Thursday, August 14, 2008

Through Little Detroit Passage and on to Spanish, Ontario

On Wednesday morning (8/13) we left Hotham anchorage for the town of Spanish. That meant a trip through the narrow and twisty Little Detroit passage. Unlike some of the other narrow twisty passages in the North Channel, this one isn't scary but, rather, is downright fun. You get to give a Securite' radio call just like the big boats do when entering/leaving major harbors. Then you pass through a 100 foot wide passage surrounded by cliffs, making a turn as you are in the narrowest part.

Of course, just as we were about to enter, two sailboats were approaching from the other side. But word must have already reached them about "those two on Meridian" because they seemed more than happy to stand off at a very safe distance and let us pass through first!

Once safely through Little Detroit, it was a quick trip up to Spanish. But, of course, with Meridian, nothing is straightforward.

To reach the Spanish Municipal Marina, you must travel through a very shallow area. A narrow channel that is about six feet deep runs for about a mile through three and four foot shoals. If you have more than a four foot draft and you stray outside of the channel, then you will hit bottom. That's not really a problem for Meridian, but some sailboats can't even make it in the channel without hitting bottom and don't even attempt to come to Spanish. And the channel is extremely narrow - defined by the red and green buoys in this picture . . .

As we were going down the channel, we noticed a sailboat (the one behind the Canadian flag in the picture) was stuck. So, in a momentary delusionary fit of self-perceived competence, we offered to tow them. Not that we actually knew what we were doing. They must have been sitting there in the hot sun for a LONNNG time because they accepted our offer (WHAT were they thinking?!?). But Meridian was up to the challenge, and after a couple of minutes of churning up mud they were back in business and on their way . . .

Wonderful . . . due to high fuel prices, we just spent all summer trying to convince Meridian she's really a trawler. Now she'll have none of that - "I'm a tow boat, does anyone need my services?"

Oh well.

No comments: