Canoeing the NE part of the island

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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Gimp
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Location: Macomb TWP, Michigan

Re: Canoeing the NE part of the island

Post by Gimp » Thu May 28, 2015 9:11 am

+1 on the spare paddle. I use a light carbon fiber double paddle which the wind easily snatches if I don't have my hands on it. For that reason (and because my hands are sometimes occupied with a fishing rod) I use a paddle leash. I once forgot to attach it on Siskiwit Lake and was surprised by a sudden gust that threw my paddle about 5 yards away. Fortunately the wind was blowing my canoe toward it or I would have been in significant difficulty. That really got my adrenalin going for a minute, then I felt like an idiot for not having a spare. I now have single blade paddle for emergencies. I paddle a solo canoe and I just can't afford to make mistakes in my planning like that.

With the exception of Chaco water boots and a broad brimmed Tilley hat, I wear the same moisture wicking, quick drying clothes that I wear for backpacking. Being very aware of the water temperature at IR, I just plan to paddle close to shore as much as practical. It's interesting to see what's in the wood line anyway. I learned on this website and confirmed through personal experience that the prevailing wind tends to come from the Northwest. Sticking closer to the northern shoreline on the larger bodies of water keeps my paddling time smoother and easier because I'm out of the chop and protected from the wind.

Some of the best advice in this discussion was to wait out bad or marginal conditions. The weather always gets better. The campsites are close enough that if you had to pass by one or just stop for lunch, you could make up for any weather delay. I've never been to the NE bays and campsites but will be headed there during the last week of July. In keeping with my safe itinerary planning philosophy I will probably skip the Amygdaloid Channel and will enjoy the portage over to Tobin Harbor rather than risk the transit around Blake Point. That leaves the Birch Island to Pickeral Cove transit as my primary concern for challenging conditions. Tookers Island was a nice place to visit but it's pretty small and confined. I'd recommend just paddling down to Caribou Island to have more time to visit the Lighthouse, Edisen Fishery, etc. The VII has would have an early morning stop at Daisy so you might consider spending your last night there if you have any concerns at all about the weather conditions on the day of your scheduled pick-up. I wouldn't want to be stranded on Caribou watching the VII pulling away from the dock at Daisy without me.

Lastly, take a look on YouTube for videos people have made during their paddling trips to IR. You might learn a bit from those. There is one video that was taken by a couple of guys paddling their canoe around Blake Point in challenging conditions. I will think about that film clip as I portage over to Tobin Harbor and feel good about my decision.


Topic author
kolo
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Re: Canoeing the NE part of the island

Post by kolo » Thu May 28, 2015 4:38 pm

Thank you for your response Gimp! Nothing but good advice on this forum and yours adds to it. I am a backpacker who wants to do some canoe trips, so your perspective is appreciated. The paddle from Birch Island to Pickerel Cove is my main concern too. I am not even considering the paddle around Blake Point. I will gladly portage over to Tobin Harbor, even though it is a rough one.

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