We spent four magnificent nights at anchor in Chippewa Harbor. A storm was brewing, so late Sunday afternoon we moved to a wider area of the basin for better protection from the 45-knot winds in the forecast. We had room to swing in all directions and to let out copious amounts of scope. Monday was a day of rain, thunder, lightning and howling winds as the storm passed through. Arkansas Traveler danced through multiple wide arcs but she did not budge her anchor. We ate well.
On Tuesday we took a long dinghy ride, discovering a well-camouflaged beaver lodge that had been right in front of us for two days. It was easy to see once we went behind it, but truly invisible from the lake. Cagey.
Wednesday morning was calm and clear. Bob raised the anchor at 0530 and we left with Passage Island as our destination. The sun was bright and shining directly in our eyes as we slowly eased through the narrow S-channel towards the open lake. We were getting a bit to starboard of our GPS entry track and Bob steered to port to get back on track. Through the turn, the stern veered out to starboard and our propeller hit a submerged rock with a loud crash. The engine stalled.
She started right up when I went below and hit the start button. We very slowly powered forward until we entered the lake. There, in open water, we increased the RPMs and discovered a violent vibration. The entire boat strongly objected to the new bend in the prop. It would be a long, slow cruise to civilization. Thunder Bay, Ontario was the closest port with the needed equipment and expertise to haul the boat and pull the prop. If we kept the engine below 1400 RPMs (about 7 MPH), the vibration was tenable; anything faster could cause extensive damage across the drive train.