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Day 13 
Tuesday  July 11th    The Benjamin Islands

For our second day at anchor in the Benjamin Islands we make the most of the great weather and relax. We take a fantastic dinghy tour all the way around both islands, and explore to new heights, by motoring and hiking in this beautiful area. After another delicious meal on shore at our rock 'porch', we are rewarded with what just might be the best sunset we've ever seen.

Miles Today:
0 by Boat
5 ¾ by Dinghy

Around The Islands


Overlooking The Benjamin Islands

We opened the front hatch while still lying in bed this morning, and we could see the sunrise over the tall cliff just east of our anchorage. Wow, it was beautiful. I ended up getting out of bed about 9:00.

I started the generator and let it run for an hour and a half. I made my first fresh pot of coffee before cleaning up the boat some. Gina got up and hour later and made the bed and vacuumed up the cabin and cockpit. Looked like a nice day on tap for our second day in the Benjamins.

There were some pesky small bugs that had invaded the boat that I had to scrub off. A seagull had pooped dead center on the front bimini that needed to be removed as well. A ‘momma’ duck with fourteen babies in tow swam by, with every one of them skipping over our port stern line that was lying at just above the water. Gina threw them some crackers for their antics. At 11:00 we took down the camper top to take advantage of a gorgeous day. It was clear, sunny, and hot, with no wind. 
For breakfast today I had a banana and Gina fixed the leftover cheddar cheese bread we got in Little Current. I washed it all down with my second pot of coffee. I then blew up the inflatables and tossed them in the water. At the same time I noticed a 55 Sedan Bridge come through the cut between North and South Benjamin, where it proceeded to anchor in the cove to the west of us.

It looked like a great day for another dinghy ride. You could motor around these islands for a week and always experience something different. After topping off the motor from the spare gas can, we headed out to explore.

We headed southeast around the cliff of our South Benjamin anchorage, and traveled south along the shore. To the east we could see Croker Island, and to the south are the infamous Sow and Pigs, and some islets known as The Boars.

Dinghy Tour

We followed the shoreline as it headed back west along the southern shore of the island. We were still zig-zaging between several islets. The south side of the Island is very interesting. We made our way through a narrow channel of rock on both sides. In this small deep canal we encountered three boats tied up. Hard to believe they could get in here. This would be a great spot, especially if you were alone.

Interesting Rock Formations

Shoreline at South Benjamin

We continued west a little way further, then turned north and followed the rocky shore on the west side of the Island. We motored up to the cut between North and South Benjamin, and stopped to check the fuel. We had only used about a third of the tank, so we decided to go all the way around North Benjamin as well.

Once we hit the northernmost tip of North Benjamin, we tucked into a little cove. The water was very clear, so even though it’s quite rocky, navigating was not too tough. The rocks and shoreline were very interesting landscape. We then went into the next larger cove just to the south. As we made our way along the eastern shore on the way back, we could see 11 boats all in a line making their way towards us from near Secretary Island. We figured this must be the Marine Max group we saw in Killarney. Oh well, so much for quiet we thought.

We made it back to South Benjamin and beached the dinghy in the large cove west of our anchorage. We hiked up the smooth rocks to the top of the hill to enjoy some fantastic views.  After hiking around for a half hour, we met a couple of sailors out of Port Elgin who took our picture.

We returned to the boat at 2:00 after this fascinating 4.4 nautical mile dinghy tour. It was still very hot so we swam a bit before having tuna fish sandwiches for lunch.  We noticed that there were some weird small black bugs that had congregated on the MYRC burgee, as well as the bow and starboard stern anchor lines.
Now it was time to just float in the inflatable lounge chairs for a while to relax. Gina washed her hair and then read a book, while I had a couple of beers watching the activity in the harbor. Besides the Marine Max group, about ten more boats had entered and anchored. I think they saw our prime spot and were a little envious.

One of the boats that were anchored nearby had a jet ski with them and was flying around the bay fairly fast. Between the loud sound and the large wake, it was pretty obnoxious, especially considering the serene anchorage of the Benjamin’s. A few of the boats left the anchorage after a while.

Around the Islands

At 4:30 I put up the isinglass and screens, while Gina started preparing our dinner to take to shore. I then enjoyed a cigar on the bow to take in the sights, before firing up the generator to charge the batteries, make some ice, and downloaded the day’s pictures to the laptop. The cooler is almost out of ice now. I also download the tracks of our dinghy ride I had recorded on the handheld gps.

Beached on The Rocks

I loaded up the dinghy to make a trip to our ‘porch’ on shore to set up dinner at 6:15. I took the chairs, grille, plates, and drinks, as well as a small table this time. At the dinghy landing spot I had figured out just where to ‘gun it’ and lift up the engine so as to  glide to a nice flat rocky spot. This would allow us to get out of the dinghy easily without getting wet. After unloading and getting the grille started, I returned to the boat to get Gina.

For tonight, Gina had made salmon and chicken, along with grilled onions and rice pilaf. Dinner was fabulous. We each had our own thermos of drinks, and afterwards, we ferried some of our gear back to the boat. We also grabbed a sweater and jacket, as it started to cool down some.

Now we headed off to watch the sunset. We decided to dinghy over to the ‘cut’ between the Islands. It took a couple of tries, but we were finally able to beach it on some large rocks. From there, we walked west along a jetty-like string of large rounded rocks to a great spot. There we were rewarded with a beautiful view of the sunset. After taking some pictures, we launched the dinghy and headed back to our private patio on shore.

We had brought a three hour fire log with us, so we started that and sat back in our chairs watching the ‘activity’ in the bay. There were a few people scampering back and forth between boats, and we could see another campfire across the bay.

As it got later the sky was turning red, laced with whispering strata-like clouds of magenta and orange. Simply amazing! Probably one of the greatest sunsets I have ever seen.

Around 10:30 we loaded up the dinghy to head back, after making sure the fire had burned out completely. We ran the generator for a little while, and downloaded the nights’ pictures. Gina isn’t feeling all that well now, and we are both fairly tired. Again, we had the hatches open before falling asleep. What a day.

Sunset at South Benjamin Island
Sunset at The Benjamins

Day 13 July 11th  2006 On to Day 14
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