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Author Topic:   North Channel Rendezvous 2003
kingfish posted 02-15-2003 12:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for kingfish   Send Email to kingfish  
Dates have now been established between my family members for Neptune Island this Summer, and it looks like Katie and I will be up there from July 19 to July 28, give or take a day or two one way or the other.

So it looks like the core time frame for the 2003 North Channel Rendezvous is the weekend of July 26 and 27. I hope to develop an even higher turnout than the 2000 Rendezvous, so mark you calendars, and let's see what we can put together!

Please chime in here to indicate interest and/or questions, and I'll post more as things coalesce.


dfmcintyre posted 02-17-2003 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Nuts....that's our Cadillac "Float'n Flush" weekend, the first weekend prior to the start of the Oshkosh fly-in. We spend the weekend flying float equipped planes, then head over on the ferry to OSH.

You going to be able to make it over here the prior weekend, or maybe stop en-route?


kingfish posted 02-17-2003 12:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Hi, Don-

The whole thing kind of came down in a hurry, and with the other siblings schedules and my pick at the bottom this year, that's how it shook out; sorry you'll be otherwise committed.

We haven't taken the Tobermory ferry over in a while; we'll give some solid thought to that prospect this year and touching base in Port Huron on the way, maybe overnighting. I'll keep in touch.


lhg posted 02-19-2003 05:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John - Once again, looking forward to this event, and expect to be there. This year, to save on driving time, and increase boating time, may head over from a launch at Detour Village. Will keep you posted.
Buckda posted 02-19-2003 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
lhg -

Keep me in mind if you take this route. I might be interested too after an overnight in the Les Chenaux Islands the night before.


Buckda posted 02-19-2003 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
To clarify ...
Interested in tagging along from DeTour in my boat...wouldn't want to do it alone.


kingfish posted 02-20-2003 09:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Great! Glad to hear you can make it. We'll talk more as things progress-


I see in your profile that you've got a 15 - I don't know how familiar you are with the territory up there, but keep in mind that it's only 180 land miles from the Canadian Soo to Spider Bay Marina (ramp)in Little Current, Ont., which puts you about 7 nautical miles from Neptune Island, and easy trailering the whole way.

If the weather is right and you can hook up with someone for the trip from Detour by boat, it is a great, though long, run. Close to 100 miles from Detour docks to Neptune Island. Southerly winds are obviously preferred, so you can take advantage of the lee of Cockburn and Manitoulin Islands (and Drummond Island if you don't take False Detour Channel up from Lake Huron).

I made a one day (13 hour) run in my Outrage 22 from Cedarville to Neptune, Little Current and back to Cedarville two years ago, and by GPS covered about 260 miles; gassed up at Detour going and at Little Current coming home. It was something I'd wanted to do for a long time to commemorate a trip I had taken with my Grandfather 40 years earlier in a 16' Lone Star aluminum boat with a 40-hp Johnson from Detour to Neptune so he could avoid paying duty on the rig that was intended to stay at camp. I had my nose in a book for almost the entire trip (drove Grandad nuts), and missed the scenery, so I doubly enjoyed it this time.

It's God's Country up there...hope you can make it, one way or the other.


Buckda posted 02-20-2003 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Hmm...For this event, I'm trying to talk my father into making this particular run with me - in that case, we'd be in a 22' Guardian which is a much more palatable. If he cannot make it, I will probably trailer the 15 as you suggest - it's quite a long run for that boat. Dad and I have been talking about such a trip for a few years now, and this might be the perfect opp. He'd feel much better about it if we could run with another boat (and a captain who is somewhat more familiar with those waters) such as LHG. I guess it really depends on how bad someone wants to buy the Guardian this year (i.e. if it's still available as an option).

I still think I can make it in the 15, but it would be really pushing the range on this boat - if I brought one extra 6 gallon tank, I'm pretty confident I could make it. We'll see - it'll probably be cheaper to trailer it to little current.

I have read so much about this area on this site and elsewhere, that I definitely don't want to pass this opportunity up.

lhg posted 02-20-2003 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Buckda - We'd be glad to have you, and any other Whalers, whether it be a 15 or 27, for this run across the North Channel of Lake Huron. It's likely that a few others will be with me anyway. In a 15, it would be an experience, but certainly can be done if weather is decent, which it usually is that time of the year. There are gas stops and great island scenery along the way. The biggest issue on a 15 would be foul weather protection.

I imagine the Municipal Marina at Little Current, Ont, will be the overnighting and/or launching location for the group.

kingfish posted 02-20-2003 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Spider Bay Marina is the Municipal marina in Little Current, and I'll contact them as I did for the 2000 Rendezvous to reserve slips; it's busy for them that time of year, so it may be necessary to raft, depending upon how many Whalers we get. Randy, the manager of Spider Bay, made a point to tell me he enjoyed and appreciated the Whalers last time.

Keep in mind too that we have a lot of sheltered anchorages and tie-offs on and around Neptune (though we don't have the dockside services that Spider Bay has (-: ).

Lots of time to plan yet, but I'm getting excited just like deja vu all over again!!


Barry posted 02-20-2003 05:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
I hope to make it this time and would like to make the run from DeTour.
kingfish posted 02-20-2003 05:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
All right, Barry!

We needed some more OR22 coverage on this thing - can't wait to see your boat.


Buckda posted 02-20-2003 07:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Thanks for the words of encouragement - I'm not so worried about the weather - I come equipped for everything - and your comments about the availability for gas along the way further emboldens me! (It'll also be fun to go shopping to further outfit the whaler for this trip). Now I'm getting excited about the prospect of doing it in the 15 - but I still might show up with the big boat if I can get dad on-board.

Question: For those of you who think you'd like to make the trek via water from DeTour: are you going to use the CanPass system for the border crossing? I just read in Boating Magazine that the CanPass is a breeze, but getting back into the US with the INS system is a real bear (especially so since 9/11). Thoughts / strategies?

Also - does anyone have information on accomodations - a number to call / etc. to make arrangements and reservations? I can put my 15 just about anywhere overnight, but my butt would prefer to be in a bed - and if Dad comes along, we're definitely looking for a hotel nearby the marina.

kingfish posted 02-20-2003 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I don't want to make you schizo with this, but keep in mind as you plan your trip that what an old salt like lhg considers to be decent weather might be a little edgy for some of us mere mortals. I don't want to talk you out of attempting the trip with your 15 from Detour, but I would feel badly if you took off on the run without a full appreciation for what the possibilities might be.

Every now and then we'll have a calm day; I've seen a string of five or six in a row once or twice in the 55 years I've been going up there. I've also seen 9-10 footers. The North Channel runs pretty much East and West so the prevailing winds would be to your back on the trip out, and believe me they can whip up in a hurry. If there's such a thing as a typical day, it would be light Westerlies in the morning building as the day goes on to 10-15 knots by mid to late afternoon. That would translate into 1-3 foot waves.

I guess what I'm trying to say with out belaboring the point, is that it's doable in a 15, as long as you're prepared for the possibility a long, rough and wet ride, especially on the way back, and have the time available if you have to sit out some especially bad weather, even for a day or two. On the other hand, it can be like glass, and when that happens, a trip like that would be so much fun it would be illegal. There is no better or safer boating companion than lhg, but 100 miles can be a long ways at 10 or 15 mph in rough seas.

I'll be curious to see how the information comes in about passing customs. I flat didn't even think about it until someone here on the forum brought it up a couple of weeks after made the round trip run.

Let me know if you are referring to accomodations in Little Current - I wasn't sure what you meant - I have access to most if not all the motels there. There are only about three.


tbirdsey posted 02-20-2003 10:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
John, I hope Karen and I can make it this year after missing last year's trip. Still have work to do on the 21 before she is ready for a trip like that and the weather is not exactly cooperating out here. With son and stepson heading off to college in the fall, it's a little tough to schedule too much for the summer, but we will give it our best. Will keep you posted, Tom
kingfish posted 02-21-2003 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

It would be great to see you guys again, and I am anxious to see your OR21 - I hope things work out so you and Karen can make it. Keep us posted-


dfmcintyre posted 02-21-2003 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Buckda -

Heed what John mentioned about the weather. That time of year you can get winds from any direction. At the widest point, the 'Channel is 18 miles wide. We had pretty strong southerly winds last summer, and one friend got caught on the north side of the channel, and it took close to three hours to cross.

Not fun in anyones book.

You can sneak into the Whalesback Channel on the north side, rather then a straight line through the middle, and avoid much of the weather.

Fuel shouldn't be a problem. Longest run is from Detour/Drummond Island to Meldrum Bay, roughly 40 miles. Heading east from Meldrum you can fuel at Evansville (long run into Campbell Bay to Northernaire, but worth it, especially for an overnight) then Gore Bay. Further eastward from Gore is Kagawong then Little Current.

On the north side of the channel, fuel was available at Thessalon, Blind River and Spanish last time we were in that area.

Best- Don

Eagleman posted 02-21-2003 12:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eagleman  Send Email to Eagleman     
The idea that lhg has about launching at DeTour Village is of interest to Paula & I. WE are looking at the schedules so that we can make it happen. I should have the new arch all decked out with "goodies" well before that time. Will follow up when are schedules are determined. Haven't been to the North Channel for over 10years, anxious for Paula to see the area for the first time.
lhg posted 02-21-2003 01:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
When it comes to North Channel weather predictions and experience, I'll gladly defer to Kingfish, Don and JimH, when he reports in. These three are certainly the most experienced North Channel boaters on the site.

When I have cruised the North Channel, or anywhere for that matter, I try to go "where the wind & seas take me", meaning specifically avoiding big headseas or generally bad weather. Having a big Whaler that can go fast also helps in getting somewhere before an approaching weather pattern arrives. If I can't get to a given destination, I head somewhere else, often downwind, always listening to the forecasts for planning my return, hopefully down wind. This practice has served me well, and I've still had great trips anyway.

