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Parliament Tour – Victoria, British Columbia

Parliament Tour – Victoria, British Columbia

Just a Short Walk to the Parliament Building British Columbia's Parliament buildings are located just up from Victoria's Inner Harbour. Located on 12.5 acres the building, built in 1898, is in close proximity to Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina (where Kismet is docked for the month of February). Even though I forgot to take my license, we were still allowed to enter security when we arrived at the Parliament Building for lunch and a tour. Not a lot of activity on that day, the Legislative Assembly was not in session. Other days there were crowds of peaceful protestors outside when we walked by. Even more beautiful at night the whole building is outlined with strings of white lightbulbs. We were told that during the Christmas holiday, the lights shone green and red. Downtown Victoria is just a hub of activity. Next to the Parliament is the Royal British Columbia Museum and an iMAX theatre. The museum houses British Columbia's natural and human history as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. Never a…

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John Lennon’s Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo

John Lennon’s Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo

Since 1993, Victoria has been home to John Lennon's Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo John Lennon's Rolls-Royce Phantom V Limo was put on display at the Royal British Columbia Museum during our stay in Victoria. You are probably wondering how this relates to boating, however if we had not been visiting Victoria by boat, spending a month exploring this beautiful city, we would not have had the opportunity to view this beauty. One of the interesting things about staying at a marina, located within a short walk from downtown, for a month is the interesting events, museums, shopping, culture, restaurants, etc. available. Not sure when we will ever see another limo painted this colorful again. Inspired by John's gypsy caravan, located in his garden, it's the scrolly painting on the bright yellow background that make this limo really stand out. John Lennon's 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V Touring Limo  

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Easy Access To Downtown Victoria BC

Easy Access to Downtown Victoria BC

Yes! That is a Palm Tree in Beautiful Downtown Victoria BC See photo (above) Downtown Victoria BC sits on the northeast shore of Victoria Harbour along James Bay and the Inner Harbour, just a short walk from our marina, Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel Marina. Our month here in Victoria, British Columbia's capital city, started the first of February. February is not really cruising weather per se, but more of an opportunity for us to explore and absorb our surroundings, interact with friendly Canadians and acquire another perspective about life on the other side of our northern border. While we are not really out on the water actively cruising, we are walking a lot and getting a feel for what it's like to live downtown in this amazing city. We walked–we shopped–we ate. We walked–we shopped–we ate. As you can see in the photos – We mostly walked, shopped and ate. We typically take our boat to Florida for the winter months, but this year, because we are hovering around the…

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Mexican Night Onboard Moondragon

Mexican Night Onboard Moondragon

Moondragon – Thirty-one People Onboard for Mexican Night! The winter party was just down the dock from us on Moondragon, an old Chinese Junk boat (circa 1970). Boaters have the best parties! Never so true as last night with this group of boaters in Victoria, BC. Even though we have only been here two weeks, we felt like part of the family here at Coast Harbourside Marina. Thanks to hosts Dennis and Lynda for a fun night (many margaritas) and to the Jolly Mon Band for the fabulous music and sing-a-longs. Can you spot Jim Favors?       It was just a little tight on the boat with 31 partiers, most sat around the huge table in junk's big saloon. Friend and fellow Ranger Tugs owner, Mark, on Irish Mist, (below-left) showed up in full gear, with wig and sunglasses, helping us all feel like we were somewhere quite warmer than chilly, rainy Victoria, British Columbia. As you can see the party soon took a…

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Cruising To Victoria, British Columbia

Cruising to Victoria, British Columbia

Destination – Victoria, British Columbia, Canada We left Anacortes, with Skyline Marina in our wake (above), mid-morning for the cruise to Vancouver Island with a final destination of Victoria, British Columbia. We had planned to leave either on Sunday or Monday, depending on which day the weather looked best. We would have waited longer if needed. We don't like nasty weather cruising and by that I mean mostly high wind and waves. When Sunday arrived, Jim thought Monday looked like the best day, so we waited the extra day. As it turns out it was perfect. It was a little lumpy the first hour or so, but then smoothed out nicely as you can see from the photos below. All in all, it took about 4 hours to reach our home for the month of February, Victoria.   Vancouver Island is now in sight of Kismet's bow (above). The Olympic mountains, a massive and majestic mountain range on the Olympic Peninsula, lined our portside view…

