Traveling farther north along the shore of Lake Superior more coves and harbors are found along the coast. After Old Dave's, the next planned stop was at Pulpwood Harbor. In the above image a round top rock was an identifying landmark listed in Bonnie Dahl's guide to Lake Superior, to be kept to starboard. A shore lined with rock formations, coves, and islands makes for difficult identification of locations, particularly when charts have no detail.
Finally, around the rock island off the round rock formation, the entrance to Pulpwood Harbor could be seen. The described rock in the middle of the entrance was the indicator which made identification possible. Pulpwood has been spotted.
A rock islet lies in the middle of the entrance. Which side? The paper charts, usually the choice for navigational detail, had none. The chart plotter had more detail, but lacked any specific depths or location of any rocks, other than the obvious one above water. Fortunately, information from others who have cruised here before allowed for a safe passage. There is deep water to be found right of the rock - to the left, a sudden shallowing with many hidden sharp rocks.
A view out of Pulpwood into Lake Superior shows that an island to the left narrows the entrance, providing some protection from the lake when winds kick up. The sloping rock shores made for easy landing for Bonnie walks and exploring the area. But, the benefit of anchoring in Pulpwood was not the harbor itself. A few coves to the north, a long dinghy ride away, Hattie's Cove is host to the park headquarters and hiking trails in the 725 square miles of Pukaskwa National Park, a story for another blog post.
Pulpwood is named after its use during the lumbering era. Logs were floated into the cove, stored here to be later transported in rafts of logs to pulpwood mills. There is still large rings drilled into the rock on either side with a long steel cable that was stretched across the opening to secure the logs. On a calm day, the sinker logs that litter the bottom could be seen. It was fortunate for the crew that Last Dance's anchor did not catch on one.
The lack of accuracy of the electronic charts was demonstrated again in Pulpwood. The chartplotter had Last Dance anchored on land rather than in the cove. Evidence that reinforces the need to multiple navigation sources and that no one source should be trusted as being correct. The challenges of navigation are one of the reasons that few boats cruise these waters and these beautiful areas are rarely visited.