Cruisin' The Loop Aboard Kibon
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Friday, July 26, 2002: Little Current, Manitoulin Island, North Channel, Ontario

Harbor Vue Marina, where we got the generator fixed is in Little Current, but about a mile outside the village. Thanks to the kindness of the Harbor Vue folks we had gotten rides in to do laundromatting and supermarketing, but now in order to meet up with other loopers, we're rounding the point heading for the heart of the village.

The thing that defines the village of Little Current to westbound boaters is the swing bridge that was originally built in 1913 to carry the railroad link from the mainland to Manitoulin Island.  It was converted in 1962 to carry the new road that brought "civilization" into these wilds... It opens every hour on the hour and supposedly stays open for fifteen minutes. But if the bridge tender doesn't see any boats waiting, he'll close it right away. Boaters, you better be there waiting!

Because Little Current is on the only passage between the mainland and Manitoulin Island, we had been told that the docks filled up early in the day.  As we came through the bridge we could see that all the places on the Town Dock were occupied.  We called the two marinas and secured one of the last places on the outside dock at Boyle's Marina.  It is right on the North Channel and we can watch the boats going in both directions.  We walked along the harbor and then walked back along Water Street.  Pearce found an internet access in a branch of a local college, and he checked out our mail and bank accounts.  We met another Looper who is parked two boats away.  He, too, sold his house, bought a boat, and loaded everything onto his boat to begin a trip from Florida, up the East Coast, and through the same waters we have traveled.  See, either we are not crazy, or we travel in good company!

Saturday, July 27, 2002
A new tragedy has befallen us! Something has happened to the connection wire between the computer and the cell phone. The computer is no longer talking to the 'phone... the 'phone can no longer talk to the internet! Therefore we are no longer able to transmit these pages. If we are ever able to fix this and you are reading these words, you will now know why there was such silence from us for so long! The only computer shop in Little Current is closed on weekends -- the Radio Shack man says, "He's got enough business he doesn't have to stay open all the time like me." There is a "Dr. Computer" man in Gore Bay (who also is closed weekends), but Gore Bay is not until Thursday.  And we have the "Looper Rendezvous" in Kagawong Monday through Wednesday... What to do? Ignore the crises and move on, right? Right!

To The Benjamins: We left Little Current around noon and headed northwest toward the Benjamin Islands, a ring of islets that the guidebooks say was formed by a volcanic bubble of molten rock that rose to the earth's surface millions of millions of years ago.  The glaciers later carved the rocks into finger shapes of pink granite.  We followed the charts that showed a passage between the Sow and Pigs Rocks and Secretary Island.  (After the Sow and Pigs came the Boar Rocks.)  The anchorage was full of boats, just like a good weekend on Great South Bay.  We got out our dinghy to explore the rocks and met several of the other boaters.  One couple was all the way from Orillia -- they come up here for their vacation.  We had met him when he visited us at Starport Marina to photograph our boat.  Another couple said they would see us at the rendezvous at Kagawong.  Several of the other boats are ones we have seen along the way.

We pulled the dinghy up on one of the flat rocks and went exploring.  There were little inlets a few feet long in the rocks that had shallow places good for wading.  Pearce waded in right up to his waist until he stepped off the rock into water over his head.  A few swimming strokes and he was back up on another underwater ledge.  Kay decided that the water was too cold for a full body immersion and satisfied herself by sitting in one of the inlets.   The sun had warmed the rocks and it was pleasant to soak up their warmth.  Although the region is pink granite, some of the rocks have huge insets of quartz and other colors of granite.  Evergreen trees have found spots to grow, but there is no heavy forest.

Sunday, July 28, 2002
Thunderstorms had been a possibility last night, but none materialized.  We did awake to a cloudy morning, and we had heavy showers while we were eating breakfast.  The prediction was for the possibility of morning showers with clearing by noon.  But, because the winds were predicted to increase to 15-20 knots, we decided to cross the bay and go down to Kagawong before the winds kicked up the sea.  We pulled up the anchor, passed by the Boar, the Sow, and the Pigs, and bounced out into the bay.  Pearce hugged the leeward shore of Clapperton Island along the 10 foot line, and we entered Mudge Bay.  Soon we were in sight of our rendezvous at Northern Marina at Kagawong. Eighteen boats are expected, many were here already, and we were soon berthed at a pier that would shelter us from the expected north winds.

Garrett and Jean Mulder have organized this rendezvous that officially starts tomorrow (Monday).  There is a walking tour that takes us to each of the area attractions, time to meet with the other Loopers and exchange stories, and panel discussions to answer questions about the trip.  There are social times and fun times.  It sounds as if we should have a good time.  It has already been nice to meet people again that we have met along the way.

After lunch we unloaded the bicycles and took off on a tour of the town.  It's not very big, but it is easy to explore on our bikes.  We went to the Art Gallery and saw stained glass vases and panels, polymer clay jewelry and ornaments, blown glass paper weights and oil lamps, quilts, batik dyed garments, water color paintings, ceramic bowls and vases -- all unique and creative.
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