The Tans Will Fade but the Memories Will Last Forever

HAPPY SUNDAY!  We are officially back on U.S. soil and I have to admit, it’s bittersweet.  I’ve been longing for a few of my staple USA items! *Dunkin’ Donuts coffffeeee* 🙈 ☕️ But we LOVED Canada AND as it turns out, we saved the best for last!

The North Channel is, without a doubt, the front runner for our favorite part of the Great Loop thus far.  It encompasses everything we love about being on the water.  The scenery is breathtaking; hiking trails are plentiful; the gunk holes allow for easy anchoring; and there are even some luxurious resort marinas along the way (Killarney Mountain Lodge)- which as you may have noticed is something I get pretty excited about.

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We drifted from Killarney (above) to Topaz Lake at Baie Fine (below).

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From there, we overnighted in Little Current – which turned out to be cute and quaint and all things “small town”.  (The local grocery store even offered to drive me back to the dock when they overheard I was visiting by boat.) 👸🏼   I picked apples while Tom did some boat maintenance (engine oil change) and then we were off to the Benjamin Islands!

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If you’re planning to do the Great Loop…or just happen to have the luxury of visiting the North Channel, put the Benjamin Islands on your “Must Do” list!  The islands are simply serene and allow for an absurd amount of fun with easy dinghy access, perfect hiking conditions and ideal campfire sites.

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DCIM100MEDIADJI_0155.JPGWe are blogging today from Drummond Island (🇺🇸 ) and charting our course for the coming week as we make our way to Chicago. I’m practically wiggling in my chair just thinking about getting to Chicago!  We’re planning to stay for a week or two and I.Cannot.Wait. to explore another new city!

Post Script:  It’s chilly here today – we’re in sweatshirts – and it makes me nostalgic for summer already! 😭

What’s Your P.S.R.?

Primitive. Survival. Rating. 

Wait. I guess my first update should be that we made it through the l.a.s.t. lock!  Phew! TWYF1884

Now that we can finally stop talking about locks…Have you ever watched Naked & Afraid?  Its on the Discovery Channel and its one of our favs!  Two people are dropped into the wilderness completely naked and expected to survive for 21 days using their “primitive survival skills”.

I’d have to say the Georgian Bay has been sort of like that!  (I know, I know…now you have an interesting mental picture, but just bear with me here.)

We kept hearing that the Georgian Bay would be the crown jewel of our trip. Supposedly picturesque beyond belief.  It certainly didn’t disappoint on that forefront but, where it really shines is in its remoteness.   Island after island with no one to interrupt whatever your day has in store.  MIIC7853

We anchored at Spider Bay and then the Bustard Islands.  Fully stocked with grilling options and red wine, we decided to relish in the uniqueness of not only the beauty but the surreal opportunity of being completely alone.  UWJB0330

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The week consisted of a homemade bow drill…and the hours that go along with attempting to make fire without matches, a subsequent campfire (a la matches) 😉, hiking, cliff jumping, sun bathing, fishing, skinny dipping and even two(!) encounters with black bears. ONZP8262bustards collageIMG_3668Its been a refreshing experience, one I’ll never forget.  I’m blogging today from Killarney – the gateway to the North Channel.  Its still picturesque and remote, but with a little bit of luxury on the side…quaint dining options, a spa, and LOTS of vacationers!  More details on our time here next week! ✌🏼

 

Whale, Whale, Whale…What do we have here?

We said goodbye to Bayshore, finally!  

The Walker Bay dinghy arrived.  It’s a little gem and I am mildly obsessed!dinghy collageTom got it nestled into its new home, our friend Shawn jumped on board, and we took off for Sag Harbor.boating to montauk.jpegYESSSSS…The Hamptons!  My Matt Lauer binoculars were out in full force and effect – and visions of gourmet markets, chic boutiques, and hand crafted cocktails were dancing like sugar plums in my head.

Despite getting on the water early, it was another tense day behind the helm…our eyes constantly jumping between the GPS and scouring for the next channel marker. Buuut we made it! Unscathed and feeling fully entitled to indulge in cocktails!Marg:Snack CollageSag was…underwhelming.  Cute, but PEOPLE! Have you been to Cape May?!  We did dinner out, checked out a few of the mega-yachts by way of the new dinghy, went for a morning run, and then decided to move on.boats in sagMontauk was lower on the totem pole of “must dos” but then completely blew us away. We had dinner and cocktails at Swallow East.  Swallow East…and lunch the next day at The Dock.  The town in general is like Outer Banks meets L.A.  The casual surfer vibe and deep fishing roots somehow blend into the Hamptons feel of things.  Those earlier dancing visions of Sag Harbor embraced me in Montauk instead.  fishing boats in montauk

Alright, so the rest of the Loop is calling…and thanks to last week’s grounding incident, we are slightly behind schedule.  So, Montauk, its been real! ✌️

We left early (5 am early…hmph).  We had coffee, headed into the Atlantic and I curled up under a blanket to doze back off for a bit.

And then…something extraordinary happened…one of those “stop and take it in” kind of things.

A HUMPBACK! Seemingly just slightly smaller than the boat! I squealed *more than once* in sheer excitement.  It wasn’t just about the size of the humpback, but its serenity. With each appearance at the surface of the water, its whispering exhale and then disappearance again, we were left awe. It was clearly out for its early morning breakfast, which I suspect those Montauk fisherman were after as well.Whale CollageWe’ve now made our way through NYC and are relaxing for a few days on the Hudson River in Half Moon Bay.  It finally feels like we’re settling into the trip, and we’re anxious to embark on new territory.  

Along with that excitement and adventure comes a little “light” reading for the First Mate.😉waterway guideThese Waterway Guides are a game changer.  From marina listings & anchorages to lock schedules and location charts, I can’t say enough how crucial these are.

Newest Edition: Cuba!  We’re coming for you!