Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel In The Broughton Islands

Pierre’s Echo Bay – A Distinct Nordic Jewel in the Broughton Islands

Pierre's Echo Bay Lodge and Marina is Famous for Their Nordic Themed Feasts – Less than 2 miles away from the previous nights anchorage in Shoal Bay sits Pierre’s Echo Bay Lodge and Marina. We arrived early morning for a 2-day stay. Before making our way to our assigned slip, we stopped at the fuel dock to top off our tank. This is a chore we prefer to do on the way into a marina. That way, when we leave early morning, we don't have to wait in line at the fuel dock. After coming out of the wild, with several days spent watching for bears, whales and eagles, we found ourselves, once again, immersed in a busy and unique, floating community. Pierre's Echo Bay is well-known, by boaters in the Pacific Northwest, for their central location in the Broughton Islands and the owner's flamboyant nordic roots. Owners Pierre and Tove Landry have created a haven for boaters in the Broughton Islands with a decidedly nordic flare, a reflection of their…

Read More
Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole For Bad Weather

Shoal Harbour, A Great Hidey-Hole for Bad Weather

  Shoal Harbour is Located Close to Pierre's Echo Bay at the North side of Gilford Island – After lunch, we stayed a couple of hours relaxing in the Burwood Group, it was that spectacular. Our plan was to anchor for the night in Shoal Harbour. En-route there, we explored while cruising in and out of Scott Cove and eventually Pierre's Echo Bay, taking a quick spin around the famous floating marina (we had reservations secured for the next day). After our exploration cruise, we arrived into the north arm of Shoal Harbour as planned – late afternoon. The harbour is a well-protected, shallow watered, anchorage. Navigating into Shoal Harbour can be a little nerve wracking, as one needs to negotiate a narrow channel before entering the harbour. Its called Shoal Harbour for a reason, I would guess, many parts of the bay are “shoaled.” With that said, we found a spot in five feet of water at low tide. Shoal Harbour has a logging operation located in the…

Read More
Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Lunch Stop – Burdwood Group – Broughton Islands, BC

Burdwood Group – A cluster of low lying islands – One of the interesting features of the Burdwood Group Islands are the white shell beaches. This grouping includes Denham Island, Walker Islet and a few other unnamed islands and islets. We stopped for lunch during our day-long exploration on our way to Shoal Harbour. The surroundings were amazing, almost dreamlike with pointy islands all around. It helped that it was an extremely calm day with glassy water below us reflecting the mounds of islands nearby. Above us, the sky was intensely blue at the height of the day, we felt saturated in warm color and dreaminess. It felt like time stood still. We were soon joined by a couple of sailboats, they coasted by as if they were gliding on half-set Jell-o. The Burdwood Group Islands are a popular spot for kayakers. We can see why. I would want to return to this group should we ever make it back to the Broughton Islands. It was that amazing! We made…

Read More
Peace And Quiet In Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Peace and Quiet in Simoon Sound – Broughton Islands, Canada

Simoon Sound – A Sure Thing for a Bear Sighting We left Kwatsi Bay late morning to head back west into Tribune Channel and eventually Simoon Sound. First, we wanted to explore the length of Tribune Channel while also looking out for a spot to anchor for the night. Our preferred choice was Macintosh Bay, but the best spot was taken. We proceeded further back into O’Brien Bay and found a nice spot in the north corner of the bay with a good view of a level shoreline and wide open beach area where we hoped to have a black bear sighting at low tide. Simoon Sound is located on the north and east sides of Wishart Peninsula between Tribune Channel and Kingcome Inlet. The sound is also a reserve of the Dzawada'enuxw First Nation of the Kwakwaka'wakw peoples. Captain George Vancouver anchored here on Discovery and Chatham in 1792 Entertainment for the night? Bear Watching! Sure enough, at 5:15 we spotted a small black bear walking on the rocks…

Read More
Can’t Get Enough Of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Can’t Get Enough of These Floating Marinas – Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina, Broughton Islands, BC Canada

Return Visit Kwatsi Bay Marina More fog greeted us this morning. We watched it slowly roll into Viner Sound the night before. Never have seen this much fog in our lives! So, today was another exploration cruising day. We enjoy poking into little coves, around islands, up bays, rivers or sounds, just to see whats there. It must be the inquisitive nature and wanderlust in our blood and our ongoing desire to see as much of the Broughton’s as we can this summer. Our end goal today is a return visit Kwatsi Bay Marina. Soon after we departed Viner Sound, we cruised through a group of islands called Burdwood Group. We were scouting potential anchorages for when we come back through. We moved slowly east into Tribune Channel, once again, but saw no whales, however we did see a great many dolphins jumping in and out of the water, way off in the distance. After a delightful afternoon cruise we traveled the final…

