Thursday, August 7, 2008

Browning Cove on Heywood Island

After going through the Swing Bridge, we headed toward a little anchorage called Browning Cove on Heywood Island. It is supposed to be a little-used anchorage between the Little Current and Killarney areas.

On the way, we passed Strawberry Island Lighthouse.

The Browning Cove entrance was reminiscent of our arrival to Long Point Cove. That is, we almost missed it. Funny how an opening can blend in to the far shore and not look passable ... until you pass it, look back and say "Oh THERE it is - er - was."

Browning Cove has a large bay and an eastward channel that most boats anchor in. This is where the GLCC information really paid off. We had very good depth and bottom information about a little finger cove by Stanley Point that enabled us to confidently cruise in pretty far, drop anchor and begin a tie-to-shore maneuver that we hoped would work this time. The cove was very well protected from the wind -and there weren't many other boats around to watch - so we thought we'd practice again.

Two and a half hours later, here we are, successfully tied to shore for the first time! For that reason alone, we decided to stay at least two nights. But Browning Cove is worth and extended stay. There is great kayaking, and some land-based exploring to be done. On one of our kayak trips, we found the legendary Browning Cove Totem. We returned to the totem the next morning and made miniature inuksuits of Phil, Bernie and Meridian. We even found a blue rock to represent the Kayak and a grey rock to represent the Dinghy. We also made our first call-in to CruisersNet (9:00am daily, July and August, VHF 71) from the island. That's why the VHF Radio gets included in this picture.

In the cove where we anchored there was a beaver den (home? lair? condominium?). Shortly after we arrived and finished anchoring, two beavers came out of the den. They make an interesting noise -- somewhere between a purr and a growl. We suspect they were saying "There goes the neighborhood!" as they swam toward our anchor line. We thought they would try to dissuade us from staying by gnawing through our anchor line. But, then they pulled out some measuring tape and we got the feeling they were eyeing Meridian as the centerpiece of their new Beaver Dam.

Although Browning Cove is written up as a little-used anchorage, it was quite busy while we were there (July 28-30). At one point there were almost 20 boats (primarily sailboats) in the bay and a few more in the channel. Though most leave by 10:00am, it starts to fill up again in the mid-afternoon. Boats come in small groups on the hour-- kind of like the schedule that the Little Current Swing Bridge has.

Oh, by the way, it looks like Phil is finally "there"!

On Wednesday morning, we debated staying a third night. It was very tempting and if we had heard about the tidal wave forecast for the North Channel, we would have stayed. However, we pulled up anchors and shore lines (if you think it's complicated tying TO shore, wait until you try untying FROM shore! Sheesh!). We headed off east with several potential anchorages outlined on the charts and programmed into the GPS.

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