Sunday, 7 October 2012

Little Current

Little Current is the name of the channel and town whcich separate the North Channel of Lake Huron from Georgian Bay.  The name describes the interesting hydraulic effect here, where there can be a current from either direction due to wind, and differing atmospheric pressures and consequently surface elevations on Lake Huron and Georgian Bay.  This is called a seiche effect (or sometimes a slosh effect) and is similar to hurricane storm surges on ocean coastlines in that the surface of the water tilts.  On the Great lakes this can work back and forth as it settles to equilibrium.

There is a large swing bridge (112m span) which opens on the hour to allow large sail boats to pass.  It was built in 1913 as a rail bridge but now serves as a one lane road access to Manitoulin Island.  Seldom have we arrived on time for the bridge opening and usually tie up at the town docks for a few minutes to pump out the holding tank, take on fuel and inevitably a dash to the liquor store.  Rob, who gets called Wally by most of the boaters, from Wally's boat service even recognizes us our penchant fro sailing through the bridge passage.

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