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Author Topic:   Classic Whaler 2000 North Channel Rendezvous
kingfish posted 05-27-2000 10:27 AM ET (US)   Profile for kingfish   Send Email to kingfish  
Woohoo! Here I am with a freshly brewed pot of Key West Cuban Roast coffee - "my, it's tasty" - a keyboard and monitor, a rainy Memorial Day weekend, and the news to announce that I have dispensation to bring a pod of Cetacea home with me to Neptune Island Saturday and/or Sunday August 5th and/or 6th! It's a go! (Actually, it was apparently an idea straining at the gate and had already taken on a life of its own.) But I am excited at the prospect and am formally announcing here that Neptune and Mosquito Islands are definitely on the agenda for the Rendezvous!

Here is my best effort at gleaning from the previous thread a list of all those who are currently at least strongly considering being part of the NCR:
John Flook - 1 to 4 people
Larry Goltz - 2 to 3 people
Don McIntyre - _____ people
Walt Steffen - _____ people
Steve Farnsworth - _____ people
Tom Birdsey - _____ people
Jim Hebert (?)- _____ people
Arch Autenrieth - _____people (Arch - forgive me if I've mispelled your name; I don't know how to get back to the earlier thread to check without losing what I've typed here)

Anyway, it is developing into a quite a list of Whalers, and I'm looking forward to meeting all of you. How about posting a short note on this thread to confirm I've got it right so far, and make a guess at how many folks will be with you?

And, let's continue to hear from others who might think about joining in the fun! This is truly God's Country in the North Channel. I agree with Larry that it's some of the prettiest boating territory on earth.


John Flook
(Note to those who may be reading about this for the first time here in this post - see the thread entitled, "Great Lakes BW Rendezvous 2000 (or something like that) in the "Trip and Rendezvous" forum in order to get the history behind this, some important information from other posters and to view some great links Jim Hebert has created. jcf

dfmcintyre posted 05-29-2000 09:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
John -

If you shift it slightly, more towards Sunday August 6th, it's a real good chance that Walt Steffens and I would be able to make it.

Friday is usually the travel day up from Port Huron or parts further south, and we roll in to Tobemory about midnight, and catch the 7AM ferry. That puts us ashore at around 9, and another hours drive to Evansville and we're pretty beat. The spouses are thinking of nothing but unpacking and sitting up camp for that day.

And if the group is planning on some sort of group cruise later in the week, say Monday or Tuesday, we'd be able to make that.

'Course I hope you know that having it on Sunday is gonna drive Walt nutty. He'll be thinking all the way up there "Do I keep my boat (which hasn't seen the water in almost two years) on the trailer one more day and run back to Little Current (one hour drive, and no sweat if the NC is rough) or put it IN THE WATER on Saturday morning and run it 2 - 2.5 hours hoping for a decent sea"?


Do you need us to bring anything specific other then ourselves and vessels?

PS - I will _not_ be bringing the Supercat over. Anyone that wants to see her can come over to Northernaire!

kingfish posted 05-29-2000 08:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
We'll be getting up to Neptune on the 2nd or 3rd (Wed. or Thurs.), and once we're there and settled in, weekend days aren't any different to us than week days. I'm anticipating some of those coming up (or over) from the States will need to be organizing around a weekend, though; I don't know that for sure, just an educated guess. Based on that assumption, and the assumption that they'll be rolling into L.C. on Saturday, I've been envisioning at least some of those boats showing up at Neptune during the day on Saturday, checking things out, very informal, maybe doing something as a group or groups or not or just hanging around; getting together later at Neptune for burgers or something and planning what's up for Sunday. I thought I'd do breakfast Sunday morning for any of those who overnight at or near Neptune (or get up early enough wherever they are to be at the table in time). I thought Sunday might be the day for some serious boating, either pack lunch or be somewhere like the bus at Killarney for lunch, and be back at Neptune for a cookout in the evening.