So for an E-W run across the length of the North Channel, I will give myself a little leeway on time for suitable weather conditions, both ways. I'll probably make it a 4 or 5 day weekend. The conditions also will determine course to be taken in the Channel.

For the 2000 trip, we chose Tobermory for the departure point. It too, can be a rugged adventure, although it wasn't last time. I actually think the run from the U.P. of MI could provide a greater degree of sheltered water, and is only about an additional 25 miles. Also from there, if the weather is really bad, the boats can be trailed over to Little Current instead. Can't do this from Tobermory.

This is shaping up to be a nice event again. And Tom, I want to see that rib-sided 21.

For those interested, Richardson's Lake Huron chartbook and plastic cover, for about $100, is the bible. Pricey, but well worth it.

Buckda posted 02-21-2003 02:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Thanks for all your input - and I understand your concern - I literally grew up every summer in the Les Cheneaux Islands - so I am familiar with the vagaries of UP weather in July and August (though these usually are the best months). I always make all arrangements with a plan "B" in mind - I certainly will be watching the weather closely, and the morning of departure may decide to just keep the boat on the trailer and cross at the Soo - a $25 CanPass is all I would be out. I have already put in for my vacation time - allowing 2 extra days for weather or other related travel delays. Like LHG - I plan to make a 4-5 day weekend out of it.

If it gets nasty, a wet / rough ride does not bother me one bit - more concern to me is keeping up with the LHG/Kingfish complement of larger boats capable of making faster headway in rough conditions...if it is really nasty, I'll just stay in port for an extra day.

Plan C, as mentioned, is if Dad decides to come along and we put the hours on his 22 Guardian. Not as fun for me, but would be nice if the weather turned foul.

Kingfish, as you said - if it's like glass, I expect such an exhilirating ride and views that I'll feel guilty...but I'll bring my Canon so that JimH can share with everyone else and make them jealous.

No worries about the advice - it is always appreciated. A wise man always seeks counsel from those more experienced and knowledgable than he is. I suspect (and am looking forward to it) that I will learn alot from each of you - and look forward to a great event.

LHG - thanks for the info on charts...that was going to be one of my next do you do that?!


kingfish posted 02-21-2003 02:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Really excited to hear you think you and Paula can make it.

Larry et al-

I'm going to be really envious of you guys making the run from Detour - make sure you take lots of photos!

I contacted David Pendleton to enter the 2003 Rendezvous in his calendar and I made mention to him that as this thing comes together, the Friday and Thursday before the weekend of July 26/27 might wind up getting rolled into the schedule. We turn the camp to my sister on Monday 7/28, and while we may overlap with her for a day or two, it might be a little more difficult for us to stretch the rendezvous in that direction from the weekend, rather than earlier. Not necessarily impossible, just more difficult.

Keep those cards and letters coming-


kingfish posted 02-21-2003 02:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I didn't realize you were familiar with the area up there - you are very gracious about the unsolicited mother-henning, and I'll stop now...


Buckda posted 02-24-2003 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Kingfish -

No apology is necessary.

I understand your position completely, and being a summertime resident, defer to your observations - I know that weather can be vastly different just a few miles away. (For instance, the Straights (of Mackinac) can kick up quite a chop and just 25 miles away off the Les Cheneaux Islands, the lake can have gentle 2-3 foot, well-spaced rollers.

Looking forward to meeting you despite the mother-henning.



Buckda posted 02-27-2003 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda

This is an official site with information on CanPass - for remote area border crossing into Canada. It looks like inflation has taken hold - the new fee is $30.

LHG - I am still interested in hearing about your plans re: border crossing, et al. - specifically info you may have about returning to the via water.

Have been doing some research on the area - land is cheap up there! I guess it is because of the remoteness of the location.

I'll share any additional information as I come across it.

Best regards - Dave

lhg posted 02-27-2003 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
For coming into Canada by water, you just stop at the first entry port encountered on your trip, and make an 800 phone call to Canadian customs. They give you a permit number at no charge, and you're on your way.

When you come back, you call the US Customs number.

kingfish posted 02-27-2003 03:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I don't know if the following information is of value to anyone or not, but I guess I'd rather err on the side of over-coverage than under-coverage:

Standard day-in day-out passage through customs by car (or car with boat and trailer) as would be typical at Sault Ste. Marie, Port Huron or Detroit is a very simple and straight forward operation. There are lines sometimes, depending upon the time of day, the day of the week, etc., but my experience has *always* been that lines were longer coming back into the states than leaving. (And as an ironic side note, the Canadian customs officials have been, on the whole, friendlier than their counterparts on the US side. Let me say that differently. I have encountered many US customs officials who were also very friendly, but I have only been "mistreated" by our own customs agents; in 55 years, twice.)

Have all the documentation for your vehicle, trailer and boat current and easily available, and most of all have birth certificates (or passports if you already have them) for every one with you. The chances are pretty good that they won't even ask to see any documentation, but it's a bummer to have to scramble to find it if they do, and I understand they can and will turn you back if they ask to see your birth certificate and you donm't have it (or a passport).

I've been across both ways at Sault Ste. Marie more than a half dozen times since 9/11/01, and except for the period directly after that date, things really aren't significantly changed going into Canada, but on the way back into the states it's very likely that they'll quickly look into your trunk, have you open the back of a SUV, and/or briefly look inside a cabin boat.

For What It's Worth-


p.s. Buckda, I regularly receive e-mailed offerings for property and islands around Manitoulin Island (with photos) from a real estate agent in Sudbury; sounds like I should forward them to you :-)

Buckda posted 02-27-2003 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Phil Chandler?

I'm already getting them (as of today) :)

Thanks for the information - to you and to LHG - I guess I'm a little suprised by the nonchalance on re-entry into the US as my (albeit comparatively abbreviated) experience with US / Canadian customs officers at the Sault have been the same as Kingfish almost always get a hello, smile or "Welcome to Canada" feeling when entering...but leaving, the US officials are decidedly more stern.

They'll really just legally let you in by calling a 1-800 number if you enter via boat? We better upgrade the threat level to orange again - scary. (Ever see the Bruce Willis version of "the Jackal"?)

kingfish posted 02-27-2003 04:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Ayup - Phil Chandler...You da man!
lhg posted 02-27-2003 05:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I entered Canada by Boston Whaler as recently as last July 1st, arriving in the Gulf Islands from the San Juan's. I stopped at the dock, and there was a little building for Customs. It was empty, with a sign instructing me to call them. I used my cell phone, as no direct Customs phone was available. To my surprise, I found out they had me in their database, from previous visits to Canada. They asked me a few questions, and wanted to speak to my other passenger, gave me a permit number, and told me to enjoy my visit. Only took a few minutes. We had a great cruise.
kingfish posted 02-28-2003 10:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I can't help but wonder, especially with the trip you guys are considering from Detour, if you'd even have to be onshore anywhere to make the call to Canadian Customs? Assuming possession of the number, of course, and adequate signal strength.

If you guys wind up staying closer to the islands than to the North Shore, I think you cross into Canada somewhere between Drummond and Cockburn Islands. If you hed towards the North Shore, especially from Detour Channel, I think you get into Canadian waters even sooner. I wonder if you could just stop the boat for a short rest somewhere and make the call?

lhg posted 02-28-2003 04:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John, you're probably right in this day of cell phones. Before 9/11, I even made two trips, by water, into Canada and it seemed so seamless that I completely forgot to call! Neither the US knew I had left, nor the Candaians knew I was there.

But now, I wouldn't want to get stopped without having the permit number. In the "old days", there was a "land line" phone that had to be used, so they knew you had made port and were declaring yourself. But now, who knows? I figured Meldrum Bay would be the first port enroute.

So who else is planning on this event?

Backlash posted 03-01-2003 05:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Count us in! Looking forward to another North Channel rendezvous. Just checked the mileage from Columbus to Tobermory and to De Tour Village and De Tour is almost 2 hours closer due to being almost all we plan on launching at De Tour. Thanks once again for your generous hospitality.


kingfish posted 03-01-2003 08:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
That's great news, Steve - it wouldn't be a real rendezvous without you and Caroline; we're getting closer to the full original gang every day! And I'm excited about the first-timers that are showing interest too. It would be really cool to pull 15 or 20 Whalers into this one...

Jimh and Jimg, are you guys tuning in?? And Walt Steffens - how boutcha?


Eagleman posted 03-03-2003 03:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eagleman  Send Email to Eagleman     
We just got our schedules worked out, Paula & I will be launching out of DeTour Village. The upcoming trip to the North Channel is something that Im anxious to share with my wife. I've previously boating in that area it will be a new adventure for her. We can launch out of DeTour Village anytime after the 20th of July with a return date of the 28th. All those departing from DeTour Village might want to start planning for a tentative fleet departure date.
lhg posted 03-03-2003 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Great news, Russ. So already it's looking like we have a North Channel run of 2 - 25's, a 22, a 21, a 15/22 and probably Jim Gibson's 18. Six boats already & we haven't heard from JimH! And Junior may tag along (or should I say lead the pack) in the 18 Outrage.

Are there any other Door County people interested in this one? HH and Dave P, what say you?

kingfish posted 03-03-2003 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Russ that is great! We'll have a great time.

Lhg (and others) - I don't want to insinuate myself into the planning for the Detour to Little Current run, but I would like to make the schedule right on Dave Pendleton's Rendezvous Calendar - does it sound right to be thinking of 7/24 for Detour departure, 7/25 and 7/26 for the Neptune Rendezvous, and 7/27 for the return leg? Or is it just too early to be able to tackle that quite yet?


lhg posted 03-03-2003 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
JCF - Maybe we could talk you into running out halfway and meeting us near Spanish, or something, weather permitting, for the trip back through the most scenic northern part of the channel.