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“Change Is The Only Constant In Life” – Heraclitus

“Change is the Only Constant in Life” – Heraclitus

Change is Good! The phrase, "Change is the only constant in life,” was written by a Greek philosopher named Heraclitus of Ephesos (around 500 BC). I’m sure when he wrote these now famous words he was not thinking about the cruising travel plans of Kismet (a Turkish word that stands for "fate" or "meant to be"). Lisa and I have have made a complete overhaul of our 2015/2016 fall and winter cruising plans, it must be "kismet." Our original plans, of cruising the Rideua Canal this fall, then heading to Florida for the winter, have changed dramatically. We’ve decided to trailer Kismet west, across country. We want to spend time with our grandson and family in Portland Oregon. Our tug will be moored in Portland, on the Columbia River. After the new year we’ll trailer Kismet further north to the Puget Sound area for some wintertime cruising in Washington State's San Juan Islands and British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, we've already reserved a slip in Victoria for one month. It…

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Day Three – North Channel Presentation, Boat Crawl And Pizza Party

Day Three – North Channel Presentation, Boat Crawl and Pizza Party

Day three began with another broadcast of the Little Current Cruisers' Net at the Anchor Inn for those who missed it on Monday. Jim and several other Tugnuts went back and helped Roy log in names of vessels calling in. We were also very fortunate to have another North Channel Presentation, again this year by Roy Eaton. Thanks Roy! After the North Channel Presentation, we had another fabulous creation for lunch, by Kelly and the Anchor Inn. Lunch was followed by a boat crawl. We all opened up our boats so that we could take a look/see at what improvements, changes or additions we made to the interiors or exteriors of our boats. This is a very helpful event for all the Tugnuts in attendance. Storage has got to be one of the most burning issues on our Ranger Tugs and I have to say some people get very creative on finding extra storage space. We always take photos of things other Tugnuts do…

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Day Two – Featuring Roy Eaton’s Little Current Cruisers’ Net

Day Two – Featuring Roy Eaton’s Little Current Cruisers’ Net

Day Two Featured a Visit to Roy Eaton's Live Broadcast of the Little Current Cruisers' Net! Breakfast on day two was proceeded by a short walk from the marina to the Anchor Inn downtown. Roy Eaton's live broadcast of the Little Current Cruisers' Net (LCCN) was about to take place. We filled the room with mostly Tugnuts, but other boaters visiting the town docks that day also joined us for the broadcast, the room was overflowing. Roy (below right) started his career as a marine radio broadcaster while boating in the Abaco Islands in 2001. At that time he provided Canadian news to the popular Cruisers' Net, located in Marsh Harbor. Back home, Roy later formed Manitoulin Island's first yacht club, Little Current Yacht Club. In 2004 after receiving a generous donation of broadcast space (in the Anchor Inn) and equipment, Roy started the now very popular Little Current Cruisers' Net. He used the Cruisers' Net in the Abacos as a model. The broadcast starts with world…

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DAY ONE – Thirty-Seven Tugnuts Arrive In Little Current For The 2015 North Channel Rendezvous

DAY ONE – Thirty-Seven Tugnuts Arrive in Little Current for the 2015 North Channel Rendezvous

