First two weeks in The North Channel - a welcome we hadn't expected



The North Channel is the boxed area.

It has been a crazy first two weeks in The North Channel.


For those who are unaware, the North Channel is located at the top of Lake Huron in Canada. It extends from Sault St. Marie Ontario on the west, to Killarney Ontario on the east. The area has hundreds of inhabited and uninhabited islands, the largest of which is Manitoulin Island - the largest fresh water island in the world.


We have spent 9 of the last 14 days at anchor across the south and east side. While we have been here three times previously, we are always finding new anchorages to explore and of course new people to meet.


The joy of being able to return is unbelievable as it has become our summer home over the years.


We checked into customs at Meldrum Bay, then moved on to Gore Bay a couple of days later.


We had just pulled into the Gore Bay gas dock when we heard a loud call go out across the area "Oh my god, it's Jeff, Cindy and Duncan!" It was our friend Mark who we first met in 2016 when we needed some work done on our boat. Several of those we have come to know who work in and around the marina dropped what they were doing to come and give us hugs and welcome us as if they had been spending the last 3 years looking and waiting for us.



We met Mark's wife, Lysanne, in 2019 at the local farmers market selling the best ginger snap cookies I have ever eaten. The market was cancelled in 2020 but we sent Lysanne an order for 4 dozen cookies to be picked up whenever we could return to Canada.


The next morning, Mark the man who had first called out to us, knocked on our boat with 4 dozen fresh baked ginger snap cookies his wife had made for us. Lysanne had taken another job and was no longer in the cookie business, She did however, take the time that morning to bake some for us so that they arrived warm. I stopped in at her now chocolate shop to thank her and all she did was smile and thank us again for coming back.


We have been to Little Current, traveled Baie Fine - the only freshwater Fjord in North America - to its conclusion at The Pool, anchored at Covered Portage and Heywood Island, eaten white fish at the "World Famous" Herbert Fisheries in Killarney, and checked into Little Current a second time to celebrate Canada Day with the locals.


We had the chance to race another Catalina 34 from Covered Portage to Heywood Island a distance of 15 miles, and lost. The downside was we had to host the owners of the winning boat for happy hour.


Those that have followed us for years, know that Jeff likes to collect stories about people on the places we visit. The last two weeks has been one story after another as people have been so glad to tell of their trials and discoveries from the previous two Covid dominated years.


What follows are a few of our favorite stories and pictures from the last two weeks.


Again, thanks for traveling with us. We do hope you enjoy the journey.



Duncan the comfort dog


Seems everywhere we go, people just want to hug Duncan or give him a treat. Left Megan the assistant Harbor Master at Straits State Dock hugs Duncan. Lisa in Little Current give Duncan a piece of chees.







Lighthouses




Anchorages

Each anchorage and docking experience brings a host of new experiences