Tuesday, September 13, 2016
North Channel - Little Current
On the journey from Heywood Island to Little Current, a small cruise ship also headed to Little Current overtook Last Dance. Although there is a huge bay of water around Heywood, the two little ships arrived at a narrow pass at the same time. The water at this point looks wide, but the deep water is only along a very narrow channel known as Strawberry Channel. Another interesting navigation challenge.
The swing bridge connecting Manitoulin Island and Little Current opened early for the cruise ship, allowing Last Dance to follow and make an early landing in town.
Little Current is misnamed. Often, a big current is running in the channel and through the docks next to town. The currents are unpredictable and can change quickly. To help boaters understand the direction and speed of the current, one of the red channel buoys has a bottom shaped like a boat hull. The bow points into the current and the amount of lean increases with the speed of the current.
There are some benefits to being at a dock in a town. It is nice to be hooked up to electricity and get an internet signal. Many people are concentrated at the docks giving opportunities to meet other cruisers, building friendships and learning about the area. Often, there are needed resources close by. Little Current has two grocery stores, unexpected in a town with a commercial district only a couple blocks long. And, there are chances to interact with critters, though usually not the wildlife variety found at anchor.
There are disadvantages to marinas, also. Rarely is the quiet of an anchorage experienced, with noises from cars, trains, businesses, factories, and people. The shore and other boats block the cooling breezes. And, as can be seen here, a grand sunset looses much of its impact due to the visual clutter.