Sunday morning we headed to Baie Fine. Finally! It was a pretty quick backtrack and we had good advice on an anchorage to try. Mike and Kelly on INNTW got there first and got all set up in Maryann Cove. We pulled in and were able to anchor next to them and then raft up to their boat. Then Wilsons rafted to the other side of INNTW. This was our first experience with anchoring with our stern to the rocks and tying a line around a tree on land. This keeps the boats at anchor from swinging around in an arc. Ben really didn’t like being so close to the rocks and was quite nervous. But he ran a line to shore and got us all secured and kept a close watch.
It was hot and sunny but we knew there were strong storms coming around dinnertime. Remember how we went to Little Current to be safe from the storms? Well, there were no storms for the three days we spent there. Now here we were back in Baie Fine waiting for a squall to hit!
All the kids and adults were in the water cooling off and playing. I really wanted to get the hike to Topaz Lake in while it was hot and sunny. But everyone was happy to just play in the water and we realized that where we anchored was actually about 7 miles from the start of the hike. I took Ella and Maddy for a long dinghy ride to explore Baie Fine. It’s just huge. After a few miles the Garmin computer in our dinghy picked up our tracks from last summer. I followed those back to a cottage we found last year. Maddy remembered the bridge built from one rock to another and asked if we could go underneath it again. So, I slowed down and we crept under and around the other side. We kept going back until we got into the channel leading back to an area called “the pool”. I could see the sky starting to cloud over and decided we should get back to the anchorage just in case.
The squall finally hit after dinner. It was a massive storm, 16 miles wide on the radar. Ben started our engines and watched closely as the wind whipped us all around. He was very concerned about us drifting back into the rocks. Sure enough as the wind yanked all the boats around we started drifting back. Wendy and I were in the salon of our boat and I put my headset on. Ben put his on upstairs on the fly bridge. We stood and watched out the back and would report up when it looked like we were going backwards. We all had our dinghies behind our boats. Likely our dinghy would have served as a bumper enough against the rocks, but there was no reason to find out. Ben had to put the engines in gear to move us forward quite a few times. After a half hour or so the worst of the storm had passed. There were a few other pop up cells moving through that we watched approach on the radar. Once all was clear, everyone breathed a sigh of relief, the lines to the trees were tightened, and we relaxed for a few minutes before getting the kids in bed. We were all thankful the storm happened before dark. It would have been much scarier during the night.
Monday morning was gray and cool. Not great conditions for swimming in Topaz Lake, but perfect for hiking! Given how long the trip back to “the pool” was, the Wilsons decided to move their boat back there. We decided to move our boat close to where we anchored last year. That got us out of the dicey tied to a tree situation and got us a little closer to the hike. Then we took the dinghy the rest of the way. The Herbons left their boat and took their dinghy the whole way back. We got all of the dinghies docked and set off on the hike!
The kids hopped along the dry creek bed and up the steep parts of the hill. The steepest part of the hike took a bit of a village. I led, working on finding solid footing. Ben was behind me to help brace Wendy. She had Mia, with her arm in a cast, on her back in Kelly’s ergo carrier. And Bobby followed behind Wendy making sure to catch her and Mia if she slipped. Wendy was determined to see the beautiful views and she made it to the top and then down the slippery path to the lake.
Topaz Lake is as beautiful as it was last year and we were thrilled to share it with friends. It was still pretty overcast so the colors weren’t as vibrant as last summer, but it was way more fun according to Molly. The kids had a blast jumping off the rocks with their friends. This is what we were missing when we were in Little Current!
What a fabulous and special morning. But it was once again time to move along. Our friends the Pronks, who looped in 2016-2017 with us, were coming to see us! Wendy, Nancy and I used to chat daily during the loop even though we may have been hundreds of miles apart. The Pronks live in Peterborough, ON and made a huge trek to come visit all of us. So, we headed back to our boats and on our way to Kagawong to see them!