Small Craft Route to Killarney and North Channel

Open water of Georgian Bay vs. Small Craft Route through the narrow Collins Inlet?  With increasing winds and waves, we opted for the small craft route.   The channel is well marked- one spot we squeeze between the red and green markers then take a 90 degree left turn into the channel.   Breathtaking view of falls tumbling down the face of a high cliff make the route worthwhile! The next feature to keep an eye out for is a rock formation called the ” Crabby Indian”.    The guide book put it a mile marker 50 so all eyes were focused on the rocks to make sure we didn’t miss it.  Can you see it? 



One night at Killarney.

Sportmans Marina was my second choice , glad they had openings.   First choice would have been the Killarney Mountain Lodge.     It has been upgraded and had great reviews.  They charge the same slip fee but the lodge had no slips available..

We were stacked two deep across the channel from the office.  The shower facility was only on the office side.    A taxi boat (actually a pontoon) named Tinkerbelle was available to shuttle boaters back and forth across the channel.

An unique feature at the Sportsman marina is the outdoor movie screen!

  Tonight’s feature is an Adam Sandler movie, viewed from the fly bridge, and sound streamed through our boat radio!  We served popcorn and had a few crew aboard to watch the movie. 

We attempted to restock at the local grocery store, but after milk and eggs cost 12$, we opted to provision at a later date.  

covered portage One of the most popular anchorages in the area is Covered Portage, so we made plans for a night at anchor.   The bay is surrounded by high cliffs, and a trail -marked by a ribbon- leads to the top of the cliff.     What a great view of the boat from above. covered portage

covered portage

There were several other boats as we expected, but it was fun to exchange boat stories up on the mountain.

About 9 miles brought us to the entrance of Baie Fine. This is a  beautiful fiord – with rocks and mountainous terrain lining both sides Fiord- and leads to a bay about 8 miles long with a pool at the far end perfect for anchoring.      Several creeks are off shoot from the pool with rapids and water lilies along the shore- perfect spot for our inflatable kayaks early in the morning!

baie fine baie fine
baie finebaie fine

This was a perfect spot to use our inflatable kayaks.   The creek could be kayaked up to the rapids.

We all hiked a trail up to a inland lake named Lake Topaz.    Beautiful views from the tall rock ledges.
 After spending over a year on a boat, its fitting to finally go ashore and have a campfire in Canada.   Complete with s’mores, lots of laughs and silliness.


A highlight in this bay was meeting several local boaters who recognized our boat!   They had been boating with the previous owner over several years and were happy to see it back in the North Channel. 

We exchanged names and boat cards- I don’t think it will take long for word to get back to the previous owner that we were spotted in Baie Fine!

   Little Current

We lead the way to Little Current.   The swing bridge is scheduled to open at the top of the hour on the hour.    Why would fast boats feel the need to speed by us causing a wake that throws cupboard doors open, only to be stopped at the bridge to wait with the rest of us?    Go figure.       Almost a dozen boats of various sizes begin to line up and hover in the basin by the swing bridge-   if the current and wind weren’t an issue, it wouldn’t be so hard; as it is the boats nearly collide as they vie for first spot through the bridge.   We could hear people yelling behind us – its not easy to wait for your turn, even for adults. 




A traditional method of communication for boaters in remote areas is via the VHS radio.   Often hosted as a Cruisers Net, and scheduled each morning to provide the weather updates, events and boater check in.    The North Channel net broadcasts from the Anchor Inn in Little Current and has been hosted by Roy for 14 years.        He welcomes boaters to the area , so we went to the “studio” along with Southern Cross, Sanctuary and several others to listen in to the broadcast.    Roy gave us each a welcome bag, and mentioned our looper status as well as congratulations to the Lashers on their 42nd anniversary!


 With clouds gathering on the horizon, we pulled out of Little Current to make a short run to Clapperton Harbor.   The clouds let loose just as we had dropped the anchor and zipped up our enclosures.  Good timing, and as the rain passed by, we heard a  loon family just outside our boat.  This made for good photo shots as they played ,and called to each other around our boats.     To help celebrate Steve and Teresa’s 42nd anniversary, we asked them to meet us on the water in their dingy.  We floated around and enjoyed the sunset.



About mnsailors

Our blog will highlight our travels along America's Great Loop. We sold our sailboat on Lake Superior for a Trawler to do America's Great Loop in 2016.
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