2015 Ranger Tugs-Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous. Fourteen Ranger Tugs and two Cutwaters arrive for the rendezvous in Little Current, Ontario. All boats were secure in their assigned slips by late afternoon, except for one who arrived during cocktail hour. Half of the boats are from U.S.A and half are from Canada. Half are repeats to the rendezvous, half are first timers. We are all here to share in the camaraderie of the friendly community of Ranger Tugs-Cutwater owners. We are also here to exchange stories, help one another with boat issues, trade boating knowledge, acquired skills and cruising interests. The term "Tugnuts" refers to the popular forum, TUGNUTS. The exchange on the Tugnut forum is an amazing tool for boaters, it covers a wide range of topics on trailerable boating and includes many different trailerable trawler owners as members (such as C-Dory and Rosborough). We launched Kismet in Little Current in the late afternoon, at Spider Bay Marina. The boat launch is located just around the corner from LC Town…

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Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Soo Locks Campground and RV Park is a Very Friendly Place to Stay Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie Michigan – This border town is just south of the Soo Locks on the St. Mary's River. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Canada is to the north, over the International Bridge, and is about the half way mark to our destination. We will arrive in Little Current, Ontario, in the North Channel, one day early for the 2015 Ranger Tug/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous. Some friends of ours gave us the idea to camp at this RV park several years ago when they sent us a photo of them sitting on the grassy shore, in front of their RV, watching the freighters go by. As luck would have it, the park had an opening for a much coveted site on the water, but only for one night – that's all we needed. We pulled right in and before we knew it our new camper neighbors were making us feel at…

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Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous!

Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous!

Join Us for the Second Annual Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous! If you've never cruised in Canada's North Channel, this might be the time to trailer or cruise your Ranger Tugs/Cutwater boat to join us in Little Current, Ontario, for the second annual Ranger Tugs/Cutwater 2015 North Channel Rendezvous. With spring in the air the much anticipated boating season in Canada’s North Channel is just around the corner. With that in mind the official registration process for the 2015 rendezvous is in full swing. See the fun we had last year! Rendezvous Location: Little Current Downtown Docks Manitoulin Island Little Current, Ontario The marina is centrally located in the heart of the North Channel. The dates for the Rendezvous are August 9, 10 and 11th, 2015. If you have an interest in joining us, please mail info @ trailertrawlerlife.com for registration form and more information. Click Here to DOWNLOAD and PRINT the REGISTRATION FORM We will handle marina reservations for August 9, 10 and 11th…

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Fox Island – North Channel, Canada

Fox Island – North Channel, Canada

Fox Island Provided a Beautiful Rocky Hiking Trail Lined with Berries 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's perimeter, offering good hiking and photo opportunities. 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. Our boat has very shallow draft, about 2.5 feet, so we can usually get a spot where bigger boats don't dare. In this case it was way up  almost to the reeds at the tip of the inlet.     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…

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2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous – Many Thanks To All…

2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous – Many Thanks to All…

We Want to Thank Everyone Who Attended the First 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous We look forward to meeting up with many of the participants on the water 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. Although we could not have had a successful rendezvous without those in attendance, there is lot that goes on behind the scenes well before the event starts and during the rendezvous. 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…

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Roy Eaton – Little Current Cruisers Net

Roy Eaton – Little Current Cruisers Net

Little Current Cruisers Network is On the Air in Little Current! At 9 a.m., most of the Ranger Tugs attendees hiked up to the Anchor Inn building where Roy Eaton gives his live VHF broadcast of “The Net,” Little Current Cruisers Net, on channel 71 for boaters cruising Canada's beautiful North Channel. This is definitely a must do if you are visiting Little Current by boat. Roy Eaton founded the LCCN in 2004. Little Current 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…

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Day Two – Activities And Good Food

Day Two – Activities and Good Food

Day Two of the Ranger Tugs Rendezvous Begins... 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, provided by Roy Eaton, 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 boat owners. Late afternoon, we had a North Channel chart review followed by a marine related app session. Boating rendezvous are extremely helpful to owners with a helpful exchange with both factory reps and/or service reps, dealers and other owners. We hope this year's North Channel Ranger Tugs Rendezvous…

