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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.  

Read More

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.…

Read More

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…

Read More

Heading Home

Heading back to Spanish, time to load our boat onto the trailer to drive back to the states. This was the first bad weather day of our trip. No sooner had we got the boat secured onto the trailer and into the parking lot when it started to rain hard. You can tell from the photos how dreary it was during our trip home. Heading over the bridge at Sault Saint Marie was a little stop and go as we neared customs. Not long after crossing the Mackinaw Bridge, we were looking for a place to camp for the night…

Read More

Croker Island – A Rocky Paradise

As cruising trips go this one ranked up towards the top of our list, but like all good things they must come to an end. We left Little Current to make way for one of our favorite anchorages in a popular cove at Croker Island; this will be the last real stop of our North Channel trip. The cove at Croker Island has a high rocky bluff that protects anchored boats from high winds and/or foul weather from the big waters of the more exposed North Channel. While we were there, for our last two days, there were indeed high winds…

Read More

Back to Marianne Cove

We returned to Marianne Cove to re-anchor and spend another peaceful night in Canada's North Channel paradise. The view off the back deck of Kismet (above). Coffee in the morning on the back deck. I think I look relaxed. It's a guy thing (above). I love trying to capture the reflections of the trees on shore in the water (below). Okay, I think I have about a hundred of these photos, all different of course as the sun slowly made it's descent over the cove. Flying all our flats in Marianne Cove (above-left). This boater stopped by for a little…

Read More

Day Trip Up Baie Fine to the Pool

We liked Marianne Cove so much, we decided to make it base camp for a few days. In the morning of our second day we pulled anchor to take a day trip up the majestic Baie Fine, a fjord which runs east and west. Baie Fine is a total of about 10 miles long, narrowing abruptly for the last two-mile stretch to the confines of its end, "The Pool." We had a clear, calm blue sky day for a slow poke of a cruise making it that much easier for Lisa to capture the beauty of rocky tree lined cliffs to both…

Read More

First Time in Marianne Cove

On our way up Baie Fine, we saw this marker on shore. It's a marking for the red buoy – the channel through this area is so narrow they had to mark it on the rock. On this day we chose to try a new anchorage (for us) at Marianne Cove. We've anchored at the Pool (located at the furthest end of Baie Fine) before and enjoyed that area, but we've heard so much about how well protected and beautiful Marianne Cove is, we decided to stop short of the Pool and try something new. Jim is preparing the long line he'll…

Read More

Meeting Captain & Crew of the Thomas James

While cruising through the Killarney Channel, on our way to Collins Inlet, we received a call on our VHF. After switching to channel 68, Bill, the guy hailing us, told us that, as he was standing on the balcony of his channel-side home, he noticed our red Ranger Tug slowly cruising by. He said he was so excited to see the "cute tug" he'd love to have a tour and chat with us about it as he had never seen one in person before. As we're trying to figure out his location, we spotted him, with the binoculars, on his balcony…

Read More

A Little Peek Into the Northwest Side of Georgian Bay

Georgian Bay is on our cruising bucket list, a trip like this deserves a dedicated stretch of time to explore properly. With that said, we decided to get our toes just a little wet. After we left Covered Portage Cove, we passed through the channel in Killarney for a short, one-day, cruise and anchor in the northwest side of Georgian Bay. Four miles or so east of Killarney is the western entrance to Collins Inlet and a 10-mile run to Mill Lake. It was Collins Inlet, a narrow channel, where we spent time cruising, enjoying the sights of the small…

Read More

Dinghy Ride Over to Killarney

Around lunch time, our second day, we joined Charlie and Linda in a dinghy ride over to Killarney to take advantage of the famous fish and chips at the Red School Bus, located right on the channel in town. The fish and chips are very good, a little pricy but we enjoyed every last bite. Shortly after lunch, we parted ways with Charlie and Linda. They wanted to dinghy back to their boat so they could get under way and slowly work their way home. We stayed a little longer in Killarny before returning to the anchorage. We spent one…

