Good plan and good list Jim. LS is bang on, and you should definitely lean on his knowledge. I used to sail Superior, and know it quite well, but am now down in L. Ontario
with plans to head east to NLFD.
GLCC is good but Bonnie Dahl's Superior Way is an absolute must. Active Captain
is pretty useless b/c of the limited number of cruisers. Waterway Guide is another source, but it too is pretty scant up there right now (it will be better soon ... I'm helping to improve it). Anyway, here's a summary of some of my favourite anchorages
I put together for WWG. Perhaps it will help.
Going north from SSM:
In general: There are fewer anchorages
in this immediate stretch. Distances between spots are greater than elsewhere.
These are some of my favourites, or important ones.
Ile Parisienne: This is a nice anchorage, but is completely exposed to easterly winds. By tucking in close to the little open bay you can get descent coverage from NNW winds/seas. Beach is sandy, as is the anchorage bottom, so good holding, and very picturesque. But again, beware the easterly.
Batchawana Bay: A large bay with lots of anchorage possibilities. North of Batchawana Island just off the isthmus is well protected from typical wind
patters. Beware the easterlies though. Good sand holding. There is (or was, as of a few years ago) a government dock
in the NW part of the bay around Corbeil point. It was in rough shape the last time I was there about five years ago, but was still structurally sound. Approach cautiously as there is fouling in the area.
Mamainse Hrbr: I’ve never gone in here due to limited depths, but for shallow-draft boats it is apparently quite easy. It is a the home base of the commercial fishing
fleet in the area (Ferroclad Fishery), so fishing
tugs take priority at the dock
. Apparently transient boats are allowed to tie up, but I’ve never done so.
Sinclair Cove: A beautiful cove with room for four or five boats. It’s right around the corner from one of the best pictograph sites on Lake Superior. You can dingy over there in calm seas. The Cove is completely protected, but most of the bottom is hard-packed sand — almost concrete-like. Only close to the beach does it soften up enough to get a good set, The anchorage is so well protected that I’ve always been able to sit on the weight of our anchor/chain.
Tug boat channel: It’s a short but interesting passage
that takes boaters by the Devil’s Chair. Beware the depths. They are thin in places.
Indian Harbour: This is a smallish anchorage that is a near hurricane
hole. Beware the shoaling going in.
Old Woman Bay: Gorgeous to pass through, but no anchorage.
Brule Harbour: Small, well protected in the pond, or tuck in tight to the shore in the northern bay. Beautiful and safe. Beware of deadheads close to shore.
Michipicoten river: It is possible to enter the harbour, especially for shallow-draft boats, but the entrance is constantly shifting as it is the outflow of the river. Best to radio
Buck’s Marina as you approach to get current
knowledge. If you can get in, the bay is scenic and safe.
Buck’s Marina: Located a short distance up the Michipicoten River, it is an oasis of boater services on this part of the Lake. Owned by Brad Buck, he will do whatever it takes to help cruisers. Fuel
, pumpout, chandlery
and access to provisions in Wawa (Brad will lend cruisers his car if he can). Unfortunately, deep-draft boats may not be able to make it up to the marina every year. Depths vary, so do radio
ahead. Brad has a service
boat that will deliver small amounts of fuel
(jerry cans), water
and other items. Can do a pump out on the water.
Oak’s Cove: Good anchorage for all but easterlies, with good holding (watch the underwater cable). Buck’s Marina will service
deep-draft boats here (pump out, deliveries). Quaint fishing shacks all around.
False Dog Harbour (or Little Dog): Good for all but easterlies. Good sand holding. Nice beach.
Michipicoten Island (Quebec Harbour): A definite must-see. Big beautiful harbour. Can get protection from any wind
, but may have to move to one end or another. Good holding everywhere. Lots to explore. Three visible ship wrecks in the eastern section, and an old fishing village. Home of one of the most southerly (perhaps THE most southerly) caribou herds.
Imogene Cove: A largish bay with various anchoring
options depending on wind. Excellent holding, great sand beach. There is the remains of an old logging village called the Pukaskwa
Otter Cove: Beautiful deep anchorage. Go in far, but watch depths near the end as it shallows out quickly. Nearby waterfall.
Old Dave’s Harbour (N end of Otter Island): Small, beautiful anchorage with remains of fishing shacks. Shallow entrance, but deep inside. Probably have to tie to shore with stern anchor
. Hike to lighthouse.
Cascade Falls: Across (NNE) from Old Dave’s; it’s a sight worth seeing. Could dingy over from Old Dave’s if weather permits. Cascade river dumps right into Lake Superior here. Stunning in Spring, or in wet summers. Can climb, bathe or shower
Oiseau Bay: Large bay with a number of anchorages. Big sandy beaches. Huron rookery. Access to the coastal hiking trail. In benign weather I like anchoring
in the north part of the bay. Nicole Cove and Dampier cove (south part) are well known hurricane
holes, but are small, with shallow entrances. I couldn’t go in with our 6’ draft
last time we were there (three seasons ago).
White River: I have never gone in with our deep draft
sailboats. Shallow draft
boats can enter the mouth and anchor not far up. Only do it in calm seas; the mouth can be boiling with large standing waves if Superior is producing big seas. Dingy up the river to the falls where there is a short hike to a swinging bridge. Stunning!
Picture Rock Harbour (Dahl wrongly calls it “Pitch” Rock): A couple of nice spots. Good protection from most winds, good holding. Small. Nice little beaches and places to explore.
Pulpwood Harbour: Go in deep past small islands. Beautiful, protected, and good holding. Beware of deadheads and logs
on the bottom, especially deep back in the anchorage. Dingy around to Hattie Cove, which is houses Pukaskwa National Park visitor centre and car camp. Nice hiking trails from here.
