A rainy day on Georgian Bay – July 3, 2014

Day 125
Miles Today: 39 SM; Total Miles: 2,485 SM
Locks Today: 0; Total Locks: 80

Today we go to Hangdog —-no, we decided to go outside in Georgian Bay to avoid the dreaded Hangdog Channel. For our friends who have traveled Hangdog Channel and waiting to hear our tales of woe going through this treacherous stretch of Georgian Bay, sorry for the lack of entertainment.

We woke up at 5:30 a.m. to get an early start (and hoping for calmer morning winds). Sunrise here is 5:38 a.m. So it is daylight early here. But when we got up, it was raining, overcast and visibility wasn’t that good. We delayed our start until 6:45 a.m. with rain still falling but visibility improved. We left our anchorage and traveled the Small Craft Channel for several miles. By 7:15 a.m. the rain had stopped.

We entered the Pointe au Baril Channel, passing the Lighthouse following the channel out into Georgian Bay instead of turning to port to take the Hangdog Channel route. Note the “Closed” sign on the picture of the Pointe au Baril Lighthouse. The Lighthouse opens for tours given by the former Lightkeeper. Just after passing the Lighthouse a few minutes before 8:00 a.m., the light came on we can assume it was then “Open”.

Pointe au Baril Lighthouse

Pointe au Baril Lighthouse

Looking back at the Pointe au Baril Lighthouse, the light is now on

Looking back at the Pointe au Baril Lighthouse, the light is now on

We passed the “Barrel” on a rock with the sign that read “Site of the Original Barrel denoting safe passage through turbulent waters”.

Barrel at Pointe Au Barrel

Barrel at Pointe Au Barrel

We stayed about 3 miles offshore with 2-3 foot waves on our stern which gave us a comfortable ride. When we turn into Byng Inlet, the waves hit us on the side making it a little uncomfortable. Cailee and Cody weren’t happy campers for the 5 mile or so ride until it smoothed out.

Just before the Small Craft Channel we saw Loopers Stu and Julie on Meander coming from the town of Britt and turning into the Small Craft Channel. We hailed them on the radio and they told us they had stayed in Britt last night and would be anchoring out tonight. We’ll probably see them in Killarney on Friday.

We turned into the Small Craft Channel with a dramatically different landscape than we left at our last anchorage. Large, somewhat flat rock formations, some with a few trees growing out of them, were as far as we could see. The rain began once again, this time harder making it a little difficult to see the markers. We had two narrow, rock lines channels to pass requiring us to give a securite’ call warning other boats that we were coming through. The first narrow channel was Cunningham Channel. It was quite stunning with the large, low rock formations, some with trees. We could have enjoyed it if not for the rain and the tension of traveling through such a tight channel. We passed 4 canoes loaded with young people, all paddling in the rain.

Just after Rogers Gut (yes, that’s the name), the last narrow channel for the day, we turned into our anchorage for the night. It’s called Free Drinks Passage, and we’re not making up these names. It was still raining as we made our way between the large boulders to anchor in 15 feet. There are a few cottages barely visible nearby. The rock islands are’t quite as large so we’re seeing fewer cottages.

We were both wet and cold when we came inside after setting the anchor. The temps were in the 50’s and expected to only reach 62 degrees today…..and it’s July! We changed clothes but were chilled to the bone. So we started the generator, turned on the heat and made hot soup for lunch. The rain finally ended about 2:30 p.m. and the sun finally came out in the afternoon.

Anchorage at Free Drinks Passage

Anchorage at Free Drinks Passage

The sun finally came out after a rainy day

The sun finally came out after a rainy day

Tomorrow’s destination – Killarney.

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