Reader Tales: Timing the perfect weather window!


Dec 21, 2023

Canatara up in the North Channel

By Rob Collie

Canadian Boating occasionally sends out surveys so we can develop the editorial that will deliver the best possible read for our audience. When we did that recently, we also invited you, our readers, to send along some stories and anecdotes. Wow, were we impressed by the response and the quality of your submissions.

Over the next few issues, we will share some of those with our Canadian Boating OnBoard Audience, starting with this one:

For many years I have been fearful of the 140-mile sail from Sarnia to Tobermory. Lake Huron is 200 miles long and looks like an ocean. The great cruising grounds and quiet anchorages of the North Channel are one scary overnight sail away. 

The morning of August 5, 2023, Terry, Bill and I left Sarnia Yacht Club on our Nonsuch 36, Canatara.  We beat our way up the Michigan side, motor sailed back to mid lake then motored till late afternoon.  We established a two-hour watch rotation and set the sail for a reach as a south easterly filled in.


We watched the sun set over Michigan and the full moon rise over Ontario’s Blue Coast. The sky was clear, and the moonlight allowed us to see the set of the sail without hiding the sky full of stars. With no land in sight and a steady wind we had the most wonderful sailing experience we could imagine. We rounded Cape Hurd in the morning to enter Little Tub. First mate Gail joined me in Tobermory to replace Terry and Bill. Gail and I spent the next two days pinned down in Little Tub due to the 40 knot winds from the north.

I am so thankful for our weather window and the chance to experience a perfect overnight sail.

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