That's about as far as I've thought the whole thing through, and depending on schedules, it could be Saturday and Sunday or Sunday and Monday, as far as I am concerned. We'll need to be hearing from some of the others to set schedules up for planning pretty soon. If it turns out that the rest of the gang does have to organize around Saturday and Sunday, maybe you and Walt can get an early start on Sunday and head our way. Under those circumstances you'd certainly be welcome to overnight Sunday night if you want, and maybe we could do something together on Monday. I'm always interested in reasons to fool around in the boat!

I appreciate your offer to bring something, and as this starts to firm up, I'll have a better idea what might be a help. One thing that's sure is that we'll want to have planning done and supplies layed in for any boats staying at Neptune for major meals (boating lunches, snacks, drinks, cookouts), due to the fact that running into town for supplies is bothersome, and sometimes not an option. We've got two refrigerators, and I have a bunch of coolers kicking around, and most Whalers have at least one cooler.

Will you and/or Walt be bringing wives or kids? My 17 year old daughter will be up with us, probably with a girl friend. She/they may be interested in running around with us in the camp Montauk.

One thing that occurs to me is that we will probably be able to communicate from Neptune to Northernaire via VHF; we've got a 50' stationary antennae that gets out pretty good, we'd just need to set a time when we'd both be monitoring 16 (or some other channel). I'll probably also have my hand-held cell phone with me, but I don't know how much reception to expect with that.

That's all for now - let's keep the ball rolling-


jimh posted 06-01-2000 12:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I just posted the "Whaler-Radio" interview with John Flook, volunteer host of the Classic Whaler North Channel 2000 Rendezvous.

John tells us all about Neptune Island and what we can expect up there.

Anyone planning to attend please let us know!


jimh posted 06-02-2000 10:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I just discovered that Aug 5-6 is a holiday weekend in Canada. This may make traffic on the ferry even higher than usual, and it may also make vacancies in motels on Manitoulin harder to find.

If you are planning on needing either of these resources to attend the Rendezvous, it would be a good idea to make some reservations. The holiday weekend may fill up things a little faster than normal.


kingfish posted 06-02-2000 02:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Thanks, Jim - I hadn't realized that Aug. 5/6 is a Canadian Holiday. They take their Holidays seriously up there and I second the notion that reservations should be made early - everything does fill up!

Don McIntyre posted the phone number for reservations on the Chi-Chimaun (ferry at Tobermory) earlier, it is: 800-265-4163.

I'll find out what policies are at Spider Bay Marina re: reserving dock space and I will post that information here; I can also get names and phone numbers for motels in Little Current if anyone has an interest. Let me know-


tbirdsey posted 06-02-2000 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
John We'll be looking for someplace to stay other than on the Whaler so I'd be interested in some motel phone numbers. Thanks, Tom
tbirdsey posted 06-05-2000 12:00 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Our plans now are to drive up to Tobermory on Friday the 4th; probably arriving late afternoon/early evening. Spend the night in Tobermory and head out early on Saturday for Little Current and then on to Neptune (arrive by noon??). Back to Little Current Saturday night and then back up to Neptune on Sunday for whatever is going on. Spend Sunday night in Little Current and back to Tobermory Monday morning and the dreaded drive back to Albany. Will try to squeeze a little more time on one end or the other, but too early to count on now. Would love to meet up with anyone going over from Tobermory if that can work out - this will be our first time on these waters. Is this a realistic schedule (Outrage 18 w/150)??
Backlash posted 06-05-2000 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

We (Carolyn & I ) are planning on leaving Columbus Friday morning and arriving in Tobermory Friday afternoon/evening. Will spend Friday night in Tobermory hopefully meeting up with Larry Goltz, Jim G., Tom Birdsey, and anyone else wishing to make the run over to Little Current Saturday morning.

I'm sure we will be staying at Spider Bay Marina Saturday and Sunday nights and probably heading back to Columbus Monday morning. Let us know what we can do/bring (diesel fuel?)to help out. Looking forward to meeting everyone and sampling the Key West Cuban Roast coffee!

Great interview with John on the classic Whaler Radio!


dfmcintyre posted 06-05-2000 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     

I've been informed that the weekend of 8/4 is a Canadian holiday of sorts, so (having been caught in this before) I'd recommend two things:

Reservations on the ferry 800-265-3163

Reservations at some motel (we've been using Bruce Anchor Motel, real close to the loading dock 519-596-2555) in case of rain and you don't want to sleep on board or in a van.

