Lake Superior – July 25 – 29
This post is pretty long because it covers four days. Included are Goulais Bay, Batchawana Bay, Whitefish Bay, and returning to the Sault Ste. Marie locks.
We left Sault Ste. Marie on Monday morning at 9:00 and successfully managed getting through the Canadian locks. They were actually really easy to do. The lock very gently filled up with water and we rose along with it – the whole procedure took about half an hour. We then headed out through the canal and into Lake Superior.
Locking up to Lake Superior
We motored (of course!) to Goulais Bay – which was our first anchorage. The bay is gigantic! No little places to tuck in there! One thing we did notice on the way to Goulasi Bay, were the gigantic windmills along the mountainous coast. I counted over 125 of them and most of them weren’t even moving. The wind was not very strong but there was a breeze and only a few were lazily turning.
We did some swimming and fishing and of course, I went aqua-jogging. The water was cooler than usual but certainly bearable. We just started supper, when a storm came upon us. There was all sorts of thunder and lightening for ten minutes and then the sky cleared and a double rainbow appeared. Too cool!
Rainbow after the storm
When it got dark, we went out on the deck to see the beautiful clear sky and were very surprised to see that all the windmills were clearly visible on the horizon – they were lit up with blinking red lights! Yikes – so much for the beautiful remoteness of that anchorage. Oh well, it was something different to see, that’s for sure!
Windmills on the horizon - I counted 125
The next day, we pounded out to get to Batchawana Bay – it was not very pleasant! Not only did we smash into the waves, we also wallowed, as the waves were coming from two different directions. Needless to say, I was quite happy to turn the corner and get into the protected coverage of the bay.
Batchawana Bay is another huge anchorage – you could easily put 200 boats in it! We were right down at the bottom – right across from the liquor store and the Trans Canada highway.
That night, we enjoyed the beautiful sounds of…the Trans Canada highway traffic! In addition to the delightful sounds of transport trucks, we were also treated to the red lights of the windmills again – although they were in a distance, so it wasn’t as bad as the night before.
The next morning, it was nice and calm. Dennis suggested that we row ashore and go for breakfast at the Voyageur restaurant (this is not one of the chain of Voyageurs). We enjoyed breakfast and then walked up the road to get a photo of the sign pointing to Thunder Bay.
It's a long way to Thunder Bay!
We met a young hitchhiker, named Reuben. He was from Germany and was hitch-hiking across Canada. We talked to him for a while (Dennis actually spoke to him in German for a bit). He also had a guitar so I asked him to play something and I recorded him. Check it out!
We then went back to the boat and headed over to lower Batchawana Bay. This was another huge anchorage but very nice – no Trans Canada highway and no windmills! Dennis went fishing and I went kayaking for two hours – the water was so nice. Later on, while I was out on the deck, I spotted something moving in the water near the shore. It turned out to be a moose – and a big one! Huge antlers! It was eating its supper – we watched him for over an hour and he would dunk his head in the water (he could really hold his breath!) and then resurface and then do it again. Eventually, he wandered back into the bush. We were very impressed though!
Moose in the anchorage - so far away...
We left Batchawana Bay this morning and actually sailed the entire way to Whitefish Point. It would have been the perfect sail – steady wind, smooth waters – but we spent the entire time turning the entire boat inside out looking for our American flag. We couldn’t find it anywhere and it is courteous to fly the country’s flag that you are visiting.
We eventually gave up looking for the flag and headed into the safe refuge harbour of Whitefish Bay.
The bell recovered from the Edmund Fitzgerald
We tied up, went ashore, and headed to the Shickwreck Museum where the bell for the Edmund Fitzgerald is. It is a really good museum and we learned a lot. There was a replica of a rescue boat from the turn of the century and it was unbelievable that men would actually (for $1.00 a day) row out in this open dory (eight men plus the captain) and try to rescue people. They had lifejackets made of cloth with pieces of cork sewed into the back – apparently you could float for a week (of course you’d be dead in a few minutes from the excruciating cold). Anyway, it was well worth the price of admission.
Lifejacket made out of cork!
After the museum, I biked into Paradise (18 km away) and bought a new American flag. The road was wonderful – paved shoulder and a designated bike lane! It was very warm though and I was happy to get back to the boat so that we could go swimming at the beach. The water was fantastic!
We left Whitefish Bay this morning and had a pretty good sail back to the Soo. While sailing (we weren’t going very fast), Dennis jumped off the boat and caught the rope tied onto the stern. I was more chicken and just went down the ladder and hung on but the water was awesome!
At the locks we met up with the world’s friendliest lock guy – Brian. Here is his picture!
Brian - the world's friendliest Lock guy
All in all, we had a good time in Lake Superior. We will definitely go back when we have more time to explore.