July 1, 2013
When The Water Calls ... We Follow

June 20, 2013
New Adventures

May 31, 2013
Storing Our Shiny Red Tug

May 13, 2013
Viva La Difference

May 6, 2013
Swinging Free & Easy

April 15, 2013
In The Middle

March 29, 2013
On The Hook

March 18, 2013
Tinker Time

February 28, 2013
Jumping Into the Mix

February 15, 2013
Time Travel

February 6, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation

January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending

January 1, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports

December 15, 2012
Collins Inlet, Killarney, & Little Current

December 1, 2012
New Neighbors

November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?

November 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?

October 15, 2012

October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable

September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem

September 1, 2012

August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options

August 1, 2012
Go West!

July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination

July 1, 2012

June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly

June 1, 2012
Everglades Detour

May 15, 2012
Making New Friends

May 1, 2012
Something Old and Something New

April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast

April 1, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler

March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature

March 1, 2012
Last Dance

February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique

February 1, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound

January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World

January 1, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation

December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell

December 1, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds

November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love

November 1, 2011
On the Water Again

October 14, 2011
First Impressions

October 3, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun

September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road

September 1, 2011
Lets Dance!

August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row

August 1, 2011
Summer Without a Boat

July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home

July 1, 2011
One Step Closer

June 15, 2011
Time Keeps on slippin’ Into the Future

June 1, 2011
Made in the USA

May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice

May 1, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around

April 1, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude

March 15, 2011
Helping Hands

March 1, 2011

February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options

February 1, 2011
Making a List, Checking it Twice!

January 14, 2011
The Science of Towing

December 30, 2010
The Upside of Downsizing

December 15, 2010
The New Plan!

December 1, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg

November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water

November 1, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile

October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough

October 1, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?

September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool

September 1, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland

August 1, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"

July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time

July 1, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!

June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous

June 1, 2010
On the Hard

May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West

May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board

April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance

April 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures

March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise

March 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound

February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters

February 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise

January 15, 2010
New Frontiers

January 1, 2010
First Time Experiences

December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port

December 1, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady

November 18, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

November 13, 2009
A Cult Following

October 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time

October 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye

September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature

August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote

August 1, 2009
Crab Crazy

July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay

July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay

June 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North

June 1, 2009
Northern Migration

May 15, 2009

May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye

April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!

April 1, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy

March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound

March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?

February 15, 2009
Slow Motion

February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View

January 15, 2009
High Anxiety

January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands

December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure

December 1, 2008
All Together Now

November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike

October 31, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River

October 16, 2008
Big City Lights

October 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins

September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop

September 1, 2008
The Space Ship

August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle

August 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!

July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around

July 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop


New Neighbors
By Kismet, Saturday, December 1, 2012

By Jim Favors

Meeting new neighbors can sometimes be a little touch and go, but as Lisa and I have often stated, it’s simpler when arriving in a “neighborhood” by boat than moving into a house or apartment for the first time; at least that has been our experience. As we neared the approach to our planned anchorage, Marianne Cove, off Baie Fine in Canada’s North Channel, at first glance it looked like all potential anchorage spots had been taken. However, the closer we got, we were relieved to find there were still a few spots for us to drop our hook. I always feel like the new kid on the block when trying out a new anchorage because in this situation, we usually don’t have much prior knowledge as to where and how to get the job done and have to figure out the particulars on the spot. So, just as we were experiencing a little anxiety of being in a new situation, we were also wondering if the already settled boaters would warm up to the newbies in the “hood.”

Having the stern tied to shore keeps a boat from swinging around therefore making room for more neighbors.

We waved to the boaters that caught our eye, as we slowly worked our way towards a potential anchorage. I leaned out of the pilothouse window to ask one captain how much depth there was close to shore. It was good to know the answer, but I was really just trying to warm up to our new neighbors.

Marianne Cove is large enough you can either anchor in the center of the cove and swing freely, or you can set your anchor and back in towards shore in order to tie a stern line around a tree. When we arrived everyone was stern to shore so we followed suit, not too close though! Anchoring too close to another boat is similar to standing too close to someone you’re talking with, it can be a little uncomfortable. With that in mind we maneuvered a safe distance in between the settled boats so as to not encroach on their space. I’ve found this to be the unwritten word of common courtesy in the boating and anchoring community.

Emily is heading off to visit other boats after stopping to say hello to us.

We arrived at Marianne Cove mid-afternoon and decided to take a dinghy tour through the cove to meet our new neighbors as soon as we were settled in. However even before we could board our dinghy, we had a visitor of our own.

A young girl had rowed over to our boat from a nearby sailboat; Emily proceeded to introduce herself to us and promptly asked us if we were members of the Grand Traverse Yacht Club. It dawned on us that, of course, we had our yacht club burgee hoisted, and she had recognized it. It turns out; Emily was cruising with her grandparents, Fred and Lisa, whom we’ve met previously at GTYC, on their sailboat, Ritual. We learned that young Emily, who we think is about 13 years old, has been coming to the North Channel every summer (from Colorado) to cruise with her grandparents and has been doing this for the last six summers. After a nice visit with Emily, Lisa and I commented to ourselves that, at 13 years old she has been fortunate to have seen and experienced more of the North Channel than most adults – as boaters, we could all possibly learn a thing or two from her about this area.

Another neighbor stopping over to chat, exchange boating stories and information.