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North Channel Rendezvous In Full Swing

North Channel Rendezvous In Full Swing

A North Channel Ranger Tugs Rendezvous It is often stated that the North Channel is some of the best inland cruising you’ll find anywhere. We could not agree more! It is, after all, in our boating backyard 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. 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. We 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…

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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

Ranger Tugs North Channel Rendezvous Welcomed 14 Tugs and One Cutwater! Ranger Tugs arrived all morning at the town docks in Little Current until all fifteen boats (35 people) were secure in their slips. 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. 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.   Lots of…

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Rendezvous Early Birds

Rendezvous Early Birds

First Ever  – 2014 Ranger Tugs North Channel Rendezvous We arrived in Little Current one day early for the 2014 Ranger Tugs 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 thought it was important to arrive early since we had a few loose ends to tie up. We needed to visit the local grocery store, located just up the hill from the marina so that we had ingredients for our pot-luck dish. We also needed to find a good pizza restaurant, since pizza is the main event on the last night of the rendezvous. Little Current is a small town, so we could walk it quickly to get our chores done and hurry back to greet the tugs at the dock. We had a surprise guest to the docks…

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And Then There Were Two… Kismet And Illusions

And Then There Were Two… Kismet and Illusions

Two Ranger Tugs on the Rocks – North Channel, Canada 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 the arrival of another Ranger Tug, Illusions. We have been corresponding with friends Mike and Jess for several months planning where we'd meet while we were both in the North Channel for the rendezvous. It's a good thing we agreed on South Benjamin on August 2nd ahead of time by email because…

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On The Rocks – South Benjamin Island

On the Rocks – South Benjamin Island

Rocking On the Rocks 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. Kismet On the Rocks! 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 empty. Only one other boat, a sailboat, was tied up in the channel when we arrived so we made a quick decision to try the new spot – we were glad we did. At first we tied up side-to the rocks, but just didn't like the looks of that for our boat…

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First Anchorage – Eagle Island

First Anchorage – Eagle Island

After launching the boat in Spanish, we decided to anchor at Eagle Island. There 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. Eagle Island, which is 2.25 miles in length, has a large open bay, but we found it to have good protection and anticipated our first night swinging on the hook in the North Channel. Our plan, as always it seems, is to cruise to a few familiar anchorages and investigate a few new ones and finally arrive in Little Current for the 2014 Ranger Tugs/Cutwater North Channel Rendezvous. A four-day event for Ranger Tug and Cutwater owners.

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Oh Canada!

Oh Canada!

Oh Canada O Canada! Where pines and maples grow, Great prairies spread and Lordly rivers flow! How dear to us thy broad domain, From East to Western sea! The land of hope for all who toil, The true North strong and free! God keep our land, glorious and free. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee! O Canada, we stand on guard for thee! more lyrics 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…

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Have A Ranger Tug Or Cutwater?

Have a Ranger Tug or Cutwater?

Join Us in the North Channel for the 2014 Ranger Tug 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 corner. With that in mind it’s time to start the official registration process for the 2014 Ranger Tug North Channel Rendezvous. The Rendezvous takes place at the Little Current Downtown Docks on Manitoulin Island in Little Current, Ontario; the marina is centrally located in the heart of the North Channel. The dates for the Rendezvous are August 7, 8…

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Spencer Spit – Last Stop In The San Juans

Spencer Spit – Last Stop in the San Juans

What’s nice about Spencer Spit is that one can choose which side of the spit to anchor or catch a mooring ball on. 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 night on the hook, we never got off of the boat. The next morning it was extremely foggy, but I figured with the aid of our radar, and only eight miles to travel that, it would not…

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Toodle-oo Canada

Toodle-oo Canada

Goodbye Canada... Hello Parks Bay! 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 get as full a day at a marina, and or town, as possible, so we returned first thing the next morning to secure dockage for a couple of days at Port of Friday Harbor, one of our favorite San Juan stops.  

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