Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bbbbback in the U.S. of A

On Friday the weather forecast was for a calm day, followed by three days of stormy weather and high waves.  "Let's hightail it!" we said, and instead of inching around the coast, we pointed the nose of the boat south, across the channel, toward Drummond Island and U.S. customs.

One sailboat followed us, at first just a bit of mast showing above the horizon, then gradually showing her hull as she drew closer.  We watched on the chart plotter as the dividing line separating U.S. and Canadian waters grew closer.  Just as we crossed the line, the sailboat shot ahead, showing us her American flag at the stern--also homeward bound.  We kissed and rang the bell.

Bittersweet skies
It was bittersweet.  We'd had weeks of perfect weather, eye-popping scenery, and interactions with Canadians who were funny and kind.  But the general wisdom, when you are doing the Great Loop is "Get off Lake Michigan by Sept. 1" and based on our rate of speed, we knew we needed to move on.

At customs--a marina dock--we worried: What would happen to the most carefully tended house plants in North America? The agent, an overweight young woman in a creased uniform and scuffed boots, was stern. "They shouldn't have let these into Canada."  "Um, but they did, and they're from the U.S. originally," we said rather plaintively.  She grumbled a bit more, handed us a paper with the rules and regs, chastened us a bit more, but in the end the pet plants got to stay.

C'mon, let's drag!
A narrow channel, De Tour Passage, leads along the coast of Drummond Island to Lake Huron proper.  Big freighters use these waters, and we joked that Dragonfly was excited to see her big brothers.  She wanted to race!  

We cruised side by side for a while. But though it looks slow, this freighter was pushing up a monster bow wave, taller than our boat.  Outside the channel, the freighter kicked into gear and steamed off over the horizon.

1 comment: