Getting To The Lights

Questions about how to get to the island and where to stay near points of departure.

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Re: Getting To The Lights

Post by MohammedStallings » Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:37 pm

CHUCKX53 wrote:Greetings, Ye Adventurers of Isle Royale.....

I came across this site by accident while looking for information on the the area. I should explain.....

My wife and I are lighthouse photographers (I do most of the shots, she does most of the scheduling). For the past decade, we have been on a mission to photograph all of the U.S. Great Lakes Lighthouses. Currently, we have done 282 of those lights out of 286. The last 4 are in Lake Superior, 3 of them in and around the Isle Royale area.....Rock Harbor, Menagerie Island, and Passage Island.

We have been to the west side of Isle Royale, back in September, 2004 aboard the Wenonah out of Grand Portage, where we passed by the Rock Of Ages
flashlight and photographed it at that time. We went on to Windigo and passed some time there, even got to see a moose taking a bath. We had thought we would return at some point, perhaps on one of the many GLLKA cruises that are done yearly. However, we missed one due to being scheduled elsewhere a couple-three years ago. We had hoped that the Keweenaw Star would make a return trip, but it seems they have moved their base of operations to Charlevoix from Houghton this past year, and have had nothing scheduled to Isle Royale in the foreseeable future.

Now, we don't have our own boat capable of sailing the Great Lakes, as we live 120 miles south of Lake Michigan in land-locked West-Central Indiana. So, we tagged on to Lighthouse cruises, sponsored by Shepler's out of Mackinaw City, then GLLKA (Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association) sponsored cruises, and also WILD (Wisconsin Lighthouse District) sponsored cruises. Along the way, we also were able to do some local cruises in Lake Michigan, Erie, Huron, and Superior as well, up until early 2007. After that, we hired private charters, mostly fishing charters, for the more obscure and hard to access lights that were off the beaten track. In this way, we were able to finish the offshore lights in Lake Huron (2007), Lake Michigan (2008), Lake Erie (2009), and Lake Ontario (2010), leaving only the Lake Superior lights of Grand Isle Old North and the three at Isle Royale to do.

This year, it came down to finishing up Lake Ontario or Lake Superior, and we elected to go with the ones up in Lake Ontario, as they we close together grouped in the NE part of the lake, and were easy to schedule. Both destinations are about equal in distance from us, about 700 miles driving distance. This cost us about $1500 for the 10 days we were gone, in gas, eats, lodging, and charter fees (Which came to about $400). Add into that a couple of shorter trips for retakes in Michigan and Wisconsin in July and August (about $600-$700 apiece), and we have reached our budget limit for this year. So, our planning is now being set for an assault on the remaining lighthouses in 2011.

So, I guess my question to you here would be....Is there any charters for hire, either on or off the island, that would take us to those 3 lights ? I am aware of the Ranger-led excursions to Passage Island and the Edisen Fishery / Rock Harbor led light tours that are offered, but there is nothing out to the Menagerie Island Light. Getting to Rock Harbor Lodge seems easy enough, but how would we proceed from there to be able to access a pass-by of Menagerie ?

Any suggestions or information would be highly welcome. I'm looking forward to my second trip out to the island, and I'm looking to get just as great a shot as Moss13 did over in the Picture Gallery...... :mrgreen:
Interesting ! The biggest issue I think you may find out is that I think anyone who's working such a support would probably need to be qualified as a concessionaire with the National Car park Assistance.
Last edited by MohammedStallings on Fri Aug 16, 2013 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Getting To The Lights

Post by drobarge » Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:39 pm

It may be possible to book Superior Diver's boat or one of the other dive charters.,or.r_qf ... sle+royale

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Re: Getting To The Lights

Post by Johnmau » Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:30 am

Barbieri Buli wrote: Exciting query. The greatest problem I think you may discover is that I think anyone who's operating such a assistance would probably need to be certified as a concessionnaire with the Nationwide Recreation area Service.
hehehe It's it's an exciting query.

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Midwest Ed
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Re: Getting To The Lights

Post by Midwest Ed » Sat Nov 21, 2015 2:11 pm

DonNewcomb wrote:Just a small segway. I sometimes wonder why people find lighthouses both fascinating and beautiful, even those that are patently ugly, but find oil platforms to be unsightly and repulsive. We have a group around where I live who want to keep any oil/gas production out of sight, "12 miles south" but also want to see decorative, non-functional, lighthouses built to enhance the beauty of our coast. Somehow, I fail to see the difference.
The psychology is certainly interesting but I'm pretty sure the difference stems from some people's notion that one facility helps to save lives while (without starting a balance of benefits conversation based in part on logic vs. emotion) the other contributes to the opposite.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: Getting To The Lights

Post by Ternence » Mon Jan 18, 2016 2:03 am

I also wish you well on your photo trip. :roll:

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