Spanish and Fox Island

Our trip from the Turnbulls to Spanish was uneventful; we motorsailed pretty much all the way.  Beth was quite excited when we passed Knight point…her birth dad’s last name.
Knight Point

Knight Point

Navigating into Spanish for the first time was quite easy, but it is a narrow channel….don’t want to venture outside of it at all due to it being so shallow.  We noticed that we had lost a boat bumper along the way, but we still have 3 onboard, so not a big deal.

Spanish Marina from the Lookout

Spanish Marina from the Lookout

Spanish…brown water, shallow water, and almost a full house in the marina.  In my opinion, for what it’s worth, this is the best jumping off point in the north channel.  Central to the Benjamins and Fox Island to the east, the Turnbulls to the west, and it’s a nice, deep harbour once you’re into the marina.  Nice, clean facilities, fuel and pump out. We pulled up to the fuel dock, took on fuel, there was a boat ahead of us pumping out. While we were waiting, a power boat jumped the line ahead of us to get a pump out, and then a sailboat after them.  I was attempting to be as diplomatic as I could be….and I let the student dock hands know just how things should have gone and what they should be doing…..Beth had to walk away or I’m afraid to think what would have ensued.  (Me!? – well, thank goodness it takes a lot to push me over that edge) Most, if not all of you have not had the “good” fortune to be around when Beth loses it…….those dock hands and the ignoramus’s in the other boats were lucky that she had to use the marina head….hope that’s not too much information.
 We walked into town, about a 25 minute walk with our cooler bags to re-supply the galley, and have what turned out to be a nice meal at what used to be Vance’s Inn. The only grocery store in town is the size of a Mac’s Milk convenience store here in the sunny south…but we did get everything that we wanted to get.  While having our meal, a kindly resident offered to drive us back to the marina when we asked the waitress about a cab….a cab?  Here in Spanish?  A cab?
Kewalo docked at Spanish (She's the smaller sailboat with the tan enclosure  with bug screens)

Kewalo docked at Spanish
(She’s the smaller sailboat with the tan enclosure and bug screens)

Back at the marina, we put away our groceries, and then climbed up the stairway to the lookout post…..a pretty view. The Spanish river dumps into Lake Huron here, and the waters in the river contain a very large amount of brown silt…it sure colors the once clear waters of the lake, but also provides one of the best habitats for pickerel in the area.

We departed Spanish marina and headed east to Fox Island, where we were to meet our Windsor friends.  It was another no wind day, so we were motor sailing.  We went through the Little Detroit Channel, which is the easiest way to head is very narrow, and mariners are advised to announce their intentions before going through this very narrow, very deep passage.

That doesn't look like it goes anywhere.

That doesn’t look like it goes anywhere.

Oh, well maybe

How little is this Little Detroit?? East bound sailboat entering The Little Detroit.

Oh look at that - The Little Detroit Channel

Oh look at that – The Little Detroit Channel

Once into the McBean channel, the wind did pick up a wee bit, and we had a most enjoyable trip until some dickhead with a rather large trawler type vessel was overtaking us.  He was getting closer, and closer, and not moving out of our wake.  He kept getting closer, and closer, and I was beginning to wonder if anyone was at the helm.  Sure enough, there were two people on the bridge…and they kept getting closer and not changing course.  I decided enough was enough, and stood up and made sure that they could see I was not happy with the tailgating procedure….he changed course, and passed us on the starboard side, about 30 feet away.  The McBean channel is miles wide at that point…..we were rocking and rolling from his rather large wake…to say I wasn’t happy is an understatement. I was ticked right off.Our sail from that point on was great, awesome scenery, waves less than a foot, very little marine traffic.  Off in the distance Beth spotted two familiar boats….hooray!  Friends!  We navigated the channel into Fox Island, and proceeded down the anchorage.  The anchorage is very narrow, and lo and behold…who was in ahead of us but our friends with the trawler…..yes, the dickheads.  Mr. and Mrs. Dickhead.  They had gone in to the end of the anchorage, and decided that they weren’t going to stay there.  We were coming in, and they were going out.  It is a very narrow anchorage, and gets quite shallow very quickly on the sides with some shoals.  I pushed that trawler over to the side as far as I could, and I held my course, not moving a single degree.  Deal with this buddy……he slowed right up, and when we passed, he gave us an unfriendly kind of look….can you imagine?  My one finger Canadian salute made a good impression, and for those of you who knew my dad, I threw in an “Ernie” look for good measure.  That was the last we saw of him….probably a good thing that we didn’t meet at a dock somewhere, there is still some parts left in my mind that I would have gladly shared with him……
Look at all those Rocks and more under the surface.

Look at all those Rocks and more under the surface.


Yeah, friends waiting for us.

Yeah, friends waiting for us.



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