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Day 6 
Tuesday July 4th    Mill Lake to Mary Ann Cove

No Fireworks on this 4th of July, but the we celebrate the Holiday by finally meeting up with the Instead Of in Mary Ann Cove. And a stop in Killarney affords us a short time to catch up with Sport 'n Life again. A great day indeed!

Miles Today:

Mary Ann Cove



Finally Met Up With the Instead Of Crew

We set the alarm early this morning, and at 7:45am I started the generator to make coffee, grinding up some French Roast beans, and went to the back deck. There, I was greeted with some blue sky, a few clouds, and calm water. Gina took a hot shower while I drank my coffee and started getting organized. Today’s breakfast consisted of bananas. 

At 9:20 I rowed across to the islet and retrieved the stern anchor line, stuffing it into a plastic bag as I made my way back to the boat. We put the inflatables in the dinghy and secured it to the swim platform davits.  

Gina then raised the bow anchor, which had a ton of seaweed on it, and away we went. As we slowly pulled out of Mill Lake, we took the front glass down and fastened the front bimini back, but kept the camper top in place.  This allowed me to stand all the way up at the helm, with the sun and breeze in my face. Normally we run with all the canvas up, so this made this part of the trip rather nice. We motored past McKenzie Island and turned west into Collins Inlet.

At 10:05 we passed the picturesque red-topped saltbox lighthouse at the east end of Killarney. Entering the channel we went by Killarney Mountain Lodge, and down a ways to the Sportsman Inn, where we saw Sport n’ Life docked. We pulled up on the inside main dock and tied up.

We proceeded to fill the water tank, get ice, and pump out the holding tank. We talked to Marc, Seth, and Ingram on Sport n’ Life for a while. It was nice to meet up with them again. They recounted how they met up with Instead Of in Tobermory, and that they finally met Bill and Mary. They told us that as they were leaving Tobermory Harbor that Instead Of had turned back. We weren’t sure what that was all about, but it sure was great seeing familiar faces after a few days.

We used the pay phone at Sportsman Inn to check our messages. Gina found out that her Dad had fallen and hit his head. He went to the hospital, but apparently he was all right, but a little shaky. I had a message from Lime Cutter from 5:00pm yesterday asking if we might still be in Mill Lake. I was not sure at the time where Jim had called from, or if he even had cell phone reception.

Killarney East Light

Finally at 11:45 we shoved off and headed west out the Killarney channel, and made our way down Lansdowne Channel. Visibility was great and we just followed the route on the chart plotter with ease. In 2004 we had a difficult time navigating these parts with the old plotter, as there are three red buoys, which makes if tricky to figure out the exact route to take.

We cleared the Boat Rock waypoint at 12:20, turning north into Frazer Bay, and proceeded about 3 ¾ miles towards McGregor Point before turning east for the run past Frazer Point and into Baie Fine. As we neared this narrow entrance to Baie Fine, there was a fast approaching boat on our stern. I was entering in the next leg of the route into the chart plotter, and in the short time it took to do so, we heard a ‘growling’ sound. Gina said, “I think we hit bottom”, but I was in denial and thought it sounded more like prop cavitation to me. But either way, it was apparent that we went too close to the shoals on the northern shore as we neared the entrance.

Cruising Frazer Bay

Typical Scenery in Baie Fine
Baie Fine

At 12:30 we passed the EH2 buoy marking the entrance, and slowed down. I now had the Baie Fine route entered into the chart plotter, but was running through my mind of how I could of prevented getting off course. I guess it wasn’t a good idea having a route ‘change’ so close to a precarious position. The boat still sounded and responded ok, but the fact that I knew which way to go and had gone over it ‘in practice’ so many times, only to go astray, bothered me immensely.

Once inside Frazer Point, we followed the buoyed route, which takes you back across to the southern shore, and past the old Okeechobee Lodge. As a teenager, I had been to this Lodge while on a boat cruise in the early 70’s. It was a Mecca for North Channel boaters back in its heyday, but now it is private.

The water depth is ample as we cruised at slow speed just a few yards from the shore.  A little further and you pass the last buoy, EH5, and then you’re “on your own”. From here we headed northeast to go between the shore and a small islet before turning due south at the small entrance to Mary Ann Cove. Giving a wide berth on the starboard side to clear some reported rocks, we idled across the calm cove to anchor.

Gina and I pride ourselves that we are fairly proficient and make a good team at both anchoring and rafting off. But this time it turned out to be a little testing.

As we sterned in close to shore, Gina set the bow anchor, and then I decided to go to the bathroom first before securing a line to shore. Well, in a short time that took, the wind caught us and got us out of position. In a ‘semi-panic’, I ended up jumping in the water with the stern line, but not before we were getting too close to the rocks. With me yelling commands from shore and Gina trying to jockey the boat to a better position, it was not a pretty sight. We (she) basically had to pull up anchor and start over again.
We finally got situated satisfactorily, but not before a lot of raised voices and stress. I tied the long stern line to a tree on shore, as we were in a fantastic spot, in deep water just 10 feet from the rocky shore. I vowed that I wouldn’t take a potty break during crucial situations any more. It was 1:00, hot, with some wind, and after the 33-mile trip from Mill Lake today, the tripometer read 356 miles total so far.

Time for a well earned lunch of salami, cheese, shrimp, and some crackers and dip. I enjoyed a cold Corona, while Gina made a martini. Mary Ann Cove is probably one of, if not our most, favorite anchorages (this being the second time here). Relaxing here you get a view of all rock and trees in a small setting, and you can see north out into Baie Fine and watch the boat traffic.

After lunch I put on the goggles and grabbed the digital camera to dive under the boat and check out the props. The water was very clear, and after looking at them and feeling the edges, it appeared that yes indeed the starboard prop was bent over maybe a ¼” ? I took a few pictures (the camera works underwater), but still couldn’t tell for sure the extent of the damage done by shoaling on the way in to Frazer Point. At least they weren’t obviously mangled.

A Quick Swim to Shore
To Tie Up The Stern Line

A Dinged Prop?

At 2:30, we blew up the inflatable lounge chairs, and went for a ‘ride’, drifting around the boat and up to shore. I double-checked the stern line tied to the tree and then sat back in the chair to finish my beer and take in the view.

A short while later while drifting around in the warm water, the VHF radio crackled, “Tick Tock Too, Tick Tock Too, this is Instead Of”. I made a mad dash free-style swim to the boat and answered the call. They were just inside the Frazer Point entrance, so I told them to head on down to Mary Ann Cove. Wow, this is cool I thought, several days and several hundred miles, we finally get to meet up! This makes for a great Holiday.

It was 4:30 when Instead Of sterned in to raft off of our starboard side. We exchanged hugs and laughs with Bill and Mary, and met their guests, Jim and Laurie. After getting settled in by tying them off to shore and dropping their dinghy, we relaxed for ‘happy hour’ and caught up with each other on where we had all been. They explained about leaving Leamington at 3:00 a.m. Saturday, and that an engine was overheating as they left Tobermory to head to Mill Lake (where they originally had hoped to meet us).

Later, Mary and Laurie served a nice dinner of chicken, rice, and salad on the back deck of Instead Of. Earlier, we were watching what looked like a seagull chasing a bald eagle high overhead for quite some time. A fascinating scene!

We concluded the evening by playing Dominoes and everyone had a great time as the games ended at midnight. We again slept with the hatches open and the stars up above.

Looking Out To Baie Fine
From Inside Mary Ann Cove

Day 6 July 4th  2006 On to Day 7
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