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Old 05-07-2017, 19:06   #1
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Sailing Apostle Islands to Isle Royale

Me and my wifey and child have been sailing and camping around the apostle islands and now we want to go a little further. We have a 27ft Hunter with all new electronics and auto pilot and would like to get to Houghton area and Isle Royale. We were thinking because of scheduling we would start mid August and make our travels 2 weeks or so. Would it be better to sail Houghton area first or hit that up last. Our home port is Bayfield. Anyone wanting to join us or any good suggestions of places to stop would be great.
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Old 06-07-2017, 14:54   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Boat: Parker Dawson 26
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Re: Sailing Apostle Islands to Isle Royale

Just got back from spending a few weeks up there last month.

We trailered up to Grand Portage, jumped across to Windigo, went from Windigo to Hay Bay, then from Hay Bay to Rock Harbor then jumped back to Windigo, across to Grand Marais, down to Stockton on the Apostles, bummed around down there for a while then hopped from Sand over to Taconite Harbor and back to the starting point at Grand Portage. Wonderful trip!

We had planned to jump from Rock Harbor down to the Keweenaw Peninsula but the winds were guiding us a different way when we kicked out of Rock Harbor and since we knew that Grand Marais is a pretty good town to stop in and visit particularly given the relative paucity of provisions and restaurants up on the north end of the lake, it was a shoe in to head there instead.

You’ll have a grand old time up there, I assure you.

A few quick notes:

Bugs, about the same as the Apostles, so make sure you have screens for your hatches and such. We had ABSOLUTE success against the mosquitos using one of the TheraCell gizmos in the cockpit during the evening hours. Get one. Flies were still pretty dopey and slow when we were up there, a teenager equipped with a Bug-a-Salt was all it took to keep them blasted to pieces.

Docks, by and large the docks are similar to what you see at the Apostles. Depths tend to be deeper but watch you line tension on the fixed docks, we tended to see quite a bit of sieche up there so we floated up and down a lot. If you sail the Apostles I assume you already have good fenders so I won’t bother to point that out.

Sheltered anchorages. Isle Royale is full of doom proof fjords so there is always a snug place to tuck in. Quite nice after playing 03:00 merry go round the island at the Apostles when the wind shifts. You will like this!

Don’t miss Chippewa Harbor, make sure to at least motor back into the back basin to look it over, it is quite cool.

If you stop at Hay Bay (you should stop at Hay Bay) make sure to run up the creek with the Dingy and drift back out, that is a moose, moose, moose and moose filled place.

The Edison Fishery is worth a stop (no overnight docking) the Rock Harbor light house is an easy walk up from there on a scenic trail. It’s basically the same structure as the “old” light at Michigan and it has a nice museum in it. The fishery is neat as well, I cannot compare it effectively to Manitou since I have never been to Manitou when a volunteer was present to open the place up. Come straight to the dock then reverse back out, there are a few rocks lurking to the sides but they are easily seen with a bow lookout.

Here an album of our trip pics:
SV East Wind passing Rock of Ages Lighthouse
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