Best - Don

Walt Steffens posted 06-05-2000 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for Walt Steffens  Send Email to Walt Steffens     
I agree with dfmcintyre, If you are planning to go to Tobermory on the evening of the 4th be aware that traffic and the OPP will be in full force. Also I would recommend heavily that you do not bet on trying to run from Tobermory north to Little Crurrent or back unless you have a couple of days each way as a window. If the weather is perfect (and I have experienced it, glass smooth) its an easy 4 hr run with a stop at Club island for a rest. If not it could be very unpleasant. I would suggest that if you don't already have reservations for the 1st sailing of the ferry, that you get in line that night and catch the 11:-- AM sailing and spare yourselves. Yea its pricy at first glance but well worth it. I know as I use to drive around from Cininnati throuth the Sou to 17 east and down to Little Current. It was an 18 hr marathon and I would arrive totally exhausted. Thats my 2 cents worth. Besides if you arrive late on Friday you will run into more than likely df & myself for a warf party.

If you find no open rooms you can sleep in your vehilcle or boat. There are more than adiquate facilities at the ferry dock.

Best, Looking forward to meeting you all!

kingfish posted 06-05-2000 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Re:Tobermory to Little Current

I want to underscore the notion that if your schedule is tight,(don't have the convenience of sitting out one or two days or more of bad weather in one or both directions), you strongly consider trailering right in to Little Current. I have seen 4 or 5 days straight of glass (though I don't recall when the last time was) and I have seen it kick up so that the ferry couldn't leave Tobermory. And the ferry will take on 6-footers without a second thought.

So - my $0.02 worth would be to save the bigger tour for some other time if you only have two days or so to be on the water. Motel @ Tobermory Fri. night, early ferry out to South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island, and it's an easy 50 mile tow to Little Current and Spider Bay marina. Little Current or Neptune Island on Sat. Night, then Sunday night could be either Little Current or South Baymouth to be close to the ferry back. Of course those who are from Columbus and Chicago have the option of heading to Sault Ste. Marie and straight South through the L. P. of Michigan.

I have a call in to Randy at Spider Bay Marina (705-368-3148) to get motel names and numbers, and docking info for our weekend. I'll publish that here as soon as he responds.


jimh posted 06-06-2000 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
John, or others,

Do you know if there is a boat launch ramp at Birch Island? It looks like it would be a good place to put in a smaller boat. You'd then be able to come over to Neptune in relative shelter in the Bay of Islands. This distance would be about the same as coming from Little Current, but there would be more protection. There would also be a few more hazards, but it looks quite do-able.


kingfish posted 06-07-2000 07:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I know there is some sort of ramp at Birch Island, certainly one that could accomodate a Whaler like yours; I don't know that it would handle a 25'. There are a lot of hazards from that direction (on the other hand, it is a pretty area to see). The biggest down-side is that with any kind of West wind, you would be sheltered for the most part until you cleared Wells Island, then you'd have some miles in the un-sheltered face of what can be *very* choppy head seas. Given your lack of experience in the area and the prevailing hard bottom, I would only consider it when wind and waves were not factors. FWIW, you would find a greater selection of supplies in L.C.


tbirdsey posted 06-07-2000 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Jim (or anyone else): From postings and your chart, I gather that navigation in and around the NC can be tricky. We do most of our boating on Lake Winnepasaukee in NH which sounds similar. HARD bottom, lots of shoals, very difficult to navigate without a chart, treacherous when the water is low (last year all marinas were busy all summer repairing lower units). I've heard water is very low in Great Lakes this year. How well are things marked? are there good charts available - West Marine lists a chart for Georgian Bay - suggestions??
kingfish posted 06-07-2000 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Little Current Accomodations and Misc.:

1. Tom, I'm going to bet that Jimh can nail down the best chart for use up in our area better than me (I'd have to go home and pull mine out of the boat to tell you which one it is). I will tell you that as old as the data might be, you do want one. Having said that, There are still a *lot* of places where high speed cruising is dicey if you're not with someone who knows the water because rocks don't necessarily show up on charts, and can be out a lot further from shore than you'd expect. Good news is that quite a number of hazards that have been hidden in recent years are currently showing above the water.