Read More
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…

Read More
Upside Of Downsizing To A Trailerable Trawler – Book Review

Upside of Downsizing to a Trailerable Trawler – Book Review

Reading this e-book, I couldn’t help but wonder how many cruisers might be tempted to follow the example set by Jim and Lisa Favors, a couple with thousands of miles of Great Loop cruising experience who, after five years of full-time living aboard, gave up their comfortable 40-foot trawler for a trailerable 27-foot Ranger Tugs.Like many other PassageMaker readers, I’ve gone aboard boats like this at boat shows, asking myself whether my wife and I might someday want to downsize and try to squeeze into a smaller boat. A trawler yacht that can be towed over the highway and cruised in many different areas each year, avoiding long passages over water. After all, it’s a whole lot faster and cheaper to cover the distance between, say, Ft. Lauderdale and Halifax or San Diego and Seattle at 60mph, compared to displacement speeds. “One of the beauties of this plan,” the Favors wrote as they were planning their move, “is that we’d be able to cut out a lot of long boat travel days by driving to the heart of a spot and dropping the boat into the water.”
Read More
Rim Route To South Bay Cove On Lake Okeechobee, Florida

Rim Route to South Bay Cove on Lake Okeechobee, Florida

"Big Water" – Lake Okeechobee and the Rim Route From our one-night stop in LaBelle, we proceeded toward Lake Okeechobee (or in Seminole Indian language, Big Water), we'll be taking the rim route around the lake instead of going straight across this time. The Okeechobee Waterway, which includes the Caloosahatchee River and the St. Lucie River, boasts a 134.3 nautical miles from west to east and is the 2nd largest fresh water lake in the United States. You can transit the lake by going straight across or by the more protected, though shallower, rim route that follows the southern edge of the lake. We've never done this path before and are looking forward to seeing something new. We'll stop one night to anchor at South Bay Cove, a spot Jim found on Active Captain and heard other boaters talk about. It is located at the southern end of the lake. It was a very thickly overcast day so we did not get very good…

Read More
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…

Read More
North Channel Rendezvous – Two Presentations And A Pizza Party

North Channel Rendezvous – Two Presentations and a Pizza Party

Ranger Tugs North Channel Rendezvous Last Day! On the last day Roy Eaton, from the LCCN, gave a wonderful powerpoint presentation at the Anchor Inn Bar, an overview of Georgian Bay and the North Channel highlighting some of the history and many popular anchorages. Later, back at the pavilion, we gathered for a presentation by Mark Coles (above), of Boating Georgian Bay, who gave a geological and historical overview of Georgian Bay. Mark also spent the afternoon photographing and video taping Ranger Tug owners for a piece he was doing on the Boating Georgian Bay’s website. Later in the afternoon we had a boat crawl. It’s always interesting to see what additions, improvements and/or enhancements others have made to their boats. I came away with a cave area, storage shelf, idea I saw on Mike and Jess’s boat, Illusions. Lisa liked a spice rack (above-left) that was hand built by Randy and Cindy on, I Think I Can., she also liked their…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More
Catching A Mooring Ball At Hope Island

Catching a Mooring Ball at Hope Island

Positioning ourselves at Hope Island to transit through Deception Pass in the Morning. Leaving the dock at Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes, I saw our fuel gage flashing a bright red “low fuel” light, setting my mind into a bit of a panic. Idling to the fuel dock, I was hoping we’d make it before running completely out, how embarrassing would that have been. I haven't run out of fuel since I was in High School. The good news is we made it to the fuel dock without conking out in the harbor. Confidently fueled up, we headed through LaConner and up into Skagit Bay, where we caught a mooring ball off Hope Island. We were positioning ourselves to transit through Deception Pass the next morning. The plan was to cruise down the open waters of Rosario Strait to Port Townsend – our first ever visit by boat.  Dinner on board Kismet came together without a hitch after we got settled…

Read More
Reunion In Friday Harbor With Willy’s Tug And Circle T

Reunion in Friday Harbor with Willy’s Tug and Circle T

Friday Harbor, the Hub of the San Juan Islands! Friday Harbor is a picturesque town and the largest small town in the San Juan Islands; you could say it's the hub of commerce for the islands. This was our third time staying in the harbor. It has been said that the boating community is a small world, our slip just happened to be right next to Herb and Willy from Willy’s Tug, Tim and June, on Circle T, from California were also docked nearby. Both are Ranger Tug owners we know from our cruising time in the PNW – most recently when we all joined the Ranger Tugs 2013 Desolation Sound Cruise. Because of meeting up with these boaters, we got to experience a couple of things while in Friday Harbor we wouldn't have, had it not been for Tim’s “Local Knowledge.” Perched on the bluff above the marina sits a Lions Club – with Tim’s membership all six of us…

Read More