This online document is a means of sharing the adventure of traveling on America's waterways with friends and family. Last Dance is continuing to take her crew to historical, natural, beautiful, and interesting places. Enjoy the ride.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Lake Superior - Sinclair Bay

Sinclair Bay was the second stop along Lake Superior.  A cove surrounded by granite ridges, Sinclair provides good protection and a quiet anchorage, except for NW winds.  Fortunately, none were in the forecast.

Again, a white sand beach provided a nice dinghy landing and Rubber Duck can be seen on the beach behind Last Dance.  Sinclair Bay is part of the Ontario Provincial Lake Superior Park, which has a trail along the shore giving an opportunity for extended exploration.  A side trail led up to the top of the ridge between the cove and Lake Superior.  The above image was made from that ridge.  Interesting perspective for two Florida flat landers.

A walk to the western side of the ridge provided a view of Lake Superior.  The winds were making picturesque designs on the water.

Then, looking to the northwest, the opening which creates a funneling effect of NW winds into the cove can be observed.  Yes, the rock islands will break up the waves, but they work their way around the rocks to form a rolling surge, which can make for an uncomfortable ride at anchor.  Not only are there few possible anchorages along the eastern shore of the lake, in some winds, some of the anchorages are not where one would want to be.  The smooth waters in this image and the small wrinkles in the above image of Lake Superior were the result of light winds over the land, from the east.  A good day.

Sinclair, like many of the coves and harbors along the big lake, cannot be seen from the lake.  Charts and guidebooks can lead you there, but there still can be difficulty finding a way in and, in particular, finding a way in without winding up on the rocks.  In this case, the best route is to head forward, almost to the large rock island ahead, then a 180 degree sweeping turn back to the east and south.

The cove is at the middle of the coastal trail - 14 kilometers either direction.

The trail to the north was taken.  It provided many views of the landscape of this area of Canada - beautiful back woods landscape of trees, rocks, mosses, and understory plants.  Yes, it had some challenging points and steep inclines, but taken at a moderate pace, it was more interesting than difficult, as suggested by the sign.

The trail, which is not always obvious, is sometimes marked with blue blazes on trees and sometimes by carins, a stack of rocks.  A carin might mean the trail is "this way" or it might mean "turn here."

In this case, the carin at the bottom of the big rock means "turn right here," which was not the first option explored.

A stack of rocks made to resemble a man is known as an Inukshuk, a symbol used by the First Nation People for centuries.  An Inukshuk is sometimes designed to point the correct way to proceed.  The Sinclair trail had the most creative Inukshuk ever encountered.  Rather than pointing the way, he is scratching his head - "I'm lost and confused, also."

On another trip to the beach, three young people were walking down from the north trail and three walking up from the south trail.  From their attire, it was obvious that they were not park visitors hiking.  They were college kids working a summer job.  Parks Canada has a wonderful program of hiring college students to fill the greatly-increased personnel needs in the summer.  They had just worked on the trail, one group dropped at the north end and the other group at the south end.  They worked the trail, hiking toward the center and arrived about the same time.  You will note that two of the students have full-sized chainsaws in their backpack - the young man 3rd from left and the young woman 2nd from right.  It is always a wonderful experience to be able to interact with enthusiastic young folks.

The period of light winds and smooth waters provided an opportunity to take a trip out into the lake to explore close up by dinghy.

Rock formations along the lake are always an interesting part of the beauty of the lake.  This rock is at the southern entrance to Sinclair Bay.  It has a fractured face that appears like a trigger fish.

Rock formations are constantly changing.  Not far from the smooth rock face entering the harbor, this jagged and flat sloping rock looked over Lake Superior.

The inner side of the larger island at the bay entrance again had different rock makeup and surface.  It did provide a good dinghy landing for Bonnie walks.

One dinghy trip was to the Painted Rocks, which face out onto Lake Superior.  There were a couple large ropes hanging down the sloping face of the rock.  Thought it nice that the park service provided ropes for dinghy mooring, but learned later that they were for another purpose.

The rock next to the water and in front of the paintings has a steep slope toward the water.  It is slippery and even more so when wet.  Many a park visitor has slipped off the rocks into the water.  The purpose of the ropes leading down to the water is to aid people who have fallen into the water to get out of the water.  Something one would want to do quickly as the lake waters are cold and hypothermia would come quickly.

The Painted Rocks are off the southern coastal trail, which is the way most visitors access this spot.  Up  a way on the trail there is a sign explaining the history of the painted rocks.  It also has a photo of the rock from the same perspective as the photo above - on a day with a little more wind.  Not a day to walk the ledge and view the pictographs.  The reason the park service is so careful here is that people have slipped off the slanted rock, some injured and two have died.

The other side of the sign illustrates the different pictographs, which include explanations of their meanings.  All signs in Canada, and all merchandise containers and tags, are in two languages - English and French in recognition that Canada is a bilingual country.  In Lake Superior Park, the signs were in three languages, including the language of the First Nation People.

(Click on the image above to enlarge, making it easier to read.)

Sinclair Bay also had great waters and islands for kayak exploration.  Sinclair offers many avenues for interacting with nature and history of this area of Canada.