Wednesday, August 21, 2019


We are under way in the North Channel, headed for the St. Joseph Channel and an anchorage near Sugar Island. We are in Canadian waters, having left US waters a short while ago, and we'll just be back in US waters when we drop the hook this afternoon.

Monday evening we anchored in Presque Isle Bay (map). We had the place to ourselves for the night; a small power boat was anchored when we arrived but left by dinner time, and a handful of unoccupied sailboats were on moorings in the bay. A small state marina is at the north end of the bay, but offered nothing we needed, the restaurant there being closed for renovations. The Presque Isle lighthouses were too far from the docks to make it a pleasant visit.

Instead we ate aboard and just enjoyed finally being in the quiet and scenic parts of the Michigan coast. Here, deciduous trees have mostly given way to evergreens, and the forests come to within a few feet of the shoreline. Around the bay we could see only a few structures, and only a handful of lights disturbed the overnight darkness, including the occasional flash of the Presque Isle light, and the floodlit Old Presque Isle Light keeper's house. The water here is crystal clear, and we could see our anchor chain on the bottom some 17' below the surface.

Yesterday morning we weighed anchor first thing and set out across the lake, on a mostly due north heading. It was a perfect day for it, with the lake nearly flat calm and zero commercial traffic. We very briefly lost our Internet coverage just past the midpoint, and since then we've been using my T-Mobile phone, which is roaming on Canadian towers. By early afternoon we were entering the False DeTour Channel, wide and deep. At 120'+ of depth I expected to find some adverse current, but there was none, and, in fact, we had a small push just before turning into the North Channel.

We proceeded west along the north shore of Michigan's Drummond Island, dropping the hook in Glen Cove (map), a small bay with only a little silt over the rocky bottom. Still, it was plenty to hold us in last night's mirror-calm conditions. Here we could see no lights at all; no navigational lights were in sight, and only a soft glow in the sky above Sault Ste. Marie in the distance interrupted the otherwise total darkness. Before the moon rose after midnight, we could go on deck and see the Milky Way; while she was out looking at the sky Louise saw a bat feasting on the smorgasbord of bugs that Vector brought with her.

Things were also flat calm when we awoke this morning, but no longer. Seas have been building all day, and we now have whitecaps ahead of us; we got an early start so we can be into the more protected waters of the St. Joseph Channel before the forecast squalls hit today. The Canadian Coast Guard has been broadcasting about it since early yesterday. This morning a couple of loopers passed us, pushing hard to make DeTour this afternoon before the winds arrive.

I have no pictures to share with this post, for the first time in quite a while. We passed the lighthouses too far offshore to get good pictures, and, as beautiful as Presque Isle Bay and Glen Cove were, they did not make for good photos. Our Internet access is likely to be limited this afternoon and tonight; tomorrow we will continue along the Canadian border, through Lake George and around Sugar Island to Sault St. Marie.

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