I recently found my Mom’s logs from our family vacations on our boat, a 36’ Chris Craft named Seascape. The log is written in my Mom’s words. I’ve only corrected spelling, added punctuation or added other notes about my recollection of events or additional information about the story. Otherwise, the integrity of her log is maintained.
Our 1966 trip was to the North Channel in Ontario, Canada. Part 2 is days 4-6. We spent many summers cruising the area, and I have fond memories of this time and place.
Tuesday, July 5 (day 4)
Got up about 8:00 am. Weather over cast and a little bit windy. Weather report didn’t look too bad. Grabbed a Cup of coffee and rounded up the girls. They met Arnold on shore and were following him around. The people from Lea Lee Lynn were going to Drummond Island and wanted to follow us. Pulled out of the harbor about 10:00. Weather still overcast and drizzling. Seas running about 3 feet outside the harbor. Nick (my Dad) put engines up to 2500 rpm and we were riding pretty good. As we approached St. Martin’s Reef lighthouse, our port engine started acting up. Seas running a little bigger now, naturally. Engine couldn’t seem to get enough gas. Finally it quit all together, and then did we start to rock and roll. I took the wheel and tried heading into waves running four to five feet and sometimes about six feet, while Nick got down to take a look. Tried just about everything but no dice. Suzie (my 5-year-old self) was scared to death and made no bones about hollering it out (I watched a movie about the Titanic over the winter with my Dad, and I knew exactly what happened to all of those people. They died! And in my mind, we were going to die, too!). Elmer (family pet; male dachshund) also had a wide-eyed look. Dad took him and Girlie (family pet; female dachshund) into the cabin and rode it out.
Decided all we could do was go into Detour on one engine and hope to fix it there. I glad nobody on board had weak stomachs because along with the motor and debris on deck, there would have been more mess. Reached Detour about noon and unloaded a crew that was really happy to be on solid ground especially Elmer and Suzie. Nick took the fuel pump off and found a couple of crystals plugging up the hole. Flushed them out, gassed up and we were in business again.
The weather in the meantime had gotten very overcast with the misting rain, but by the time we finished lunch and ready to pull out the clouds were gone and we were again had sunshine.
Lea Lee Lynn pulled in right after us in stayed until the weather had cleared. Then they headed for the yacht harbor on Drummond island. We took off for Pilot Cove on the eastern side of Drummond Island and reach there about 5 or 5:30. Much to our surprise we found three boats anchored offshore. Pulled in next to them and try to settle down. Nick and girls went fishing but Suzie was back in a flash as usual. Had dinner and watched a little television. Bedtime fairly early especially after the day we had gone through.
Wednesday, July 6 (day 5)
The day started about the same time as usual 8:00 am, about an hour earlier than I wished for. The night was spent very restless due to my bed being Grand Central Station. Suzie was her usual squirmy self, and Girlie was restless as the natives. All she kept doing was scratching herself and the side of the boat, and along about dawn, Elmer decided to change beds and in and on top of me he came. Like I said Grand Central Station.
The weather looks clear and a little breezy coming from the southwest. But by the time we had a cup of coffee, the wind changed directions, and the clouds came and here we are marooned again. Nick, the great fisher is on shore along with Dad, the fire builder and Susie. Liz is in the dinghy running up and down creating waves. By the look of things we’ll be here another night.
Just putts around all day. Went beachcombing down the shore and found a lot of driftwood. Picked up an armful and decided I better head back when I turned and saw Girlie. Ended up carrying her and the driftwood back to the boat.
Spent a quiet evening and went to bed early. A boat full of fishermen came in and decided to spend the night. That left all four boats a little uneasy. The night got quite cool with a very bright moon and zillions of stars.
Thursday, July 7 (day 6)
Got up at 6:30 am, and along with all 3 other boats, prepared to lift anchor for other parts. Water in the bay outside Pilot Cove was smooth as for a change. Everything stowed away by 7:15 and we headed for the Meldrum Bay for ice, water and gas. Our ice was completely gone by this time. The yachts Bewitched from Rochester New York and Ex Dividend from Grosse Pointe followed. As we neared the mouth of the bay picked up 2 more coming from the opposite way. I’ll bet we looked like the Navy fleet coming in.
Ivan Trick’s little black truck came flying down the dirt road as we neared the docks. He sure was plenty busy, so busy in fact that he ran out of gasoline credit card blanks so we’ll have to see him on the way back. He sure is a trusting soul.
As we left Meldrum Bay, the wind picked up a little but we had a little luck in that we had a following sea. Suzie fell asleep as usual after a few minutes of riding on the bow. It was so nice that even Grandma decided to give it a try. After a while, things got a little boring just sitting so Liz and I decided to take off our shoes and dangle our feet over the side in the waves. We had to wait a while for some big ones but when they came, we sure got it. Sometimes it would splash right on the deck. After a while Suzie joined us and were they ever having fun. Seas were running about six feet at times. After about thirty miles of wave crashing, we decided things were getting a little rough and all three of us were slightly drenched. Batten down the hatch and rode the rest of the way in the cockpit. Suzie didn’t seem to mind the waves today.
As we neared Crocker Island, we had to turn broadside to them and things got a little rocky. Picking up the reefs without any trouble and entered Crocker Bay around 3:00 in the afternoon. Tied the anchor to a tree and dropped a second off the stern. It was a pretty good way to tie up except getting back on, it was a king size giant step. All dogs and girls were put on shore and us folks tried our best to have a liquid refreshment in peace. Didn’t quite make it as usual.
Girls decided to go swimming. There was a little sandy spot right next to the bow of the boat. And I hadn’t taken any movies. I thought this would be a very good time. Nick went in for a swim so I wasn’t going to be left out so in I went. Water was just wonderful. Kept losing my rollers so I have straight hair again.
Nick saw a couple of fish under the boat so in went the line. Caught a nice rock bass. On shore again but this time the worms and fishing poles went too. Suzie still has a little to learn about rocks. You can’t stop when you want to. (I have no recollection of what happened so it must not have been too awful). Things were fine until I got a snag and lost my lure. Back on board again. Reset my line and off again. With all of the effort I put into it, I didn’t even get a strike. Nick caught a nice one but Elmer decided he wanted to have it for supper. Caught him just in time. He already had it tucked nicely away in his mouth. By that time food smells were coming from the boat so onward the tribe for supper. Nick and I decided to troll around in the dinghy after supper. Didn’t get a thing.
Got to bed early but had to get up again because the wind change and the boat was banging up against the rocks. Anchored out in the Bay instead and had a little rocking and rolling the rest of the night.
The story continues in Parts 3-4.