It seems to me that the Detour contingent could meet, before dinner time, with boats in the water, at either the Detour marina, or even better, hop over to the Drummond Island Yacht Haven (also a Whaler Dealer) and have dinner together and spend the night on the boats there. Then, in the morning, make a nice day out of cruising the Channel over to John's or Little Current, finding some island cove to raft the boats up for lunch. From Detour, LC is about 100 miles.

The way I see it, I would want to spend 3 full days in the vicinity of Neptune/Little Current. I would allow 1 day to get up there, get the boat launched at Detour, and head to the marina to meet others. Then one day cruising across the Channel to JCF's. For the return, one day back across the channel, maybe all the way home, or taking an additional day if we wanted/needed, depending on weather.

There is photo on Cetacea Page one that, coincidentally, shows me and the 25 at the launching ramp near Detour Village!

This is what happens when I look out the office window and see snow falling!

kingfish posted 03-03-2003 04:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Wouldn't take much talking to get me out on the water to meet you guys somewhere on the way in...
dfmcintyre posted 03-04-2003 08:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Larry -

Lunch @ Pilots Cove on the far northeast side of Drummond would be a treat...

Damn, I wish we were going.


lhg posted 03-04-2003 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Don - thanks for the recommendation. It's not a spot I've seen. I think this Rendezvous is going to be a good one, and I had hoped you'd be able to make it. Maybe you'll be persuaded to change your plans?
Buckda posted 03-05-2003 12:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Okay - I'm still in, with my 15, but my father is out with his 22 - he has a prior commitment, and besides, he hopes to have the 22 sold by then.

With this large of a fleet leaving from DeTour, I'm feeling pretty confident with my 15, so long as the weather isn't too nasty.

I'll definitely meet you guys for the dinner cruise at Drummond / DeTour, but would probably return to Cedarville for the overnight and just meet you again the next morning for the main leg to Little Current (I suspect that the 15 might be a little cramped for sleeping aboard!)

I also volunteer to be the official photographer of the trip.

andiamo posted 03-05-2003 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for andiamo  Send Email to andiamo     
If the boat and I are in Toronto then I will certainly think about driving up. But right now the boat is in Nova Scotia and my summer plans are still up in the air.


Andrew Diamond

kingfish posted 03-06-2003 09:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

We'll just call you, "Photog". Jimh may make it also, and I'm sure he'll help out.


I hope things work out so you can join us - It would be great to have someone representing the "Host" country-


Buckda posted 03-06-2003 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
KF - didn't realize you were from Battle Creek! I'm a WMU alum...small Internet, eh?

Yeah - I'll bring my 300mm lens to get some close-ups of the boats on the run - should make for some interesting storytelling if JimH comes and we get the trip recorded on the site.

I really feel that the story logs he has posted on the site help fuel the fires for these rendezvous events - the photos and narratives help get people psyched about cruising in their Whalers - and that's a good thing!

Noticed on David Pendleton's calendar you might have some space on Neptune for a tent to be pitched - if it's not an imposition, could I reserve some land for my Eureka?

Do you know the specifics about parking for the week at DeTour? I can look into that if no one else has the information. John Griffin, a local realtor, is a family friend and can get information for us.


lhg posted 03-07-2003 01:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The ramp at Detour Village is a State of Michigan facility, I believe. It is somewhat out in the woods, about a mile or so before hitting town on the right, and has parking for about 15 cars/trailers I would guess. I have left my car parked there for up to 5 days with no problem, so I think it's reasonably safe. I don't think there is a ramp in town.

I would anticipate launching in the later afternoon, and I would not think it would be busy then, so parking spots should be available as people leave for the day.

dfmcintyre posted 03-07-2003 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Larry -

I'll look up the lat/lon for the cove. Our Cadillac group meets the weekend _prior_ to the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) meeting in Oskhosh. Many of the group head over there on Sunday. We are planning on leaving the Outrage at a friends in CAD, and heading over by ferry with another couple in Sabine.

Since the group starts gathering in CAD on Friday, late afternoon, evening, and if some of the Whaler group are arriving in Detour/Drummond earlier, I may give some thought about going up Thursday to D2 to see you all off.

I don't know, but will check about launching over on DI, With Dennis being a Whaler dealer, he might be willing to keep an eye on the rigs.


kingfish posted 03-08-2003 08:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Reservations confirmed - do you have a preference regarding the size ot type of nocturnal animal that might be passing through your camp spot? Might help me decide where to put you...;-)

kingfish posted 03-08-2003 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
p.s. No two-legged types available...
dfmcintyre posted 03-08-2003 04:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
I checked with Norm Young, the Gameskeeper on Drummond Island today. He advised me that the Drummond Island yacht Haven has a nice ramp.

Will check further on the lat/lon of Pilots Cove.


dfmcintyre posted 03-08-2003 06:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Larry -

Since I don't have your email, here's the l/l for Pilot Cove:

45 degrees 59.807' x 083 degrees 29.721'


Buckda posted 03-10-2003 01:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Kingfish -
I'm not too concerned about the animals - I've camped in the wilderness before - most important thing is NO FOOD in the tent - not even chewing gum! ... but if you can keep me from becoming black bear bait, it would be appreciated.
jimh posted 03-12-2003 02:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In a year of very high water we spent the night anchored in our sailboat in Pilot Cove on the NE coast of Drummond Island. The entrance has a small cut of deep water (about ten feet wide) that you can slide across. Hug the north side and stay close to the point.

As for the North Channel, I still recall the image of my kids throwing up over the side of the sailboat as we roared downwind in a strong breeze (20-25 knots) crossing the North Channel from Long Point Cove to Gore Bay. The occasional big wave rolling under us would make its presence known by the noise it was making and by the sudden increase in our horizon as the boat was lifted an extra 6-feet above the water.

We did make it to Gore Bay that day. No boats had left Gore Bay that morning, and the only other boat to come in was a 65-foot racing sailboat crewed by a bunch of young college kids. They were coming down wind, too. No one in possession of their senses would have tried to go up wind.

The Whalesback channel is a nice ride. Little Detroit is a fun passage, more so in a big sailboat than in a 18-foot outboard. It is literally cut through solid rock.

If there is any way possible I will try to attend. Even after 15 years of visiting the North Channel it still enchants me.

kingfish posted 03-12-2003 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Really hope things turn out so you can make it, Jim.

Even after 50 years, going up year after year, the North Channel still enchants me.

I have been thinking, depending upon weather and wind direction and speed, that a day trip we might consider from Neptune might be past Fox Island and the Benjamins, through McBean Channel and Little Detroit to the Spanish area, at the way East end of Whalesback Channel, or some variation on that theme. That would be every bit of a 60 mile round trip from Neptune, not to speak of coming out from Little Current and going back, so we probably wouldn't want to go much farther than that, or we'll have to draw straws to see who gets to stay home to have the burgers ready when we get back...

jimh posted 03-16-2003 05:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In 1830 Adam Kidd wrote the epic poem The Huron Cheif. My favorite passage refers to Manitoulin Island as a spirit-guarded isle:

Still, if one pleasure earth bestows,
To make the heart forget its woes,

And steal it from itself away ó
This lovely wood must be the dwelling,
Of all that pleasure can pourtray,
Where beauty ó beauty seems excelling,
In summerís sweet enchanting smile,

Around the spirit-guarded Isle.

Buckda posted 03-18-2003 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
This question may spark interest to people who are participating in a heated debate on another if you have opinions one way or another - please post to that thread and don't pollute this one.

I simply wish to know the custom (and a solution on my boat) for flying flags when in Canada.

I understand that the official rules dictate that you fly your home country (in my case, the US) flag from your stern and the host country's colors from the bow or above the center console.

In my case, the only suitable location to fly -any- flag is from the 3.5' anchor light staff at the stern of my 15' GLS. As I intend to fly the U.S. Colors from this location, does anyone have any suggestions where (and how) I should display the Canadian flag? Would it be a major insult to NOT fly the Canadian colors when in Canada based on this logistical challenge?

Suggestions? Solutions?

Man am I looking forward to this trip to just get away from everything! Wish that ice would melt faster....


kingfish posted 03-18-2003 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I'll be going up to "open camp" on Memorial day week, and would not be terribly surprised to see some ice up there still, given the heavy freeze this year. I have some photos from one of my Memorial Day trips 10 or 15 years ago, of me standing on top of a small mountain of ice that completely covered a small rock island in the middle of the entrance to the Bay of Islands (extreme East end of the North Channel) in shorts, t-shirt and shades. It was dead calm that day and about 75 degrees, but there was still ice piled up here and there, with virtual frozen waterfalls along the sheer walls in Baie Finne.

Concerning flags, what I have always done and they only thing I have ever seen up around those parts, is fly both the US flag and the Canadian flag with the Canadian flag above ours, showing respect for the host country. That is what is generally done on flagpoles at camps and cottages owned by US residents up there, also. I lost my stern flagpole socket to a rod holder when I shuffled things around to make way for my arch; my flag(s) now fly from a socket I had mounted on top of my arch.


Barry posted 03-18-2003 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
Buckda, you could get either a rail mount flag pole socket and add a staff or a rail mount staff. You could then attach to the side rail as far toward the bow as possible.
jimh posted 03-18-2003 11:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
When operating a U.S. vessel in foreign water you should fly the flag of your country--not the nautical ensign but the flag--at the peak of the main mast. However, this is not often done, and most fly the U.S. flag off the stern post mast.

As a courtesy to the country you are visiting it is proper to fly the flag of your host nation from the starboard spreader of your foremast. This would be in an lower position than the U.S. flag if the U.S. flag were being flown properly. Also the courtesy ensign should be smaller than your national flag.

