Day 95, July 31, 2012 (Little Current, ON): Little Current is a misnomer. “Big Current” would be more like it and like a tide the current seems to have a diurnal variation. The eastern entrance to the narrows is marked by a lighthouse and a swing bridge with 18 feet of clearance. We get in but the long line two-storey traffic at the left of the bridge in the image awaits the opening on the hour.

A flight of loons (below) guides us in.The town lies at the eastern end of Manitoulin Island and seems to thrive off of the recreational boat traffic from May to October. The east end of Manitoulin forms the narrow passage between the eastern islands and the mainland into the western part of the North Channel.

We have spent a second day in Little Current because of weather. Squalls came in yesterday evening and into the night with impressive wind, rain, hail, and lightning. After a pelting rain around 08:00 this morning the skies seemed to clear in the west but then have looked threatening, keeping us on the dock. Several other loop boats came in from the east after the  10:00 bridge opening looking for refuge from the unsettled weather.

Loopers: Little Current is a good provisioning stop, considerably better than Killarney. Killarney’s one-act general store charges high prices and has few choices. There are two markets in Little Current, five minutes walk up the hill from the  huge harbor. Valu-Mart and Foodland offer wide choices and good produce and free delivery to the marina. Fuel prices are lower here, also. The town docks are good but be prepared for the squirrelly, sometimes brisk, current and narrow fairways. If you are skittish about getting into a slip in the current opt for a space at  the long town wall. Most of the businesses are in one block along Water Street opposite the post office. If you feel like dining ashore there are a few choices. Anchor Inn offers a full menu. Loco Beanz has a small menu of light fare, wraps, fruit smoothies,  and good coffee. Yes—there is a bakery (closed on Mondays) that offers St. Viateur bagels for Montreal bagel connoiseurs but they were out when we stopped by. Buddies by the Boardwalk, above, is closed on Tuesdays.

Hopefully, we will get away tomorrow and head for the Benjamin Islands or beyond to Whaleback Channel.