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
CHANGE OF LATITUDE


October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable


September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem


September 1, 2012
Promises


August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options


August 1, 2012
Go West!


July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination


July 1, 2012
Propane


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
THE PERFECT BOAT!


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
Priceless


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.