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Day 14 
Wednesday  July 12th    The Benjamin's to Presque Isle

After being on the hook for three nights, we pull anchor and head west through the North Channel, before turning south and making our way back to Michigan. With a stay in Presque Isle, it is "back to civilization", and we meet back up with Lime Cutter

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Miles Today:

Presque Isle - U.S.

Gore Bay - Ontario



Docked at Presque Isle Harbor

I got out of bed at 9:00 this morning, being careful not to wake Gina. I made the customary pot of coffee and retreated to the helm to enjoy the quiet.

There was a 10-15 knot wind blowing out of the northeast, and our spider-web lines were keeping the bow pointed to the northwest.

I listened to the small waves coming in our cove lapping across the quarter side, as I sipped the first cup. A little hazy out, but looks like it should be a nice day.

It 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.


Route for Day 14

It was 10:45 now, and getting hot! We turned on the air conditioning and finished stowing away our ‘gear’, getting ready to head out after two days at anchor.

The plan we devised was to dinghy over to the port side and untie the 100ft line off the rocks on shore, then dinghy over to the starboard shore and remove the two 30ft lines tied together to the tree. Then Gina would man the helm to keep the boat from being pushed into the rocks by the wind while I got the dinghy back to the boat.

From there I’d secure the dinghy and lines, and then jump to the helm while Gina went to the bow to make sure the anchor came up alright.

The ‘plan’ worked out pretty good. But as I reeled in the anchor lines into the dinghy, it was a mess. The lines were covered with those pesky little bugs we discovered yesterday. They were molting, mating, or something, because there was disgusting brownish “stuff” all over the lines. Luckily, Gina grabbed a plastic bag that I was able to use to stow them away when I got back to the swim platform. We would deal with cleaning them later.

At 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 here.

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.

Entering Gore Bay

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.

Presque Isle Harbor

Back in 'Civilization'!

At 1:30 we passed the tip of Cape Roberts, and Gina donned ear buds to her iPod and was reading a book. I lit up a cigar and made some notes in the log book. We were cruising at 29 mph now in about 6 inch rollers, and really enjoying the comfortable ride. A short while later we passed Batture Island where directly south off the port side is Meldrum Bay. If entering the North Channel easterly from the U.S., this is the place to clear Canadian customs.

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.
The dock master on duty and her helpers gassed Tick Tock Too up with 155 gallons. The tripometer is at 539 miles. We were assigned slip number 61, right behind our friends from Lime Cutter, who we had left in Killarney with Mytigood several days ago.

The Presque Isle Harbor is a nice facility and the breakwall and numerous trees make it very picturesque. There were quite a few slips open, and not much activity here. Gina’s cousins have some property nearby and were having a get together this week, so we might try to see them while we are here. After docking, we hooked up the electric and the water, then set up the chairs on the docks to relax a bit.

We caught up with Jim and Jana and learned that Mytigood made it to Little Current for the repairs from the accident in Mill Lake. Evidently, Ed had to borrow the mechanics truck to make a round trip to Sault St. Marie to pick up the shafts, and Mytigood was scheduled to be all fixed up at the Harbor Vue Marina in Little Current. Most likely they would continue home from there.

After a beer and a short visit on the docks, we decided to get those lines that were all covered in bug “stuff” from the Benjamin’s cleaned up. Using a shopping cart, we wheeled the whole mess up the docks a short ways to an onsite Laundromat.   In between feeding the  washers and dryers with quarters, Gina read a book while listening to her iPod. Being back in cell phone range I also checked messages and made a couple of calls, before heading back to the boat at 7:00.

Gina showered on the boat while I went up to the bathhouse, and then we met Jim and Jana for dinner at the Portage Restaurant and Pizza Shop located on the marina grounds. This is a nice place. We dined on whitefish and lamb, with a bottle of wine, bringing back half the bottle to the boat for later.

That night we set up the laptop and showed Jim and Jana our pictures from the Benjamin’s. Gina also used the limited time free wireless internet at the marina to get on-line, while I made a few more phone calls, before turning in for the night.

We cleaned lines at
the local Laundromat.

Day 14 July 12th 2006 On to Day 15
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