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We Call It Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

We Call it Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

Boaterhoming – Sault Ste. Marie – Soo Locks Campground and RV Park –  Tonight we will be 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. We only stayed for one night – that's all we needed while boaterhoming. We pulled right in and before we knew it our new camper neighbors were…

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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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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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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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Bear Sighting In Downtown Chemainus, Vancouver Island, Canada

Bear Sighting in Downtown Chemainus, Vancouver Island, Canada

Multiple Bear Sightings in Chemainus! 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 history. Apparently the murals helped rejuvenate the town in the early 1980s when the larger sawmill was replaced by a smaller, more efficient version. We had to dodge a lot of logs along this stretch (above and below), probably because of the sawmill in Chemainus. After a beautiful cruise from Nanaimo, we tied up at…

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At Anchor In Departure Bay For One Night

At Anchor in Departure Bay for One Night

Out Into the Strait of Georgia Again, Heading for Departure Bay! 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. 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 crossing we had protection from the leeward side of Vancouver Island, making the last 15 mile run down to Nanaimo very pleasant indeed. We ducked into Departure Bay and worked our way down Newcastle Island Passage. We found there a peaceful anchorage just off of Newcastle Island Marine Park, where we…

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Princess Louisa Inlet Provincial Marine Park – The Inner Sanctum

Princess Louisa Inlet Provincial Marine Park – The Inner Sanctum

Princess Louisa Inlet Provincial Marine Park Called Suivoolot (Sunny and Warm) by the Sechelt Nation Natives We felt that sunny warmth today. Princess Louisa Inlet and Provincial Marine Park was created in June 24, 1965. Sitting on the other side of Jervis Inlet with Malibu Rapids acting as the dividing point, the park is a 5-mile long spectacular fjord. The park is urrounded with 3,000 foot high, waterfall littered, snow-tipped mountains. The inlet boasts about a 1,000-feet of water depth and measures no more than a half-mile wide. At the end of Princess Louisa Inlet is the equally stunning 120-foot tall Chatterbox Falls. The Princess Louisa Inlet and Provincial Marine Park is only accessible by boat or plane, there are no public roads. The only access a boat has is through the Straight of Georgia by way of Jervis Inlet and finally the terrifying Malibu Rapids. Boaters consider Princess Louisa Inlet to be the Holy Grail of cruising! After making our way uneventfully through 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

The Anchorage at Hardy Island is Located at the Base of Jervis Inlet We were somewhat protected by Texada Island as we cruised 21 miles southeast from Powell River to Hardy Island. The anchorage at Hardy Island is located at the base of Jervis Inlet. We are positioning ourselves for the 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. He immediately hightailed it up the rock cliff and into the  woods never to be seen by us again. This would end up being our only bear sighting during our PNW cruise. The real reason for anchoring at Hardy Island was to position ourselves for…

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Leaving Desolation Sound For The Village Of Lund, British Columbia

Leaving Desolation Sound for the Village of Lund, British Columbia

 Headed to Lund – 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 miles south of Desolation Sound. The village has only about three-hundred year-round residents, but is host to a lot more during the warm weather season. Not only is it close to Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park but also the Copeland Islands, Okeover Inlet and tropical Savary Island. During our brief stay in Lund, we learned a lot…

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Seeking Crystal Clear Water Of Black Lake

Seeking Crystal Clear Water of Black Lake

As Our Cruise in Desolation winds close to the end, Black Lake Was a Real Treat! 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 hiking a fairly short woodsy remnant of a logging trail. The trail 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 of a Jurasic Park movie set. On two separate occasions, we landed our dinghy at the base of the trail and hiked up to the lake to cool off and freshen up. There are no beaches at the edge of the lake…

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Something Special About Toba Wildernest

