Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Little Current Revisited

August 7, 2008

Everyone kept telling us to give Little Current a second chance, as our description of it wasn't typical (remember, the town was over-run with racer sailors on our last visit.) Apparently, Meridian had heard Little Current deserved a second chance as well and she wanted to visit again. (If you haven't read the blogs in order, Meridian's starboard engine wouldn't engage when we were at Covered Portage Cove so we were going to Little Current to have a mechanic look at it.)

The cruise from Covered Portage to Little Current did give Bernie a chance to get a picture of the REAL Hole-in-The-Wall. We also found that Meridian handles pretty well on one engine. It also confirmed what a fellow Chris Craft owner had said -- that running on one engine can reduce fuel consumption.

We were particularly concerned about hitting the bridge schedule just right. Having had to idle on one engine previously (last year at our favorite Amtrak Bridge), we knew it could be tough. However, we timed it just right and cruised right through the noon bridge opening. We hadn't noticed it before, but the bridge opening creates quite a whirlpool when it swings.

Our second entrance to Little Current hinted that things weren't going to be all that different. We were headed for Boyle Marina, since they seem to have the most boat work available. As we passed the Town Docks, a sailboat cut in front of us. The two people on it were screaming at each other. We have no clue what was going on - whether they were racing another boat for that perfect slip or if this was their normal style of entering a marina - but other boaters were talking about it as well. One boat was communicating with the marina office about a slip assignment and just radioed, "You now, I think I'm just going to stay out here until the chaos ends." And, for once, they weren't talking about Meridian's crew.

Things did improve after that. We got to Boyle Marina and two other boaters helped us into our wall assignment. Usually, there would be Boyle staff to help. This was a particularly rough day for boats, though. So two of the staff were working on a tow/salvage of a boat that had hit a rock and sunk in the Benjamins area and other staff were dealing with a troubled sailboat.

We did notice a different feel in the town. People did say hello and it was much more relaxed than during Racer Weekend. While Phil met with the mechanic, Bernie did laundry and a violent storm came through. It kicked up very strong winds, thunder and lightening. One lightening strike hit a sailboat and created a hole in it (above the water line) and also took out the electric systems for 4 other boats.

We were very lucky. Our problem was just an exposed wire. They didn't even charge us for the electrical tape. Since it was still a bit windy and stormy, we stayed over at Boyle for the night. We did a little provisioning, posted some blogs and had dessert and coffee at the Anchor Inn (where we had an interesting conversation about rocks and local geology with the server).

It was a very bumpy night at the Boyle wall but at least we knew that Meridian was all set to go. We lingered in Little Current a little the next morning (one last ice cream). We did have a bit of a scary launching. It was very windy and the Little (RAGING) Current was in high gear. A couple helped us with our lines but as we were backing up the wind and the Little (RAGING) Current caught us and we almost slid into the dock and the shore. Phil gunned the engines and beat a hasty CHARGE (Retreat would have put us on shore) out of there. It was close though.

We had planned to go a short distance to the Rous Islands or Bedford Island. Once away from the Little (RAGING) Current, the water was good so we pushed on further. Phil wanted to try South Benjamin again. While it was less crowded, the surge that comes through South Benjamin when the west/northwest winds bend around the point and into the harbor is very strong and unpleasant.

We've changed our view of Little Current (much more favorable now). But, we've decided that the Benjamins just don't suit us -- it must be that magnetic field.

South Benjamin does have some interesting rocks. They appear to be a patchwork of different type of rocks.

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