Category Archives: Sailing in Lake Superior

June 29 – Day One of Vacation

My first day of vacation! Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it a “fun” day. We set off early from Killbear Park
20120629-182133.jpg before 6:00 this morning. The weather was good but the wind was supposed to come up and within an hour, it definitely came up. We were prepared though and only had minor things fall all over the boat. The anchor, though (of course!) got loose – not too badly – and Dennis had to go up forward to fix it. Luckily this happened earlier in the day when the waves weren’t so huge.
We motored the whole way into the wind, so it was not a good day for being too productive. Dennis steered most of the way while I fiddled with the transister radio until I found the CBC. I perked up when Jian Gomeshi came on.
Later on in the day, I setup the satellite radio and I am ever glad we have that! The CBC was crystal clear and we got to listen to Jian again! I also forced Dennis to listen to Wiretap (one of my favourite shows). Needless to say, he sped up the boat in hopes of either drowning Jonathan Goldstein out or so that we would arrive earlier and he wouldn’t have to listen to him.
We are in Wingfield Basin – all secure. It is a very nice and quiet anchorage and there are a few boats here but not too many. We are in the prime location – right beside the wreck!20120629-183041.jpg

I have included a picture of our track and as you can see, there is a fairly straight line for most of the trip. The strange angle though is when it was getting too rough and Dennis thought it would be better to not have boat going directly into the waves.
We are now getting ready to head out to Tobermory.



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Lake Superior – July 25 – 29

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.


Posted by on July 29, 2011 in Sailing in Lake Superior