Flyover Country

Sunset at Sand Cove

Have you ever heard the term, “Flyover Country?”

According to Wikipedia, “Flyover country” refers to the part of the country that some Americans…only view by air when traveling and never actually see in person at ground level.”

Flyover Country can have a derogatory connotation, as it infers a place isn’t worth the time to visit.

My roots are in Flyover Country.

It doesn’t get much more flyover than Northern Michigan. There are aspects of poverty and a lack of an economic recovery since the late ‘70’s that still exist there.

Yet, it’s my home.

It’s beautiful.

And I love it.

For me, Flyover Country is a wonderful place that hasn’t yet been “discovered”, and many of the locals would prefer it to stay that way.

It’s definitely Flyover Country where we are now in Ontario.

It’s beautiful, the people here are very friendly, and they speak with my home town dialect.

Typical scenery here in Flyover Country

Where we wound up in Kingston, Ontario, we were in a minor metropolitan area.

Kingston is a beautiful little city, home to two universities, some European architecture, some awesome restaurants, pretty parks and a nice marina.

The people are typical Canadians as well. They are very nice. They apologize too much when they think they did something to bother you.

It feels like home.

Libbie and I spent 2 nights in Kingston at the Confederation Basin Marina.

We met other Loopers there. There’s a bunch starting to arrive in Canada.

We did some provisioning and then went east down the headwaters of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

We stopped in an amazing anchorage called Half Moon Bay. We spent a wonderful day and night there.

Half Moon Bay Anchorage

Fishing wasn’t bad either. Libbie caught a Northern Pike that we had for dinner.

Libbie caught dinner

Then, the generator died. That forced us back to Kingston as we arranged for a service call to fix the generator.

Luckily, some work that I’d done with an ABYC certified electrician had uncovered an issue with Selkie’s generator, and between the service tech and myself, we quickly debugged the problem, it was repaired, and Libbie and I were free to keep going.

The generator is now much better.

We thought long and hard about going back to Half Moon Bay but decided to continue towards our next objective, the Trent Severn Waterway.

We motored a couple hours and stopped in Kerr Bay on the north side of Amherst Island west of Kingston.

Libbie trying to catch dinner again in Kerr Bay

We picked that spot because it has a nice shelter from a storm system that was forecast to come through the next 24 hours.

Kerr Bay opens to the Northeast, which was the best exposure.

A typical system will have winds starting from the southeast, building and clocking to the south to southwest, then crescendoing into a short period ferocious wind set, and turn clocking to the west for an extended, but less strong blow.

Kerr Bay Anchorage is a great choice for anchoring in stormy weather

This storm proved to be all of that.

Except for the Tornado Warning.

We didn’t expect that.

We were very startled by this tornado warning

How do you shelter in place from a tornado on a boat?

Basically, you can’t.

So we just hung on.

Luckily, most of the storm went to our north.

I guess even tornadoes will sometimes fly over Flyover Country. In this case we didn’t mind.

We left our anchorage the next day with a forecast for moderate winds.

We have no problems with moderate winds.

However, we wound up going into some major winds, seeing up to 50 knot gusts on our anemometer.

50 knots is considered storm force winds on the Beaufort Scale, and that is not when you should be out on the water.

There we were, struggling a bit to get through it (Selkie handled it fine, but we humans were a little uncomfortable).

Weather forecasting on many US weather mobile apps are not as accurate in Canada. It is a bit irritating.

I saw a couple of apps saying we were supposed to be in 20 knot winds, while I was seeing consistent 40 knots on my anemometer.

Luckily we were on a lake that was only a few miles long, so the waves could not build into something too big for Selkie. Selkie handled it well, but we bailed into a safe anchorage as soon as we could.

We anchored in Sand Cove in 30 knot winds, with occasional gusts to 40 knots.

Shortly after we anchored, we received word that the Trent Severn Waterway would be partially closed due to high water levels for an unknown period until water levels come down. Most estimates said one week.

Eventually the winds died down, we went to bed and woke to a beautiful morning the next morning.

Aside from some cottages along the shore, we were the only ones that we could see in the area.

With the news on the Trent Severn shutdown, it looks like we will be here a little longer than we planned.

That’s ok. It’s beautiful here.

Sunset at Half Moon Bay

It’s Flyover Country.

By Tad Sheldon

I'm a retired Silicon Valley Technologist and Director. I teach skiing as a 4th (5th? 6th?) career for fun, and am passionate about Boating. I'm even more passionate about my family and friends. I volunteer occasionally for non-profit Boards, and currently serve as the Secretary of the Board for Western Division of the Professional Ski Instructors of America / American Association of Snowboard Instructors.

One reply on “Flyover Country”

Finally able to catch up on your blogs since you left Lady Liberty in port…. so interesting, entertaining and educational – for this West Coaster!! Those lakes and bays with tornadoes and swells are Not typical in SF or Tahoe, Matey! You two are inspiring the rest of us to leave the couch and visit Flyover Country!!


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