By definition, any day that requires us to be underway at sunrise starts off as a bad day. For two reasons, yesterday was one of those get-going-early days. First, we had some open water to cross and the predictors of such things told us the wind would increase as the morning unfolded. Second, we had no slip reservation in Little Current. It’s take what you can get at the town docks, so we wanted to arrive early. Things significantly picked up for us after an iced tea (homemade) and Mountain Dew (store-bought).
Little Current is on the east end of Manitoulin Island, which forms the southern border of the North Channel. Our last three stops in Canada will be on the island. The lighthouse is where you start worrying about the current. Depending on the wind speed, direction, and duration, boaters can face 6-knot current in either direction. Little current it’s not, and our docking confidence moves in inverse proportion to things that push us around. We balked at the first slip assignment and landed on the face of a t-head. Whew.
The island is pretty big to be connected to the mainland by a single bridge, but that’s the set up. The bridge swings for boats every hour and stays open for 15 minutes. That means 25% of the time people in cars curse at boaters like us. We timed it perfectly so didn’t have to wait. Or curse at the cars.
Little Current marks the farthest point north on our Loop. It’s all downhill from here, at least until we hook around Key West in 4 or 5 months. For anyone who might wonder about these things, Coeyman’s on the Hudson River was our easternmost point on the Loop unless we get blown out further when we next reach the Atlantic coast.
Little Current also is yet another small sleepy town. The place to eat apparently is Elliot’s. The food indeed at Elliot’s was good (especially the chippers), but the best part may have been the chance to quote the great Walter “Gib” Gibson: “You can’t name the kid Elliot. No. Elliot’s a fat kid with glasses who eats paste.” What a classic. The Sure Thing is grossly underrated.
The chainsaw guys from some HGTV series were doing their thing. We thought about asking them to make a huge mermaid we could slap on our bow, but nah. The highlight of Little Current for us, however, was Barry. Dude is 72 but was the best of the singers whose paths we have crossed so far. Lots of good stuff. Kristofferson, CCR, The Beatles, Cash. He knew a few of the words to Rocky Top but not enough to play it. Insert sad face emoji here.
The sky was a bit ominous this morning, but off we went since the winds were acceptable.
The person who names waterfalls really should start thinking outside the very small box. Turns out there are Bridal Veil Falls in California, Washington, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and about a dozen other places just in North America alone. Geez, why not mix it up a little? He or she probably names all of his or her dogs Spot. The point of all that is that on our way to Gore Bay, we detoured over to Kagawong to visit yet another Bridal Veil Falls. This one required a hike from the marina, which we thought the boys would enjoy but they possibly didn’t. The bad news was that (1) the hike wasn’t difficult or long and (2) there was a parking lot at the top, both of which meant people easily could get there with their children and toys. Grrr.
NOTICE TO CANADIANS: We would like to be the only people at your scenic areas so that we can take photos without you in them. Thank you.
Kagawong also is home to St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church. This church is notable because a tragically-fatal incident involving a local family and their Chris-Craft motor yacht sadly yielded the awesome church pulpit. The church also is notable because when Doug was taking a close-up photo, he stepped on a snake. A live, wriggling, crossing-the-sidewalk snake.
Remember the game wardens in the sneaky fishing boat? Not the Mounties. The Mounties don’t play around. 600 horsepower worth of outboard motors pushing a slippery boat that weighs about 10 pounds makes it likely you won’t outrun them. And since we literally can’t outrun butterflies, we’ve been staying on the honorable side of life up here.
Dinner with Second Wave at Bouy’s after sitting in the big red chair.* On the way, we spotted two deer in a yard. Mares may eat oats, and little lambs may eat ivy (and a kid’ll eat ivy too), but does eat crabapples.
*Canada trivia time! Up here they’re Muskoka chairs, even though most knowledgeable folks seem to agree that years ago a dude in the Adirondack Mountains designed them.