There used to be a section of flag etiquette in the CHAPMAN'S book.

kingfish posted 03-19-2003 08:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Pondering the content of your post Jim, I realize I need to edit my earlier remarks about my observations up there. My observations were in regards to how power boats displayed their respective flags, and how flags were flown from flagpoles at cottages and camps. I just didn't pay any attention to what the sailboats did.

I always have and will continue to fly an American flag and a Canadian flag, both of the same size, the Canadian flag above.

Buckda posted 03-19-2003 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Thanks guys for the insight and suggestions. I'll rig something from my starboard railing for the courtesy flag.

KF - no offense to you - it is my Boy Scout Handbook that haunts me...I'll NEVER fly ANY foreign country's flag ABOVE the American flag *FROM THE SAME FLAGPOLE OR MAST*. I'd fly it side by side from a second pole or mast. Flags are arranged heirarchically from top to bottom when displayed on the same pole...thus, the US flag, your state flag, your city flag and your family flag would be the appropriate order if all flown from the same pole. Flying the Canadian or US Flag above/below the other from the same pole suggests authority/superiority over one another - something that is not very palatable for either side, whatever arrangement/order you decide to display.

The rules for boats weren't detailed in the trusty Boy Scout handbook, so they were never comitted to memory. :) Thanks for the help! See you guys in July.


kingfish posted 03-19-2003 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
No offense taken-

Heading for Apalachicola - be back in a couple of weeks-


Outlaw posted 03-23-2003 12:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Outlaw  Send Email to Outlaw     
Hey Folks
I just coresponded with jimh, after reading his narrative about the 2000 rendezvous. My home port is Little Current, Boyle Marine to be exact, so I was pumped to hear of a group of Whalers coming my way. I have a '78 21ft. Outrage, It was project boat for sure, much like each of your vessels, mine has some great history and a great story to add would be the stories of the rendezvous. If someone could forward me a schedule that you will follow with dates and locations so I might plan accordingly. My family and I have been cruising the region for my entire 21 years, for those who have never been up our way, it is truely a site to experience. I look forward to further contact with you all
Barry posted 03-23-2003 09:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Barry  Send Email to Barry     
Outlaw, welcome aboard!

Below is a copy of the information from Dave Pendleton's 2003 Boston Whaler Rendezvous Calendar for this rendezvous.

Primary overnighting in Little Current will be in slips at Spider Bay Marina (municipal marina for Little Current), or at one of about three small motels in walking distance (kind of) from Spider Bay. Spider Bay Marina has gas, oil, ice, propane, showers and typical dockside hook-ups. (Phone numbers to follow.) For those adventurous and/or hardy Whalers, there is lots of sheltered anchorage around Neptune Island, and/or some dock space to tie off to so a tent(s) could be pitched on shore for camping. Facilities are very limited as compared to Spider Bay, however. (Neptune Island is our family vacation camp.)

We'll probably pick two days as planning progresses, like 7/25 & 7/26, to meet at Neptune for breakfast, planning, talking and comparing Whalers, making day runs to areas of consensus and meeting back for burgers and dogs. Neptune is about 7 miles by water from Spider bay. We'll probably pack lunches both days; the only nearby provisioning for food, drinks and ice is in Little Current, so boats will need to be chowed up before they head out to Neptune in the mornings.

There is interest by some Whalers in putting in at Detour Village, MI which is on the Eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula and near the Western end of the North Channel, and making the 100 mile +/- run through the North Channel to the Rendezvous which is at the other (West) end by water. It's a spectacular trip, but wind velocity and direction at the time will dictate if it's a quick smooth ride, a long bumpy ride or a delayed ride altogether. Others can trailer to Spider Bay Marina (ramp) in Little Current, ONT, 180 land miles East of Sault Ste. Marie, ONT.

Little Current is on Manitoulin Island, so it is also accessible by ferry from Tobermory, ONT from the East. It's about a one-hour drive to Little Current from South Baymouth where the ferry lands on Manitoulin. (Tobermory is on the end of the Bruce Peninsula that divides the Georgian Bay from the rest of Lake Huron.)

All details are subject to revision as planning progresses, and more participants weigh in. Phone numbers for services in Little Current to follow.

July 24 & July 25 may be added to accommodate those departing by water from Detour Village, MI

For historical reference, see: 2000 North Channel Rendezvous

djahncke posted 03-27-2003 07:15 PM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     

The good Lord willing and the creek don't rise I will join in on this rendezvous. I plan to trailer my Dauntless 17 to Little Current. The trip from De Tour sounds great but a little to adventurous for my first trip back to the North Channel in 30 years.
kingfish posted 03-31-2003 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Welcome aboard, and I hope you can make it - how are/were you associated with Boyle marine? Pat Boyle is a good friend to us up there, and Boyle marine is the designated repair facility for our Onan deisel generator out on the island.


kingfish posted 03-31-2003 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Please ignore my last post, or better yet pretend that I addresed it to Outlaw, to whom I really intended the post be directed.

I just returned from 10 days fishing and boating around the wonderfully un-developed area of Apalachicola, FL and apparently don't have my head quite screwed on straight if I ever do...


Outlaw posted 04-01-2003 12:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Outlaw  Send Email to Outlaw     
My family and I have made Boyle Marine our home port for the past 16 or better years. The Boyles have become great friends and infact my fathers construction company was one of the crews that helped them put up their winter storage hangar. I also run my yacht maintenance company from their location, they have been really fantastic to work with and their support of my work has made it possible for me to afford college. So hold them in the hhighest esteem. My whaler is stored there during both seasons as well as our 46' Ocean yacht and various tenders. That's great that you know them and what a small world.
kingfish posted 04-01-2003 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
It is a small world, indeed! I really look forward to making your acquaintance and hope that I have that opportunity this summer. I think it would really be wonderful to have a true "local" attend our Rendezvous. I guarantee you will meet some fine people among the attendees (current company excluded), and develop strong friendships as well as have a great time and a lot of fun!

I have seen a few other Whalers around Little Current, but not many and not yours, I don't think; though I have seen an Outrage 22 running around the Bay of Islands.

I hope we'll be able to count you in-


kingfish posted 05-18-2003 09:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I thought it might be time to bump this back to the surface again to keep some focus and to clarify the dates and details a little.

So far the following have indicated they are either going to make it or hope to make it, some just for the Rendezvous at Neptune Island, and some also making the run to Neptune from Detour:

There's room for plenty more; I hope others of you in the area (or not in the area) give some real thought to joining us. It is God's country up there.

My thinking for finalizing the dates is this: Friday July 25 and Saturday July 26 for the Rendezvous at Neptune. Thursday July 24 and Sunday July 27 for making the 100 mile +/- North Channel run from and back to Detour. I need to hear from folks about this so I can get David Pendleton solid dates for his Rendezvous Calendar. How do these dates sound?

I'm going to presumptiosly ask Larry Goltz (lhg) to kind of head up the coordination of the North Channel run as I won't be on that leg. I'll keep in touch via cell and radio when in range, and I hope to meet the contingent coming in somewhere, maybe around Spanish. Are you OK with that, Larry? I think we can continue the framework of communication for both legs here in this thread.

Let's hear from y'all!


lhg posted 05-19-2003 12:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John - Yes, I'll do the arranging for those planning to launch and return to Detour
Village on the U.P.

I think you can also add JimG to your list, but don't yet know if they will arrive from Tobermory or Detour Village.

And "Whalerdude" also indicated he may make it with his new 22. I spotted it being worked on up at Twin Cities Marine yesterday afternoon. Nice boat, same console as yours.

Finally, I hope the lowest water level on the Lakes I have EVER seen won't be problem. It's way down.

kingfish posted 05-19-2003 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Thanks, Larry-

I replaced the styrofoam billets in a couple of dock sections last year because the varmints up there had chewed them largely away; I was thinking that with the new flotation the group shots on the dock might not cause wet feet among the participants. If the water gets much lower though, we won't *need* the flotation to keep our feet dry.

Good to hear JomG is on the list, and I hope Whalerdude can make it, too. Sounds like we'll have a nice selection of 22's.

Different topic, but you reminded me of something - this past week I was looking through the paperwork I have that came with my boat when I bought it at Larsons in 1999, and I see that the guy I bought it from had bought it new at Twin Cities in '92.

How 'bout that?


lhg posted 05-19-2003 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
And I bought my 18 Outrage new at Larson in 1986. They were only a Whaler Dealer for 3 years, and I was able to get 15% off list.
tbirdsey posted 05-19-2003 10:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for tbirdsey  Send Email to tbirdsey     
John: Good news and bad news......bad news first.
I'm afraid I won't be able to make the rendezvous. Karen and I just closed on Lake Champlain property last week, spent our first weekend there, and will be consumed this summer with fixing up the house and property in addition to keeping the whaler fleet in operation.

The good news is that you and everyone else will be invited to a rendezvous next summer on beautiful Lake Champlain. I have plenty of dock space, convenient launch ramp, and by then will have scouted out the lake thoroughly for day trips. You guys can even come by water if you are up for it!!

Anyway, I will miss not seeing you again this summer, but it sounds like a blast.

kingfish posted 05-20-2003 08:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Congratulations and sorry we won't see you and Karen this summer. I think our photog is geared up to record all the action though, and I'll see that you get copies of some of the photos.

Lake Champlain sounds terrific - keep us posted...


Eagleman posted 05-23-2003 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eagleman  Send Email to Eagleman     
The Revenge is ready to run! We will be launching out of DeTour Village, I'll be following up with lhg (aka cruise director).
Looking forward to the event.
Buckda posted 06-22-2003 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Okay..we're only about a month away from this exciting trip!

LHG - are you planning on driving up to DeTour on the 23rd? I'll be taking a half day from work on the 23rd and driving up to arrive in the evening after dinner.