Something Special About Toba Wildernest

We found Toba Inlet to be some of the most beautiful areas in Desolation Sound. When we were there the water was that greenish color, almost like we'd see in the Bahamas. It seemed to have phosphorescent glow about it. As we approached Toba Wildernest Resort, we enjoyed a parade of boats passing us as they left the marina. Lots of boats coming and going from Toba Wildernest. As we slowly approached the marina dock I radioed Kyle, who gave me instructions to dock on the inside of the T dock closest to shore. My immediate concern was if there would be enough water being that close to shore. With Kyle still on the radio, I asked him if there was enough depth for our two-foot draft. His comment was that there was more than enough. Once tied up I noticed the distance beneath our boat was whopping 40 feet. I missed it the first few times, maybe you didn't, the…

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Cruising Homfray Channel To Walsh Cove, British Columbia

Cruising Homfray Channel to Walsh Cove, British Columbia

Anchoring in Walsh Cove while waiting to get dock space at Toba Wildernest. One of the beauties of cruising in Desolation Sound is that when you leave one place you have plenty of spots to consider for your next days docking or anchorage. We left Laura Cove after the three-day holiday weekend and headed northeast up Homfray Channel. We passed Homfray Lodge, a stop recommended by some friends, but we decided to pass on it and continue cruising as we were hoping for a black bear sighting. We had heard bears were often sighted along the shoreline of the channel, however, after striking out on the bear sighting, we cruised up to Wildernest Lodge and radioed in to reserve a spot on their dock for the next day and night, we then proceeded on our way to Pryce Channel, down into Waddington Channel and finally into Walsh Cove where we decided to anchor for the night – all this within…

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Anchorage In Laura Cove For Canada’s Civic Holiday – Another Hike To Unwin Lake

Anchorage in Laura Cove For Canada’s Civic Holiday – Another Hike To Unwin Lake

We found a nice anchorage in Laura Cove, so we set the anchor and tied lines to the big rock. Lisa prepared lunch to take out on a dinghy exploration of the surrounding area. We ventured out of the cove into Homfrey Channel turned the outboard off and floated around while having lunch with a spectacular mountain view surrounding us off in the distance. Afterwards I dropped Lisa off at the boat and continued on, by dinghy, to a hiking trail located off Melanie Cove. I'd read about this trail somewhere and how it leads up to Unwin Lake, the fresh water lake we'd hiked to and swam in the day before when staying in Tenedos Bay. As I neared shore, I looked for a well worn path leading into the brush and I fairly quickly found a homemade sign indicating the path to Unwin Lake. As low tide had already passed (tide swings are around 10 feet) I knew I had…

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“What Day Is It?” – Tenedos Bay Anchorage

“What Day Is It?” – Tenedos Bay Anchorage

After our swim at Unwin Lake we followed the river and small rapids back to the dinghy. Just outside the woods in the open sunlight by the park entrance, where our dinghy was tied up, we came across a slew of blackberry bushes loaded with precious ripe berries. Risking bee stings and thorn torn hands and legs, we harvested enough for blackberry pancakes the next morning. But first, when we arrived back to the boat, sitting in our Tenedos Bay anchorage, a batch of martini's were in order to wind down a very enjoyable day. Lisa then whipped up one of our favorite dishes, red beans and rice. By this time in our trip I'd have to say we've become very VERY relaxed. Over a stack of blackberry pancakes the next morning, I asked Lisa, "What day is it?" and she said, "I don't know!" After spending five travel days trailering our Kismet across country, followed by a few days of preparations,…

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Hiking To Unwin Lake For A Refreshing Swim

Hiking to Unwin Lake For A Refreshing Swim

Soon after we got the boat stern tied to shore at the anchorage in Tenedos Bay, we grabbed our bathing suits and towels and hopped into the dinghy for a short ride over  to Unwin Lake for a refreshing swim in the 75˚ water. There are no real beaches up at Unwin Lake, its all natural with lots of logs and rocks. We found an outcropping of boulders that provided us a bit of privacy and a shallow pool of water on a rock ledge, before it dropped off for swimming. We lingered eating apples and enjoying the mountain view on the shore of Unwin Lake. Refreshed from our hour swim and with clean bodies we made our way back down to the bay following a rushing stream of water.

