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Day 4 
Sunday July 2nd    Beaverstone Bay to Mill Lake


We leave our nice anchorage behind Burnt Island and start heading west. We have a close call with being low on fuel, so we head to Killarney for gas and a nice fish lunch, before returning east to anchor at our 'spot' in Mill Lake.

Miles Today:
37

Destination:
Mill Lake

Stops:
Killarney for fuel

 

Heading into the Turn into Collins Inlet
Turning the Corner Into Collins Inlet

After a nice peaceful sleep I woke and the clock showed 4:51 a.m. Still way early, but I could hear the wind, so I got up to see if it had changed direction and make sure we were still secure.

Went to the back deck and it was still fairly dark, but I could see everything was ok. I grabbed the video camera and took a panoramic shot of the bay, quite a serene setting, before heading back to bed.

At 8:40 a.m. I rolled out of bed for good. I wanted to start the generator to make coffee and recharge the batteries. The last time it was run was 7:00 the night before.

I first attempted to start the port engine (which is wired to the house batteries) and it came right to life. I quickly shut it down, and then fired up the generator, which started fine on the first try. Made a pot of coffee and listened to the forecast on the VHF. There was a small craft wind advisory in effect; winds were west at 20 knots diminishing to 15 near noon, and 10 knots in the evening. A chance of showers or thundershowers. Currently the wind is out of the west, with a mixture of clouds and blue sky. The boat had swung with the change in winds, so we were now getting a different view. (Can't do that with your house or cottage).

I tried reaching Bill from Instead Of on the radio at 9:00 to no avail. I really didnít expect to get in contact them this early, let alone today. They were going to try to leave from their homeport in Leamington Ontario a few days ago on Saturday sometime, and then try to rendezvous with us in Mill Lake, which would at the earliest be late today or tomorrow.

Around 10:00 I saw finally saw Ďcivilizationí as a small speedboat went by to the west and a fishing boat cruised by the southeast corner of Burnt Island. Gina had gotten up now, and we relaxed on the back deck.

A few minutes later I was listening to the VHF radio channel 16 and the Coast Guard was responding to a request for medical evacuation from a boat on the north side of Franklin Island. They were mentioning a burn victim. I listened to these communications for about 40 minutes. The call went out requesting the boaters on the island to set flares, and find a clearing of 400-500 ft. so a helicopter could land. I could only hear the Coast Guard side of the transmissions, and they were requesting other mariners help. I didnít even know where Franklin Island was, but deduced it was probably some ways away.

 

Our fuel situation was a little uncomfortable. (Okay, a lot uncomfortable). We were showing less than 1/8 on both tanks. We had filled up in Kincardine just like in 2004, where we made it to Mill Lake and Killarney with no problem. But this year, perhaps with rougher water, we evidently burned more. If we were going to run out of gas, we figured to get it out of the way now. So, we decided to bypass Mill Lake and run all the way to Killarney (20 miles) to get fuel. Weíd then return back to Mill Lake, feeling a lot less stressful.

We prepared to leave, stowing the dinghy and motor as well as cleaning the glass. At 11:35 we pulled anchor and wound our way from behind Burnt Island back to the marked Beaverstone route. This led us up to the turn to head into Collins Inlet and west to Killarney. It was a strong west wind and we were heading right into it now. Seemed like a lot of black flies were out now.

Collins Inlet is really something. It is narrow in many spots with rock walls on both sides. There werenít any other boats around so I decided to try to run on plane for a ways. It was very exhilarating going so fast in such close quarters. After 3 Ĺ miles we entered the top of Mill Lake, and then picked up Collins Inlet going west again.

Caution: Rocks
Daymarker in Beaverstone

 

Another 8 miles and we passed Keyhole Island and turned south west past more rocky shoreline before going by Flat Rock Light. Here is where it opens back up into Lake Huron for the final 3 Ĺ miles to Killarney, and you really start seeing the quartz Ďmountainsí that this area is famous for.

