North Channel Island-Hopping

Friends Bob and Kristen flew to Drummond Island with Mike in his vintage Cessna. I drove the dinghy from our Harbor Island anchorage to Drummond Island Yacht Haven and then drove a loaner SUV to the rustic Drummond Island airport to meet them.

The DI Airport Executive Lounge

We transferred Bob and Kristen‘s luggage from airplane to SUV and then from SUV to dinghy. After a short dinghy ride back to R&R, we and the luggage arrived at R&R. What a fun way to welcome guests!

We then cruised from beautiful Harbor Island to DeTour Village, where the St. Mary’s River (outlet of Lake Superior) empties into Lake Huron. A car ferry runs regularly between DeTour Village and Drummond Island, and massive lake freighters pass DeTour Village on their way to and from the Soo Locks and Lake Superior.

Note the one-way fare for a HOUSE!

The four of us, and Ray and Diane from Radian Journey, walked a few blocks to town both nights for dinner. We liked the local haunts!

DeTour Harbor, with Drummond Island on the horizon.

Our second day in DeTour Village, we and Bob and Kristin followed the St. Mary’s River ship channel upstream. Just north of DeTour Village we saw a unique lakeshore cottage, built from the front end of a 1920s lake freighter! Its owners from Holland, Michigan have been renovating and improving the ship-cottage since 2005.

About 10 miles north on the river we stopped at Lime Island. The island is accessible only by private boat, and has hiking trails, campsites and cottages for rent.

The island has limestone deposits, and Native American-built lime kilns from the 1700s are only a short walk from the Lime Island harbor. The nearby shore is mounded with ash from the kilns.

Between 1910 and 1982 Lime Island was a major refueling port for freighters on the St. Mary’s River. We tied up to the long concrete pier used by freighters to take on coal, and later fuel oil, when traveling the Great Lakes. The port superintendent’s home, built on the mainland and dragged by horses across winter ice to Lime Island, is now an informal museum. The barracks, fuel oil heating plant, 3-million-gallon fuel tanks, and equipment from the refueling-port days remain on the grounds.

On our way back to DeTour Harbor, we may have strayed into Canadian waters. We also got close-up views of a 900+ foot long Canadian freighter coming south from the Soo Locks to Lake Huron.

The next morning we left DeTour Harbor for Cedarville in the Les Cheneaux Islands. Morning haze made us feel like we were in our own small bubble of the world, and the islands we passed were a special piece of North Country!

We said goodbye to Bob and Kristin over lunch at the excellent Les Cheneaux Distillery restaurant just down the street from our Cedarville marina.

Was it a good time exploring these Yooper islands with Bob and Kristen? You Betcha!!