From Hotham Island, the next logical place to visit is the Benjamin Islands. They are a unique circle formation of islands. I’m told the circle is because there was a dome formed in ancient times that has been worn down over the ages.
But, logical or not, the wind was not right for anchoring there, so we cruised in amongst them, took some pictures, and headed out for Little Current.
Little Current is the biggest town in these parts. It is in Northeast Manitoulin Island. Manitoulin Island is huge and forms the southern boundary of the North Channel. We’ve been hitting spots on the north side of the North Channel, but there are also plenty of spots to see on the south side, on Manitoulin. Much of Manitoulin is First Nation land. Little Current is near the eastern most part of Manitoulin, where there is a channel between the island and the many islands off the mainland.
The big sound bite amongst cruisers is that there is no “little” in the current going through Little Current. The current can be quite strong and makes docking a challenge. And you never know which way the current is flowing. There are no tides here, so it is atmospheric pressure and winds that determine the direction.
We were very, very pleased to be assigned a space on the wall section of the marina, which is much easier docking than trying to get into a slip. Some tricks Lance learned in La Connor, WA where the current changes with the tide helped with docking here.
We met other Loopers here who have the same model and year boat as us! 1999 Bayliner 4087. We had a tour of their boat, Caribbean Soul, and got some ideas about decorating and storage.
It was a Bayliner day for Little Current, as a Bayliner 4788 was docked right behind us.
Being right on the wall gave lots of opportunities for chatting with people walking by on the boardwalk.
One of the special memories from here is attending the 9am broadcast of the North Channel Cruisers Net. Every day Roy Eaton broadcasts a half-hour-ish show containing local news, weather, and announcements. At the end of the broadcast, he invites cruisers to call in to the show and state their boat name and where they are. He broadcasts from the basement of the Anchor Inn and welcomes people to his broadcast room.
As I mentioned in the “Part 1” segment, many of these cruisers come year after year and are well acquainted with each other. It was fun to hear names of boats we met at Hotham. It felt like we were part of a community, even if just for a little while.
Lance and I arrived a few minutes early to the basement broadcast room and it was obvious that Roy was busy getting things ready. We told him we didn’t want to be in his hair and asked if there was something we could help with. “Well, yes, since you offered!” he said with a grin. And he put us to work folding a stack of maps and stuffing goody bags which are given to those who attend his broadcast in person.
There is an excellent grocery store in Little Current, up a flight of steps and across a park from where our boat was docked. We put the folding cart into use. Lance hauled it up the stairs and we rolled it back down the city streets, full of groceries.
There was also a laundromat close by, so Lance spent a couple of hours there getting the clothes clean and listening to an audio book.
We spent two nights there as we got errands done and waited for favorable weather.