Baie Fine to Snug Harbour – North Channel part 3

After leaving our prime Little Current location of the closest dock to the swing bridge, we cast off our lines to go through the bridge at the top of the hour and head to Baie Fine. There were four boats going our direction, but there were probably a dozen or more boats lined up to come into Little Current.

Baie Fine was a 25 mile jaunt from Little Current. The last 9 miles are fjord-like, according to what we read.

The waterway was fairly narrow, compared to the rest of the cruising, and had some tricky navigation around rocks in the lake.

This is a “red right” situation. We keep the red to the right/starboard side of the boat and then keep the following green to the left/port side.
You can see what the green is protecting us from as you get closer.

Once we were past the tricky parts in the beginning, it opened up and reminded us of the mountain lakes/reservoirs we grew up on. Long, winding waterways through wooded hills. The rock here is granite, as opposed to the basalt in Washington, but it looks very familiar.

The last couple of miles before “The Pool” (the end of the waterway where it opens up a bit) were much narrower, more like the width of a river, but with no current. We began to see boats anchored next to shore about a mile away from the end. We were concerned that it was crowded at The Pool and people were anchoring a ways out.

But we got to the pool and found it quite open, with lots of room. There were several boats there rafted together (two sets of “rafts”), but most of them left by the evening, leaving only four boats in the anchorage.

It was a very peaceful setting, with just the geese and the ever changing landscape to watch. The landscape is ever changing because the boat doesn’t stay in one place while on anchor. It continually floats this way and that according to the wind (or current/tide if we were in a place with those). Our make of boat tends to dance back and forth more that boats with a deeper keel or less up top to catch the wind.

The geese were interesting to watch. The bottom of The Pool is weedy and when you bring up your anchor, it has a large clump of weeds. Once you pick them off the anchor, the weeds just float in a clump. Apparently, these floating clumps are a delicacy for the geese. I watched one family (mom, dad, three gosling teenagers) picking at the clump. As soon as they swam away, another couple of geese came right over and began eating. Then another 4 or 5 showed up. Fun times.

Goose family eating away

In sight of our boat is a large cottage with an Evinrude flag right under the Canadian flag. This cabin belonged to Mr. Evinrude of Evinrude engines. He’s gone now, but the family still owns it.

When we were at Blind River a couple weeks ago, we met a man (an American, our age) who when he was a teenager was on a small boat in Baie Fine. Mr. Evinrude had a large fancy boat docked at his house. One of the boys on the boat yelled out, “I like your boat!” To which the man answered, “I like your engine!” And he invited the boys over to tour the boat. They had no idea who he was until they were part way through the tour and caught on who it was they were talking to. Fun story that made seeing the cottage more special.

Evinrude cottage. Note the granite cliffs.

There is a lake, Topaz Lake, that people like to hike to. The water is cold and clear and from nearby you can look back into the bay and see the boats anchored. And, in season, you can pick blueberries.

We are not much for hiking, but figured we would regret it if we did not go. We heard it was a 45 minute hike, but we did it in 30 minutes and survived. It was quite a hike and you followed the marks attached to trees to find the way.

Red to the lake
It really was a hike. There was climbing involved.

It was beautiful, and we went prepared to swim. However, the rocks on the edge gave us pause. We knew we could jump INTO the water, but were not sure we could climb OUT! So we enjoyed the view and then hiked back to the boat and jumped into the water there.

Panoramic view of Topaz Lake

You had to go a ways off the lake trail to get to the spot to see the boats back in the pool. The slabs of granite were pretty amazing.

Bluff from which you could see our boat.
Blessings Flow floating in The Pool

We took containers for blueberry picking, but the berries were so small that we just ate a few on the trail and called it good.

Tiny but tasty

It was the morning after we arrived that we took the hike and swam and then left for our next anchorage.

We were headed to another on Fred’s List, Covered Portage Cove. It is not far, as the crow flies, from The Pool, but you had to go around two different points of land to get there, so it was 27 miles, taking three hours. It was getting late when we arrived.

Long way around

Unfortunately, the anchorage was very crowded. We picked a spot and dropped the anchor…and it dragged. We tried again…again it just plowed through the muck. We did that FIVE times and couldn’t get the anchor to set. So we turned around and headed out.

We called a nearby marina to see if they had a slip available. Nope. All full. so we headed back the way we came, down the channel six miles to another anchorage, Snug Harbour, which was not at all crowded and the anchor set the first time.

Snug Harbour

We stayed at Snug Harbour for two nights because we were going to stop by Killarney for fuel and a pump-out and did not want to face the weekend craziness. So we waited until Monday morning and it worked out very well.