Monday, June 18, 2018

One of my favorite photos... and trip planning for 2018!

On our 2017 trip, RJ began to embrace the task of trip planning for the North Channel
Here he is working on plans for our 2018 trip!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

#1 Favorite North Channel Anchorage - The Pool

Saturday, July 29 - The Pool

Seapickle II anchored in the Pool

Those that we talk to about favorite anchorages in the North Channel seem to either LOVE The Pool, or HATE anchoring in the weeds and haven't gone back, or are scared off by stories from other boaters and anchor somewhere else like The Narrows (leading to The Pool). We LOVE love love The Pool. :-)  To be fair, we don't swing on the hook and instead tie to shore in most anchorages, and therefore don't pick up as many weeds on the anchor as those who swing.

This year, from Marianne Cove we recruited Orca and Ceiba II to join us for their first time anchoring in The Pool... and they fell in love too. You'll find some of the calmest waters we've seen (when conditions are right), and the hiking trails and views are hard to beat. Topaz Lake and Artists Lake, within Killarney Provincial Park are worth any amount of weeds tangled around your anchor. (Tip - have one person in the dinghy with a boat hook or something to push the weeds off as the anchor is raised).

Ben tying to shore
New spot for us in the Pool, Ceiba II and Orca anchored nearby

We anchored pretty early in the day, so we had plenty of time to relax, fish, and explore. Our first day anchored we took the dinghy upstream to the start of the trail to Artists Lake. It's a quick, but pretty dinghy ride through a narrow channel. RJ is starting to be able to hike on his own for short distances, so we didn't bring the backpack for this adventure. The trip starts by dinghy, and the first trick is finding the narrow entrance to the stream. Next is maneuvering around branches and downed trees while working your way upstream. After a short, but slow, dinghy ride upstream you'll come to the canoe portage on the left where you can pull the dinghy (or kayak or canoe) up onshore. A nice hike along waterfalls and over rocks will finally open up to Artists Lake, one of our favorite views in the North Channel. The trail will also split off to other lakes (like Cave Lake), which are worth exploring. We like Jeff's Killarney Map which shows detail of all the trails and lakes within Killarney Provincial Park. 

Entrance to the narrow channel to Artists Lake
The canoe portage landing that leads to Artists Lake
RJ and I enjoying the views (he doesn't like to sit still)
RJ was so excited this trip to be able to pick and eat blueberries on most hikes
Back at the boat, we take time to relax, make dinner, and hang out with our friends aboard Orca and Ceiba II.  This year the Pool is more crowded than we're used to, but everyone is respectful and we met quite a few people kayaking or dinghying around the anchorage. Some years we've been the only boat there, and some show what a popular anchorage it is! Some years we don't make it to the Pool, but we can't go more than every other North Channel trip without a visit to our favorite anchorage!

Dana and RJ taking the dinghy over for a visit
Sunset in The Pool

The end to a great day

One more video from exploring Baie Fine

Baie Fine Exploration aka Toddler in a Dinghy

A dinghy is a must have in the North Channel with a toddler (we got by with a kayak without a baby/toddler)

Friday, July 28 - anchored in Marianne Cove, Baie Fine

Thank goodness this boy is always down for exploring by dinghy! (He threw "binky" in a few times)
A few years ago, when we were anchored in Marianne Cove (in nearly the same location we anchored with Orca and Ceiba II), a couple that we met the year prior recognized us and stopped by.  They showed us a little cove on their map that they thought we would like, just a ways down the shore of Baie Fine. We didn't have a chance that year to check out the cove, but we had it on our minds to discover this year at least by dinghy, if not anchoring overnight. Since we had such great company in Marianne Cove, we decided to just explore by dinghy and mark our charts for future years an alternate anchorages.

'lil Pickle II" ready to explore
Ben and RJ checking out the island

On to the next anchorage!
Baie Fine, North Channel