On Board ‘Seascape’ 1966 – Part 3

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 added punctuation or corrected spelling if needed. Otherwise, the integrity of her log is maintained. Italicized notes included parenthetically are my recollection of events or additional information about the story.

Our 1966 trip was to the North Channel in Ontario, Canada. Part 3 is days 7-9. We spent many summers cruising the area, and I have fond memories of this time and place.

Friday, July 8 (day 7)

Got up early again and headed for Little Current about 7:00 am. Had a real nice ride. Pulled up to the dock about 9:00 and we set off for Pickey’s store and some more supplies. Brought about $11.00 worth and on to the gift store for souvenirs. Nick met a doctor from Gaylord who knew Pid (family friend) real well. He had even bought Pid’s house and cottage in Gaylord.

Set off shortly after noon for Collins Inlet. Went through Killarney which hasn’t changed a bit and out into the bay and the beginning of Collins Inlet. Weather holding, but wind picking up. Meet 5 cruisers coming out of the inlet. Cruised a little way down and decided to trawl a ways. Not even a strike for 3 or 4 miles. Came to Mill Lake but decided to go to the end to see what it was like. Entered Beaverstone Bay but decided to turn around because the wind was whipping up the bay pretty good. Tied up to some rocks just passed the Russian settlement and Nick and Liz took the dinghy back to the old barn to look for ruins. Found nothing so we decided to head back toward the fishing camp near the Rock of Gibraltar. Asked the boss (I have no clue who “the boss” is) if we could tie up to his dock and he said okay. Had some dinner and Nick and I went across the other side near the weed beds for pike. Didn’t catch any pike but I caught a huge Calico bass and of big small mouth bass. Decided to call it quits around 9:30 because we were being carried away by the mosquitoes. We even had a few of the dive bombers (mosquitos that buzz your ears when sleeping) around after we went to bed.

NOTE: I have search far and wide to find more information about the fishing camp, the Russian settlement and the Rock of Gibraltar. To date, I have found nothing, but my quest will continue!

LEFT: Seascape moored at the fish camp dock
RIGHT: Seascape at the outer dock

Saturday, July 9 (day 8)

Slept in a little this morning- 8:00 am. As soon as Grandpa stirred, Liz was up and ready to go fishing Suzie got into the act too so Grandpa and the girls headed for the fishing camp to rent a bigger boat. By the time they got back, the rest of us were up and ready for breakfast. Took time for food today and had bacon, eggs and good fried toast. Suzie decided she would rather wash dishes than fish so Nick took her place. Suzie did the dishes with Grandma’s help and then we walked up the hill and into the fishing camp and talked with the owner about the old town of Collins.

The original town stood where the fishing camp was and some of the buildings were the original ones. He told me how to get back to the lake so Suzie, Elmer and I set off along the path he indicated. Got back there with (not) too much trouble. Quite a big lake from what I could see. Took a few pictures and headed back.

LEFT: Some of the abandoned buildings
RIGHT: Elmer investigating the remains from the fire
LEFT: The logging lake
RIGHT: A long view of the logging lake and the dam
Close up views of the dam at the logging lake. This little waterfall was a great source of family fun.

The fisherman came back empty handed a little later. All Nick caught with a couple of bass which he threw back.

Had a little lunch and Liz, Nick, Suzie and I went back to the lake to see what we could catch. Nick caught a little catch. Headed back for the boat but Liz and I decided to take a side road up to a deserted house. It was an old tree house, an old wagon, sled, plow and logging sled. Walked past and on up the road and we found an old barn where they must have repaired the equipment because we found a bench and a lot of screw. Headed up to the road and we found the old dam with a couple of waterfalls. Decided to walk across and see what was on the other side. Climbed up the hill and the lake goes way back and there is a stream or river off a bay a good ways back. Came back across the falls again and back down to the main road. Decided to see where it went. Walked a good half a mile and all we saw was rubbish piles in a family of chipmunks. Came back to the boat just in time for steak dinner.

