July 2, 2014

Day 290 - July 1, 2014: Baie Fine, the Pool and Lake Topaz

Weather reports are not always accurate, so instead of high winds and rain, we woke to sunshine and calm waters. Anne was feeling better, so we abandoned the idea of going to Little Current, tossed the lines, and headed up on a 25-mile side trip further north to Baie Fine (Fine Bay). This feels like genuine cruising to me, when you can just choose to go wherever you want, rather than keep chasing a never ending linear series of destinations.

The channels here are wide, and there are high, tree-lined mountains scattered with rocky cliffs rising above the waters. I enjoyed following the colorful names on the charts as we passed, such as Powderhorn Bay, Landsdown Channel, Lions Hump, Underhill Point, Partridge Island, and Steamer Reef.

Landsdown Channel
Mountain rocky cliffs
 The opening to Baie Fine at Frazer Point is narrow but the bay is eight miles long and shaped like a carrot. When entering, there is no marked channel, so you are on your own to choose a path by following the chart. This a very desolate area surrounded by national forest lands, and there are no cottages visible along the channel. Our destination was a tiny finger at the very end called The Pool, and as you enter, there is a right turn which goes around a small point with a cottage that was built by the Evinrude family (outboard motors). The cottage is in a pristine location, but somehow seemed out of place given nature’s surrounding beauty.

Shoreline along Baie Fine

The Pool (vertical on the right) at the tip of Baie Fine
The Pool is a popular cruising destination because it is isolated, protected from winds, and large enough for groups of boaters (many of which anchor and tie their sterns to the shore). We anchored at the south end up near a high tree-lined ridge, for wind protection overnight.

North end of the Pool, showning the Evinrude cottage

Anchoring spot at the south end of the Pool
As a bonus, you can dinghy to the northeast end, and hike up a couple of miles to an outlook over Topaz Lake. This lake is unusual in that its water is crystalline clear, turquoise in color, and yet there are no plants or fish in the lake. Some believe the mining done in this area may have something to do with it. The climb was steep, and the trail rather poorly marked, but we found the top with the help of another group (surprisingly from Ann Arbor, MI) scouting ahead. The view was well worth the climb!

Topaz Lake outlook
Crystalline, clear, turquoise colored water
This evening I swam in the lake, then we barbequed salmon for dinner, and later both of us relaxed with a good book.

Evening serenity disturbed by storm clouds on the horizon

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