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Day 5 
Tuesday  July 13     MaryAnn Cove to The Pool

Day Five is the shortest one in distance traveled, but perhaps the best as far as taking in the magnificent beauty of the area. Traversing Baie Fine to it's end, we find one of the "holy grail" of cruising destinations called The Pool.


The Pool

Baie Fine

Underway From The Helm

Today is looking picture perfect! A little after 9:00 a.m. I ground up some beans in the grinder and made a fresh pot of coffee. To take full advantage of the beauty of this final run down Baie Fine, we removed the windshield isenglass and stored it down below.

We had started the generator so Hank could turn on the stove and make pancakes. Breakfast tasted oh so good this morning. After eating, I took my chart book onto the Instead Of and briefed Bill on the short route to The Pool. He and Mary were finishing up watching a DVD movie, and they would leave a little while after we did. I had wanted to get there to make sure we could secure a nice spot in case it got "busy".

Someone rowed the dinghy to shore to retrieve the stern anchor line. Being just a short ride to the Pool, Gina then lashed the dinghy against the stern on the swim platform. The inflatable dinghy we bought specifically for this trip turned out to be a good (and at $89, a cheap) investment. It inflates and deflates very rapidly, and the raft and oars all store in a small bag, which we had tied to the swim platform. It kind of reminded me of the parachute bag you see on dragsters.
We untied the lines holding us to Instead Of and using the windlass, pulled in the bow anchor. Heading out the entrance to MaryAnn Cove, we turned east and headed down Baie Fine. It was 10:30 a.m.

There aren't any buoys to follow, but looking at the chart and earlier talking to my brother Tom who has sailed numerous times this way, the plan is to  hang close to the northern shore. We motored at about 10 mph, taking in the grandeur of this inland fjord. With the blue turquoise water and dark green trees against a backdrop of white quart rock interspersed with pink granite, it really is quite the sight.

I was still surprised that there wasn't much boat traffic this morning. I was hoping that this was a "good" thing, and not that all the boats have already made their way to The Pool and anchored. The Pool is one of the most popular anchorages in all of the area, and it's not uncommon for there to be fifty or more boats spending the night there.

About four miles down from MaryAnn Cove we pass between the shore and a small island 300 yards out in the bay. A short distance further, the channel narrows down quite a bit to 250 feet wide. I was watching ahead and saw a sailboat turn into the entrance, so I had a little advance notice of right where it was. Once inside the 'narrows',  it's just a mile and a half before we hit The Pool.

Now Just a bit of history, I had cruised here back in 1972 with a group of boats, coming up Lake Michigan from Grand Haven. I liked it so much that I backpacked in Killarney Provincial Park (including to The Pool) several years later. It is hard to believe I'm finally going to get back here again, this time in my own boat. 

Channel Begins to Narrow

The excitement was growing as we turned the corner around Evinrude Island and entered The Pool. There is a small cottage on this pair of islets (Evinrude Island, as in the outboard engine) that has to be one of the ultimate get--a-way locations. It has a dock  that accommodates the 110 ft. yacht  Chanticleer owned by eighty-some year-old Frances Langford Evinrude (former movie/radio star) and the boat still makes it here for a short time every summer from it's home port in Florida.

The Pool

It was now 11:45 a.m. and The Pool came into full view. It appeared there were upwards of a dozen boats in various stages of anchoring. We tried to asses the different potential spots and decided to head towards shore, several hundred yards southeast of Evinrude Island.

Pulling near the shore a 24 foot "working skiff" type boat pulled very close to us and the solo guy on board calmly maneuvered it right to the pink granite shoreline.

I thought that this was a little poor etiquette as I was turning the boat around to back into the same area. There was plenty of room for many boats, so why was he picking the same spot? As we backed in, Gina dropped the bow anchor and we slowly and cautiously stopped about 50 feet from shore. The water was clear and fairly deep right up to the shore.

Hank undid the dinghy and grabbed the 100 foot spool stern line, and rowed to shore where he tied us up to a good size tree. This looked like a fantastic anchorage spot, but I was still a little concerned about the "other" boat tied up to shore.

Bill and Mary pulled into The Pool about 45 minutes later and rafted to us. They agreed that we picked a good spot. After tidying things up a bit, the gals and I joined Hank on shore. Bill had grabbed a book and decided to read a drift for a while in his inflatable chair.  With the stern line taught to the tree, it provided a nice "line" to grab hold of to pull yourself back and forth to shore. This way you didn't have to use the oars.

While on shore, we talked to the captain of the "other" boat that had anchored next door. Turns out he works for a local tour guide company. He had firewood and was starting a fire and peeling potatoes.


His partner was guiding a couple of female hikers, and he would soon motor over to the northern shore of The Pool to pick them up and return for a nice shore lunch. He said they'd all be gone after a few hours. This explained why he tied up where he did, and I felt better knowing we'd have the area to ourselves later on.

Cottage on Evinrude Island

Meanwhile, we had decided to attempt to hike the area, and in particular I was hoping to maybe make it to Topaz Lake. I didn't have any charts with us, but the guide had said if we could cross the stream nearby we may be able to pick up a trail. If we had a motorized dinghy, we would of motored across the way to where a better marked trail is.

We had some bottled waters and a hand-held GPS, and started hiking. It was very warm, and we went up, down, and around for a short distance. This was not going to be easy, so we just decided to just lounge on shore. It really was a nice set up, with the granite rock making for a good size patio to put some or our chairs and blankets.

The guide in the boat had now returned with his partner and hikers for lunch. We were enjoying some cheese and crackers when the boat guide came over afterwards and offered us a plate of freshly grilled fish. Thanking him, we  asked if he could possibly leave his left over firewood and we would put it to good use. We ended up 'bartering' for it and also asked if he could take some of our trash back to the mainland. He wanted four cold beers for the service. No problem. Wow, was that a good deal.
Hank found a grate in the woods to use on the fire, so Gina and him prepared some chicken, potatoes, and onions, cooking up a great shore dinner for us.

The wind had come up now, so Mary and Bill got out their kites. They were flying them from the front deck of their boat and it was fun to watch. It was then starting to get cloudy and it looked like it was going to rain, so we packed up our stuff on shore and  shuttled back to the boat.

It started to sprinkle a bit, but I still wanted to savor the moment. Many times I had thought about being back here since the 1970's. So I grabbed my watertight humidor of cigars, a bottle of Grand Traverse Merlot I had been saving, as well as a fold up chair and made my way back to shore in the dinghy. I found a nice spot under some tree branches out of the light rain that was falling and just took it all in.

It was now fairly cloudy, but I found it so serene. Watching the raindrops fall on the calm water, with the reflections of the many boats anchored nearby made for a very peaceful time as I smoked one of my better cigars while finishing my glass of wine. After about an hour, I took one last panoramic look around this special place, and headed back to the boats.

Captain Tim

Ready to Hike

We ended up on Bill and Mary's boat for the evening. The 40ft Instead Of cabin was just enough room to comfortably accommodate the six of us. I brought one of our folding chairs on board so we could all sit down below. We had the CD player going and a smorgasbord of snacks and drinks.

We all get along very well, which is a key factor when traveling in small quarters for any length of time. Dominoes was normally our game of choice, but tonight we ended up playing cards until late.

After a long day, we climbed back aboard the Tick Tock Too in the dark. I decided to sleep on the back deck for the night. I would also spare the crew a night of listening to my snoring. (In the morning Gina commented that everybody was snoring). I find sleeping to the sound of rain very relaxing, and with the full camper top up, I could get the "full effect". A great ending to a great day!