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Day 8 
Thursday July 6th    Mary Ann Cove to The Pool

After two nights at Mary Ann Cove, we venture to the 'end' of Baie Fine and stay overnight at The Pool. A short dinghy ride and a hike up the hill leads us to Lake Topaz, a beautiful spot to enjoy some cliff diving.

Miles Today:
8 ½

The Pool

Lake Topaz hike


Anchored at The Pool
At Anchor in The Pool

At 6:00a.m. the bright sun came through the forward hatch as Gina whispered, “Wanna dinghy out to see if we can find the bear on shore?”

“Nope” I replied, and we ended up sleeping until 9:00.

I decided I to take a 'bath' in the water, so I set up the soap, shampoo, and a towel on the swim platform before jumping in.  Nice and clean, it definitely also helped to wake up this morning!

I then started the generator to make some coffee while Gina prepared breakfast. This morning we feasted on deluxe omelets, made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, bacon, cheese, and potatoes. The sailboat that was having all the anchoring problems last night was gone, and at 10:00 Dreams & Schemes pulled anchor and headed out of Mary Cove.

I turned to channel 78 on the VHF and tried to hail Lime Cutter at 10:30. Ed’s son Kyle from  Mytigood answered, telling me they were docked in Killarney, and the adults were out for a dinghy ride. Their tentative plan was to motor to Mary Ann Cove tomorrow (Friday). Props and shafts were being sent from Sea Ray in Florida directly to Little Current, where they will head to on Monday to take care of the ‘problem’ that Mytigood encountered. I didn’t ask for ‘details’, but told him of our plan to go to The Pool today and we’d be in touch.

At 11:30 I stowed the dinghy after retrieving the stern anchor lines from shore. We had to restart the generator in order to get the port engine going. Evidently the long time at anchor is running the house batteries down a lot. It was very sunny out, hot, and just a little wind as we exited Mary Ann Cove at 11:46.

Once out into the middle of Baie Fine and turning east, I throttled Tick Tock Too up on plane for a while to make sure we had no excessive vibration caused from our ‘shoaling incident’. I was relieved to see that everything appeared ‘A-OK’. We kept the speed up and favored the north shore of this beautiful fjord heading towards The Pool. This is one of my favorite runs. You are real close to the shore and can make out all the detail rocks. With the emerald water and dark green trees set against the sheer cliffs of white quartz, it is truly beautiful. There was hardly any boat traffic out here today.

A half-hour later we slowed down to line ourselves up to enter ‘The Narrows’, where Baie Fine literally narrows down. You have to contend with some large rocks turning in, and the depth gets shallow near the shores. Local knowledge or advice helps to know exactly where to go, so as not to get into any trouble. Back in 2004 we followed a couple of larger boats through the pass; and I have that track marked on the plotter.

We were only traveling about 9mph, slow enough for Gina to try to clean off the anchor, which still had some mud left on it from Mary Ann Cove. At 12:40 we rounded into The Pool past Evinrude Island. We jockeyed the boat to get as near our 2004 anchorage spot as we could.

Typical Baie Fine Shoreline

Entering The Narrows

Turning Corner into The Pool

Gina had lowered the bow anchor, but then brought it back up when it appeared it wasn’t set. It had about 50 pounds of mud and weeds on it, so we tried again. This time we ended up about 35 feet closer to shore when we thought the anchor was set, and it was getting a little windy. I counted six power boats and four sailboats here.


Setting Stern Line

Instead Of Anchored

I launched the dinghy and took a stern line to shore. First I tied it to a tree, but ended up securing it to a big rock. Instead Of had anchored a couple hundred yards from us, farther out from shore and without tying off. I shut down the engines, and the tripometer read 365 total miles since Day 1.

Dreams & Schemes was just leaving The Pool, and a short while later Andiamo made a pass through. They must have gotten their impeller repaired promptly and we waved and gave them (all 10 people on board) the thumbs up sign as they went by.

We decided to hike up to Lake Topaz to swim and do some cliff diving. We had heard about this spot from a lot of sources, so we just had to check it out. Jim, Laurie, and Mary took their dinghy and followed us across the water about a ¼ mile to the northernmost shore of what they call Blue Ridge, part of the South La Cloche Mountain Range. There was a dock there for larger boats, but we beached the dinghies on the shore. 

We walked along the shore for a little bit before heading up hill on the ‘trail’. Yellow markers attached to trees marked the way, as we trudged up what appeared to be a dried up riverbed. It was 20 feet wide in spots, and lined with a lot of mid sized rocks. In some places there was a little mud, with water coming down from somewhere. This definitely was not the strenuous steep hike that Frazer Bay Hill was.