2. Little Current - The 3-day weekend of August 5, 6, &7 is "Haweater's Weekend" in Little Current. Hawberries are indiginous to Manitoulin Island and the locals have chosen that theme to identify what is either a provincial or national holiday and call it their own. It's a grand celebration all weekend, with sausage roasts, beer tents, firehose hockey with 6' or 8' diameter inflated rubber balls, horse shows, the whole nine yards. And "HAW" t-shirts. It'll be a lot of fun to see, and now that I've figured out what holiday it is, I guarantee that accomodations will fill up, so those needing them should make reservations *now*. Here's the poop:

***** Spider Bay Marina (Randy)705-368-3148 - I've talked to Randy, and he'll be happy to reserve dock space; I know they have plenty of parking space inside their gates for both trailers and vehicles. Call him directly and tell him you are with my group, or e-mail me and I'll call him.

***** Bridgeway Motel 705-368-2230

***** Hawberry Motel 705-368-3388

***** Wagon Wheel Motel 705-368- 3243

***** Shaftsbury Inn 705-368-1945
(delightful older "Inn" with dining room)


lhg posted 06-08-2000 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Wow -lots has been happening since I've been away! I'll definitely be there, and will try to spend Friday, Sat & Sunday nights either at Spider Bay Marina, or overnighting on the boat at John's island. Launch place still up in the air, and still prefer Tobermory, and probably have the time to be flexible on sea conditions. But Walt & Don are right - bad sea conditions in the straits where Georgian Bay joins the main body of Lake Huron could ruin a schedule. This is big water, although you're never out of sight of land! If my crowd ends up with 3 or 4 people, may bring both Whalers. Pre-rendezvous get together at Tobermory and/or Little Current also sounds like fun.
Friday night at Tobermory could definitely be a possibility for me. Thursday night at Tobermory would be best!

It will be fun to meet everybody, and I would also like to suggest that people who are too far away to trail a Whaler should consider flying in to some place like Toronto and renting a car to drive up, staying in Little Current. With all the boats, it would be easy to hitch a ride for the boating activities. It would be a vacation you won't forget!

tbirdsey posted 06-09-2000 12:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
John: Thanks for the phone numbers. Karen and I have reservations at the Spider Bay Marina and the Shaftsbury Inn for nights of August 5 and 6 - nice people at both places!! Will try to squeeze out another day to allow for the possibility of uncooperative weather.
kingfish posted 06-10-2000 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Glad things worked out with the reservations. I'm looking forward to seeing you guys up there (and the reat of the contingent, too). I'm thinking about having some burghees made for the attendees - what do you think?


tbirdsey posted 06-10-2000 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Jeez John, I feel really ignorant - what are burghees? I grew up in northern Indiana, spent lots of time in Michigan, always thought I had a pretty good vocabulary. I know about Vernor's and only drink "pop" although everyone else around here asks for "soda". Karen is from the west coast, we live on the east coast, not ringin a bell with her either, but I'm all for some kind of somethin for all of us that show up - can I help with the burghees??
dfmcintyre posted 06-10-2000 09:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     


Small triangular shaped flag, attached to the bow pennant staff.


dfmcintyre posted 06-10-2000 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
And, I'll bring up some Vernors if anyone is interested....
kingfish posted 06-10-2000 10:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Don's right on-
Re: help w/ burghees - How's your sense of graphic creativity and design? Burghees are not very big, isoscles triangle w/ 12' +\-base and 20' +\- altitude; design and color(s) need to be minimal and simple. I don't know if there'd be a way to represent the shape of the North Channel or Manitoulin Island with a figure of Neptune w/trident?

And if you already know about Vernors, you're well on the way to uncovering the hidden secrets of the Great Lakes State! (Used to think it went pretty well with Kentucky's best.)

