Start: Hope Island Anchorage, Ontario
End: Echo Bay, deep in the Georgian bay 30,000 islands (and 100,00 rocks)
Total Distance: 20.6 nm
Time: 5 hours
Average Speed: 4.4
“You know, we can always turn back. But I really do think that if we keep going, the conditions will only get better.”
Carve that crap into my tombstone when I die. Which will probably be sooner rather than later.
We had one hell of a night last night. Our scenic, printing, peaceful anchorage turned to hell about 2300 and stayed that way until 4am. The wind which had been from the north west, was FORECASTED to turn to the west, which would have been OK. BUT forecast and reality are two different things, and the westerly winds were actually a touch WSW which doesn’t sound like much. But when 30 mph winds plus waves are ripping across your bow at midnight without being broken by land it makes a difference. We awoke at 0230 when to our boat rocking like a bucking bronco. We peeked our heads out and there were some lovely waves and strong winds that were bouncing all of us around. For us in the cat it was loud, but not terribly unformortable. I cannot imagine what it was like for all the monohulls around us. After 4am, when the winds started to die down, we slumped into bed.
To wake at 0800. Winds were merely fresh. Took the dog in, dropped the engines and we left at 10am. Puttered around the island and set our course to the North West across the Georgian bay. Where the fickle winds were driving waves from the north. About two feet. Rollers. That were frequent enough to be annoying. Which led to my famous quote at the beginning–we could turn around at any moment. But damned if I was going to do that! That would add hours to our day and we could stand a little rolling. So we did.
And arrived at our anchorage, Echo Bay, just fine. The landscape has changed dramatically from when we left the Trent-Severn Waterway. We have LOTS of rocks of all shapes and sizes all around us. The big ones (called ‘Islands’) are really easy to see. The medium ones look like big rocks, most with small houses (called ‘cottages’) on them. The small ones lurk just under the surface of the water waiting to gash your keel and ruin your day. It is gorgeous. And seductive. And hard to focus on keeping your boat between the little green and red cones.
Echo bay, itself is gorgeous. It is basically a big, deep pond surrounded by trees and rocks. There are eight boats tied up to the shore in what is called ‘Med Mooring,’ where the stern of your boat is tied to stakes on shore while your front is anchored by your (wait for it) anchor. It keeps you from moving back and forth at anchorage. We have never done this before until today. It wasn’t pretty, but we got a tip of the glass from the boat next to us for getting it done. Then swim/paddle board/relax. And then a quick drive on the dinghy to explore before dinner.
Quick is the operative term. Our dinghy is normally tied up on davits on our boat. Davits is a fancy word for metal hangy thingies. And that is where it has stayed for most of the last two months. But here in the bay, we will be using the dinghy more often so we are going to tow it behind our boat. We dropped it down at Hope Island and when we left there this morning, I had taken the fuel can off the dinghy to lower the weight we would be towing behind the boat. And I neglected to put the fuel can back into the dinghy. The engine fired up just fine when we all piled in the dinghy. And the boat fired off down the bay and into the inlet. And it was smoking when it finally stopped dead. Literally dead. No fuel. It took about one mile over four minutes for the engine to figure it didn’t have any gas tank attached.
Which left us no alternative to row back to whence we started our trip. And get the can. And start again.
Later we took the dinghy (with fuel) the two miles to Henry’s restaurant for some seafood. It is a local place with a big reputation for fried seafood. Diners are seated at long tables, to better get to know the neighbors and food is brought out fried and hot. They serve their tartar sauce in huge squirt bottles, so they had that going! Quick fly back to the bay to walk the dog and then to bed!