About twenty minutes later as we neared the top, the trail sent us back down in a tree filled valley. We looked for and found the appropriate yellow trail markers, and then back up again for a short steep finale to the very top.

And wow, what a view of this beautiful Lake. The striking blue water, surrounded by tall white quartz cliffs around much of it, as well as low lying dark green trees. This is known as a ‘dead’ lake (much of it caused by acid rain), which means no algae, no fish, and mostly clear. There were several people gathered ‘up here’ and swimming near shore. We chatted with a family from Toronto that had chartered a sailboat.

We found one of the jumping off spots, a flat portion on the rock about 15 feet above the water (of course it seemed a lot higher than that). Gina went first, and then I took a turn. You had to jump out some to clear the rocks. It was exhilarating for sure. With no algae on the rocks, it was an easy to climb out at the bottom.

Gina swam about 100 yards down the shoreline to another spot where the cliff was a little bit higher. There she climbed up and made another jump. We took pictures then sat down to take in the view and relax.

At one time, Laurie’s gaze was fixed on the opposite shore, thinking for sure we were looking at a bear in the tall grass. A couple of closer looks with the binoculars, and I deduced that it was actually a tree stump. We had a good laugh!

Jim had left to go back to the boat earlier, so the girls and I packed up and hiked back down the trail to return to the boats in our dinghy. Down at the bottom, I ran into the crew of the sailboat that was having a difficult time anchoring in Mary Ann Cove last night. They told me that they had fouled the anchor line in the prop and ran ashore.

'Cliff Diving'
Lake Topaz

A few of us
took the plunge!

Clear Water

Cliff Diving at Lake Topaz
Jim Diving

As we readied to leave, Jim came by via dinghy with some news. Evidently Tick Tock Too had dragged its anchor line and was perilously close to the rocky shore. Him and Bill came to the rescue, and untied the shore stern line and fastened it to Instead Of. Not a good situation. We quickly motored back to the boat.

Gina and I got on board,  started the engines, and began pulling up the anchor, which was covered with mud and weeds in a big black ball. A big mess, and it was getting caught in the windlass. Gina then took over the controls while I went up to the bow with a boat hook and started pulling off the mud and weeds. It took over 20 minutes to get it all cleaned off while Gina steered the boat around in circles. She then directed us to a better spot where I let out over 70 feet of line. We were still a little closer than I would have preferred, but it seemed to be set all right now. 

A little while later Instead Of bid farewell, took our trash, and headed off to Little Current. Not sure if we’d run into them again. Over the next few days they planned to stop by the Benjamin Islands and then make their way to Mackinac Island.

Lots of Sailboats

At 5:30 we made radio contact with Mytigood. The signal was great, considering the 5 ½ mile distance and all the tall mountain range between us and Killarney. Ed filled us in a little on their ‘incident’ of hitting bottom while anchoring in Mill Lake. They still hoped to get to Mary Ann Cove tomorrow or the next day. Arrangements were made with a mechanic in Little Current for repairs when the parts get there.

Gina made tuna salad for dinner at 6:15, and we enjoyed a couple of cocktails and crackers for appetizers. After a great meal, I put up the screens and glass. We then decided to take a dinghy tour of The Pool as dusk approached. The wind had now died down.

We headed over towards the southwest shore. There were a couple of small boats rafted off there, and we stopped by to talk to a couple of Canadians on board. They had cruised up here from Tobermory. Their kids were paddling around in a kayak and a canoe, and had set up a tent on the high ground above their anchorage. We swapped stories for a while then fired up the motor and continued on our tour.

We made our way to the very southeastern part of The Pool, and it was getting very weedy. In the tall grasses on shore we saw a deer, so we shut off the engine and drifted, being very quiet while Gina took some pictures.

We then motored back to the boat to get fresh batteries for the camera, before heading out the entrance to The Pool. We cruised about a half-mile up Baie Fine before returning, this time going between Evinrude Island and the southern shore. This allowed us to get a close up view of the cottage here.

This place has a lot of history, belonging to Ollie Evinrude (of the outboard motor fame) and Francis Langford, singer and silver screen star. They used to dock their 110-foot boat up here and power the cottage with the boat generator.


Dinghy Tour at The Pool
Dinghy Tour

Looking 'Up' Baie Fine

At 8:30 we returned to the boat from our grand excursion. We downloaded the day’s pictures and GPS tracks to the laptop while the generator was running to charge the boat batteries for an hour and a half. We looked at the pictures from the day, and the movies of ‘cliff diving’. Very cool!

At 10:00 we talked to Jim from Lime Cutter in Killarney. He said they’d call us tomorrow with their plans. There was a  ¾ moon out tonight, reflecting on the calm waters of The Pool.

Another day gone by, and this sure was a nice way to start week two.

Day 8 July 6th 2006 On to Day 9
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