By the time we shoved off on our dinghy tour a few more boats had arrived, but the cove never seemed crowded; plenty of room for everyone. Our dinghy tours usually include a four-step process. One, stop to say hello; two, find out where folks were from; three, find out how long they’ve been cruising in the North Channel; and four, learn anything we can about interesting areas to see or explore around the anchorage. I’m not sure who told us that day, it could have been Fred and Lisa (Emily’s grandparents) when we stopped to visit with them, about the hiking trail that went up to the top of Frazier Bay Hill and then someone else said there had been a black bear sighting at The Pool at the end of Baie Fine. After our hour-long tour, we felt a little more like part of the neighborhood with the added bonus of acquiring some local knowledge about a bear to find and a hill to hike… its nice meeting new neighbors.

Over dinner on the cockpit of Kismet that evening, we laid out our plans for the next day’s activities. We decided to cruise the final 10 miles up to The Pool, at the end of Baie Fine, in hopes of seeing the bear and to enjoy the fjord like cruise. Since we were lifting the hook and essentially giving up our anchorage spot to take this morning cruise, we hoped there would still be a spot open somewhere when we returned.

Fred and Lisa (Emily’s grandparents) relaxing on their sailboat, Ritual, as we stopped to visit on our, “get to know your neighbor tour.”

As we pulled out of the cove we were greeted by a clear, calm and sunny morning, making the half-day scenic cruise that much more appealing. The first part of Baie Fine is wider than the last few miles but granite, tree lined, bluffs surround all of it, at times they are as sheer as the side of a tall building.

When coming to “the narrows” part of Baie Fine and the entrance to the last few miles of the fjord, we slowed down to a crawl so we could transit the pass, which is only wide enough for one boat to negotiate at a time. Once we cruised through the narrows the fjord setting really takes shape, as this is the narrowest stretch, and in our opinion, the most beautiful part of Baie Fine.

This view is of the narrow part of Baie Fine as we were heading towards The Pool, just before our bear sighting.

We idled towards The Pool, gliding in gelatin, glass-like water, enjoying the remoteness of our cruise, ever mindful of a real opportunity for a bear sighting ahead of us, but never actually thinking it would happen. About a quarter mile from the bend that leads into The Pool, I spotted something dark moving erratically on shore. As I pulled the binoculars to my eyes I could hardly believe what I was seeing, a black bear on a nearby beach. We continued to slowly inch our way to where the bear was until we were about 50 feet from shore. At this point the bear decided to entertain us further by climbing around in a tree in search of an afternoon snack. We continued to quietly loiter close to shore, taking in the black bears antics for a good 20 minutes until we both decided it was time to move on; at the same time the bear headed up into a grassy slope. The bear never seemed to care or notice that we were spectators to his afternoon antics.

Being able to watch this black bear in his natural surroundings was sight we’re glad to have experienced from the safety of our boat.

We picked up the speed a little on the way back to Marianne Cove where we quickly found an even better, more protected, spot to anchor, getting settled just in time for cocktails and a few new introductions and encounters with the current mix of neighbors in the cove.

Next day, midmorning, we ventured off the boat, in the dinghy, looking for a little excitement and some exercise by taking a hike up Frazier Bay Hill. This hike was recommended by several other boaters in the cove, so it landed on our “must do list.”

After beaching our dinghy on the sandy shore, we made our way to a beaten down patch of reeds, which in turn led us to the actual path that would take us all the way to the summit of Frazier Hill. The path started out fairly innocently as we made our way up the easy length of rock strewn, tree shaded, and canopied, trail. The further we hiked into the woods the steeper the rocks became as we snaked and climbed our way up towards the top; up, over, and around rocks of an ever-narrowing path we went. Every once in a while we saw the blue sky above us, giving us hope that the top may be just around the next corner. However, beyond one corner it seemed another, even narrower, rocky gap appeared and we had to work through and climb up each one as we followed the faded red ribbons, tied around tree trunks as guides, we knew they would eventually bring us to the summit.

Finding our way up and down Frazier Bay Hill would have been a challenge without the red ribbon aids marking the trail.

Our neighbors had assured us that the hike to the summit of Frazier Bay Hill would be well worth our efforts. Once we made it to the top we had to admit the unencumbered views of Baie Fine, Frazier Bay and McGregor Bay, all from one vantage point, had been worth the few scrapes, blisters and cuts we endured to see it. The highest point is called Casson Peak and is approximately 550 feet high and where we found Stuart Fraser Cork’s monument, his ashes being buried there in 1950.

Stuart Fraser Cork first climbed Frazier Bay Hill in 1947 with a group of seven artists. To learn more about Marianne Cove, Frazier Bay Hill, and the efforts keep the area a natural preserve for all future generations you can visit: http://www.iwebhosting.ca/ncps/history.htm

We could only see a smidgen of Marianne Cove from our perch atop Casson Peak but that didn’t take anything away from the photo opportunities that greeted us. Making the journey and experiencing the resulting views gave us a whole new prospective of the waters we’ve covered, or will cover one day in the future. I’m sure things have not changed much geographically since Stuart Fraser Cork’s hike in 1947 and that’s just fine with us, there is not much that can compare with the pristine beauty that is the North Channel.

From Casson Peak we had a clear view of McGregor Bay, Baie Fine and Marianne Cove, which is barely visible behind the pine trees on the left.

By the time we had returned to Kismet a few more boats had arrived, some also left, therefore the makeup of the neighborhood changed yet again – we are all transient neighbors while cruising in our boats, always eager to meet and greet new arrivals and wave goodbye and good cheer to those moving on.