Wawa and Wawa – is that a song chorus?

.Oh my – where to begin? Let’s start with the positive. I’ve had lots of time to catch up on the blog and have added a whole new Photo Gallery section. Can’t wait to see what my internet bill is after adding a bazillion photos and videos.


We are currently in Wawa, Ontario for the second time. We arrived initially on August 15 to pick up a thermostat that had been shipped into Buck’s Marina. Between laundry, getting rides to town for diesel, provisions, etc. we burned through the next two days. We did find an excellent restaurant (Kinniwabi Pines) that serves a fantastic Chicken Curry along with fresh naan. The family that runs the restaurant is from Trinidad and the menu was a mixture of Caribbean and traditional choices. It was so good; I had it two nights in a row!

Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant in Wawa
Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant in Wawa

Yesterday (Monday) we thought we were ready to head off to Michipicoten Island to see if we had any luck spotting Caribou (if you can’t find a moose, a caribou can be substituted).

Now when Dan replaced the thermostat, he ran the engine for a good hour with no issues whatsoever. And even after we got out of the harbor, bumped the bottom twice just outside the entrance, and got 3-4 miles offshore the engine purred along like a kitten (a noisy, snoring kitten).

Until – buzzer alarms go off and Dan scrambles to see the temperature on the engine pegging 200 degrees and instantly turns off the engine. Hmmm – now what? Or yeah, we’re a sailboat. So we pull out the genoa and continue down the coast while Dan tries to figure out the problem. With a little (translation: a lot of) help from Mike Gozzard, Dan thinks he has it sorted out and we dump gallons of fresh water into the cooling system to offset the anti-freeze that is now below the engine in a tray.

We decide it’s prudent to return to Wawa to get proper anti-freeze and to verify that the engine is indeed happy. At this point, the engine is purring along we continue towards Wawa giving a call to the marina to let them know we are on our way back in.

Not Again

All is good and Dan is starting to relax when the damn alarm goes off again. This time the engine is sitting at a perfect 178 degrees and there is no explainable reason that the alarm is ringing. We turn the engine off again, make another call to Mike who reminds us for the second time that replacing an engine is very expensive (very) and we need to proceed with caution. This while we are drifting towards a rocky shore with less than a quarter mile to go.

Now we call Buck’s Marina back, explain our situation, throw up the staysail to keep us off the rocks. And wait for assistance. And wait. Seems that the team from the marina was headed our way when their rescue boat had its own engine issues that required constant dousing of water to keep the engine from catching fire. Plan B: return to the marina, get a different boat, and head back our direction. We, of course, had no idea this was going on and were wondering if they forgot about us.

August 17 Tow back into Wawa after engine overheated. Photo by Ken Netzel
August 17 Tow back into Wawa after engine overheated. Photo by Ken Netzel

If you’re wondering why we can’t just sail into the marina, it is a half-mile up a narrow silt-filled channel that requires you to follow a very specific (and unmarked) path. One that only locals know. Sailing in was not an option. When our rescue committee arrived they pulled us through the tight entry way and up the channel back into the marina. Not a graceful day for Gaviidae.

And here we sit. On one hand this means that I’m almost completely up to date with the blog but it also means that our time on Lake Superior is getting shorter and the scenery is not changing.



August 15-22     47°56.051’N   84°49.812’W     796.3 Nautical Miles


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