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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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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The Path Less Taken

The Path Less Taken

Mackinac Island is a very busy tourist destination during the day, so when visiting the island, Jim and I try to focus our daytime activities on walking in less congested areas. Our favorite route starts by walking up the steps leading to the steep bluff just across the road from the marina. The view from the top is majestic and far reaching, on clear days you can see the Mackinac Bridge, which spans the Straits. Not many daytime visitors to the island venture up to the woods and bluffs on top of the island. After we spend a few minutes…

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Post Wedding Trip To Mackinac Island

Post Wedding Trip to Mackinac Island

Our son, Skyler, got married to the love of his life, Sarah, on Labor Day Weekend. Most of our summer was focused on this big event; except for a few boat trips, we stayed close to home preparing and enjoying all the activities. I have to confess it took quite a toll on our blogging ability. After it was over, we needed to decompress and Mackinac Island came first to mind. This island is unique in it's ability to transport a visitor back in time, one of our most favorite cruising destinations; the perfect place to relax and savor the…

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2012 Venetian Festival – Charlevoix, Michigan

2012 Venetian Festival – Charlevoix, Michigan

In stark contrast to our time cruising the North Channel this summer was our 5-day stop in Charlevoix, while on our way home, for the 2012 Venetian Festival; one of our all time favorite festivals. We called Charlevoix's harbormaster, Hal (below-right) to receive our slip assignment soon after we arrived in Round Lake. Before we knew it we were tied up snug on B dock ready to partake in the festivities. Thanks Hal! Our dockmates, Jan and Jean (above), spent considerable time and effort planning a weekend-long dock party on B dock complete with tiki hut and decorations. Nice job…

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Heading Home

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…

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The Perfect Anchorage

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…

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View From The Top

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.

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Three Days Of Peace And Quiet – South Benjamin Island

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…

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Tying Up To Boulders On South Benjamin Island

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…

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North Channel Bound

North Channel Bound

The North Channel is one of our favorite cruising destinations – there I said it! For those that have been, it is most likely one of your favored destinations as well. If you haven't been, the following posts and photos, although very nice, can't possibly do justice to what Mother Nature provides the boating community. 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. This body of water is bordered by Georgian Bay to the east, mainland Canada to the north, the St Marys River/ Sault…

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Torch Lake Anchor

Torch Lake Anchor

Torch Lake has lots of fond memories for Lisa and I. We each boated here before we were married and began our boating adventures together on this lake. We used to trailer our 21-foot Four Winns Sundowner to Torch Lake to spend long weekends on the hook, but since our mode of boating has changed over the last fifteen years it's been a long time since we've been able to bring one of our boats to any inland lake. We kind of like the flexibility we are now enjoying with our Ranger Tug, Kismet. After we squeaked under the Torch…

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Winding Down Memorial Day Weekend In Charlevoix

Winding Down Memorial Day Weekend in Charlevoix

Winding down Memorial Day Weekend in Charlevoix with a dinghy ride around the little island and an afternoon at anchor in Oyster Bay (below). We drove up to Petoskey to visit our friend, Martin. Lunch at Whitecaps and a visit at Martin's home. Monday started with a Memorial Day parade and presentation at the bandshell. Nothing quite brings home the meaning of this holiday weekend more than the five gun salute to close the ceremonies. On our daily walk we came across this ice shanty (below). Interesting!

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Charlevoix The Beautiful

Charlevoix the Beautiful

Just as the Chamber of Commerce slogan suggests... Charlevoix is beautiful. Charlevoix was our homeport for many years so we consider it a home away from home. It seems this friendly little town exists in its own little bubble and embodies all that small town America promises. With concerts and festivals in the downtown park during the summer and a high tech fountain for the kids to play in... all right on Round Lake. An idyllic and picturesque town if there ever was one, a people place, for land lovers and boaters alike. Here's Kismet (above) very right next to…

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Our Biggest Fan In Charlevoix

Our Biggest Fan in Charlevoix

Every time we see Rob, on Keri 'D' Away, we're reminded how often he reads our blog and seems to know what we're up to on our boat. On our recent visit to Charlevoix we ran into Rob, and his wife Keri, at the marina; Rob was a little perturbed that the blog wasn't more up to date. (We were a little behind in catching up with our adventures in the Florida Keys this year. There was so much to write about it seemed to take forever to do the posts.) Rob will be glad to see we're almost caught…

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Welcome Home Kismet!

Welcome Home Kismet!

Today we trailered our boat up to Charlevoix and launched her at Ferry Avenue Lake Charlevoix Municipal Boat Ramp. This ramp is just outside of Round Lake, on Lake Charlevoix by Irish Marina. As you can see (below) we were operating in a clouds of bugs that were hanging out at the boat ramp. The most bugs we've had on our boat at one time EVER! We have all known people who possess, what seems like, a magnetic force of attraction and because of their outgoing personalities, broad smiles and positive demeanors, they are the type of people that we…

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Cruising The West Arm Of Grand Traverse Bay

Cruising the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay

The New Tug's First Time in Grand Traverse Bay!  The new tug's first time in West Bay. Skyler, Sarah and friend David joined us for an afternoon trip to Power Island (also referred to as Marion Island). We put the boat in at Elmwood Township Marina, their facilities are exceptional. It was the perfect day for a cruise and lunch at the island. Power Island is a 202 acre property located in the west arm of Grand Traverse Bay. It's approximately nine miles west from Downtown Traverse City and is a favorite spot for boaters to congregate on a hot summer's…

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