The lake is calling we must go

Saw this t-shirt advertised on-line-it will be my quest to find one…

 

On Friday morning, Pat joined us at the marina around 8:15, he was going to help us get through the lock.  He had also brought back the laundry which Marcia had graciously done for me.    Andy called the Canadian lock, to request a lock through.  The Canadian lock typically takes the pleasure craft as freighters are too long for this lock, lock hours are 9-9.

We passed by Roberta Bondar marina, and there were several boats tied up at the gas dock,

becbeause of high water their other docks have not been put in as yet. We reached the lock

and waited a few minutes, before getting the green light, and the lock doors opened.

Pat and I tied off while Andy shut down the engines, the lift was about 20 feet,

we were out of the lock by 9:40.  Once through, we pulled over to the port side, the lockmaster had told us that Pat couldn’t get off while we were in lock, as there was no proof where he had go on our boat.  As we were moving to the port wall, he called us over the radio to scold us but it was too late Pat was already on land.

We continued up the St. Mary’s river to Whitefish Bay. 

There was no freighter traffic and it was an hour or more before we saw a freighter coming towards us- American integrity- an oxymoron?

We continued for several hours and the wind increased and the waves became more than a ½ meter,

we also almost lost our gold burgee, as one of the tie-wraps broke.    We decided to stop in Pancake bay, and were anchored there by about 3:00 on a Sandy beach in about 15 feet of water.

We could see people walking on the beach, and even saw a couple people go in for a very short swim.  The wind subsided and it was a peaceful night there was a cell phone tower near the boat, so we had good reception.  There was also some traffic noise as we were close to the highway.

We left Pancake Bay at 6:00,

there were some swells initially, but it settled down as the day progressed.  At about 6:20,  Andy noticed a flag at one end of a fish net—we weren’t expecting nets in Lake Superior, but had previous experience with nets in Lake Winnipeg.  By the time we realized where the other end flag was- we had already crossed the net.  It must have been weighed down, as it hadn’t moved, and thankfully hadn’t attached itself to our prop.

After this we kept an eye out for nets- but didn’t see another one in our path.  We continued along the shore where it was quite calm.   We checked out a number of anchorages; Sinclair Cove- it was suppose to have pictographs- but I didn’t know what I was looking for

so just took some pictures of the rocks.

 

Beauty cove, as potential stops for our return trip.

Near the Lizzard Islands, I took a picture of the Trans Canada highway that was near the shore, on a hill.

That evening Andy’s brother had texted us that he thought he had seen a  boat on the lake at some point during the day—I would suspect it was us, as we hadn’t seen anyone else on the lake- except for a couple of small fishing boats.

At noon we passed by Indian Harbour, near Cape Gargantua, which could be another potential anchorage.  By 1:30 we had passed Old woman’s bay and were headed for Brule Harbour.  We were anchored using both a bow and stern anchor by 2:00.    We had covered about 74 miles, but had great weather.  In the afternoon we sanded and stained parts of the hand rail surrounding the boat.

On Sunday morning at 5:30, we left the anchorage and proceeded west- north of Michipicoten island.   The water was relatively calm near the shore, as the island was protecting us from the waves.

Once past the island   the waves started building, but we going in our direction of travel, so actually increasing our speed to 10.7 mph. The marine weather network, was forecasting an easterly wind and rain showers later in the day and continuing on Monday.  We decided to   stop in the well protected anchorage called Otter head cove.   We arrived at Otter head Island and followed the channel about a mile back into a secluded cove with 20 plus feet of water.  We were anchored there by 11:30.

One down-fall from this location is that because we are surrounded by hills- our VHF radio has no reception, likewise no cell towers- so we couldn’t get updated weather information.  This is one of the reasons we bought the in-reach- so that we could communicate via satellite where we are.   We relaxed in the afternoon, and both tried some fishing- but not even a bite.   We were entertained in the evening by a moose and calf that had come down to the water to eat, drink and play.   We watched them for almost 2 hours.

The last weather broadcast that we heard forecast winds on Monday at 20 knots ~40 km/hr, so we had decided that we were going to stay in Otter cove until Tuesday morning.   As the winds starting gusting in mid-morning, we moved the boat farther into the cove for more protection.   Andy made scones for breakfast, and I began the task of figuring out how to hang the salon curtains which I had made over the winter.  It took several attempts and 4 hours before I was satisfied with the way they looked.

We had several short rain showers in the morning, but after lunch, the rain fell continually.  The wind settled down a little but continued to blow, causing us to swing.

Tuesday morning we got up at our usual 5:00 a.m., it was drizzling and there was a heavy fog.  The fog had lifted a little by 8:30 and we started the engines to warm them up. I saw another moose feeding at the end of the bay in the rain

as I was lifting the anchor, he just watched.  We left Otter cove and went by Otter Island, once we were outside of the island, waves and swells began hitting the boat. We went down the shoreline for a couple of hours and then pulled into the east bay in Simon harbour.   We were anchored by 10:35, and had gone approximately 15 miles.

The  boat and it’s occupants were being banged around too much.   We kept watching down the bay but saw waves crashing against the rocks all afternoon and evening.  We set a second anchor later in the afternoon as we were swinging around a fair bit.  Later in the evening Andy saw a beaver near the boat.

Wednesday morning, we got up at 5:30 and had the engines on by 5:40.  We started out of the harbour and once again were being hit by swells on our beam.  Not pleasant.

It was about  40 miles to Marathon,  the captain took it slow and tacked  out into the lake and then rode the waves.  Although this produced a somewhat smoother ride, the admiral’s stomach did a few flips and her coffee came up.  I was then not very useful, as I could only sit still—very few pictures were taken during this time.   As we proceeded up the shore, we ran into several fog banks, which completely obscured the shore.  Everything was grey- the water, the shore, the sky—typical Ontario weather in 2019.  There is a tie up pylon – out there in the fog and Marathon marina is found behind it- can you see it?

This is what it looks like from shore without the fog.

We arrived at the Marathon docks at 9:53, Jerry Ferguson was there to help us tie up.  A lovely facility- brand new dock, with the Peninsula,  a great lakes tug, which in it’s heyday hauled pulp logs into Marathon.

Someone doing restoration on the Peninsula, stopped by our boat and will give us a tour later in the week.  In the afternoon, Elaine came and picked us up and  went to Ann and Mitch’s place so I could do laundry, and ordered pizza. In the evening, as part of the Marathon 75th anniversary, we went to the moose hall, for “open mike”, the entertainers- a bunch of locals, sang a lot of older songs that were well know. Andy and Elaine, visited with many of the people that they knew growing up- between the bands sets.

One of the songs they sang was:

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called ‘gitche gumee’
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy…..

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the rooms of her ice-water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man’s dreams
The islands and bays are for sportsmen
And farther below, Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered

Everyone in the hall knew the words and sang along to this one.

It was great to be on solid ground, and the rolling seas from the last few days forgotten.There was a thunderstorm and rain when we returned to the boat, and the sun was just going down.

 

Hope we don’t get the gale force winds as we exit ‘gitche gumee’, after the weekend is over.

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