Wednesday, July 30 and Thursday, July 31, 2014
Wednesday morning we were greeted by thousands of little swamp type bugs covering the outside of the boat. Rick wasn’t very happy about having to clean the critters off of Guinevere. Using the anchor light at night attracts the bugs but that’s the safest way to go.
After some housekeeping and breakfast, we left Beaver Island Harbour at 9:20 a.m. We decided to take the shortcut channel on the west side of Strawberry Island to get to Little Current, on Manitoulin Island. Just as we made the turn to head north, we ran aground in some muddy, silty bottom. We could see to the bottom of the channel and as we ploughed through we could see the trail that our keel was leaving in the bottom of the channel. We had visions of having to do fancy maneuvers to get ourselves unstuck but sheer motor power for about 5 minutes did the trick.
The swing bridge at Little Current opens up on the hour for 15 minutes to let boat traffic through. The rest of the time the bridge is used to let cars onto Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world. We arrived at the bridge about 10 minutes before it opened for us.
Little Current is known for its strong current that is affected by the winds, hence its name. (It actually should be more appropriately named Big Current on some days.) Boaters have to be prepared to work with/against the current when docking. Today we had a strong west wind and current.
When we got to the municipal marina we called in using the VHF radio and were told to wait out in the channel for our turn to get a dock assignment. Eventually we were told that we could take dock D3 and we would have a starboard tie up. I had the attendant repeat the information on the radio then we carefully made our way to the dock. When we got there, there was another boat already tied up in our space! Now we were fighting the current with nowhere to go. We bumped into another dock and the attendants saw that we were having a hard time. They told us to come around to the other side and use dock D4.
After finally tying up the attendant apologized for telling us the wrong dock number to go to in the first place. He said, “I always make that mistake.” We had to laugh because that’s a big mistake to be making and he didn’t seem to be too uptight about it.
Anyway, the rest of our first day in Little Current was spent doing lots of errands. We went to the grocery store two times and we did our laundry. It felt good to walk! The town is very nice and the waterfront is a bustle of nautical activity.
On Thursday we spent time walking around the town and doing small errands. Rick did some maintenance work on the boat. I made a big batch of whole wheat blueberry pancakes from scratch with some of the blueberries that we picked at Baie Fine. Overall, it was an ideal day docked in a little northern Ontario town in the summer.