Vernors would be great, but if it isn't Canada Dry up there, the natives pout...

kingfish posted 06-10-2000 10:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Oops...isoscles = isosceles
tbirdsey posted 06-11-2000 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
I gues I coulda looked in webster , but hearing from you guys is much more fun. How about Neptune with a whaler harpoon instead of the ususal trident. I'll do some thinking about design - its a great idea, John.
Bruce Boehle posted 06-15-2000 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     
My family and I are going to be staying at Meldrum Bay that week. How far a drive or boat is it from there to Neptune Island? We would love to get together if possible.
jimh posted 06-16-2000 01:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

Neptune Is. is 7-8 miles via water from Little Current. See Chart 2286 for details. A portion has been scanned in at:

kingfish posted 06-16-2000 08:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Hope you can make at least part of the rendezvous! Jim's scanned-in chart is really definitive. Looking at the Turner Map I have hanging on my office wall using an Architect's scale I'd guestimate the run by boat from Meldrum Bay to Neptune to be at least 65 miles; I'd presume you'd duck under Clapperton Island and go out the Wabuno Channel. A *long* fetch for West wind until you reach Clapperton. Can you trailer to Little Current? It sounds like there will be at least a couple of boats overnighting at Spider Bay Marina in Little Current and you might be able to hook up with them and come out together.

At Meldrum Bay you are not far from where the McIntyres and Steffens will be staying, at Campbell Bay, East end of Bayfield Sound (25-30 miles +/- ?). You guys might find it convenient to make some plans together. I'm hoping they can come over on Sunday and/or Monday, Saturday being difficult for them as it's the first day they will be up there.

Good to hear from you, keep us posted.


Bruce Boehle posted 06-16-2000 10:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     
We can definitely trailer the boat up and make the run out to Neptune on Sunday. Is Spider Bay the best place to put the boat in?
If any others are planning to arrive on Sunday let us know your plans. We can head out together. We'll keep you posted as plans develop.
kingfish posted 06-16-2000 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Spider Bay is the closest ramp I'm aware of to Neptune Island; it's a very nice municipal facility, plenty of room for vehicles and trailers and while the water is low, I know my cousin dropped in his 28' Grady there a couple of weeks ago with no problem. If memory serves, the fee is five or ten bucks. McIntyres and Steffens may very well be putting in there Sunday AM, and there will probably be at least a couple of overnighter-type Whalers already there. I know there will be additional and more specific plans posted here as time draws nigh. Welcome aboard!

John Flook

jimh posted 06-18-2000 12:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The Saturday (6/17/00) DETROIT FREE PRESS carried this story:

-----begin article from FREE PRESS-----


Free Press News Services

TOBERMORY, Ontario---Rescuers seached the cold waters of Lake Huron's Georgian Bay on Friday for two seventh-grade students missing after a tour boat sank during a school outing.

The steel-hulled TRUE NORTH II was returning from Flowerpot Island, a popular tourist destination in Fathom Five National Marine Park, when it sank in rough waters, said Ross Thompson, superintendent of Bruce Peninsula National Park.

"We have 18 confirmed survivors and two missing, and there is a search underway," said Thompson. The water in the area is 200 feet deep.

The vessel carrying the 17 children, two teachers, and the captain was chartered for a morning outing by Bruce Central School in Tiverton, Ontario, said Thompson.

Lawrence Swift of the Canadian Coast Guard in Sarnia said the first the Coast Guard knew of the situation was when people were seen clinging to a raft.

Fathom Five maine park is a popular location for divers, with more than 20 shipwrecks.

-----end of article in FREE PRESS------

I am sure the water temperature up there is still in the 50-degree range.

I mention this incident because I wanted to remind everyone of the potential for danger in these waters.

