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Day 3 
Saturday July 1st    Tobermory to Beaverstone Bay

Leaving Tobermory we make contact with Lime Cutter and Mytigood before trekking north. After a brief stop at Flowerpot Island, we continue onward to Beaverstone Bay, where we find refuge and a perfect protected anchorage near Burnt Island. We then enjoy a rewarding  afternoon exploring a nearby islet via dinghy.

Miles Today:

Beaverstone Bay

Flowerpot Island


Exploring Near Burnt Island

We got up around 9:00 this Saturday morning in Tobermory. I made coffee while Gina took a shower. Checking the forecast, it called for SW winds; waves building in late afternoon. It really was a nice looking day. Saw that Last Chance had already departed. They were scheduled to head off east into Georgian Bay today in their 310 Sundancer. 

If all goes according to plan, we should be anchoring out (“on the hook” as they say) about a week now.

We sterned out Tick Tock Too from the docks at 10:25 a.m., and headed through Tobermory Harbor to make our way straight north across Lake Huron to Beaverstone Bay. Before getting up on plane, we made VHF radio contact with both Lime Cutter and Mytigood. Boy it was nice to hear their voices. We told them the lake was just too nice yesterday and of our decision to run to Tobermory instead of stopping at Port Elgin. They had left there this morning and were nearing Cape Hurd Channel. I told them the water looked fine from here, and we’d see them in a few days.
It was a short fast ride of 15 minutes before we neared Flower Pot Island. We slowed down and went within about 100 yards off shore. This is one of those spots that you just have to see, even if you’ve been by here before. The scenery with the ‘Pots’ is fantastic, and it is amazing that you are this close to shore and it is almost 300 ft. deep.

Getting back up to cruising speed, it was a fairly comfortable ride with the prevailing wind and waves. There was a slight haze, and the temperature very warm this morning. We have about 50 miles to Beaverstone Bay from here, and the Lake was pretty much flat. For the first time, I actually adjusted the helm seat forward and found that I could steer with my knees fairly easy, which was the next best thing to auto pilot. For long straight flat stretches like this, I can see where a true auto pilot system would be nice.

At 11:25 we neared the Club Island waypoint and decided to cut the corner closer to Lonely Island, and the depth sounder still showed 340 ft. The chart plotter showed us averaging 29mph / 20.5 knots for this leg. A half hour later the waves started building some and the sky was turning gray to the west. We passed the Gull Island light at 12:15 and Gina put the isinglass up.

Flowerpot Island

Fifteen minutes later we were at the outskirts of ‘The Chickens’ shoals, and the waves and wind were kicking up a little more. Here is where you need to pick up the D86 buoy, and then head due north for a mile to D88, and then turn 45 degrees northeast to enter Beaverstone Bay. My waypoints were marked just off the (short and skinny) buoys, so with the waves it gets a little tricky to find them. Obviously you don’t want to literally hit them, so Gina and I both kept our eyes peeled as well as used the radar to pick them up. 

We were still at cruising speed, but we slowed down after passing the D90 and D92 buoys between Hincks and Toad Islands, and entered Beaverstone Bay. When you come through this way you immediately see all rock and more rock and it really feels like a ‘different world’ as compared to Lower Michigan cruising. There were a couple of kayakers paddling through the water as we went by.

Beaverstone Bay

Chart Plotter view of anchorage at Burnt Island
Protected Anchorage

Once past Toad Island, we deviated northwest off the buoyed route and west of Barto and Baltzy Islands. We took it slow and made our way up about a mile and a half to a spot we had marked behind Burnt Island. There is plenty of water here and it is a common spot for anchoring.

At 12:50 we set anchor about 100 yards off of a small islet next to Burnt Island, dodging a deadhead sticking out of the 12-14ft. deep water. A very nice protected anchorage for the night. The tripometer read 286 miles so far for the three days, with today’s leg at 56 miles from Tobermory.

After we settled in, Gina made us lunch, egg salad for me; salad and cheese for her. It was still early, so afterwards we decided to do some exploring. I released the dinghy from the davits we installed just recently, and mounted the outboard motor. In 2004 we only had an inflatable with oars, so this was going to be much better than rowing. We only have a small 3.3hp motor, but the nice thing is that it fits snugly out of the way in the transom locker.


At 1:30 we motored over to the small islet and found a small temporary dock that was tied precariously to the rocks, a perfect spot to pull up to. Wow, this was neat. We walked and toured the small island, made up mostly of rock, but with a lot of trees. We took lots of pictures and videos. It was neat seeing the boat anchored from shore. Some of the walk included traversing some rough rock. We went to the south side and could see Beaverstone Bay and out into Lake Huron. The only sign of civilization was an old decayed outhouse pit. Made for an interesting picture.
I had brought the handheld GPS unit with me so we could record our dinghy / walking tour and see it on the charting software. After about 45 minutes we got back in the dingy and proceeded northeast to the tip of Burnt Island. But as we rounded it, the wind and waves started to get us a little wet, so we headed back.

I set up a folding chair on the swim platform and relaxed with a Corona. It doesn’t get much better than this! It was still warm out and I could occasionally hear some boat in the distance. About 4:00 it started to rain off and on and we read for a while, listened to the news on the satellite radio, and ended up taking an hour nap.

Dinghy Docked

At 5:30 we started the generator for a bit, and Gina made appetizers to go with our cocktails. The boat was starting to swing a little so we decided to set a stern anchor. We let out more scope at the bow anchor to 80 feet, and then reeled it in some to get the right spot.


I later returned to my ‘perch’ on the swim platform and enjoyed a cigar and a cup of coffee while listening to the weather reports on the handheld VHF radio. I had the binoculars, getting a closer view of the peaceful surroundings. It was overcast now, and I could hear the waves out in the bay to the south of our protected anchorage. Numerous flies were out too, but at least they weren’t the biting kind. The temperature gauge showed the water at 72.5 degrees.

At 7:30 we notice the wind kicking up and an hour later it started gusting pretty good. You could now see white caps in the main bay and hear thunder in the northern distance. I tightened up the dingy so it wouldn’t clang on the davits, and put the stern glass up as darker clouds moved in from the west. The temperature started to drop as we pulled in the stern anchor. Being small, it was bent. Note to self: get a bigger, better stern anchor.

Later in the evening, the clouds dissipated some and the wind died down a little. Using the portable inverter and the laptop computer, we watched a DVD on the back deck. There was a half-moon out and without any light pollution to speak of, the sky dazzled with lots of stars. We put the screen on the forward hatch over the bed and enjoyed the view before falling asleep. Another great day!

Day 3 July 1st On to Day 4
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