LEFT: The old treehouse and what looks to be part of my shoulder
RIGHT: My 5 year-old self in front of the plow
LEFT: The original barn in the old town of Collins
RIGHT: The original boarding house in Collins

Weather is brewing up something. Things look a little wild down the inlet. Had a few sprinkles as we were trying to pop our Jiffy Pop but that was all. Nick and I decided to make use of our rented boat and we went trolling for pike. Got all the way down to the entrance of Beaverton Bay with only one small bite. Headed back because the sky looked like we were in for a good storm. Wind picked up all the time. Just about reached the boat and you wouldn’t know it the motor ran out of gas. What a job to get the few yards back to the boat. Made it through in started to batten down for a good blow. Had a little lightning, no thunder, a little bit of rain but lots and lots of wind. In for a rough night.

Sunday, July 10 (day 9)
Woke up this morning to a bright blue sky, and our friend, the wind. Still blowing. Had breakfast and decided to take everyone back to see the waterfalls. Sun terrifically hot. Tramped all over the falls and took a lot of pictures. Was very hot so I decided to take a shower. What a refreshing feeling. Everyone decided to get into the act so we all had a good bath. Too bad someone didn’t think to bring the soap. Scoured the rocks for stones with garnet or silver in them. Found a huge boulder with quite a silver vein running through it. Liz spent the better part of an hour trying to chip out a piece. (And gashed her wrist, leaving a scar she had her entire life.) Did pick up some beauties though.

LEFT: My Dad taking a shower with me looking on
RIGHT: My Dad and me after our showers
LEFT: Grandpa and Grandma cooling their feet in the water as Dad looks on
RIGHT: A upper blurring picture of the vein of silver my sister was determined to get a piece. All she got was a massive gash on her arm and a lifelong scar as evidence of her determination

Came back to the boat and had lunch. Everyone tried to rest a little but the waves were coming in a little bigger as the day progressed. Nick decided to try and get the anchor out a little ways and pull the bow off so we could start up the boat and try and find a smoother spot. Everything went well and we started down towards Beaverton Bay. Found a nice quiet place just around the bend where it takes a sharp curve. Anchored off some lily pads and started to fish. Fish for quite awhile and the girls and Nick were swimming. Almost decided to stop when I thought I had a snag but when it went under the boat, I knew I had a fish. Nick rush up to the bow with the net and sure enough it was a huge pike. With trying to land it and the flies biting, boy we had a time but Nick netted him just fine. We estimated that it weighed about 5 pounds.

LEFT: My Mom’s pike on the stringer in the water
RIGHT: The one that didn’t get away on the back deck of the boat
LEFT: My Mom proudly posing with her big catch
RIGHT: My big sister and me with my Mom and her pike

After that, there was a real scurry for yellow flatfish and three poles started casting off the stern. On the second cast, Nick hooked one but just as Dad (my Grandpa) was getting the net ready, it took a dive and believe it or not the snap where the hook goes broke in two and away went Nik’s pike with a lovely yellow lure lodge someplace in him. Nick decided to do some trolling so I went with him. Trolled all the way down into Beaverton Bay with only one strike. As it neared dusk, the mosquitoes took over and we were forced to make tracks for the boat, trailing a horde of hungry ones with us.

Got back in the nick of time and Mom (my Grandma) was cooking pork sausages and baked beans. While eating we heard a loud hum which we couldn’t figure out for a while. It sounded like the inside of a bee hive. Then we noticed the door and windows. Swarms of mosquitoes Chase the dirty critters half the night before we could get any sleep.

The story continues with the fourth and final installment of ‘On Board Seascape 1966‘.

On Board ‘Seascape’ 1966 – Part 2

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.

LEFT: Seascape anchored with her bow onshore. There was a drop off about 3-4 feet from shore. Plenty of depth for her props.
RIGHT: My sister and me in front of the beaver house. They were not happy about visitors and swam around the cove slapping their tails on the water.

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.

LEFT: Elmer. He lived at another house in our neighborhood. We adopted him because he kept escaping from his house to come see his girlfriend, Girlie at our house.
RIGHT: My Dad, the captain with Elmer and Girlie, who’s real name was Schnoppsy. But we called her “Girlie” becausemy sister and I couldn’t pronounce her real name.

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.

LEFT: My sister (top row, second kid) and me (bottom row left) with our friends from Pilot Cove.
RIGHT: The docks at Meldrum Bay. The large boat at the end of the dock is the Normac.

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.

LEFT: The view from Crocker Island
RIGHT: My Dad, sister and me on the rocks where the boat was moored.

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.