lhg posted 06-19-2000 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
This is the coldest water in the lower Great Lakes (Lake Superior is the Upper Great Lake, and is colder). I remember one 4th of July weekend, running the 18 Outrage from Detour Village on the eastern tip of the Mighigan Upper Peninsula, along the wilderness northern shore of the main body of Lake Huron (south shore of Manitoulin Island), down to Tobermory, and was surprised to see the water temperature south of Manitoulin Is around 45 degrees. Also, for the entire 100 mile run, didn't see one other boat, except for the Ferry out of Tobermory.
Water was slightly warmer around Tobermory.
And then, when I got there, Jim took a picture of my boat at the dock!
lhg posted 06-20-2000 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tom B: In response to your question in the other section, I'm hoping to bring both "Whale Lure" and "T/T Whale Lure" (the 18 Outrage), depending how many kids, women, etc make the trip!! There is also a possiblity that Jimh will be with us if he decides against trailing his 15. It's gonna cost me a fortune in gas these days!! And Canadian gas is even more expensive.
tbirdsey posted 06-20-2000 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
Jeez Goltzie, how many women are thinkin' about bringin' - one for each boat??
lhg posted 06-20-2000 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Listen, Tom, at my age I'll be lucky if I find ANY! If I can't, Jimh & I are thinking of "batching" it, since his wife can't make the trip due to work. What are you doing up this late anyway?
lhg posted 06-22-2000 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John/Jimh: I can add another name to the list of attendees. It will be Jim Gibson, from Port Huron MI. Jim's a real professional Whaler boater, and has a mint 1992 19 Outrage II, nicely set up for cruising & fishing. His boat is pictured in Cetacea page 12, rafted up with mine.
kingfish posted 06-23-2000 07:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Outstanding, Larry!

And Jim, if you are following the forum, Welcome aboard! ( I hope you have been adequately briefed as to the rough nature of the crowd you're getting ready to associate with.) All kidding aside, We'll all look forward to seeing you in August.


Bruce Boehle posted 06-24-2000 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     
Where can I get the chart you are all using for the trip to Neptune?
jimh posted 06-24-2000 10:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The chart which shows Great La Cloche Island and Neptune Island is Canadian Chart 2286.

John Flook mentioned a "Turner's Chart". Turner's is the principal store in Little Current; they may have a locally produced chart of the Bay of Islands.

Unfortunately, the Canadian Hydrographic Office has not issued a new chart for this region since they first put one out in 1822 and 1886.

They did complete a new survey up there back in the late 1990's, but so far there has not been any revision to the chart forthcoming.

From the results of this same survey project, they did issue 2206-McGregor Bay a few years ago, finally showing that rock strewn bay for the first time, but Bay of Islands is pretty vaguely charted.

I guess it is a matter of priority and time for them. I always check the Canadian Chart Catalogue every spring hoping that they will have something new for that area.

The owner of the DeFoe Shipyards of Bay City, one of the original memebers of the Great Lakes Cruising Club, prepared his own chart from surveys he made while cruising up there in the 1960's. This chart is now issued by the Great Lakes Cruising Club to its members.

I am not certain, but I have a hunch that there may be a close correlation between the Defoe Chart and what John referred to as the "Turner's Chart", as Turner was a member of the GLCC and for a long time I think he was the Port Captain for Little Current.

But coming from Little Current the route to Neptune is pretty straight forward, just watch out for the big rock on the eastern end of Neptune, due south of the island.

We have been in there several times with our sailboat which drew 6-feet of water without a problem.


Bruce Boehle posted 06-24-2000 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     
Thanks Jim.
kingfish posted 06-26-2000 02:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Bruce and Jim:
The Turner Map really is more of a map than a chart, but it is of a size and appearance that is eminently framable, and gazing across my desk to look at it hanging on the wall is typically far more effective for me in dealing with headaches and pains in the other end than Darvon or a tranquilizer.

It largely portrays Manitoulin Island and the North Shore - imagine a rectangle with the long dimension East-West, from the Western tip of Manitoulin to the Churchill Islands just East of French River, and from Sudbury in the North to The Southern tip of Manitoulin. (Lat. 45 deg. 30' to 46 deg. 30'; long. 80 deg. 45' to 83 deg. 15')

In my humble opinion, if one came away from a visit to the area with but one piece of memorabilia, it would be the Turner Map, hands down.