Dad sold our summer place in the Les Cheneaux, so my plans have been modified slightly - but I am still planning to make the cruise from DeTour.

I was hoping that everyone could chip in here so we could begin to best organize this trip since it is coming up next month. Not much information has been posted lately, but I plan to follow LHG's lead on how to handle customs / border crossings.

Kingfish - I'm still hoping for a space to just set up a tent - please advise if that is no longer okay.

Has anyone else decided to join in?

So far, it looks like we have quite a turnout expected.

kingfish posted 06-22-2003 03:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I still have a number of places for you to pitch a tent - in fact as I think about it, another option occurs to me that might (or might not) appeal to you. We own a second smaller island about two miles away from Neptune that is completely undeveloped but for the concrete floor and stone fireplace of an old cabin that we demolished a couple of years ago. It's probably not much more than an acre in size, but is completely wooded, faces the open North Channel on one side and a sheltered bay on the other, and has a soft-bottom shallow "cove" that is sheltered from the wind virtually in all directions where you can safely pull your boat up next to shore and tie it off. Wouldn't be *anybody* around but you and the critters, nearest occasionally inhabited island would be Schreiber, about 1-1/2 miles across the Wabuno Channel. Might be a little more of the wilderness experience, if you are interested.

I would like to hear from enough of the rest of the participants as to whether holding the "core" of the rendezvous on Friday and Saturday, July 25 & 26, will work. These dates would give those making the run from Detour all day Thursday to do so, all day Sunday to return, and would fit my schedule best. I'd also like to develop an updated "head count", to help in planning food we'd like to pick up down here at Sam's and take in with us.

As I say, I'd like to hear from enough folks to develop a direction, so I can get the calendar on David Pendleton's site adjusted. If I don't hear from people *soon*, I'll have to assume assent and make the changes as described.

Katie and I are looking forward to seeing everybody, and while we know about some new faces this year, we welcome more-

Let's start gearing up!


Andy Holmes posted 06-22-2003 06:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for Andy Holmes  Send Email to Andy Holmes     
Hi All:

For those planning to launch from the Detour Village boat ramp just west of town of M-134, the water level in the channel is down to two feet or so in several places, and three feet for a considerable distance. This lasts for about three or four hundred yards, then it comes up to between three and four feet, which should pose no problem. I was there this past saturday. Depth measured with a fishfinder, and verified by bumping the skeg a couple of times with my 17'. The ramp in town, just south of the marina, is much better but does not allow parking beyond 24 hours.

Buckda posted 06-22-2003 07:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Andy -

Thanks for the update...if anyone has any misgivings about the public ramp, they can put their larger Whaler in at the municipal ramp...I'll be happy to ferry you from your truck and trailer rig at the public ramp back to your boat in my much shallower draft 15'.

Kingfish...that little island sounds like a perfect option.

I am comfortable with the core dates being the 25th and 26th - that was my plan.

dfmcintyre posted 06-23-2003 01:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
John - -

I don't have a chart handy. That other it Bearsback? Gail and I have spent many hours there.


Eagleman posted 06-23-2003 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Eagleman  Send Email to Eagleman     
Had the Revenge out last weekend, the boat's ready to go and so are Paula & I. We will watch the postings and follow lhg's schedule for launching, etc at DeTour,MI. Anxiously waiting for this trip!
lhg posted 06-23-2003 02:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Here are the plans so far, and quite definite from my standpoint. I think Kingfish is aware of these, and I have confirmed with JimG that he will be doing same, and I assume Eagleman will be also.

July 23rd (Wed): Trailer day up to Detour Village, hopefully with arrival by dinnertime (It's nine hours for me, unless I leave from Port Huron, a possibility). There are two overnighting possibilities (assuming we are all staying on the boats) 1. the municipal marina at Detour, where space should not be a problem. or 2. run over to Drummond Island Yacht Haven, a great spot. At either place, if possible try to get the group together for dinner.

July 24th: Running the North channel to Little Current. Hopefully weather will be decent. My experience with the NC is you can usually find protected shoreline to follow if necessary. A straight East wind would be the worst. I envision taking our time traveling this 85 miles, which sounds like a lot more than it is. At the most, it's only 4 hours of travel time. This should allow us time to stop and various places and enjot the sights, including a lunch raft-up somewhere. John has said he may come out to meet up half way. If we get to LC by 5 or 6 PM we can check in and arrange for dinner. Not a lot of great restaurants in LC!

July 25-26th: I'll defer to John and group ideas here. The only hangup here for the 25th would be if we can't get to LC on the evening of the 24th due to weather. I'd say this only a one in ten chance

July 27th: Having come this far, we were planning this as a Rendezvous day, but in any event will stay in LC this entire day and overnight. Too much boating to see and do in the area. Bad weather could change this, or a forcast for a bad day Monday. When you cruise like this, the weather always rules where you go and stay with the return ahead of us.

July 28th. Depart early (for me that means 8am!) for the run back to Detour, hopefully having the boat on the trailer no later than 2pm.
Trail it back home 9 hours, returning more tired than when I left!!!! But that's what Whaler cruising is all about.

PS: On my kitchen table are the teak console and seat riser
blocks for the 25, receiving 10 coats of Flagship varnish.
Last of the boat's teak to be varnished. Can't go to a Classic Whaler event with out a yachting quality Whaler!

Now, if we can only get JimH to make an appearance. Like he did, and documented so well, last time.

PSS: So far, it's looking like the following at Detour.

And representing MERCURY, we have
LHG: 25 Outrage
Eagleman: 25 Revenge

And representing YAMAHA, we have
JimG: 19 Outrage
Backlash: 21 Walkaround

And representing OMC, we have
Buckda: 15 Sport
Barry: 22 Outrage
(and Kingfish, of course)

Anybody I've missed, or can talk into this? (Whalerdude?) This is going to be fun.

Buckda posted 06-23-2003 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Larry -

Sounds good.

Looks like we have 9 boats TOTAL by my count. (Not all making the transit from DeTour) Looks like John's dock will be quite full and the folks at the gas dock will make their numbers in July.

LHG - 25 Outrage
Eagleman - 25 Revenge
Barry - 22 Outrage
Kingfish - 22 Outrage
Outlaw - 21 Outrage
Backlash - 21 Walkaround
JimG - 19 Outrage
Djhancke - 17 Dauntless
Buckda - 15 Sport GLS

and one "possible" - Andiamo coming from Toronto. Let us know if I left you out or included anyone who is *not* planning to attend.

TBirdsey and dfmcintyre have had to cancel due to other plans.

Anyone else? JimH? Whalerdude? Outrageman? There has to be others who are interested in this's going to be a scene - 9 or 10 Whalers in one spot!

Backlash posted 06-23-2003 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     
Larry, sounds good too!

I think we should definitely plan on overnighting at Drummond Island Yacht Haven Wednesday night. Wonder if the old Suburban is still there?

On this trip a spare prop(s) is a necessity, especially with the low water levels this year. I dinged up my stainless prop last time leaving the slip in the Spider Bay Marina!


lhg posted 06-23-2003 08:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Steve: That's great news, and glad to hear you can confirm.

Also recommended to all is some Canadian cash and Richardson's Lake Huron Chartbook and vinyl cover. It's about $105 but well worth it, since you will want to return to these waters.

kingfish posted 06-24-2003 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Mosquito Island - right off (or more accurately nestled into) Northwest Point, at the northwest corner of Manitoulin Island.


Buckda posted 06-24-2003 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
LHG - thanks for the suggestion on chart books...

I just picked up a Richardson's Chart Book for Lake Huron online for $89.95.

Steve - also excellent advice about the spare prop. I've got a question about that...but will post it in the repairs/mods section (Switching Props in the "field"...)

Anyone who is going to use the I-94/I-196/US131/US29/I-75 Route want to meet up along the way? A caravan could be pretty fun to watch the rubber necks in passing cars...


Andy Holmes posted 06-24-2003 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Andy Holmes  Send Email to Andy Holmes     
Hi Larry:

I got your email, but my reply was returned with a delivery error. Response below:

Good to hear from you! The compass is doing great, still sitting in the box. I'm either going to get a larger console for my standard,convert it to a Montauk, or sell and buy a larger whaler. Until then, I keep telling myself, there is no point in cutting holes in
the console.

The ramp in "downtown" Detour Village is a nice DNR ramp, and is located just south of the municipal marina. You could probably park in the marina parking lot with no problem, although I didn't get a really good look in there. There are no large grocery store lots in the area or anything like that. The idea of parking in the lot at
the ramp west of town is probably as good as any.

I would love to come along on the trip, but my wife is going to be just about ready to deliver our latest baby. She is due August 25th, so I am going to need to hang pretty close to home around that time. Next year, count me in.

I'll probably get up there in the next few weeks, perhaps over the July 4 weekend, and I'll look around some more.


kingfish posted 06-25-2003 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Sorry to hear you can't make it; keep us posted as to the new arrival!

Hope to see you on another rendezvous-


Buckda posted 06-25-2003 01:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
If anyone is considering doing any fishing during this trip, they can get a fishing license ahead of time through the mail from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources by calling 800-667-1940.

A seven day conservation license will cost approximately 26 bucks and you will receive your license in time for the trip.

djahncke posted 06-27-2003 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     

Is anyone planning on driving to Little Current via Tobomory and the ferry?
kingfish posted 06-30-2003 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Right now, I am planning to go via Tobermory and the ferry after breezing through the Port Huron Rendezvous on Friday July 18 (taking the ferry Sat. morning). I'll be going up early so we can get things ready for the North Channel Rendezvous, and kick back a little before the Whalers start to arrive later the following week; if you were looking for a travelling companion, I guess I can't help you unless you are planning to spend time around Manitoulin Island before the Rendezvous. If your question was a lead-in to voicing a need for more information about the ferry (or whatever), give me a shout and I can probably help you there-


Buckda posted 07-01-2003 02:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Do you have GPS waypoints plotted for the course you plan to take us across the channel?

