Cruisers Forum
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-08-2020, 05:56   #1
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,629
Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake, Kabetogama

There is an extensive chain of lakes spanning the Minnesota-Ontario border east of International Falls/Fort Francis. The area as a whole is only about 50 miles across but is full of peninsulas, islands, and bays so that there are hundreds of miles of shoreline. While Rainy Lake drains through the Rainy River to Lake of the Woods, there are rapids and the fixed bridge and dam (without a lock) spanning the international border between International Falls and Fort Francis. The lakes adjoin the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), which is to the east.



Most of the shoreline is public land. A good deal of it is part of Voyageurs National Park. There are developed campsites. Most visitors travel in smaller power boats and camp on shore every night. Some rent houseboats and use established beaching sites maintained by the park service. There are also tour operators and water taxi services on the lakes.



Some google searches bring up isolated stories of people sailing there but not much useful information. Anyone familiar with the area?


Specific questions:
  • Wind. Is there enough to sail? Best times of year? How much motoring is necessary in practice?
  • Anchoring. Few boats anchor overnight in this area. NPS purports to require permits for overnight stays for all boats, which require paying a fee and are subject to capacity controls, but it isn't clear to me how they could have jurisdiction over anything but the land areas.
  • Bears. Bears are common and there are warnings that they will board unattended boats that are beached (or anchored within a few dozen feet of shore) to look for food. Are they a serious problem while anchoring overnight at greater distances from shore?
  • Charts. There are no NOAA charts of the area. The best sources I have been able to find are Navionics and the National Geographic Trails Illustrated map.
  • Marinas and boat launches. With the Hunter 260 we're capable of self-sufficient launch and step and don't need a particularly deep ramp, but would still prefer to have a sail-oriented (or at least sail-aware) marina to work with.
Any insight welcome.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2020, 06:52   #2
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 8,738
Re: Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake, Kabetogama

I don't have any specifics about sailing that area. I have canoed in Quetico east of this area. Can certainly get windy on the bigger lakes, so I imagine Kabetogama and Rainy Lake (which are even larger) will be even more so. Of course inland winds are notoriously confusing and erratic, but I'm sure you know that.

Bears swim quite well. If they have a compelling reason to swim out to your boat, they certainly could. As with any camping, don't give them a reason and they'll ignore you. Most bears aren't a problem anyway. It's (mainly) when they become habituated to easy food from lazy campers that they become dangerous.

There does appear to be NOAA charts for those lakes. At least they show up here: https://www.waterwayguide.com/explor...11&mode=marina


Canada also has detailed charts for those areas. Of course, being CHS, they aren't free. Here's one source: https://www.nauticalchartsonline.com/charts/CHS/All


It seems clear your little sailboat would be the same as a "houseboat." They explicitly require a fee. Not sure how you'd get around that. Most inland parks in Canada do have jurisdiction over the enclosed waterways. From the website it seems clear the same applies here.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2020, 20:44   #3
Registered User
 
Jammer's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1,629
Re: Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake, Kabetogama

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I don't have any specifics about sailing that area. I have canoed in Quetico east of this area. Can certainly get windy on the bigger lakes, so I imagine Kabetogama and Rainy Lake (which are even larger) will be even more so. Of course inland winds are notoriously confusing and erratic, but I'm sure you know that.

Thanks. I've been on Lake of the Woods and Lake Vermilion extensively, and they are in the same area and have similar surrounding topography.


Quote:
There does appear to be NOAA charts for those lakes. At least they show up here: https://www.waterwayguide.com/explor...11&mode=marina

I finally found them at https://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/ - no RNCs or ENCs, just .jpg files, even though they have been updated through 2018. Like many NOAA charts for inland areas, there isn't much detail. Navionics is considerably better.
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2020, 11:47   #4
Registered User
 
Tayana42's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 2,476
Re: Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake, Kabetogama

Itís been a long long time but I used to canoe/camp in the Boundary Waters (late spring/before the mosquitos were at their worst) and rented a cabin on Lake Vermillion (early June) to which we took our 16í sailboat. On Vermillion we didnít find much wind. When canoeing the Boundary Waters we found too much wind and always on the nose.

On Vermillion we always found bear scat and claw marks on trees in the morning. We were very careful to never leave food or anything that smelled like food were it would attract bears.

Such beautiful areas. We enjoyed them with great appreciation for the preserved natural environment and stillness. Please let us know about your adventure.
Tayana42 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Beach Cruising Everglades National Park FamilyVan Sailor Logs & Cruising Plans 22 04-08-2015 10:15
Isle Royale National Park, Lake Superior continuouswave Great Lakes 1 16-03-2014 12:04
Public Comment on New Regs at Biscayne National Park dave c Our Community 0 18-09-2011 12:53
Abel Tasman National Park, New Zealand Ody Pacific & South China Sea 1 14-02-2011 04:01
Hello from Zion National Park MagdaM Meets & Greets 8 05-09-2009 11:44

Advertise Here


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.