The next day we retraced our path out of the pool and back out into the North Channel. We would head to Little Current, a small town with gas and pump out. We had to go back through the swing bridge and once again our timing was perfect. We circled around a bit waiting for a spot at the gas dock though. It would seem we were not the only ones waiting for the bridge to open and to get gas! Missed the farmers market and it was too far to walk while we were pumping out to go to the grocery. You can tie up to the wall on any spot that is open for the day for free. No spots open so on we go!
While we were in the North Channel we realized that there are not too many boats out there. Here in Little Current we definitely saw a lot more than we had seen to date, but you can go around just about anywhere and see an average of 7 boats. The weird thing is that when you get to your anchorage destination, it is full of boats! For a place so vast and devoid of civilization it is always surprising that we have to get to an anchorage early in the day just to get a spot. Compared to the 1000 islands, this place is EMPTY!
Our next stop was Gore Bay. We planned to go there based on the thunderstorm predictions and to get some supplies. As we approached the top of the bay we were hit with a nasty downpour and thunderstorm. Just could not see at all! Not fun but we hung out just outside the marina until the storm passed. We made it into our slip safely and then hunkered down.
The Marina is very nice with clean showers and a laundry room. They had a nice marine store with a cool car. Just what you need in a marine store! There is a restaurant next to the marina called Buoys and we ate there for two nights. Good basic food. One thing that has finally sunk in-Canadians do not know how to cook or eat a hamburger! NEVER order beef in Canada unless it is a steak. We learned this in Calgary but I had hopes that here they would know how to cook a burger. Nope. They also do not ask how you would like it cooked. It comes well done. That is it. No Mad Cow for Canadians!
Gore Bay is a nice little town of about 600 permanent residents. It is a big town on Manitoulin Island. Their Main Street that is about 3 blocks but has a grocery, hardware, and LCBO. We were told by several people the location of the LCBO but we did not know what it was and did not want to ask. We figured it was a restaurant or something, so we just grabbed our shopping list and went into town.
The grocery had everything we wanted. There were a few touristy stores, a resale shop, and an electronics store. As we kept walking we noticed a big sign LCBO—Liquor Control Board Ontario. Ohhhhhhh…it is where you buy your alcohol! Good thing we found out what it was. Stocked up fully. The town is so small that you can even keep your groceries in the cart and wheel them to your boat. A guy in a pickup comes to the marina every day to pick up the shopping carts.
We had read about ice cream that is famous on Manitoulin Island but there were no ice cream stores in Gore Bay. They really need to fix that. Now that we are planning to leave this island we trudge back up to the grocers in the hopes that they will carry the Famous Farquhar Ice Cream. And they do! We pick out a half gallon of Maple Walnut (Shawn’s favorite) but I get some chocolate sauce as well. We do know there is an ice cream shop in Little Current that sells this ice cream as well. I could have bought some there as it is close to the gas dock, but we did not see it while we were there. This was good ice cream! Do NOT miss finding some while you are up here if you like ice cream. Wish we had more time to try out all the flavors.
We did hike around a bit. A very quiet island without a lot of traffic. Some older homes, some newer but a pleasant area all around. We did find a road to the lighthouse so we walked to it. Found some very interesting things on the way: A fill-in-blank sign, an old boat lift, and some beautiful plants. We also saw a birdhouse that I think the local cats created as it was on the ground.
From Gore Bay, we headed north to……where we find the most loons we have seen the whole trip.