I'm curious as I just received my GPS for the boat and would eventually (before the trip) like to plot the course and download it into my unit.

I think I can put around 50 miles on without needing to refuel (allowing for some reserve) unless the weather is I was trying to plot out stops along the way.

I also just received my Richardson's Chart book and after a couple of hours of poring over the thing, finally located Neptune Island (Nice spot John!)...

...but was really looking for stops along the way at intervals of 35 - 50 miles.

Did you have 2-3 brief stops in mind for this trip? If so, what were you thinking - I'll program them in.

I know we're only a few weeks away now...getting excited and the planning has already begun...thanks for any info you can provide up front.

Talk to you all soon.


lhg posted 07-01-2003 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Dave and others - Boating the length of North Channel really depends on wind directions at the time, so it's almost impossible to pre-plan a course. I think we'll all have to get together and do our planning when we see what we've got. There are places where we can, and will want to, stop for gas and looking around the towns. If weather is nice, as a general plan it's nice to head from the top of Drummond Island out to a group of midway islands, and then tend to follow the northern route, which has the best scenery and more islands. This is also the most protected. The southern route, which runs along the north shore of Manitoulin, is almost exactly the same scenery (and geologic conditions- the Niagara Escarpment) as the Green Bay shoreline of Door County. It's likely that we would return via the southern route.

Dave, I'll send you an e-mail. I think it's great that you're going to make this run in your 15. We can load your gear into the larger boats to lighten you up a bit if needed.

Buckda posted 07-01-2003 06:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Sounds great...I'll study the north shoreline on my chart tonight.

Thanks for the offer for gear stowage...I've been trying to figure out a calculation for how the added weight will affect my fuel consumption - having a way to lighten the load a little will help to reduce the impact in that category. Bringing tools, spare props, etc on top of camping gear can really add the pounds!

Kingfish - do you have coordinates for Mosquito Island? (Sounds like I'll need plenty of insect repellent and some yard guard!)

Hmmm...wonder what the record is for miles travelled on a single trip in a 15???

Swellmonster posted 07-08-2003 12:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Big wishes and hopes for me for this. This is not a "no'er" for me, but I am scaming ;)
Eagleman posted 07-08-2003 10:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for Eagleman  Send Email to Eagleman     
Spent last weekend going over the new electronic's, comprehension of new information going well. Only had to speak to the Furono Rep. once regarding a radar blip that I wasn't understanding.
Watching the days count down to the North Channel trip. Do you know if this group does group breakfast, luncheons, or dinner's. Paula was asking regarding what to bring along?
There's a rendezous in Door County this wekend hope to see lhg there to discuss North Channel details.
Take Care,
Eagleman (Russ Gilson)
kingfish posted 07-08-2003 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Russ (et al)-

I crafted a long-winded but thorough (I think) post that covered your questions and more over the weekend and then accidently hit the "clear fields" button instead of the "submit reply" button, and lost everything, including my will to retype the whole thing right then.

I'm about to have another go at it, hopefully tonight. I may have to start composing these things in Word or some other word processor as JB suggests; That way I'd still have a copy of what I wrote if I hit the wrong button.


kingfish posted 07-09-2003 10:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Yes, I have coordinates for Mosquito Island, but they are on the GPS in the Parker, up in Canada. Get on page 82 of your Richardsonís, and from Neptune Island, start back west (stay well out if you do this in a boat; like ľ mile) until you get to Northwest Point. Thatís about two miles or a little more than an inch on the chart. Turn south (left) between Halfway Islands and Northwest Point, and you enter the Waubuno Channel. Mosquito Island is immediately on your left and is called out on the chart, just below Northwest Point, and nestled right up against Great Cloche Island.

YíALL (listen up)! -

Here are some particulars, some answers to Russ Gilsonís questions, and some general poop.

Weíre aiming at Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26 for the main two days of the rendezvous. Larryís contingent should be pulling into the Little Current/Neptune Island area sometime Thursday afternoon or evening July 24 after about a 100 mile run from Detour at the West end of the North Channel. I hope to rendezvous with that group as it gets close, being in communication via cell phone and/or VHF, and depending upon how the run went, what the weather is like, etc., the group is welcome to stop out at Neptune for rest and refreshment, or they may want to get right into Little Current and get set up at Spider Bay Marina. Weíll play that one by ear, and with respect to how everyone feels. Anyone who trailers up to Little Current and gets in on Thursday is also welcome to come out, and if you get there early enough, maybe we can go together to meet the other group.

Friday and Saturday will go kind of like this: Breakfast on your own and come on out to Neptune as soon as you can do it. It's about 8 miles from Little Current, seven miles from Spider Bay Marina. Iíll have plenty of Key West Cuban Roast coffee hot, and feel free to bring out coffee cake. It would be really cool if we could get our collective program together such that we could meet at Neptune by 9:00 and head out to wherever we decide to go by 10:00. 90% to 95% of the time up there, no matter which way the wind is blowing, the wind increases as the afternoon wears on. If we think of a run each day in the 20 to 30 mile (one way) range, 40 mile max, I think, with lunch and leisure time somewhere in the middle, that gets us back to Neptune before the wind has kicked up completely, and in time for some more relaxation and Whaler talk and comparison before the evening cookout each day.

So each boat should bring whatever they need for a lunch on the water each day, and drinks, etc. for the day trip. Additionally for the evening cookout, bring your own drinks, some snacky type things (chips, pretzels, etc.) to pass and some dessert type things to pass. Youíll need to bring these things out with you in the mornings, but Iíll have a bunch of coolers and ice and you can leave your drinks for the evening and any other provisions you donít want to haul along on the day trip, there at Neptune for the day. Katy doesnít think sheíll be up to these trips, still recovering from hip surgery, so she will be there at camp with anything you want to leave. There is a good swimming beach at Neptune, and weíll possibly find others at our lunch or other stops, so bring swim stuff and towels.

For the cookout each night, I am planning to provide all the necessary paper and plastic stuff, (plates, cups, silverware, napkins, etc.), relishes and condiments, fresh cut veggies (lettuce, onions and tomatoes for sandwiches, as well as cut carrots, celery, radishes, etc.), and the main meat and buns and/or bread. Iím currently thinking Iíll warm up a spiral sliced ham one night and do hot dogs and brats on the grill the other night, with a pot of sloppy joes going both nights. Katie says sheíll do a couple big batches of her hot 5-bean salad; that is a real treat! And weíll obviously have the makings for a salad, and salad dressing.

Larry has kindly offered to pass the hat for the foodstuff we buy, and that is appreciated. Logistically though, it is the best deal for all if Katie and I handle the things Iíve described here, as we have the capacity and time to handle them much more easily than you guys separately. Just bring drinks, snacks to pass and dessert to pass.

Sunday will be kind of a winding down day; Iím not currently planning anything formal in terms of trips or meals, but I think some of you may still be around and some may be heading back. Those of you that are still around are certainly welcome to come back out, and we may informally do something. (Like the other days are formal? I donít think soÖ)

So thatís about it for now-


Iíve contacted Spider bay Marina to let them know that anywhere from six to ten boats may need a slip, and as I said earlier it gets busy up there that time of year and some of you may have to raft, but they will find a spot for you. We (my family) have been a regular slip holder up there since they built the place, and we feel kind of like family there too. Call Randy Burnett, the manager of Spider Bay Marina, to confirm if you plan to slip there at 705-368-3148. Let me know right away if anybody needs phone numbers for any of the two or three motels in Little Current.

Oh, and I need a head count, ASAP! Please take a minute and check in with me here, so we know how many people to buy for. Weíll probably start shopping this weekend.

The countdown is getting closer!


kingfish posted 07-10-2003 09:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
To make things easier (I hope), regarding the head count, here is what I know and what I don't know (please correct any thing I have wrong, and fill in the blanks):

LHG 2 people
Backlash 2 people
Memory 2 people
Buckda 1 person
Eagleman 2 people
Barry ?
Outlaw ?
Djahncke ?
Whalerdude ?
Andiamo ?
Kingfish 2 people

Let me know-


Buckda posted 07-10-2003 06:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
KF -

Found the island...thanks.

Sounds like a great plan - thank you for being the go-to guy on the logistics.

I know everyone must be getting excited...only 8 more days of work before this trip!


Backlash posted 07-10-2003 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

Thanks for the very detailed itinerary! I can see why you lost the "will to retype the whole thing" after the first attempt. Looking forward to seeing everyone.


djahncke posted 07-11-2003 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     

I will be arriving on Thursday the 24th with my Dauntless 17 in tow behind my minivan. Unfortunately my wife's cousins from Sweden will be in town that weekend so she can't come and both of my kids declined to come. So, just count on 1 for djahncke.


kingfish posted 07-11-2003 09:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

LHG 2 people
Backlash 2 people
Memory 2 people
Buckda 1 person
Eagleman 2 people
Barry 3 people (hopefully)
Djahncke 1 person
Kingfish 2 people (possibly 3)
Outlaw ?
Whalerdude ?
Andiamo ?


Plenty of room for more, if anybody changes their mind; strongly urge you to consider bringing your wife *and* her cousins along (unless there's 43 of them). Certainly up to you, but don't think in terms of how many people can comfortably fit into your boat; we'll have plenty of room for a number of additional people in the larger boats, and I'm comfortable speaking for the entire group in saying they'd be more than welcome. I don't know how well they speak English, or if anybody in the group can speak Swedish, but I don't think language would be a barrier; in fact I think it would enhance the experience for everyone. It could be the experience of a lifetime for them to join us up there in the North Channel, and if we get over to Baie Finne on one of the trips, we'll be seeing what I believe to be the longest freshwater fjord in North America. (On the other hand, if you're looking forward to the conveniences of only feeling responsible for yourself, that's plenty fine, too.)