Marathon (Peninsula Harbour): Can anchor in various locations, but little protection from any serious winds. Dock is not available, except in case of emergencies. There is a small boat dock in behind Skin Island. Shallow draft
only. Provisions are available in town, but is about 1 km walk. No services at the docks, but could jerry-can fuel/water if desperate.
Port Coldwell: Beautiful secure anchorage with stunning sheer-wall entrance. Anchor around the point to the west, close to an old wreck. Beware though, it shallows up quickly.
Allouez Island: Great little anchorage. Very secure except for strong westerlies. Fun to explore the small islands. Climb up to get a great view of Pic Island.
Slate Islands: Lots of great anchorages, both on the inside and outside. Slates hosts a herd of caribou. Depending on where they are in the population cycle (cycles from boom to bust) they can be very plentiful. Inner area tends to get busy with local small-boat fishers, especially on the weekend.
Patterson Cove: Probably my favourite of the Slates. Small, very secure from all directions except very strong southerlies/SE. Little beach.
Sunday Harbour: Go to the end. OK anchorage, although long fetch open to SW. There used to be private moorings at base for lighthouse boats. Can access lighthouse via dingy dock. Walk around and get a great view.
Inner: You can anchor all over the place, but it is very deep until you get close to shore. Often this means a stern anchor and bow tie to land. Anchoring between some smaller islands is possible in reasonable water.
Pike’s Bay is the most common place cruisers anchor. Be careful entering the bay. Good, secure holding. Some slash/deadfall on bottom so I always use a trip line (although I’ve never been fouled).
Lawrence Bay: Go deep and stern anchor with bow tie. Beautiful and secure but deep (hence the land tie).
Rossport: The village has a community-run dock with water and pump out. Fuel was discontinued a couple of years ago due to ridiculous regulations
(they used to have gas/diesel). Check to see if fuel is back. Great restaurant (Serendipity), a couple of B&Bs. No supplies, but dockmaster will bend over backwards to get you what you need.
Rossport area: Lots of anchorages in this group of islands. Old Man’s Pocket and Boat Harbour are my favourites. Battle Island houses a lighthouse. Can anchor in the bay, just avoid the underwater cable. Hike up to see the lighthouse.
Morn Harbour: Secure from all winds, good mud holding. Marshy. Lots of bird life. Moose.
Woodbine Harbour: A favourite of boaters. Secure from all winds. Go deep to find reasonable anchor depths, or tie off to shore (stern anchor). Someone has places steel
eyes in the rocks, but lots of trees to tie off to. Good place to explore with dingy.
McNab Harbour: Very picturesque and secure, but hard to spot until you’re right on top of it. Deep water, but good holding.
CPR Docks: A set of docks and camp buildings set up by local boaters. Very secure, but entrance is shallow. Deep-draft boats will have trouble in low-water years. Docks, fire pit, horseshoe pits. Sauna. Be prepared for impromptu party, especially on summer weekends. Great hikes.
Moss Island (north and south anchorages): Beautiful and secure. Pick side depending on predicted winds. Shallow draft boats can cross between mainland and Moss Island. Deep draft and large boats are advised to go around.
Otter Cove (another one): One of my favourites. Long way in, but very secure and good holding. Follow creek on north side up to a waterfall. Hiking trail goes up to small lake. Waterfall is great place to play and bathe. Excellent fishing.
Loon Harbour Area: Lots of anchorages in this island group. Most are very secure, with good holding. Some deadfall on bottom.
Loon Harbour: Most popular anchorage. Fairly large, good holding. Secure except can kick up with strong north winds. Small wreck visible. Can dingy to sauna on Spain
Island (in Chapleau Is. anchorage).
Borden Island anchorage: Narrow but long. Good holding, secure. Less busy than Loon. Pretty marsh lands to south.
Chapleau Is.: Smallish and secure. Good mud/sand holding. Sauna on Spain
Island. A bit tricky to get in due to shoaling.
Root Bay: Secure down deep. Marshy. Entrance sometimes silts in, making it a challenge for deep draft boats.
Walker’s Channel: Beautiful and secure anchorages, both in behind the islands on the north side, and in “the pond” on Porphyry Island. Be Aware! The dock and camp next to The Pond is private property. Can dingy over to dock to get to lighthouse on Porphyry.
Horseshoe Cove (“The Hook”): Go in and tuck around in the east nook. Tie off to shore. Hurricane hole. Very small and secure. Entrance to hook part is shallow, but I’ve been in with our 6’ draft boat.
Edward Island Harbour: Good deep in to find picturesque secure anchorage. Get in behind shoal at NE corner to get all-round protection. Good holding. Pretty.
Silver Islet: Dock is no longer maintained (as of 2014 … although there are discussions to change this). Can still be used, but be wary of staying overnight. Can get very rolly with any seas. Village has a general store which is sometimes open during tourist season. No services, but quaint.
Tee Harbour (east): Three locally-maintained moorings. Beautiful anchorage, high rock walls. Access to hiking trails, fire pits. Good sand holding. Can be rolly, and exposed to east.
(west): Good protection, except from west (prevailing) winds. Gravel/sand bottom. Beautiful. Same access to trails.
Sawyer Bay: Large bay, good holding. Three locally-maintained moorings. Secure from most directions, but open to NW. Strong SE winds can funnel through valley and make anchorage dangerous as well.
Thomson Island: Docks, buildings and sauna built and maintained by local boaters. Beautiful spot, but busy in summer, especially on weekends. Expect to raft out.
Jarvis Bay: Go deep and anchor close to steep rock walls. Shallows out quick by river mouth. Well protected from all but easterlies.