Monday, 6/17. And so our journey and blog on the Loop continues.

I landed in Sault St. Marie (pronounced Sue Saint Marie) on Monday afternoon. I had arranged a pickup from the airport with Gay, the marina owner’s sister, and my flight was almost an hour late. The “Soo” airport is about 56 miles from the marina. Gay was kind enough to stop by the grocery store so I could pick up essentials for the boat i.e. water, wine, half & half for my coffee, and some breakfast items.

I had been a bit anxious about the boat’s condition after being stored for 8 months but found it in better condition than I imagined. The interior was clean and devoid of any dust, spiders or critter intrusion. Since Bob wouldn’t be joining me until Wednesday, I was concerned it would be a big cleaning project and I was arriving late in the afternoon. But all was good and I was so excited to see “Island Time” after so many months.

In the slip next to us was “Meant To Be” a 43 Tiara Sovran from Tennessee and also Looping. Phil & Barbara live in Atlanta but their hailing port is TN. Another Looper was on our dock, whom I briefly met, but they were leaving in the morning.

Tuesday, 6/18. Spent most the day organizing and provisioning. The marina has several courtesy cars for marina guests and all you have to do is let them know you are taking one of them. There are no taxi’s, Uber’s or Lyfts on the island. You can also rent a car.

Drummond Island is a quaint island with a population of about 1,100 which doubles and triples in the summer. The only way on or off the island is via the ferry (which runs year round), private boat or private airplane. There is a grocery store, gas station, hardware store, ice cream shop and a few restaurants. While there is a small clinic on island, most medical emergencies are taken off island via an ambulance and the ferry and taken to one of the larger towns an hour to two hours away. If you need a prescription, then your doctor calls it into a pharmacy in one of the larger towns and you either pick it up or they will mail it to you.

Tuesday evening Gay and I had dinner at Esther’s Mexican Restaurant since it was “Taco Tuesday”. The tacos were delicious and I got a chance to meet Esther and speak Spanish with her when she came out to say hello to some of the locals. Prior to going to dinner, I had docktails with Phil & Barbara on their Tiara and we spotted a beaver swimming in the marina.

Wednesday, 6/19. More provisioning, cleaning and organizing as I waited to head to “The Soo” to pick Bob up from the airport. Bob had been diverted to Tallahassee to testify in a hearing hence his delay in joining me. His flights would take him from Tallahassee to Atlanta to Detroit then to “The Soo” and it was 2 hours late. The airport (actually in the town of Kinross) is really small with gates 1 & 2, no bar and no food (vending machines) so the wait was boring. The drive back to Drummond is very rural and pretty with sightings of deer along the way. We arrived just in time for the 6:40 ferry otherwise we would have had to wait another hour. Bob was really tired after his long few days and so we opted to come back to the boat and enjoy some wine and relaxation. The Loons came out to welcome Bob which made our evening.

Thursday, 6/20. Enjoyed a relaxing day hanging around the boat then went to lunch at Esther’s. The food is really authentic and good. Did some more provisioning and inquired as to where we could go to watch the Women’s World Cup Soccer game between USA & Sweden. We checked out the bar at Northwood’s and were told they would have it on so we returned at 3pm to watch the game. USA beat Sweden 2 to 0.

Upon returning to the marina, our dinghy had been launched and so we went for a dinghy ride to explore the area. The sun rises around 5:45am and sets around 9:30pm here so plenty of daylight to explore. We headed across the bay to an anchorage area called Harbour Island and stopped to chat with some folks that were anchored there. The dinghy ran great and it was fun to be racing around on it again.

Friday, June 21. On my way out to get a haircut, I spotted a mink running down our dock. Just love the wildlife here. More relaxing, another ride on the dinghy and dinner at Northwood’s. Friday night in town! The restaurant and bar was crowded and the ice cream shop had a line the whole time we were there.

Saturday, June 22. The Farmer’s Market in De Tour Village. Gay was heading to the Farmer’s Market and invited us along. The market was rather small but we contributed to the local economy and bought some fresh Walleye & Salmon, eggs, a mixed berry pie, and fresh farm chicken. De Tour Village is across the channel so we took the ferry over and back for the market.

On Saturday afternoon, we cast off our lines and headed to an anchorage at Harbor Island across the bay. We wanted to do a shake down cruise on both boats before leaving D.I. to explore the North Channel. We anchored in a cove and had it all to ourselves. We grilled some Walleye and corn while enjoying our quiet surroundings.

Sunday, June 23. Spent most the day relaxing at the anchorage. It was still and warm. In the afternoon, the wind suddenly started to blow and our anchorage was exposed so we opted to head back to the marina since we were expecting some parts for the sound shield on our generator. Grilled some salmon & asparagus while enjoying a quiet evening tied up at the dock.

The weather has been interesting. Down in the 50’s at night and high 60’s to low 70’s during the day. The water temperature (I am told) is 55 degrees so we won’t be swimming any time soon. When the sun is out, it is really warm but in the shade or when overcast, the light jacket comes back on. The Great Lakes has been experiencing high water (flooding) due to this past winter’s ice and snow. While our area is not bad, Lake Ontario and the locks we transited last year are very effected with marina’s and lock closures. Glad we are past all that.

We also enjoy the wildlife as have seen and heard the loons and seen plenty of deer including a doe with her fawn and a few bald eagles. Well, that wraps up our first week on the boat. Stayed tuned for next week’s adventure.