McGregor Bay revisited - again!
a cruise log built around pictures
Tues 10 Aug - Wed 11 Aug 1999:
a quick run into Little Current,
back to Killarney, and then home
On Tuesday morning, it was time to leave Rick, Gina, Chelsea and Yeager
and get on with the last bit of our cruise.
We bid farewell to the luxuries of our Guest Cabin (very much like the one in the photo on the left)
after yet another meal in Rick's Roost.

One last shot of Doug, Chelsea and Al (I'll have to talk to Rick about the beauties of using a fill-in flash!) - a cool east wind with the promise of rain and Uncle Al is already wearing his blue "fuzzy suit" and boots - you know it's a nasty day when Uncle Al doesn't sail/race in his bare feet!!!!!
Our plan had been to explore Baie Fine (behind McGregor Point just vaguely visible in the distant mist above) and perhaps go all the way up to The Pool at the end of Baie Fine on the last full day of our cruise before returning to our starting point at Killarney where Doug's van was waiting patiently in the Municipal Parking Lot.

However, as we sailed out of McGregor Bay in intermittent rain and 15-knot east winds with gusts to 20 or so, the thought of a 15-kilometer beat up the narrow Baie Fine with its high walls and shifty winds began to lose its appeal. Instead, we decided to head for the "hot spots" of Little Current (see chart below)

Dressed properly as we were for the day's weather, the run in to Little Current was fun - even in the rain! It was a great sailing day but we saw no other boats under sail. Even without the spinnaker, we made good time by winging the jib with the spinnaker pole.
We had about half an hour to go before the scheduled hourly opening of the bridge (above), and we decided to wait for that, even though the wind and current were with us. It simply seemed too much trouble to take the mast down in the wind and rain. We were quite cozy in our rain gear and simply hove to and watched the local Coast Guard vessel working away at something off Gibbons Point. When wind and current took us too close to the bridge, we simply gybed and sailed upwind for a bit and generally unnerved the couple of sail-less keelboats also waiting for the bridge!

At 1400 hours we zipped through the bridge and were soon moored off downtown Little Current. Wet gear and all, we nipped across the road to the town's main restaurant, the Anchor Inn,  where we lingered at length over lunch as we warmed up and dried out. By the time we got back to Whirlwind, we were ready for a little afternoon nap while we waited for the clearing skies that were slowly approaching from the NW. This would also give us a bit of a rest before we would go to check out the Little Current night life.

As we got into the boat, we admired the large, beautiful sailboat that was moored stern-to-stern with us, little realizing that such admiration would be distinctly finite - but more of that later! The afternoon had turned a bit warmer so that we were quite comfortable in our underwear while lying on top of our sleeping bags and checking out the local radio stations. Through the back window of the tent we could see the clearing skies approaching, and everything seemed just ducky.

That was when the gentleman in the yacht just off our transom started up his engine. The sound and smell were bad enough but it was the spray of exhaust water that went all over us that was really annoying. We put our tent window flap down, but the damage had been done. The owner was apologetic and we had learned a lesson about opening our window when it is less than six feet from an exhaust pipe.

The evening turned out to be very quiet as the town bar at the Anchor was virtually empty. So we took ourselves off to bed early, knowing we had a fair distance to sail the next day. We would need at least some decent winds to make it back to Killarney for the traditional fish and chips - and of course, unlike Frank Dye, we don't row or paddle unless our lives are at stake.
The photo above was taken the next morning, which as you can see, blessed us with sunshine.
The main street looked pretty in the sun as we headed across the road for an Anchor-type breakfast
- an essential preparation for the long haul the day would bring.
With the benefit of a (very light!) tail wind and a favourable current, we made the 0900 bridge opening but the wind died almost completely by the time we were passing the lighthouse on Strawberry Island (above) just a couple of miles past the bridge. In the photo, you can see the strip of glassy looking water just past the point, and it looked like that all the way across to Heywood and Partridge Islands. Even those lovely clouds passed without bringing any wind.
Fortunately, a bit of SW wind began to fill in after we had drifted aimfully past the point. Before long, it was spinnaker time (above) and we gurgled back into Killarney not much after 1400 hours. Another wonderful time in the North Channel, McGregor Bay and the surrounding area. As we enjoyed the world's best fish and chips once more, I had the time to reflect on how lucky I was to be sailing the world's finest small boat with an enjoyable and capable companion such as Doug Gilchrist in some of the most beautiful waters on earth. Of course we only sailed for about three days out of the seven, but what can you do when you get unbeatable hospitality from Rick, Gina, Chelsea and Yeager. Thanks, one and all!

Uncle Al (W3854)
Killarney and beyond
on to McGregor Bay
Cantwell candids
the Outer Bay Race
the McGregor Bay tour
Little Current - Killarney - home