.

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Last Night At Chatterbox Falls

Last Night at Chatterbox Falls

With Some Absolute, a Little Tonic and Santana to Light the Way By our third night on the dock we were really starting to feel at home as we helped some boaters leave the dock and others tie up. This exchange of boats happens daily at Chatterbox Falls. Seaplanes were coming and going and after the second slack tide of the day, the dock was full again. How could we not enjoy our time at the falls with Absolute and Tonic sharing the dock with us along with a little Santana to ease nature's daily ritual as she transformed the day's blue…

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Dinghy Ride To Malibu Club For Ice Cream

Dinghy Ride to Malibu Club for Ice Cream

One of the things we had come to enjoy while cruising in the Pacific Northwest this year was our time exploring away from the boat by dinghy. We would try to get as much information about where to beach our dinghy so that could do a nice hike and maybe encounter a freshwater lake or woodsy waterfall. On our last full day at Chatterbox Falls we decided to spend the day taking a dinghy ride from the dock at the falls all the way back to Malibu Rapids (5 miles) to visit the Malibu Club, a summer camp for high…

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Dinghy Ride Away From Shore For Better Vantage Point Of The Falls

Dinghy Ride Away from Shore for Better Vantage Point of the Falls

While out exploring by dinghy at high tide, we idled in as close to the falls as we dared, waterfall mist soaking us as we floated over the seabed we had earlier in the day been walking on. We were also able to get a better vantage point of the waterfall in it's entirety as we got farther away from the dock. For those so inclined anchoring in front of the falls is possible, providing the best viewing of the falls. The falls (above) were created by the heavy rains of late. If you're interested in some scenic property, there's a…

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Exploring The Area Around The Falls

Exploring the Area Around the Falls

Hike Up to Get Close and Personal with Chatterbox Falls... Lisa and I hiked up to edge of Chatterbox Falls, close enough to be sprayed by the relentless down pouring water. Peeking through the lush vegetation at viewing spot, we were mesmerized yet again, not only by the beauty but the power and force of Mother Nature. We walked a few of the trails and noted the danger signs frequently posted around the park, we tried a few of those trails but decided they were a little too gnarly for us. We certainly kept our distance from the top of…

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Chatterbox Falls… Hear It Roar!

Chatterbox Falls… Hear it Roar!

After our slow cruise through the magnificent granite-walled gorge, we could finally make out Chatterbox Falls roaring at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet. The fall is part of the Loquilts River, which empties into the inlet.  It had been raining for several days before our arrival to Princess Louisa Inlet and although Chatterbox Falls flows all of the time (along with 60 or so others during the spring season due to the sun melting the snow-pack high on top of the mountains) the rain produced many smaller waterfalls and they looked like shiny ribbons on the gorge walls, they…

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Transiting Malibu Rapids To Gain Access To Princess Louisa Inlet And Chatterbox Falls

Transiting Malibu Rapids to Gain Access to Princess Louisa Inlet and Chatterbox Falls

In order to gain access to the inner sanctum of Princess Louisa Inlet and subsequently Chatterbox Falls, you first have to negotiate the entrance to the inlet, Malibu Rapids. (This is also where the Malibu Club sits promptly on top of the big boulders at the entrance to the inlet.) Although it is unwise to transit the rapids any other time but slack tide – when the current changes direction and the condition in between when the tide stops going out and before it starts coming in, or vice versa, it’s at this point that the current is minimal and,…

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Jervis Inlet To Malibu Rapids

Jervis Inlet to Malibu Rapids

Jervis Inlet is a 45-mile long fjord that leads to Malibu Rapids – once you’ve transited the rapids Princess Louisa Inlet awaits to lure you to a destination point, all the way to the end of the Inlet, which many boaters consider to be the Holy Grail of cruising, Chatterbox Falls. Unfortunately we had a rather cloudy day for our cruise up Jervis Inlet but even with the gray skies and murky waters the mountains stood superbly majestic as they lined our route to Malibu Rapids.

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Positioning Ourselves At Hardy Island For The Run Up To Chatterbox Falls

Positioning Ourselves at Hardy Island for the Run Up to Chatterbox Falls

We were somewhat protected by Texada Island as we cruised 21 miles southeast from Powell River to Hardy Island, located at the base of Jervis Inlet, for our eventual cruise up to Princess Louisa Inlet, Malibu Rapids and finally Chatterbox Falls. Entering Blind Bay we found calm waters ideal for anchoring in a narrow, well protected, cove within Hardy Island Marine Park. As we were scouting for a spot to drop our hook we came across a small black bear strolling by the waters edge. The bear was just as startled as we were and immediately hightailed it up the…

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Wet And Bumpy Ride To Powell River

Wet and Bumpy Ride to Powell River

We had strong, guess you could almost say instinctual, reservations about leaving Lund the next day, it was rainy and quite windy, so we waited a bit to see how the rain and wind conditions would develop. Our intent was to cruise to Hardy Island to anchor out for the night. From the protection of the marina in Lund, we noticed several boats heading south so we decided to give it a try ourselves, thinking we could always turn back if it was undoable. At first, conditions were acceptable, but, as this scenario often seems to goes, it quickly deteriorated…

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Leaving Desolation Sound For The Village Of Lund, British Columbia

Leaving Desolation Sound for the Village of Lund, British Columbia

 Entering the Sunshine Coast... After two glorious weeks of picture perfect boating weather and sensory overload during our exploration of Canada’s Desolation Sound, the time had come to start working our way south/southeast. We had a calm but overcast day to exit Desolation sound from our anchorage in Roscoe Bay. Up next, was Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets and the much talked about Chatterbox Falls, but first we had to explore a few of the little fishing villages along British Columbia's "Sunshine Coast." Our first stop was Lund (below), a busy, picturesque, seaside village, 120km north of Vancover, only eight…

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Seeking Crystal Clear Water of Black Lake

One of the activities we came to enjoy while cruising Desolation Sound was hiking to the many inland, fresh water, lakes. Black Lake was one such lake located not far from our anchorage in Roscoe Cove. After a short dinghy ride it was easily accessed by a fairly short woodsy old logging trail that continued along the lake for awhile before heading up a big hill. Lush vegetation and huge ferns surrounded us as we explored the trail further up the hill. With the big trees and lush vegetation we felt like we had been plopped down in the middle…

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