More Images

Chart & Tracks


Day 7 
Wednesday July 5th    Mary Ann Cove

A fine day at the Cove as another boat joins us at anchor. We take a dinghy around the corner and then Up.. Up... Up... on a fabulous hike up Frazer Bay Hill . The panoramic view is just awesome. We follow that with much needed rest and relaxation and cook dinner at an open fire pit on shore. We just love this place.!

Miles Today:
1 via Dinghy
1 1/2 hiking

Frazer Hill

Only to Catch Breath


Anchored at Mary Ann Cove
Another Boat Joins Our Anchorage

I started the generator at 10:00a.m. to make coffee and charge the batteries. Unless it’s a travel day, we normally don’t get up too early while cruising.

I downloaded yesterdays track off the handheld GPS, as well as transferred the pictures off of both digital cameras onto the laptop.

For breakfast this morning we had yogurt.

A half-hour later, a 33' Tiara Open pulled into the cove just west of us and anchored. The couple walked along the shore towards us and introduced themselves; Gary and Debra from Dreams & Schemes. They are from Farmington Hills, Michigan. They keep their boat at Michigan Harbor, which is in Lake St. Clair..   

We exchanged a few stories and then they told of us a distress call they heard on the VHF radio from Mytigood. It was  something about “send props and shafts to Killarney”, and that there was a "problem" in Collins Inlet. Based on further radio transmissions they overheard, it sounded like Mytigood could only travel slowly at limited power. Oh my!

Around 11:30,  Andiamo, a Cruisers 3375, pulled into the cove and came by us. They had befriended the Instead Of crew a few days ago, so we invited them to raft off with the two of us for the afternoon. Their starboard engine was overheating and the exhaust was steaming big time, as they tied up off of Instead Of. Believe it or not, there were ten people on their boat.

The captain, Rich, and his wife Paula are from Michigan too. In fact they keep their boat at MacRay Harbor, on the Spindrift docks. Small world I guess. Here were are in the middle of nowhere, and in the last hour we met a couple that lives a few miles from our home, and now a family that keeps their boat just a few hundred feet from us at the marina. Onboard Andiamo was another couple, Tom and Heidi, along with six kids (5 girls; Hillary, Erin, Maggie, Laurie, Hannah, and 1 boy; Dirk).

It turns out they don’t really all sleep on the boat in such cramped quarters. Tom’s family is traveling with their camper, and they follow Andiamo around, setting up camp, and then jumping on the boat for day trips. A really unique vacation strategy! We then invited them to go on a hike to the top of Frazer Bay Hill with us.

Dinghy to Hike

Arriving at the Trailhead

Just before noon, we left in three dinghies and motored east through the cove, between the small island and shore. On the island there are a couple of cottages with million dollar views. Our route took us past them, where we were found a red ribbon on a stick, marking the trailhead. We beached the dinghies, and grabbed our gear of water, cameras, and binoculars.


What A View!

On Top of Frazer Bay Hill
A Well Deserved Rest

The trail was steep, rocky, and cut right through tall trees. The weather was overcast today, and a little on the cool side. We took raincoats, but any precipitation held off. It was rather strenuous climbing! You had to watch the ground at times to know where to set your feet, and there were places you had to go over or around tree branches. There were also some pretty narrow rock passages. We just kept following the red ribbons marking the ‘trail’ for almost an hour.

At the top, were rewarded with one heck of a view. Standing on the white quartz rock, looking to the west you could see all of Baie Fine, and out into Frazer Bay. And to the north McGregor Bay was in full view with its many islands. Looking down, we could just make out Mary Ann Cove, but couldn’t quite see our boats. The emerald water with the white and gold rock with dark green trees was just an awesome sight.

A few of us picked a bunch of blueberries from the numerous bushes. Gary and Debra from Dreams & Schemes were already up here, so we all spent some time catching our breath, slugging down some water, and taking some great pictures. This was making up for what I had regretted on our 2004 trip; of not exploring the land a little more. This hike definitely added to the whole boating experience.

At 2:00 we started heading back down and I checked my handheld GPS, which I brought to record our track. It indicated we had gone up 600 feet in elevation over a 2/3-mile hike. Coming down the hill was faster than going up, but it did take its toll on Gina’s bad knees; they were very sore. We launched the dinghies from the sandy shore and made it back to the boat by 3:00.

Andiamo had to make two trips to get all their clan back, and taking the outside route around the island and out into Baie Fine they were able to see a black bear on shore! Wow, Gina was jealous

Gina hooked up her 75ft. worth of line to all of the inflatables and sent the six kids tethered together drifting around the cove. They had a blast. Mary and I then took our turn relaxing in the chairs, while Jim and Laurie donned wet suits and went swimming. A few of the kids were fishing off the swim platform on Andiamo, and were all smiles as they reeled in a couple of small ones.

A little later we were all hanging out for a nice ‘backyard party’ when Greg and Debra from Dreams & Schemes came motoring by in their dinghy. It was a special delivery of some freshly made blueberry bread. Just cooked on their boat using the blueberries picked on the hike, they used their oven to make what looked like a giant muffin. The plate was passed around so everyone could get a piece, and they then motored around the cove to share with other boaters.

'Blueberry Muffin Express'

Andiamo Leaving

At 5:00pm Andiamo untied and we bid farewell, as they left to head back to Little Current on one engine. Greg had looked at their boat, checked the strainers, and diagnosed that the starboard impeller was probably bad. Hopefully they could get repairs the next day. As they pulled away, I handed Rick a cigar. He was appreciative, as earlier he had complained that it was “a little tough” to find a smoke shop up north here.

There was a nice fire pit up on shore, all built up with rocks. So for dinner we gathered some wood and got ready to cook. Jim lit two portable charcoal grilles and put on some hamburgers, while Gina put a grate over the fire pit and made salmon and potatoes. We ‘ferried’ over our supplies by using the stern shore anchor lines to pull ourselves over and back on the dinghy.

It started to rain a little, so when the food was ready we shuttled back to Instead Of to enjoy our feast. After dinner Bill zonked out, but the rest of us went back to shore to sit by the fire. We were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow. 

There was a pair of bald eagles soaring overhead, and it looked like there was a nest in a tall tree on the island.

After relaxing and winding down for a while, it was apparent that everyone was a little tired and sore, especially after our adventurous hike. Some bugs were starting to come out now, so we put out the fire and made our way back to the boats. I noticed  a 40-foot sailboat pulling into the cove and they were having a hard time anchoring.

At 10:00 it was getting dark, and I downloaded the days pictures and the GPS track from our hike onto the laptop. An hour later I walked to the bow to remove the burgee, which was rattling in the wind the night before, and I saw that same sailboat backing out towards the center of the cove. It was still trying to set anchor.

Onshore Patio for Dinner

Sunset at Mary Ann Cove
Calling it A Night

The house batteries were getting low, so at 11:15 I fired up the generator. Instead Of had their genset going as well, so I figured the noise for a half-hour wouldn’t bother anyone. We don't ever run the generator overnight.

I sat in the cockpit and watched as the sailboat took another 45 minutes to anchor. They had flashlights going, and they finally put the anchor rode in a dinghy and tried to take it to shore. A lot of commotion! Not a fun chore in the dark.

What a long day. We had a great time, especially considering the boat stayed put all day. We love to anchor out.

Day 7 July 5th  2006 On to Day 8
More Images of Day 7 Charts & Tracks of Day 7 Video from Day 7