Getting Hitched

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By Rebecca Waters

We cruised by the Strawberry Island Lighthouse in Canada’s North Channel at 7 knots in a brisk 25-knot wind. I was aboard Henk Vanderhulst’s Precision 23, Go Gently, and he, despite his 80 years, was unwilling to risk his reputation for leaving the fleet in his wake. Henk worked the tiller with his foot as he reached forward to adjust the sails. “Put me to work,” I volunteered, but Henk, a singlehander for years, prefers to do things his own way.

I had just joined the Trailer/Sailors Association (TSA) for the second week of their annual cruise through the North Channel (having long heard of the area, I promptly invited myself along when I learned of the TSA cruise). We set out from Little Current, one of the few towns along the remote channel, which is bordered by the parklands and forests that make up the North Georgian Bay Recreational Reserve, and passed under its signature swing bridge at 1300. TSA cruisers first visited the area in 1987 and found that the shallow drafts of their 19- to 27-foot boats were ideal for exploring the area. Members now make a yearly pilgrimage—some from as far as Oklahoma and Kansas—to enjoy the sailing and camaraderie.

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