Bruce, the route out of Little Current is bouyed from the mouth of Spider Bay to the South end of Wabuno Channel; turn left coming out of Spider Bay, travelling West in the bouyed channel - the channel markers end after a mile or two and you bear Northwest looking for a red pencil bouy marking the beginning of the Wabuno Channel, another mile or so out in deep water between the Southwest corner of Great Cloche Island on your right (Basically what you are doing is getting from the South side of LaCloche to the North side of LaCloche by going around its West end. LaCloche {Great Cloche Island} will always be on your right.) and the West expanse of the North Channel on your left. I can't give you accurate compass headings here, but it is simply a matter of keeping well South of Lacloche, which is the land directly ahead of you when you come out of Spider Bay, because of a massive rocky flat shallow area, and after you turn North to go out the Wabuno Channel, stay well West of the Southwest corner of LaCloche for the same reason. Heading North through the Wabuno Channel is to be between La Cloche (still on your right) and East/West Rouse Islands and Schreiber Island on your left. Wabuno is maybe two or three miles from South to North. As you near the North end of the Wabuno, squeeze (Canadian term) right and pass about center between the Halfway Islands (two small islands that aren't really much more than large rocks) and the Northwest corner of LaCloche (probably a half-mile opening). You can pass on the outside of the Halfway Islands (nearer to Schreiber Island) if you want, it's deep both sides, but you'd be going out of your way. Clear the NW corner of LaCloche by at least 1/4 mile before turning right again and heading East to Neptune. Maybe two miles and you are there, the North Shore and the LaCloche "Mountains" are on your Port beam about four miles over while you're on this last leg. This is the most open piece of the journey and in a strong West wind this little piece of the trip can be a corker. Staying a good 1/4 mile off LaCloche (still on your right) as you head East will keep you clear of any high bottom. It can be hard to pick Neptune out when you approach from the west, as it is snuggled right up to LaCloche; if you do make it out and want to come around the West end of Neptune, stay in the middle of the channel coming in and don't turn South to come in until you are directly North of the opening, as there are rocks off of LaCloche if you cut the corner at a diagonal. Once you are in the protected waters and can see our camp, turn left and travel slowly right next to the LaCloche shore, as that is the deep channel; 6 feet and soft bottom. You can also go around the East end of Neptune coming in, it's an easier entrance to pick out visually, but as Jim has said, stay well out as you round the East end due to rocks off the shore of Neptune there.

I'll bet this turned out to be a lot longer than I thought it would be - I hope it is helpful.


Bruce Boehle posted 06-26-2000 09:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     

Thanks for the directions. They are extremely helpful. How long should I expect the trip to take? Consider I will be going slower than usual to avoid unknown obstacles. I am still in hopes I can pick up some sort of map/chart before I arrive in the area.

lhg posted 06-26-2000 10:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I can highly recommend three items for anybody planning on boating on Lake Huron:

1. Richardson's Lake Huron Chart book, about $80, but well worth it. Has both American & Canadian complete charts of the Lake, Georgian Bay and the North Channel. Richardson's specializes in Great Lakes chart books (all 5), and they are the BEST.

2. Lakeland Boating's "Lake Huron Ports of Call" cruising guide. Beautifully done, great pictures. (About $40)

3. "Ports" (published in Toronto) "Lake Huron Cruising Guide". Great marked up aerial photos showing courses. (About $40)

All of these give great detail on the area of the Rendezvous, and will serve you for years.

dfmcintyre posted 06-26-2000 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Bruce -

I usually plan for a 20mph cruise, which works out to three minutes a mile. It looks to be about 10 miles. 30 minutes.


kingfish posted 06-27-2000 07:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Spider Bay to Neptune is actually somewhere around seven miles; I was very loose with my estimates of distance in my previous post, as I have never accurately logged the disparate leg distances. I have logged the entire trip several times, though and if you clock ten miles and haven't arrived, you have missed something.

I have made the trip in not much more than ten minutes in my old Montauk in glassy seas; I have also made it in more like an hour and a half in pea soup or 6-7 footers. As my daughter says, it matters what's going on at the time.


