20-Jul-2003 -- Having planned a vacation on the beautiful Manitoulin Island, we looked for an unvisited confluence nearby and we were delighted to find out that the only other visit to 46N83W had been incomplete. Manitoulin Island is the world’s largest island in a freshwater lake (and it also has the largest freshwater lake on an island on a freshwater lake). It is also known for its hiking trails which offer spectacular views, thanks to an extension of the Niagara Escarpment which runs along the East and North sides. This is the same geographic feature over which Niagara Falls falls.
The CP was likely still available because it is over 5 km offshore and 13 km from the nearest civilization, that being the very quaint harbor of Meldrum Bay, population 62!!! We loaded up our replacement GPS with some maps and headed north. (The first GPS lasted a month before being left in the Audi of a fellow confluence hunter which then got stolen ... “sorry to hear about your stolen car, but what about our GPS!”)
A 500 km drive took us north from Toronto through Sudbury, west to Espanola, and back south towards Manitoulin Island. We crossed over to the Island in the rain via Canada's only operational swing bridge that allows tall boats to access the North Channel of Lake Huron by swinging open by 90 degrees for 15 minutes each hour, on the hour. We arrived at our Bed and Breakfast in South Baymouth, which is situated in the SE corner of the island, in the late afternoon, just as the rain ended and the sun came out. A good sign! Wanting to grab the opportunity to snag the CP, we contacted Rob Ojanpera, the owner of Chinook Charters (a salmon fishing charter company) with whom we had made tentative arrangements to take us out for some “pictures”. He gave us the good news that he and his boat were available and that the waters were calm. Without wasting another minute, we were back in our van, racing over the 120 km to Meldrum Bay, which is on the other end of the island (it is a big island). We met Rob, and explained what were trying to accomplish. He got into the CP hunting spirit with us and we headed out on our journey.
After skirting around some shallow shoals, we approached the CP exactly from the North so that we just needed to count down the distance in one direction. Mira nailed the GPS picture right on the zero’s, although it is a bit out of focus. We jumped around the boat in celebration of our first of hopefully many CP’s.
There is not a lot to see in the actual pictures from the CP. The view to the South looks toward a small island, Vidal Island, about 3.7 km away, with the actual shore of Manitoulin at about 5.8 km. If you look closely at the North picture, you can just barely see the North Shore of Lake Huron, 19 km away, near Blind River. This is the location of Dave Osborne’s incomplete visit in April 2002.
Returning to the harbor, we continued to drive to the very western tip of the Island along a very twisty road to see one of many pretty historic lighthouses in the area and then out to a dinner at the School House Restaurant for a fine meal. We spent a few more days on the Island, hiking on the "Cup and Saucer Trail" and cycling over some of the back roads. We returned home by taking the Chi-Cheemaun ferry boat ("the Big Canoe" in Ojibwe) south to Tobermory, on the tip of the Bruce Peninsula.