Read More

Doubling Our Pleasure

Doubling our pleasure comes to mind when we think of our visit to Covered Portage Cove in the North Channel. Not only was it our first time anchoring in this cove, we also had the pleasure of  rendezvousing with friends Charlie and Linda on Freedom's Turn (above). We met them in 2008 while doing our second Great Loop boat trip and cruised several times together, including a trip to Chattanooga and even the Bahamas. With a lot of shared cruising experiences in common, we were excited for the reunion in Covered Portage Cove. We got there one day earlier, so we were…

Read More

The Perfect Anchorage

From South Benjamin Island we made our way past Little Current, Strawberry and Heywood Islands as we skirted south of Frazier Bay to enter Lansdowne Channel on the way to Covered Portage Cove, just west of Killarney, the old provincial outpost that separates Ontario's North Channel from Georgian Bay. We had only dinghied to Covered Portage Cove in 2007 when we had docked our boat for a few days in Killarney. We vowed then to put it on our list as a future anchorage spot. When I think of the perfect anchorage I conjure up images of a cove with high…

Read More

View From The Top

Topping off our great anchorage find is the incredible view from the top of this South Benjamin Island. This is where Jim found all those yummy blueberries and where we went to stretch our legs and enjoy the view when we felt cramped on the boat. Great weather during our stay here, hot temps with unseasonably warm water for swimming. Life is good for the crew of Kismet tied up to this little South Benjamin Island.  

Read More

Where is the Beauty?

It is often said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder! I reference this because we recently spent time at the Benjamins, South Benjamin specifically, and it is our contention that the rocks on this island are gorgeous. We recently cruised Lake Powell, in Utah/Arizona, the landscape there is ALL rock and water. Both are beautiful, however, the difference between the two locations is dramatic. Lake Powell has large, very large, rock buttes, plateaus and mountains, and not much greenery, whereas the rock formations on these North Channel islands are more intimate and, dare I say sensual. We…

Read More

Three Days of Peace and Quiet – South Benjamin Island

It's amazing how we can spend a few days on the hook and not get bored. We both had chores to do, organizing our stuff on the boat, we swam in the unseasonably warm water, played games, read books, cooked, ate and just plain relaxed. This is our big trip of the summer, we're taking it well ahead of our son's wedding in September. Things will be crazy when we get home, so we are enjoying the restful calm right now. Can you think of a better place? Going to shore to walk around on the smooth rock formations then…

Read More

Tying Up to Boulders on South Benjamin Island

We left Spanish early the next morning and made our way through Little Detroit, a channel so narrow it's customary to make a, "Securité.` Securité.` Securité." call to announce your intentions so boaters, on the other side of the channel, can stand clear. You wouldn't want to be passed by a speeding boat and veer off the center of the channel onto those boulders that lurk below the water. We had one of those magically calm cruising days for the short 12-mile run (approx.) to our first scheduled anchorage at South Benjamin where we hoped to find a well protected…

Read More

Road Trip… Canada Here We Come

In light of some of our road trips recently, the one we took today was relatively short. We started by heading north along the scenic route of northwest Michigan. We drove Kismet across the Mackinaw Bridge, through the Upper Penninsula, across the border into Canada and finally, 260 miles later, we launched her in Spanish, Ontario – right in the heart of the North Channel. We stayed one night at Spanish Marina getting things organized and prepped for our two week North Channel boating fix, it had been five years since our last visit to this magical Canadian wonderland, way…

Read More

North Channel Bound

The North Channel is one of our favorite cruising destinations, there I said it! For those that have been, it most likely is one of your favored routes as well. If you haven't been, the following photos, although very, very nice can never do justice to what Mother Nature provides us cruising junkies. The North Channel is located in Ontario, Canada and resides in a stretch of water 160 nautical miles long at the most northern point of Lake Huron. The North Channel is bordered by Georgian Bay to the east, mainland Canada to the north, the St Marys River/…

Read More