Under any conditions, do you have any idea when you'll be getting into Little Current on Thursday? If you want to try to meet up and/or come along when I go out to meet the crew coming in from Detour, let me know how much you need in terms of directions. The chances are also very high that I will be coming into Little Current sometime during the day on Thursday, before going out to meet the crew, to do some final shopping for the rendezvous. Depending upon when you arrive and when I come in, we could possibly meet up then, too.


Buckda posted 07-14-2003 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Kingfish (and others with experience in this matter) -

Do you recommend participants bring cash to cover their expenses during this trip, or will visa/mastercard suffice?

My primary concern is for fueling...secondary is for any dining ashore that may happen on the trips across or once we're there.


(only 7 work days left...)



Backlash posted 07-14-2003 01:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backlash  Send Email to Backlash     

I try to use Visa/Mastercard as much as possible since you get the best (daily?) exchange rate through them. I also take some US and Canadian currency.


kingfish posted 07-14-2003 02:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
Steve said it about as concisely as can be said - Visa/Mastercard is good at any Marina you'll be running into. Like Steve, I also like to have some Canadian Currency, and that is available via Visa/Mastercard at ATM's, at banks, and at duty-free shops and frequently at Canadian Visitor Information Centers near border crossings.


lhg posted 07-14-2003 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I notice there has not been a post here from Barry since March 23rd. Barry, are you out there and planning to meet us in Detour? I am trying to make some final arrangements, which I will communicate by E-mail. Currently we are at 5 boats in Detour Village. Barry would be #6.

John - What's the current price of gas in LC these days?

Buckda posted 07-14-2003 03:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Ah..the ubiquitous ATM!

I forgot about that little convenience - uh..they do have ATM's in North Channel towns, right? :)

The boat is getting a good wax this weekend in an effort pass muster with you guys.

Had some very positive fuel consumption numbers this weekend that make me less nervous about the distances between ports (I'm sure I can make all of them with the 18 gallons aboard - if only I could get extra mileage out of my Explorer - what a hog!) - and - the long term weather forecast (for what it is worth) is calling for mostly sunny skies and highs from the low to mid-70's each day. (knocking on wood)

djahncke posted 07-14-2003 09:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     

As much fun as it would be to bring my wife and her cousins the timing is not workable. They don't arrive in the SE Michigan until Saturday afternoon, too late to make it up to Little Current and too early for us to get back to meet them. Anyway thanks for you thoughts. I know that that is a gorgeous area. As a kid I spent several weeks every summer in the 1960s and early 70s cruising those waters on my family's cruiser.

My travel plans are to drive up to Tobermory and take the ferry to Manitoulin Island. I see that the ferry leaves at 11:20 AM and 3:40 PM. I would like to catch the earlier ferry but I'm not sure how early I have to leave to make it. How early would I need to arrive in Tobermory to catch the early ferry and how long does it take to drive from Port Huron to Tobermory while towing a boat? Any advice would be most appreciated.


kingfish posted 07-14-2003 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

The price of gas is *always* outrageous up there, even with favorable exchange rates (which aren't currently as favorable as they have been). I guess they are so bad that I've blocked them out of my mind - can't remember...


Allow 4 hrs to get from Port Huron to Tobermory; you will probably be able to do better than that, but that is a safe number. There is an even earlier ferry (7:00 AM) but obviously you need to spend the night (or drive all night) to be there for that one. As I recall, you can only make reservations on the early ferry and the late ferry, neither of which are the two you are considering. So, you'll want to be there *at least* an hour before departure (more if you can stand it) to get a place on board.

Don McIntyre probably has this info pegged even more accurately than I have. Don, if you read this and can add to it, please do-

The name of the ferry is the Chi-Chimaun, and I found a bunch of stuff on schedules, etc. on a website by typing that in on Yahoo, or Tobermory, or something like that...maybe you've already found it.

Once you're on Manitoulin Island at South Baymouth, it's about an hours drive to Little Current and Spider bay Marina. It seems like the ferry ride is about an hour and a half? If so, you should get into Little Current by 2:30 PM by taking the 11:40 AM ferry. If you can manage that, that'll give you time to get a look around and get settled and maybe we can connect.

Do you have a cell phone? If so why don't you e-mail me with your number and I'll give you mine, so we can try to hook up when you get into town.


kingfish posted 07-17-2003 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I'm taking off and heading for the North Channel tomorrow afternoon, and will be away from the forum from sometime before then until after I return home.

So, are there any updates???


Do you have a target time for departing Detour? Or better yet, any kind of wild-eyed ETA for getting towards the East end of the North Channel? Is your cell number the same?

If anybody else who is going with Larry has a cell that you're planning to carry with you, please e-mail me with the number, and I'll send mine out to those whose e-mail addresses I have. I think maybe the best way for me to get a handle on when, if and how I'll come out and meet you guys is to see what the weather looks like on Thursday morning, and try to get in touch with one another via cell phone so I know your approximate route and approximate ETA, unless there is a better idea.

Looking forward to seeing all of you, and having some fun up there. And, for anyone who has been reading my posts about ignition and cooling problems I've been tracking down, I'm happy to say that Outre' is running like *thunder* and will be making the trip! (Makes me a happy guy).


lhg posted 07-17-2003 03:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
John - The group is in touch via E-mail, and things are pretty well organized. I'll give you a call.

So far, confirmed launching at DeTour Village and heading over to Drummond Island Yacht Haven, a Whaler Dealer where we hope to be Wed night, it's LHG, Eagleman, Backlash, JimG & Buckda. From Tobermory, via ferry, it's Don Jahncke.

We do plan on meeting out in the Channel on Thursday sometime, and I assume we can talk to you thoughout Wed morning by cell phones. My guess is we'll be out of Drummond no later than 10am. Weather could still change all of this, of course. Our return plans are to leave Spider Bay marina Monday morning.

I'm posting this in case others want to join in at the last minute, and most of us will be monitoring here through Tuesday noon. Still hoping Barry and JimH will make it.

Swellmonster posted 07-22-2003 12:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
That Port Huron Group was kicking my azz to get up there! :)
Port Huron Don even gave me a map with extended and diverse travel plans. However, comma, my lovely is in intensive care 'diabetic' and its a 100 percent that I want to go, with 99 percent saying no chance dude.
One percent is still exciting!!


lhg posted 07-22-2003 03:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
For the DeTour Village launch, it appears everything is in order, all 6 boats will be arriving at DeTour between noon and 4pm, including Barry. The DeTour Municipal Marina is where we can all tie up at 4pm, say, and then head over to Drummond Island Yacht Haven for our slip reservations for the night. Once on your boat, Monitor channel 18 on your radio. Some of us may be out cruising around the area waiting for others to arrive.

Pat, sorry you can't make it. This will be a good one, with 5 days and 400-500 miles of non-stop Classic Whalering, endless Whaler talk, partying and general good cruising fun. JimH should have quite a story to write up on this trip.

home Aside posted 08-04-2003 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Since My whaler was high and dry and I had a previously planned reunion to attend in Marquette, I was unable to attend the North Channel Rendezvous. I did see a Black Avalanche trailering what appeared to be about a 20' Outrage southbound across the Mackinac Bridge on Sunday August 27, 03. I've been checking the site daily, Just curious how the trip went, hope you all had a fun and safe renedezvous, interesting in reading an account of the trip.

Pat Henahan

kingfish posted 08-04-2003 05:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

Sorry you couldn't make it - I think everybody had a great time (I know I did!).

JimH did make it, along with his wife Chris and their 20 Revenge - I think they came over on the same ferry from Tobermory with Don Jhancke - and if I know Jim, there'll be full coverage to come, but here it is in a nutshell.

This is the rest of the usual suspects:

LHG - 25 Outrage
Eagleman - 25 Revenge
Barry - 22 Outrage
Kingfish - 22 Outrage
Barry - 22 Outrage
Outlaw - 21 Outrage
Backlash - 21 Walkaround
JimG - 19 Outrage
Djhancke - 17 Dauntless
Buckda - 15 Sport GLS
(We also have a Montauk at camp that was ready to go for my daughter to make the run to Killarney on Sunday, but the day started a little rough so she rode with me in my 22.)

LHG, Eagleman, Barry, Backlash, JimG and Buckda (in his *15*!!!) made the 100 + mile run Thursday from Drummond Island and arrived Waubuno Channel about 7:00 in the evening, and a couple of boats came out to Neptune to let me know they'd arrived, while the rest of the pack went straight into Little Current to get set up at Spider Bay Marina for the night. The boats that came out to Neptune, short of Buckda, went into Little Current a little later; Buckda (Dave Buckalew) found a suitable spot to make camp on our island, so he was based with us out there for the Rendezvous.

Let me say unequivocally right here that Dave and his 15 didn't just do everything and go everywhere the "big boats" went and did, they did it with panache and gusto! Dave doesn't have to take a back seat to anyone in my book (that's one mixed up metaphor); if he had half the fun it looked like he did, I'm jealous.

With LHG getting caught in the bedclothes (we're all used to that) and Russ and Paula making blueberry pancakes on the docks at Spider Bay (at least that's the rumor - I had to settle for my usual frosted mini-wheats out at camp )-: ), we didn't meet up at Neptune until around noon on Friday. Things were a little blustery out of the West so we chose to head East into the Bay of Islands and cruised Sturgeon Bay, Jumbo Bay, Grassy Bay (viewed the Fielding estate there; he owns La Cloche Island that these bays are in. Approx. 46,000 acres and 17 lakes...), and navigated through Birch Island and Whitefish
Falls for our required promenade. Stopped and rafted for lunch in Jumbo Bay where afterwards some of the crew went swimming and the rest of us (except for Barry and his two sons who fished for a while) checked out each other's Whalers, bs'd and generally relaxed and enjoyed the day and each other.

