Drummond Island, Experience the Rock

There is a story told on Drummond Island that after God made the world, he had a pebble left over and he dropped it in the Great Lakes and named it Drummond Island (if you have zoom on your photo viewer you can read the whole story).  Drummond Island has a population of about 1,000 people; they have a grocery store, a dry goods store, a Laundromat, a hardware / lumber store and an ice cream store.  One of everything, but only one.  All these stores are where the roads come together, and they call it the four corners.

There are several restaurants, most of which take turns opening during the day, there are, after all, only so many customers.  The people are absolutely great, and friendly to a point, but I will tell you the story of walking in a thunderstorm, with the rain just teeming down, and four cars drove by me, only one thought of slowing down, and only for a moment, and then he sped up as well.  Good thing I didn’t have too far to go, and this was in the marina compound (our boat is about ¼ mile from the marina proper.

So we have been living in a treehouse, with a ladder leading us up to our boat.  As this is a resort area, like Cavendish or Grand Bend, the few cottages and motels are booked solid through Labor Day, so we either live on the boat, or set up a tent.  We chose the boat.

Once the insurance company committed to pay for the repairs, and work started, they upgraded our stairs from the ladder, so it just feels like a top floor apartment, although while sitting in the straps of the travel lift and gently swaying, it feels still like a treehouse.

Repairs are going well, the new tiller and rudder have been ordered, I am watching and learning about fiberglass repair, when I get home, I may even take a course in it for interest.  I can’t believe the product I used to waste when I did small fiberglass jobs.  I was worried that I would not have a working centerboard when this is finished (a lot of Morgan’s have had their centerboard glassed in), but it turns out it can be fixed properly and safely and leave the board in and working.  We appreciate that when sailing in beam seas, heavy weather, and into the wind.

For now, we are making the most of where we are (there are worse places to be stuck for 5 weeks), we take the dingy fishing, MBA is reading a lot, we have our folding chairs set up in the backyard, and we have been meeting lots of Loopers as they come through.  Everyone clears customs at Drummond.  We are rebedding our stanchions, installing new midship cleats, running new wiring to our running lights, and building a cradle for the mast at Chicago (we have still not decided whether we are shipping or carrying, but I want to be ready).

Kerry Scott, a friend of ours had business in Sault St. Marie, so came over and spent the day with us, and did some touring of Drummond Island.

Oh yea, there is at least one boat a day goes on the rocks here, another sailboat went on yesterday in exactly the same spot we did.  He had a 5’ draft, so didn’t get on as far as we did and didn’t do quite as much damage.  There is a man with a cottage on an island that sits there with his VHF and calls boats that are about to go on the rocks and warns them away.  Notice the picture of the “Rock” buoys that are in the shed instead of on the rocks.  I wonder why?

I can’t believe the insurance companies don’t pay someone to maintain the rock buoys and channel markers properly and better.  Oh well, my lesson is learned, and I won’t be moving 1 foot without knowing exactly where I am going, exactly where I am, and have it plotted on both the chartplotter and computer, and have everything running.

I received an email from “Sandpiper”, a large catamaran that is presently in Peoria, Illinois, and they went aground twice in one day going into and out of the marina there (second time they had an employee aboard that knew the channel), so our fun is not over yet.  At least its just mud there, I just upgraded my towing insurance.

Love to all
Joe & MBA

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