I recently found my Mom’s logs from our family vacations on our boat, a 36’ Chris Craft named Seascape. The log is written in my Mom’s words. I’ve only added punctuation or corrected spelling if needed. Otherwise, the integrity of her log is maintained. Italicized notes included parenthetically are my recollection of events or additional information about the story.
Our 1966 trip was to the North Channel in Ontario, Canada. Part 3 is days 7-9. We spent many summers cruising the area, and I have fond memories of this time and place.
Friday, July 8 (day 7)
Got up early again and headed for Little Current about 7:00 am. Had a real nice ride. Pulled up to the dock about 9:00 and we set off for Pickey’s store and some more supplies. Brought about $11.00 worth and on to the gift store for souvenirs. Nick met a doctor from Gaylord who knew Pid (family friend) real well. He had even bought Pid’s house and cottage in Gaylord.
Set off shortly after noon for Collins Inlet. Went through Killarney which hasn’t changed a bit and out into the bay and the beginning of Collins Inlet. Weather holding, but wind picking up. Meet 5 cruisers coming out of the inlet. Cruised a little way down and decided to trawl a ways. Not even a strike for 3 or 4 miles. Came to Mill Lake but decided to go to the end to see what it was like. Entered Beaverstone Bay but decided to turn around because the wind was whipping up the bay pretty good. Tied up to some rocks just passed the Russian settlement and Nick and Liz took the dinghy back to the old barn to look for ruins. Found nothing so we decided to head back toward the fishing camp near the Rock of Gibraltar. Asked the boss (I have no clue who “the boss” is) if we could tie up to his dock and he said okay. Had some dinner and Nick and I went across the other side near the weed beds for pike. Didn’t catch any pike but I caught a huge Calico bass and of big small mouth bass. Decided to call it quits around 9:30 because we were being carried away by the mosquitoes. We even had a few of the dive bombers (mosquitos that buzz your ears when sleeping) around after we went to bed.
NOTE: I have search far and wide to find more information about the fishing camp, the Russian settlement and the Rock of Gibraltar. To date, I have found nothing, but my quest will continue!
Saturday, July 9 (day 8)
Slept in a little this morning- 8:00 am. As soon as Grandpa stirred, Liz was up and ready to go fishing Suzie got into the act too so Grandpa and the girls headed for the fishing camp to rent a bigger boat. By the time they got back, the rest of us were up and ready for breakfast. Took time for food today and had bacon, eggs and good fried toast. Suzie decided she would rather wash dishes than fish so Nick took her place. Suzie did the dishes with Grandma’s help and then we walked up the hill and into the fishing camp and talked with the owner about the old town of Collins.
The original town stood where the fishing camp was and some of the buildings were the original ones. He told me how to get back to the lake so Suzie, Elmer and I set off along the path he indicated. Got back there with (not) too much trouble. Quite a big lake from what I could see. Took a few pictures and headed back.
The fisherman came back empty handed a little later. All Nick caught with a couple of bass which he threw back.
Had a little lunch and Liz, Nick, Suzie and I went back to the lake to see what we could catch. Nick caught a little catch. Headed back for the boat but Liz and I decided to take a side road up to a deserted house. It was an old tree house, an old wagon, sled, plow and logging sled. Walked past and on up the road and we found an old barn where they must have repaired the equipment because we found a bench and a lot of screw. Headed up to the road and we found the old dam with a couple of waterfalls. Decided to walk across and see what was on the other side. Climbed up the hill and the lake goes way back and there is a stream or river off a bay a good ways back. Came back across the falls again and back down to the main road. Decided to see where it went. Walked a good half a mile and all we saw was rubbish piles in a family of chipmunks. Came back to the boat just in time for steak dinner.
Weather is brewing up something. Things look a little wild down the inlet. Had a few sprinkles as we were trying to pop our Jiffy Pop but that was all. Nick and I decided to make use of our rented boat and we went trolling for pike. Got all the way down to the entrance of Beaverton Bay with only one small bite. Headed back because the sky looked like we were in for a good storm. Wind picked up all the time. Just about reached the boat and you wouldn’t know it the motor ran out of gas. What a job to get the few yards back to the boat. Made it through in started to batten down for a good blow. Had a little lightning, no thunder, a little bit of rain but lots and lots of wind. In for a rough night.
Sunday, July 10 (day 9)
Woke up this morning to a bright blue sky, and our friend, the wind. Still blowing. Had breakfast and decided to take everyone back to see the waterfalls. Sun terrifically hot. Tramped all over the falls and took a lot of pictures. Was very hot so I decided to take a shower. What a refreshing feeling. Everyone decided to get into the act so we all had a good bath. Too bad someone didn’t think to bring the soap. Scoured the rocks for stones with garnet or silver in them. Found a huge boulder with quite a silver vein running through it. Liz spent the better part of an hour trying to chip out a piece. (And gashed her wrist, leaving a scar she had her entire life.) Did pick up some beauties though.
Came back to the boat and had lunch. Everyone tried to rest a little but the waves were coming in a little bigger as the day progressed. Nick decided to try and get the anchor out a little ways and pull the bow off so we could start up the boat and try and find a smoother spot. Everything went well and we started down towards Beaverton Bay. Found a nice quiet place just around the bend where it takes a sharp curve. Anchored off some lily pads and started to fish. Fish for quite awhile and the girls and Nick were swimming. Almost decided to stop when I thought I had a snag but when it went under the boat, I knew I had a fish. Nick rush up to the bow with the net and sure enough it was a huge pike. With trying to land it and the flies biting, boy we had a time but Nick netted him just fine. We estimated that it weighed about 5 pounds.
After that, there was a real scurry for yellow flatfish and three poles started casting off the stern. On the second cast, Nick hooked one but just as Dad (my Grandpa) was getting the net ready, it took a dive and believe it or not the snap where the hook goes broke in two and away went Nik’s pike with a lovely yellow lure lodge someplace in him. Nick decided to do some trolling so I went with him. Trolled all the way down into Beaverton Bay with only one strike. As it neared dusk, the mosquitoes took over and we were forced to make tracks for the boat, trailing a horde of hungry ones with us.
Got back in the nick of time and Mom (my Grandma) was cooking pork sausages and baked beans. While eating we heard a loud hum which we couldn’t figure out for a while. It sounded like the inside of a bee hive. Then we noticed the door and windows. Swarms of mosquitoes Chase the dirty critters half the night before we could get any sleep.
The story continues with the fourth and final installment of ‘On Board Seascape 1966‘.