Trip North 2012

We returned recently from our 5 ½ week cruise along the Canadian North Shore of Lake Superior. Click here for a video from the trip. And here for a video from Woodbine Harbor.

Judy sorting the provisions

Provisioning for a trip of that length can be daunting but Judy was up to the task.

Track of crossing

She not only acquired them but was able to stow them throughout the boat. We headed out of the marina about 1530 on 28 July. It was rather calm so we ended up motoring overnight arriving at Thompson Island about 1015 the following morning – 18 ¾ hours later. We enjoyed a beautiful sunset followed by a magnificent moonlit night.

Sunset on the crossing

We tracked an upbound and a downbound freighter in the distance.

At 0630, I wrote in the log “can see Pie Island rising above the lower islands. The glacier must have been an artist – she left behind some of the most hauntingly beautiful shapes in the northland.” The distance to Thompson Island was 122 nautical miles.

We hiked and spent the night at Thompson before motorsailing farther up the coast to Tee Harbor where we picked up a mooring and sat out a squall watch.

Squall line passing over Tee Harbor

The next day we motored and sailed when we could around Porphyry Island then north to Loon Harbor where we dropped the anchor. We stayed three nights in Loon, celebrating our wedding anniversary on 1 August. We played some music around a campfire on shore and shared time with sailing friends.

On 3 August, we departed Loon. We motored part way and sailed part way up to Woodbine Harbor.

Eroded basalt columns, Woodbine

A moose was grazing in the grassy area at the end of the harbor as we dropped and set our anchor. We did some exploring by dinghy. Woodbine has a wonderful display of basalt columns. They are all hexagonal and in various stages of erosion.

The next morning, a fog drifted in partially obscuring the dome near the entrance. As the wind picked up from the south we decided to make a dash for Old Man’s Pocket about 10 miles eastward.

Fog over the Woodbine dome

The waves from the south were quite substantial, 6′ or so. We made slow progress rounding the first point. We eventually rolled out some jib which boosted out speed and dampened the rolling. We dropped the anchor at OMP and tied our stern to a tree. The wind was gusty and we put the mushroom anchor down the chain to dampen the gusts. We had a delicious brunch the next morning: hashbrowns and eggs.

Battle Island lighthouse

The next day we motored, sailed then motored past the Battle Island lighthouse up to Rossport. We filled 2 jerry cans with diesel and took 5 liters of gas for the outboard then sailed and motored back to Morn Harbor on the SE corner of Simpson Island. We spent two nights there exploring the bay and hiking back to the inland lake to the north.

The next day, 7 Aug, we had a great sail back past Woodbine. We saw the voyager canoe enroute from Rossport to Red Rock to participate in the Folk Festival.

Judy, Morn Harbor

Larry, Morn Harbor

We kept the sails up past Talbot Is and continued down the channel, dropping them about the time we turned into Willard Island. We anchored with the wind from the North which put our tail toward shore. We watched how Allegrowould swing on the chain thinking we might have to move. We explored by dinghy for a couple of hours then returned to the boat.

Clouds over Morn Harbor

The wind was too much for the anchorage so we weighed anchor and headed around to the north anchorage along Moss Island where we joined our friends on Annie B. Stone.

On the 8th, we decided the winds were right for the trip up the Nipigon Strait and on to Red Rock for the festival. We motored out and to the top of the buoyed channel.

Range lights lined up, following “Annie B.”

At the Blind Channel junction, we shut down the motor and rolled out the jib and had a wonderful relaxing run all the way to RR. We tied to the dock to stay put for a few days of music and old friends.


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