After scrambling along the cliffs facing Ganley Island to admire and wonder at fading petroglyphs at Agawa—including a horned, spiny-backed lynx/Manitou (Ojibwe spirit), canoeists and a horse and rider—we set out from the beautiful-but- troubled Sinclair Cove. (Sounds like the stage name and profile of a young out-of-control movie star.) (Or it could be the title of one of those bodice-ripping romance novels featuring a barely clothed heroine swooning in the arms of a bare-chested man with a leonine mane.)
Barely out of the harbour and steaming north, a leonine wall of fog enfolded us in its thick grey blanket. Switching on radar to watch for other vessels small and large, we proceeded cautiously, adhering closely to the track Julie plotted on Navionics. We left the fog behind us an hour or so later, and were able to enjoy a sundrenched coastline that alternated with stretches of sandy or rocky beaches to boulders piled tumultuously at the edge of the water to steep, densely forested slopes then massive craggy granite walls sometimes laced with quartz.
We arrived at Gargantua (“gar gun TWA”) Harbour, dropped a hook and backed deep into the anchorage a little after 4 p.m. While in the dinghy scouting a nearby boat wreck and the shoreline another sailboat glided in and anchored nearby. Julie recognized the boat, Steelen Time, and its owners from Bondar Marina in Sault Ste. Marie. She had obtained detailed notes and advice about where to go along the east and northeast shores of Superior from David after meeting Margaret in the Bondar showers. The east end of Superior is their sailing grounds as they are based out of Batchawana Bay. Julie hailed them from the bow of Gaviidae and invited them for happy hour.
As we were all headed north, we arranged to buddy boat north for a while – how could we pass on the opportunity to travel with the resident experts? We pulled anchors the next morning and cruised to Devil’s Warehouse Island
where we entered the cave that was said to have provided ocher used for the petroglyphs we had admired just the day before.
From Devil’s Warehouse, we motored into nearby Pentagruel Bay and rafted up. A gorgeous and secluded little anchorage, Pentagruel is named after one of a pair of giants featured in novels by the French satirist, Rebelais. Pentagruel’s father was Gargantua.
We dinghied/waded thru some channels over to the larger Warp Bay, then motored up the Gargantua River a short way before returning to our boats.
Steelen Time guided us through the narrow and rocky Tugboat Channel along Cape Gargantua, taking us past the fabled Devil’s Chair rock formation. According to local Indian lore, a Manitou rested in those rocks after leaping across Lake Superior.
Ten seconds of the Tugboat Channel
That night we again rafted up with Steelen Time after unsuccessfully trying to anchor in Indian Harbour. Our CQR Plow anchor simply slid through and over the grassy bottom, bringing up enough grass to prompt Dave to offer his weed whacker. We had the crew from Steelen Time over for Walking Tacos that night, then again for a breakfast of fresh blueberry pancakes, eggs and thick bacon from Ploth’s Meats in Rogers City, MI. All in all, it was an adventure-packed day and we thoroughly enjoyed spending time with David & Margaret exploring very special parts of Lake Superior that we would have missed without their local knowledge.
August 13, 2015 47° 36.468’N 85° 01.066’W 770.1 Nautical Miles