Wow...we've had a lot of sailing the past few weeks and a WHOLE lot of socializing with many of our Great Lakes Cruising Club (GLCC) friends.
First...the annual GLCC Rendezvous was in Spanish, Ontario, this summer, on the north shore of Canada's North Channel. The SMALL (under 600 people) town is in the heart of Ontario's French language people (only in Canada would a town named Spanish be 50% French!) and 100 GLCC boats were treated as royalty. Even though this area is a semi-wilderness area the Government built and sponsored marina is first class and the local townspeople had NEVER seen the likes of us before! They opened their hearts to us and made our rendezvous a VERY pleasant and memorable event. The Spanish river itself created a LOT of problems for ANY boat with more than a 4-foot draft and MANY sailboats had to be dragged over the mostly soft, muddy, bottom. Fortunately AirWaves only "bumped" once and that was on a deadhead (that's a water soaked log left over from the lumbering days that lurks on the bottom) that rolled us about 20-degrees for a few seconds.
Jim Wool, a GLCC member, also organized a true wilderness rendezvous for the adventurous among us, and while Maria's sons Pat & Pete will confirm that she is NOT a "camper" per se, we thoroughly enjoyed this part of our summer. We sailed 45 miles east of Killarney along the northeast corner of Georgian Bay, an arm of Lake Huron that is itself the size of Lake Ontario, to the mouth of the French river and 20+ boats anchored and/or rafted near Obstacle Island. This is truly a wilderness area and is beautiful beyond description. God gave us perfect weather to sail to and from this secluded anchorage and he also gave us GREAT weather for the 3+ days we explored. Our solar panels, 1/2 of those on Nepenthe (we have 3 60-watt panels) allowed us to keep our battery bank fully charged even though we used the electric coffee maker, a little TV (Sudbury is 60 miles distant), and Maria's use of the electric hair dryer; who said we had to "rough it" just because we were in a wilderness! Dennis...there is a GREAT fish camp in this area and I'm told it's a REAL find for trout fishermen; you can only get there by boat or seaplane but it's worth checking out. On our last night we were treated to a Northern Lights display that lasted for hours!
I'm writing this on a rainy Saturday from the security of Sportsman's Inn & Marina in Killarney and we're enjoying locally caught whitefish (last night) and trout tonight; nobody in Killarney will eat better than us. We plan to sail south to Tobormory at the north end of the Bruce peninsula Monday, virtually the midway point on Georgian Bay's western end. The Bruce Peninsula is part of the Niagara Escarpment that starts in upstate New York, extends through the Niagara Falls area, then goes underground and re-surfaces at it's western end that we call Green Bay.
Special recognition, again, to my 31+ year business partner Steve for letting us sail-our-dream, to Dennis for managing the BEST sales staff (period!), to our 4 sons (Pat, Pete, Brian, & Kevin) and...happy birthday to Deb!
Here are a few pictures of both the Spanish & wilderness rendezvous' and a picture of AirWaves under sail taken from Larry Martin's sailboat on our way to Obstacle Island. PLEASE note the sail number on our new North Sails headsail that "matches" the frequency of our very first radio station, WQLR-FM, that makes ALL this...possible.
Love to all...
Bill & Maria
most of the boats at the Spanish rendezvous...
"informal" get together at the wilderness rendezvous
parking lot "jam" at the wilderness rendezvous
OUR wilderness rendezvous "raft"...AirWaves is 3rd from the left on
tramway dock @ wilderness rendezvous...to portage the falls...
the beautiful falls on one fork of the French river mouth
AirWaves doing what she does...best...on the way to the French river