Walt Steffens posted 06-27-2000 12:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Walt Steffens  Send Email to Walt Steffens     
Bruce: Since you have said that you are staying in Meldrum Bay you are at the far west end of the island. You can probibly get the individual charts you are looking for at Gore Bay either at the Chart House (the big red hexagon building ) or at the Canadian Yacht charter building, both are on the water front. It really isn't out of your way and as you will pass the turn off going in towards Meldrum or back out when going to Little current!
Bruce Boehle posted 06-27-2000 07:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     

You wouldn't happen to have their phone numbers would you? Sounds good. I happened upon an article in Motor Boating magazine from 1997 that mentions the charts from the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the National Ocean Service are excellent. Anyone know of a website selling these charts? Thanks, Bruce

Walt Steffens posted 06-28-2000 12:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Walt Steffens  Send Email to Walt Steffens     
Bruce: The telephone number for the Gore Bay marina is 705-282-2906. You can also find more information using a web search for Gore Bay and/or Canadian Yacht Charter.
Arch Autenreith posted 07-09-2000 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Arch Autenreith  Send Email to Arch Autenreith     
Kingfish, et all....
Haven't been following the Trip/Rendezvous threads at all mostly because I realized it's just too far presently for me to travel. But hopefully we can make it next year. (When was/is it?) I'm actually thinking I've made a mistake of not being there. Sound and looks like a perfect place to visit and Whaler. Here on the 3 rivers on Pittsburgh you have to wash off the filth of the river each and every time and watch for floating debris constantly. Better than nothing, I guess. The Chesapeake is much better but it's 5 hours away (as the Whaler flies).

Also, I'm the one who hit a deadhead or something and put a big crack the bottom a couple months ago. Well, after many, many weeks of work it has paid off. It is finally repaired. It's one of those rewarding jobs that turned out PERFECTLY! Better than new. Also turned out to be a good time to get other little jobs done. The ol' '84 Montauk is back and better than ever.

kingfish posted 07-10-2000 07:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Sorry we're not going to see you at the Rendezvous - I was looking forward to seeing how your repairs had come out. We'll tip a Canada Dry or a "50" for you.


Bruce Boehle posted 07-10-2000 10:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     
What radio channel will be the official "2000NCR" channel. When we get in the area maybe we can tune you in.
kingfish posted 07-11-2000 08:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Good question;I have been thinking about just how to communicate a channel to monitor (slap up the side of my own head)...use the forum, stupid! (me, not you)

The working channels up there are 16 for sure and 9 I think (which would be similar to the Great Lakes stateside, 16 designated for emergency and Coast guard, 9 for general hailing, then pick a channel), and 68 for marinas. I know that as of last summer 16 remained the generally used hailing channel up there.

Anyway, I would have to just pick a channel, as we have been in the habit of monitoring and calling on 16 ourselves (we have a 50 ft antenna at camp that gets out pretty well, and we normally monitor 16 from any boat we are out in). Someone else (almost anyone else) might know more about typical channels for this use than me, but I guess I'll throw out the notion of using 35 as our designated channel, and welcome comments if there are reasons that make that a good idea or bad idea.

Our radio at camp is an older model that will only monitor one channel at a time, so at least until we are actively communicating that will probably stay tuned to 16. I have a new radio in Outre' that I'm pretty sure will monitor multiple channels, and if so, assuming 35 remains our channel, I'll set it to monitor at least 16 and 35. When you get up there initially and want to raise us, hail for Neptune on 16, or Kingfish on 16 or 35 (yeah, I know, Kingfish is not the name of my boat, but it's a long story). I (we) will be listening for calls to Neptune, Kingfish, or even Outre'. Once this thing has started, I'm sure that using one designated channel(like 35) will be a great convenience.


Bruce Boehle posted 07-11-2000 08:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     
Sounds good to me. I will look forward to it!


Bruce Boehle posted 07-14-2000 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bruce Boehle  Send Email to Bruce Boehle     

My radio does not pickup channel 35? Is this common or do I have a cheap radio?


kingfish posted 07-14-2000 03:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
That's what I do to people that I don't want to talk to - you weren't supposed to find out this soon, though...just kidding - I'm sure your radio is just fine, some older radios and even some new moderately priced ones don't have every channel number available. I may not even have it on my radio, for all I I had said, I just pulled a number out of the air; looks like I could have chosen a better one. I'll fiddle around over the weekend and read up a little (and refer to the forum here, if anyone with a good idea for a channel speaks up) and maybe next week we can close in on a channel we can monitor for the rendezvous that is more universally available.


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