We met back at Neptune Island and loafed around some more while we prepared dinner, and here comes a 21' Outrage, it's Outlaw! Brandon Nutt (I haven't seen your name written Brandon, so I hope I got it right) is a local from the Little Current area who had contacted us early in the planning stages, but we lost contact and I thought he had departed for places unknown. His 21' Outrage with 200 HP Merc and t-top, Outlaw, is a real beauty. Brandon joined us for dinner and turned out to be quite a raconteur and very impressive young (21 yo) man. I think he caught the eyes of both my daughter and the girlfriend she had with her, and went with us over to Killarney on Sunday.

Things started slow on Saturday and just sort of stayed that way, as it rained...and rained...and rained...By noon or so boats had started to show up, and Dave was already there, so we just spread out on the screen porch and in the cook cabin and snacked and napped and bs'd and all the stuff you do when it rains and you can't do what you really want to do, but the people you're with are fun and everybody is resolved to make the best of it. Russ was having some shifting problems with one of his motors from Friday's run and Outlaw had kindly used his influence to get the local Merc dealer to look at it for him first thing that morning, only to find out he needed parts that would have to be ordered in, so Russ was not wanting to run any more than he had to, and he and Paula stayed in the slip with R Time (or Our Time?). I haven't seen that written yet, either. Just before evening cookout time (the grill got moved to the screen porch due to the rain, so it was more like a cook-in), I put up the canvas on the Parker and took a welcoming party into Little Current to pick up Russ and Paula so the group was whole again. We had great hot dogs and brats and polish sausages on the grill for the cook-in, and there was fudge and cookies, and it was great even if it was still raining outside. Saturday evening ended with the group presenting me with some very unnecessary but very much appreciated gifts. I really had more fun than anyone (with the possible exception of Dave Buckalew), and am still a little self-conscious about getting gifts on top of having such a good time. Well, enough about that.

I was the one that was slow on Sunday, as it seemed like the weather wasn't real good, and I was getting the camp Montauk in shape because my daughter Jess and her girlfriend Jess wanted to be part of whatever we did by having their own Whaler to drive. I got things in shape for them to come with us and had her take the Montauk out around our island one time to get a feel for the seas on the outside, and Jess came back having decided the two to three-footers weren't her cup of tea for a 50 or 60 mile run, so they opted to come with me in Outre'. We went into Little Current, met up with the rest of the crew, and took off for Killarney for fish and chips from the bus (You have to have been there to know what I'm talking about - I won't say more here, but that it is worth the trip). The winds started to shift and let up, and it was pretty much down hill most of the way to Landsdowne Channel; Landsdowne runs pretty much East and West and the wind by now was largely out of the North, so the running in there was particularly easy. The Montauk probably could have made it...oh, well...Most of the rest of the crew wanted to cross Frazier Bay from the mouth of Landsdowne Channel and make the trip down to the Pool at the end of Baie Finne, but I calculated we'd be nearly 6:00 getting back to camp as it was, so Jess and Jess and John (along with JimH and Chris in their boat) decided to head for home while the rest of the crew visited what I understand to be the longest freshwater fjord in North America. Dave Buckalew stayed with the other boats and got back to Neptune around 8:00 or 8:30 I think, after running something that had to be close to 80 miles, just in time for "breakfast for dinner", an annual tradition for this family during our stay on Neptune. Dave got to enjoy a batch of the famous home fries that my daughter Jess and I make by cleaning out the refrigerator and the potato, onion and garlic supplies in camp. It was a good batch this year and I was reminded of it at regular intervals for about three days.

We had the opportunity to spend some time getting to know Dave better during and after dinner, which was a treat. With a group the size of this one, it's hard to carve out time to get to know people as well as you'd like, so it was a pleasure, and Katie and I look forward to getting to know the others on this trip who weren't already our friends better, too.

Dave broke his camp and saddled his 15 up early the next morning; he was ready to hit the long trail home by 7:30, but we understand that LHG's alarm clock broke again. I accompanied Dave down to meet the rest of the crew at the North end of Waubuno Channel and see everyone off at 9:00 or 9:30 for their 100 mile run into the wind back to Drummond Island. I'll have to let one of those hardy souls relate the story of the rest of that trip, because I only had to go about two miles to get to the chair I had sitting on the dock, next to my fishing rod and minnow bucket.

Some nutshell that turned out to be!


jimh posted 08-04-2003 08:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I'll post a quick version of the first 24-hours of our trip to the NC2003 Rendezvous:

We were not sure we could make it until the last minute. We got the boat out of its winter storage location, hitched her up. The boat engines had not been run since October--a 9-month lay up. I decided not to try to start them until I got to Little Current. Why ruin the trip if there were problems. If they don't start, there'd be ten guys up there to help me.

We could not meet the gang at Detour for the 100-mile open water run, so we hauled our Revenge 20 W/T on its tandem-axle trailer up the eastern shore of Lake Huron to caught the Chi-Cheemaun ferry across to Manitoulin on Friday afternoon. Got on the road at 7:34 a.m., about our all time earliest departure. Three hundred miles later we reached the end of Ontario Route-6: the ferry loading ramp at Tobermory.

We met Don and his 17-Dauntless in the ferry queue line. We all made it aboard for the 3:40 p.m. sailing.

Hauling the boat over on the ferry was not very expensive, the ferry ride cost about $85 (Canadian) each way. Just a car and two passengers costs about $50 so the premium for the tall boat and long trailer was not too much. The boats coming up on their own bottom spent quite a bit more than that in gasoline costs; of course they had more boating fun.

We got to Little Current and Spider Bay about 6:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon, and we were a bit surprised to find no Whalers in the marina. I had been watching the waves (2-4 feet) in open Lake Huron as we came across on the Chi-Cheemaun, and I thought they might have had to slow down for the15-footer in their group. (Wrong!).

We got the boat on the ramp about 6:30 p.m. and rolled it off the trailer. Now the big moment: will the engines start?

I squeezed the primer bulbs, set the fast idle throttle, pulled the choke switch, and turned the key. The starboard 1987 Yamaha started immediately. In fact, it scared me, so I turned the key back and shut it off! I was expecting it to crank for a while--I was fooled!

I started her up again, set the idle at 1100, and looked for water coming out of the confidence outlet nozzle. Yep, all set.

Got the other engine running--it took a second squeeze on the primer bulb and a little cranking. Then I noticed: hey, no water coming out of the first engine all of a sudden!

Just then we saw BACKLASH, MEMORY, and Barry's 22 OUTRAGE W/D cruise into the marina. Steve, Caroline, Jim, and Sarah came over to say hi at the ramp. I was still fretting about the water flow problem.

A few minutes later all was fine. It was a clogged orifice, the impeller was pumping water. Got that fixed up.

Met Barry and his sons at the gas dock. I think they took on about 240 liters. Yikes--now I knew coming on the ferry was a good idea. (One liter= $0.70 Canadian.)

Another little snag was berthing at the Marina. By the time we got all straight with the boat and took a test ride, it was about 7:45 p.m. The marina staff told us they were full. Oh well, we'll stay at the gas dock for the night. In the North Channel, there is literally no boat traffic after dark, anyways.

The next project was loading all the gear into the boat. When we long-distance trailer we keep the boat light and haul much of its gear in the Suburban. So we spent about an hour building the boat.

LHG and EAGLEMAN cruised in about the same time we tied up at the gas dock for the night. They had stopped at Neptune Island to say hi to KINGFISH, et, al.

By about 8:30 or 9:00 we had the boat fairly ship shape. We had the trailer parked and the Suburban disconnected. The sun was starting to set. I was extremely tired, so tired I couldn't manage the the long walk down to Pier 6 where the Whaler Fleet was anchored. We had not had anything to eat since a sandwich in the car on the road about noon. We decided to have a quick meal on the boat--just a sandwich,--and call it a day. This was the longest day and most physical activity for me in about ten months.

It was great to be back on the water again, to sleep aboard, and to visit the mystical island of Manitoulin. We had a good night's rest and awoke at 7 a.m. when the marina manager asked me if we could move to a slip and free up some space on the gas dock!

With Chris still dozing in the cabin, I moved the boat down to pier 4 and tied her up.

Then I went down to Pier 6 to meet the gang. The Rendezvous was underway for us. We had a blast. Friday's weather was fair and sunny. Except for a 15-20 west wind, it was perfect boating weather.

By the time the four days were over, we had made some great new friends and renewed old friendships with some great old friends. It was an unequivocal blast, a total fun time.

Whaler quality boats seem to attract Whaler quality people; we enjoyed meeting and boating with everyone. I am so glad I made it up there again this year.

KINGFISH was a great host. Thank you, John, for your hospitality.

This is just the first 24-hours; we'll have a narrative with photographs coming in a month or two.

home Aside posted 08-04-2003 09:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
WOW !!!!
Sounds like a great trip.....I got my Montauk back in the water after a complete rebuild of the "82" 90 Evinrude on July 30...I'm 6.5 hours into my breakin period....I'm hoping there will be a North Channel Rendezvous in 2004.... I'll be there...Thanks for the rundown on the trip. I've been beside myself having missed such an opportunity...looking forward to the rest of the narrative..thanks

Pat Henahan

Swellmonster posted 08-12-2003 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
OK, Im jealous!!! ;)

Great trip y'all! Super reports!!!

zpeed7 posted 08-12-2003 11:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for zpeed7  Send Email to zpeed7     
Man... I can't wait for the whole story and pics. If I ever win the lotto I'll ship my boat up there and meet you guys for a North Channel Rendezvous. Glad you guys had a great trip.


Buckda posted 08-13-2003 06:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

Catch a plane next're welcome aboard my 15! :)


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