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Tenedos Bay Anchorage – Desolation Sound

Tenedos Bay Anchorage – Desolation Sound

From Refuge Cove it was a short 7 to 8-mile hop over to Tenedos Bay. Once in the midst of Desolation Sound every port, cove or bay is no more than a days cruise from your starting point. This close proximity between points of interest allowed us to take our time, linger longer, leave later, and cruise slowly while still arriving early to any spot on our scheduled route. Tenedos Bay provided a tree lined canyon and well-protected spot just a short dinghy ride to the trail that leads up to Unwin Lake. Our chosen anchorage provided a tree lined canyon where we stern tied to shore in calm water. Tenedos Bay is one of the recommended anchorages John and Tracy, on Sea Change, gave us during our chart review in Ganges. Not only does it provide a beautiful, natural setting to anchor, but with a short trip across the bay in our dinghy we were able to hike up…

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Our First Night Out In Desolation Sound – Anchored In Grace Harbour

Our First Night Out In Desolation Sound – Anchored in Grace Harbour

First stop, Grace Harbour. Striking out on our own to explore Desolation Sound. We left Gorge Harbour mid-morning to find yet another perfect boating day awaiting us. History states that Captain George Vancouver first sailed the waters of the Sound in 1792, thinking the landscape remote and forbidding, he named it Desolation Sound. We think he must have had a run of bad weather to have taken such a gloomy stance on such a diverse and stunningly beautiful area, but we'd have to admit that the name has a certain draw to it. With Cortes Island behind us we headed for Desolation Sound Marina Park, a large dedicated group of islands, along with a bit of mainland BC, set aside as a marine park in 1973 for the benefit of recreational boaters, campers and hikers. Our goal for the first day out was to head to an anchorage in Grace Harbour, a well protected cove a large sheltered bay located in…

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Forty-Five Ranger Tugs Gather At Ganges, British Columbia

Forty-Five Ranger Tugs Gather at Ganges, British Columbia

Ganges Harbor, on Saltspring Island, is a short 10-mile run from Montague Harbor and the gathering point for the boaters participating in the Ranger Tugs 2013 Desolation Sound Cruise. We left early for Ganges, with yet another blue skied day with just a light breeze and fairly calm waters. We looked forward to meeting up with about 45 Ranger Tugs and their owners for five days of socializing, pot lucks, and finally taking three days to cruise together up to Desolation Sound, and this was just the Ranger Tug boats, we would meet up with a group of Cutwater's (about another ten or fifteen) in Nanaimo for the cruise to Comox. We met folks from Illinois, Georgia, Texas, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon with most being from Washington and Canada's British Columbia, even Ganges. We wanted to arrive early so we could get our boat washed up and looking pretty, but much to my surprise and dismay I found out the…

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Checking In With Customs At Poet’s Cove Marina – Bedwell Harbour, BC

Checking In with Customs at Poet’s Cove Marina – Bedwell Harbour, BC

Bedwell Harbour – Physical checkin with Canadian Customs at Poet's Cove Marina When entering Canada by water, boaters have to check into Canadian Customs at the first available Customs Station. After anchoring in Prevost Harbor off Stuart Island in the San Juan Islands, we headed into Canadian waters early the next morning.. The San Juan Islands are located off mainland Washington (at the northwestern furthest point in the 48 contiguous United States). Our destination was only six miles or so north, across the Canadian border to South Pender Island where we docked for a physical checkin with Canadian Customs at Poet's Cove Marina in Bedwell Harbour. With passports and boat papers in hand I headed up to the office. Sometimes they have a physical boat inspection to make sure you're not bringing anything illegal into the country. Illegal items might include items such as chicken, fresh produce, plants, too much alcohol, guns or drugs. However on this trip I simply…

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