July 30-31, 2012
When we left Killarney, we entered another exceptionally beautiful body of water, the 70-mile North Channel of Lake Huron, separated from the main part of the lake by Manitoulin Island, the largest island in a freshwater lake in the world.
Our first destination was Baie Fine, a 9-mile-long freshwater fjord, one of few in the world. As we cruised across the large Frazer Bay, we were able to see that the range of white quartz hills that we had been seeing in the distance for days are the hills that rise from the shoreline of Baie Fine.
Our first stop was Mary Ann Cove, a small bay about two miles into Baie Fine, hidden behind a small island. We anchored there for the night with Marc’s Ark. We first tried the recommended “Med tie,” where you anchor your boat off the bow as usual, then run a line from the stern of the boat to a tree onshore. We found this difficult to do. Craig stayed on Blue Heron while I rowed to shore in the dinghy with a long line tied to the big boat on one end and a heavy anchor on the other. When I got to shore I climbed up a pile of rocks, (pink quartz, very pretty), wound the anchor line around a tree and then tried to pull the line taut. After many instructions shouted back and forth from boat to land and vice versa, we felt we had a sturdy tie. I brought the dinghy back to the boat to collect Craig and the dogs for a walk on shore. While we were walking the dogs, we heard an alarm going off on somebody’s boat. As we got closer to Blue Heron, we realized it was our boat! Our anchor alarm was telling us we were drifting. So we untied the Med line, pulled our anchor and prepared to start over. When we pulled our anchor, we brought up an enormous pile of seaweed, which Baie Fine is noted for. We figured out that the reason we drifted was the anchor never was set on the bottom but was just resting on a pile of weeds. Here’s a picture of one of our neighbors pulling their anchor the next morning. Our pile was twice that size!
Once we were confident the anchor was set, (we gave up on the Med tie, and just anchored the normal way), we took the dinghy to the far end of the cove to a trail head that leads to the top of Frazer Bay Hill. It was a long walk uphill but worth it. What a view from the top! We could see out to Frazer Bay, much of Baie Fine, and other hills and lakes beyond it.
When we got back, we took a short swim to cool off, the Marc and Michele joined us on our boat for wine time. Later we grilled burgers for dinner. What a beautiful spot!
The next morning as we rode back to the boat in the dinghy after taking the dogs to shore, we saw a large red fox pop out of the bushes right where we had been walking the dogs. I’m sure he watched us the whole time we were there and waited until we left to come out. He walked along the shore as far as we could see, looking for his breakfast, no doubt. Our dogs never did see him.
As beautiful as it was in Mary Ann Cove, everyone said that The Pool at the end of Baie Fine was even more spectacular. So in the morning we pulled anchor and traveled the remaining 7 or so miles through some very narrow, rocky channels to the end of the Baie. Pictures can’t do justice to the beauty and serenity of this place. We learned that the night before, The Pool had 25 anchored boats, with a few partying loudly into the night. We were lucky to have only 5 or 6 boats, all enjoying the peacefulness as much as we did.
After we were anchored and the dogs walked on shore, we took a walk with Marc and Michele through Killarney Provincial Park to Topaz Lake, hidden above The Pool. The water was incredibly crystal blue and clear. We all went swimming. It was brisk but not as cold as it looked, and on a warm day it was a perfect break. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and soaked in the gorgeous scenery.
That night we had wine time on Marc’s Ark and were joined by Jerry and Janet from Wind Song, Loopers we hadn’t met before this. We all had dinner on our own boats, and Craig and I sat up on the sundeck well after dark, watching the beautiful sunset and nearly full moon.
In the morning, there was a light mist on the water that lifted quickly. Mark’s Ark left early (as usual!) while we got ourselves organized for the day. When we got back to the boat from walking the dogs, I noticed a huge turtle floating alongside the boat, staring up at us. Obviously, previous visitors to The Pool have fed him and now he’s a beggar. I dug out my Canadian turtle guide that I picked up on the Trent Severn and confirmed that our visitor was a snapping turtle. Nonetheless, Craig jumped in the water on the other side of the boat to take his morning bath. I opted for a nice safe shower on board!
On our cruise back out to the entrance of Baie Fine, we passed a few Loopers heading towards The Pool. Celeste on Say Good-Bye was kind enough to take our picture and send it to us. Too bad we hadn’t taken those fenders in first!
Craig and I (and probably most Loopers) agree that it will be hard to find another spot on our trip as beautiful as Baie Fine. We feel grateful to have been able to spend a few days there.
Next, Little Current and the Benjamin Islands.