Jennifer M Smith, author of Green Ghost, Blue Ocean writes:
When we wintered in the Bahamas we began crossing paths with “Loopers”, folks on boats who’d set out to complete The Great Loop, that system of continuous waterways that includes the American Atlantic and Gulf Intracoastal routes (ICW), the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi or other routes linking the American Midwest to the Gulf. They’d stepped out from the Florida coast to enjoy the blue waters of the Bahamas before the northbound leg of their route through the dark waters of the ICW.Seeing another boater was a good enough reason to fall into conversation with a stranger, but observing another Canadian flag ensured it.
“Where are you from?” was the usual start. “Which way are you headed?” was next, followed by “What’s your favourite place so far?”
“The North Channel!” was invariably the answer to the last question.
The North Channel? We’d never been there, and, to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure where it was. All these miles we’d put under our keel and we’d not yet seen our own backyard, one of the best fresh water cruising grounds in the world.
Finally, now, with 40,000 nautical miles behind us, we are poised in Penetanguishene to sail north through familiar Georgian Bay to the North Channel this summer. It may not be a typical summer, but we imagine the North Channel will make isolation a beautiful experience. See you on the water.