Chapter 13 usually holds an August Fish Fry in Sheguindah on Manitoulin Island hosted by members Rick and Gail. This year, however, a family event prevented this, so Chairman Ron suggested we take a cruise on the North Channel to visit the Benjamin Islands. North Channel Tours operated out of Little Current and offered a number of cruise options including this one.
There was no rush to get started this morning because our cruise started boarding at 9:30 AM and the dock was a ten minute walk away. An intial look outside confirmed that it was raining but the weather app on the phone promised it would stop soon.
The rain had stopped by 9:00 AM. We opted to leave the car in the hotel parking lot and walked along the waterfront along what appeared to be a rarely used street.
The rest of our tour group and others were waiting to board when we arrived at the Grand Heron gangplank just before 9:30. I could see our friend from yesterday on The Triumph was pulling in his water and power lines, preparing to get underway.
After being welcomed by captain/owner Chris and crew member Brittany, we got settled. It started raining off and on just after we cast off at 10:00 AM, heading northwest towards the Benjamin Islands. Brittany set out coffee and pastries shortly after we got started. I had coffee and looked longingly at the baked goods.
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, a huge GPS screen on the wall kept us abreast of our route and position. The people at the next table operated a farm east of Ottawa and were camping on The Island in a 42 foot 5th wheel towed by a Ford F450 diesel. They were snowmobilers, so we had a number of things in common.
Before we arrived at our anchorage spot in a bay at South Benjamin Island, the crew (Brittany) served lunch. We had sausages on a bun. hamburgers on a bun, potato salad and pasta salad. I had sausages and hamburgers (no buns) with a diet coke. I did cheat with one small spoon of potato salad but I went outside when they served the desserts.
After we dropped anchor, Captain Chris took anyone who wanted to explore or swim ashore in the Zodiac. Norm (retired CP Police and friend) was the only one in our group who felt so motivated. There was a nearby cabin that was for sale along with five acres of land. They were only asking $799,000 Canadian dollars. It would be a nice, secluded location if it wasn't for the cruise boats:-))
After a couple of hours, we weighed anchor and started back towards Little Current.
We arrived back at the dock a little before 5:00 PM. Norm and Leslie Ann, who parked near the dock, gave us a ride up to the hotel parking lot. Again, the traffic light was green as we approached the swing bridge and started the last drive in our trusty old 2014 Equinox. We stopped at Tim's in Espanola for a bathroom break and then made it the rest of the way home without incident.
Today's Route (86 Equinox miles):