Sailing with Duncan

Naturally Curious


Welcome to Sailing with Duncan 

Thanks for joining us.

Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns or in this case the Cairn Terrier by the boat and head to charted and uncharted waters.

Duncan travels with Cindy and Jeff Cunningham aboard the 1996 Catalina 34 MKII named Respite. The three have sailed thousands of miles on the Great Lakes over the years.

We hope you enjoy sailing with us.  


Coopersville, MI



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Three days in Gore Bay - learning the meaning of Island Time. Oh wait... make that five and counting

We have been sitting in Gore Bay since July 26. We needed a pair of batteries for the boat and a new swivel for the anchor. Both were ordered on Friday and both didn't arrive from Sudbury. When we learned that the order wasn't coming Friday night, we were told that there was nothing we could do until Monday as nothing moves to the island over the weekend. "Well you'll be here for Bore Bay Harbour Days then and the fish fry on Saturday is the best on the island," said Ken at the Canadian Yacht Charters store where we ordered the swivel as if sitting in the marina for three more days was the best thing that could happen to us. And it was. Gore Bay has 600 full-time residents but there were a c

Working our way back west

When we said we were going to be off the grid for several days we meant off the grid completely. The last eight days we have been at Bear Drop Harbour, Cleary Cove and the last couple of nights back in Gore Bay Marina waiting on parts. We discovered in the middle of the second night that we were in Cleary Cove, that our house battery had reached the end of its serviceable life. We learned when we picked up the anchor the next morning that the anchor swivel was no longer swiveling. We also discovered that we had miss calculated how many times we had used the head and had reached its capacity. All those issues meant a trip into Gore Bay and we arrived just in time for Gore Bay Harbour Days whi

Three more days in heaven

July 18-20 We have spent the last few days anchored in Oak Bay on Hotham Island. After pulling anchor the night before we had planned to anchor somewhere else on Hotham, but somewhere else turned out to be not so good so we stumbled on Oak Bay and the mythical Hotham Island Yacht Club. The bay is large and warm and often as many as 20 boats easily anchored there. While the setting is like many other in the North Channel, the people who live on the bay make it special. Duncan loved the shoreline and Cindy and I both Kayaked. Elaine and Norm (no last name, please) have lived in a blue cottage on the south end of the bay every summer for the dozen years. They are retired school teachers from Ch

Manitowaning and other great locations

BLOG POST FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS Quick hits – Sorry for asking you to sign up for the blog and then not turning on the notification switch on the website. I do hope that is fixed now. Just because the sign says “Best pizza in town” doesn’t mean the pizza is good by any standard. Stern in anchoring and tying off the stern to a tree is harder than it looks the first time. Duncan is working on learning to swim. He can swim off the boat with his life jacket on but more and more he has been watching other big dogs just jump in from shore and swim and seem to enjoy it. Today he actually got in from shore far enough to have the water unto his chest but not quite deep enough to force him to swim. He

If there is heaven on Earth, this is it

July 9 – 11 When traveling with a dog on your sailboat, being able to get him ashore is always a concern when anchoring. Most often here in the North Channel, that means anchoring close enough to shore that we can load Duncan into the dingy and motor him to shore for a short romp. Usually there is no where for him to go other than on the shore as most of the islands are densely forested. Ans yes we always pick up after him. Anchoring in Covered Portage, just west of Killarney, we anchored in the inner pond and near the trail that leads to the top of the 150-foot high cliffs that surround the entire area. Duncan quickly learned to run the trail and work his way quickly to the top of the cliff

Dancing with the First Nation dancers

July 5 We had planned to bypass Little Current and go directly to another anchorage further east but a problem with the head on the boat forced us to Little Current. The head problem was easily solved – it appeared to be plugged. There was a high wind warning in affect for the next couple of days so we decide to get a slip and batten down the hatches. JULY 6-7 For those that have never been to the North Channel, Little Current is much like the Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine in “The Empire Strikes Back” where Luke meets Hans for the first time. Everyone going to the North Channel has to pass through Little Current at some point in time due to geography and roads. All kinds of boats are tied u

Kagawong and Harbour Island

July 2-4 JUST FOR YOUR INFORMATION – Any story that starts – “We were out bear hunting and …” is probably a great story. Sailed from Gore Bay to Kagawong a distance of about 17 miles. Sailing into Mudge Bay is not as hard as it used to be as the water is up 5 or more feet from the charts meaning the rocks are less of a danger to sailors but you still need to be careful and watch the channel markers and the maps. At the base of the by is the tiny village of Kagawong. I would say the village is off the beaten path but it is only off the beaten path if you come by water. There is a marina with fuel and pump outs but the docks are old and there is no power to the docks. Kagawong is famous for a

Canada Day in Gore Bay

July 1 Canada Day apparently means something different that July 4. The Canadians, at least here in Gore Bay, donned their red Canada Day shirts – yes they all appear to have red tee shirts with Canada or maple leafs on them as if issued by their cult leader. Most we saw were wearing their shirts from 2017 when Canada turned 150. The parade in Gore Bay was the shortest yet best parade ever. A police car followed by a dozen kids riding decked-out bicycles, followed by an ambulance and fire truck. It was over in less than 5 minutes but everyone applauded as the kids rode down the street. It was great not to see politicians or militaria in the parade. No one was setting off fireworks or getting

Drummond Island and beyond to the east

June 29 After spending two days at Harbor Island at anchor, we headed for Drummond Island. While we have been there before - the last time was only a stop and go as we checked into customs upon returning to the USA in 2016. The stop at Drummond was necessitated by the need to get paperwork and parts that were supposed to have arrived before we left. For $10.40 we were able to have the package sent from Coopersville two-day-mail. You can't beat the post office. From a small town to an island for $10.40 still boggles my mind. The marina is two miles from town so we rented a car for $12 and spent the afternoon going to town and seeing the island. Just a few days before we arrived, the newest ta


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