click images to enlarge
may be a tricky getting all the anchor lines undone without drifting too
close to the rocks on the west side. I removed the inflatable chairs from
the front deck where we had lashed them down, before giving it a good
scrubbing. I could hear the vacuum running down below, so I knew Gina was
up and at ‘em now. She came out on the back deck and vacuum sealed the
inflatables in a small plastic bag we used, saving lots of room.
11:10 we had all anchor lines up and got underway. I took one last look
back at the Benjamin’s as we head south to begin the journey home. This
was truly the best anchorage we’ve ever enjoyed, and as we passed by
Secretary Island I started planning (in my head) the next trip back up
The weather today was warm, blue sky with patches of clouds, and about a one foot rolling sea. We were running at a speed of 27 mph on a southwest course for the fifteen mile trip to Gore Bay. We passed Clapperton Island on our port side. If time had permitted, I would have like to have stopped at Harbour Island, which is nestled in the horseshoe bay on the south side. I had been there back in 1972 when it was a bustling lodge and a popular destination for boaters. It is all closed up now (and just recently sold again). Oh well, maybe next trip.
An hour later, we made the turn due south
into Gore Bay. At 12:15 we pulled up to the north end of the service gas
dock. The tripometer read 454 miles. The dockhands were courteous and
helped us tie up and get us a hose so we could fill up the water tank,
which was almost on empty.
We bought some ice here as well, and dumped our garbage. There was plenty of construction going on at the main building, and looks like they are fixing the place up nicely. This is our first time here, and a stop we would like to return to and stay a while at. Another spot for the ‘next’ trip.
We pulled away from the dock and admired a 70 foot yacht anchored in the bay as we motored out of Gore Bay and continued westward. We enjoyed tuna fish sandwiches for lunch and noticed that there were very few boats out along this route along the northern side of Manitoulin Island. The boats we did see were almost all sailboats, but most were under power.
The clouds were getting a little more thick and dark to the southwest now. Around 2:00 we made the turn south into the Mississagi Strait, the passage running between the west end of Manitoulin Island and the eastern end of Cockburn Island. The wind was picking up, but the water was still nice and calm. We exited the Strait and into Lake Huron twenty minutes later into a slight haze. We could not see across the thirty eight miles to Michigan shoreline
Half-way across the Lake we still couldn’t see land, and the depth sounder was reading over 350 feet. I had the radar on 12-mile range and nothing showed up yet. Finally we picked up a freighter, and soon another and another, as we approached the shipping lanes near the Michigan coast. The haze increased and it was difficult to see without polarizing glasses.
|We continued our south-southwest heading, and at 3:10 we were about 15 miles off the ‘new’ Presque Isle Lighthouse (claiming to be the tallest light on the Great Lakes). A half-hour later we passed the red #2 buoy and made our way into Presque Isle Harbor, pulling up to the gas dock just inside the entrance.