A Neat Lighthouse On the Rocks
Flat Rock Light

 

Got Fuel Just in Time!
Killarney Mountain Lodge Fuel

We entered the Killarney East Channel at 12:40pm, passing the very picturesque Red Rock lighthouse. I hailed the Killarney Mountain Lodge just inside the entrance and pulled up to the dock a few minutes later. It was quite windy. Again, here in Canada the dockhands do the fueling, so we looked around the office and store for a while.

Fuel here was $1.289 per liter, which translates into $4.87 per gallon. Ouch. We took on 192 gallons for a total of $935, which we paid, in Canadian cash.  The Tick Tock Too holds 225 gallons total in itís two tanks, so that means we had only 33 gallons left. Who know if all 33 would be useable, but if they were, thatís only maybe 28 milesí worth. This was way too close for comfort!

We left the Killarney Mountain fuel dock at 1:10, and headed further west down the channel. The tripometer read 307 miles so far on the trip, and just 21 miles from our start from the anchorage at Burnt Island this morning. We were looking forward to a stop at the infamous Red School Bus for a fish ní chips lunch. Just down the channel a short ways we stopped at the Sportsman Inn. A dockhand waved us in to a spot, which required a windy ĎSí turn, but we docked just fine. 

The staff there is really nice, and took all of our garbage away. They said it was no problem tying up there while we strolled around a bit. So we walked down the main street a block along the channel to get our lunch. The old school bus is parked on the pier and serves up the best fresh deep-fried fish and fries.

Itís a great place to eat and unwind while watching the boat traffic in the channel. An hour later we walked back to the boat at the Sportsman, where we bought a t-shirt and some ice (both block and bag). Of course the friendly staff carried the ice down the dock to the boat for us, and helped us shove off at 2:30.

We then retraced our route back to Mill Lake, but not before having to slow down for some kayaks and canoes in the channel. The boat was running good, but it seemed strange to be heading east. But we both felt at ease knowing we now had plenty of fuel, even if we lost some time on this ordeal. Plus we had a nice lunch that Gina didnít have to prepare.

It was now 3:10 as we exited the west part of Collins Inlet and turned south into Mill Lake. A few short minutes later we saw that our 2004 anchoring spot was open, so we squeezed into it. This is a real nice anchorage in about 12 feet of water and close to the western shore. There is a small islet a hundred feet to the north, and it provided some protection, but more importantly, an excellent place to tie off the stern.

 

Same Anchorage as 2004
Mill Lake Anchorage

Gina set the bow anchor at 3:25pm and I quickly unhooked the dinghy and loaded up the long stern anchor line and rowed the short distance to the islet. Once there I tied the line around a large rock, and traversed the rocky landscape to take a look around. We were now secure at the final destination for the day, 37 total miles we've come today, including the extra 32 mile round trip into Killarney for gas.

The weather was pretty nice now, so we put our swimsuits on at 4:00 and decided to take a dinghy ride around Mill Lake. There was a moderate wind, so we had to take it fairly slow to avoid getting too wet. I took the handheld GPS unit to record our track, and also had the handheld VHF in case we got a call from Instead Of.

 

Mill Lake
'On the Rocks'

We motored down to the south end of the narrow lake, and saw a small sailboat anchored against the rocks. We had passed them a few hours earlier on our way back from Killarney. It looked like they might be visiting someone in the cottage that is located there. 

The water appeared to be shallow and very weedy in this area as we cut through between two small islets and headed back up the east side of the lake. We then made our way back west across the lake to some large rocks just north of our anchorage.  We pulled the dinghy up on the rocks and took the cushions out to lay down for a while.

Coming back to the boat a short while later on the west side of the rocks we noticed that our stern line had become untied. Actually the rock that it was tied around fell down, loosening the line. After securing it well this time, we docked the dinghy and took a nap for a while.

At 8:00 Gina made a Turkey salad for me, and a Shrimp salad for herself. We then relaxed some more before watching a DVD on the back deck at 10:30. The stars were out on this slightly overcast night, as we turned in sometime after midnight with all the hatches open.


Day 4 July 2nd  2006 On to Day 5
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