As far north as we go
19 July 2012
We are now in Thunder Bay, having sailed, powered and power-sailed from Loon Harbor some 40 miles east. But I must back up to tell a tale of our sail to the Slates from Otter Cove. Otter Cove is in my humble opinion the most spectacular harbor on the eastern Lake Superior coast line. You must wind your way back into this extremely remote place. It's within the Canadian National Park and there are absolutely no roads. We proceeded so so so slowly and finely found 25 feet of water and dropped the hook. Coincidentally we stopped next to a stream, a waterfall and a deserted log cabin. Our imaginations started running wild. We got in the dinghy and went exploring. The log cabin was once a two room building but has long since seen it better days. We had to poll the dinghy up the stream and then to the edge of the bank where we could climb up to the cabin. We tried to imagine why somebody would build a cabin here, so far from everything, so remote so isolated. We then hiked through the forest to this water fall and at the based of the fall, in the pool was a baby loon. Alice and I sat for 30 minutes and just watched this little bird do its fishing. The water was warm so we walked back in the stream to the dinghy. Then we paddled rather than motored out into the harbor and started drifting in the soft breeze. Loon families on both sides, a beaver crossing, slapping its tail and disappearing. We were the interluders, it was their home, we didn't even want to talk. We whispered. Such beauty, such simplicity, so remote from our lives back home. So worth the effort to be here to experience it.
The next morning, really early for us, we pulled up the hook and took off for the Slates; a collection of islands that our guide book suggested could be the result of an asteroid. We ran into fog. Now New Englanders know of fog, it's often referred to as "pea soup" when it is at its thickest. Well we were in the best new England could do and even better. We had some 40 miles or so to sail and we couldn't see much beyond the bow of Lucky Bird. But wait...Lucky Bird has AIS, and Radar. So we set up a watch system where every hour we would turn on the AIS and the Radar and "look" around. NOTHING!!, hour after hour nothing. Finally after a day of sailing and powering the Slates appeared on the radar. Then another angel effect. Within 5 or so miles of the Slates the fog lifted and there they were. We had a super sail to the islands without fog, a nice breeze pushing us along at 7 plus knots. Wow, what a passage and now we had to navigate the Slates.
From the Slates to Rossport to Loon Harbor and Thunder Bay, our journey continues.