suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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Base654
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suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Base654 » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:06 pm

Hi all,

I have started planning a 16 day kayak trip to the island starting mid August. I have done 8ish journeys to the island for backpacking trips of one to three weeks. This will be my first kayak trip to the island.

To answer a few questions before they come up: I am experienced kayaker with a few long river trips and a few days a year playing on the Great Lakes around Detroit and nearly daily outings on my local rivers. I will be taking a Tempest 180 pro. I will be arriving and departing on the Ranger.

My itnital thought is to go around Blake point, weather permitting, or portaging to the five fingers area, with a few days or more exploring the area. Then to McCargoe and the inland lakes to Siskwit and back back to Snug via Whittlesey and the south shore.

I tend to be a more laid back vacationer who looks forward to relaxing. I plan on generally short travel days and lots of exploring exploring with one or two big mile days. There will be quite a few down days for hiking, reading, weather, or fishing.

My questions revolve around itinerary. What do you like? What should be on my don't miss list? where is the best place to hide from the engines? This won't be my last kayak trip so I don't have to do it all.

Thanks,
Rod

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by head2north » Sun Apr 03, 2016 8:01 pm

Rod,

There is so much to explore In the three zone you will be traveling. The Five Fingers offers SO MUCH shoreline to paddle. I have always wanted to go beyond McCargo Cove and bushwhack to Otter and Beaver Lakes and paddle. Someday.

An evening paddle on Chickenbone Lake usually produces a Moose eating shallow foliage. Make sure you spend time in LeSage and Livermore Lakes and don't just paddle through. I especially enjoy Lunch in the narrows of LeSage.

I suppose the same could be said about all the inland lakes you will flow through. Spend time exploring and maybe some fishing.

On the south side I enjoyed Little Greenstone and Greenstone Beaches. Conglomerate Bay was a fun day trip with beach and surrounding cliffs.

Sixteen days is certainly a lot of time to explore.

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Ingo » Mon Apr 04, 2016 6:49 am

I especially enjoy Lunch in the narrows of LeSage.

Yes!

Belle Isle is my favorite campground. Beautiful little cove with a pebble beach. Dock is on a different shore. Get up for the sunrise! I haven't made it out to Amygdaloid, but there's an old fishing camp (Crystal Cove) and a sea arch (can't say how to find it though). Great place to base camp and explore!

I read that they replacing the dock at McCargo this summer. So there may be construction going on there.
Wood Lake and Lake Richie canoe campgrounds are favorites on the inland lakes.
If you haven't been to Malone on foot, I would get down there--I really liked it even though it was a little busy when we were there.

Caribou Island would be my place to explore the Rock Harbor area from. Shelter 2 is away from the dock a bit if you can nab it. Neat little rock beach overlooking the channel on the lake side. Paddle Lorilei Lane between North and South Islands if conditions allow.

As far as hiding from engines, there seems to be enough of an uptick on weekends that I try to avoid the more popular dock sites on weekends. Belle Isle and Malone Bay don't matter as much because you don't know that they are there.

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Base654 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 8:53 am

Some great input! you will see some of your suggestions posted in my itinerary when I get it set. Lunch in the narrows, added. beaches, added. I was looking to fill extra days if weather permits, Caribou Island. Thanks.

Still open to input. Rod


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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by treeplanter » Mon Apr 04, 2016 1:35 pm

I’ve been kayaking for 26 years (Klepper Aerius II). I’ve probably kayaked around 60% of the island throughout the years. I’ve kayaked around Blake Point several times, all over the Five Fingers area, McCargoe Cove, Washington Harbor, etc. My absolute favorite paddle on Isle Royale is from Rock Harbor to Malone Bay via Lake Superior. Challenging, great scenery, great campgrounds (Chippewa Harbor and Malone Bay), this paddle has it all. Plus you have the added bonus of spending a few days exploring Siskiwit Lake once you’re at Malone. You can even paddle back to Rock Harbor via Wood Lake and Lake Whittlesey if you wish. Maybe something to think about.

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Base654 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:26 pm

Thanks, Treeplanter. I have a Klepper Aerius II in the basement, I finished the frame restoration and I am waiting a few extra bucks for a new skin. I hope to find a sail kit someday. I have been thinking about Malone to Rock Harbor via Superior, but I can't get much info about emergency/safety landings. what is that shoreline like?

Rod

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Ingo » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:53 pm

Lunch spot between Caribou Island and Chippewa Harbor (closer to CH). There's are friendlier spots, but not a lot--gives you an idea. Wouldn't want to have to land there in stink.
irsouthshore.jpg


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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by treeplanter » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:23 pm

Base654 wrote:Thanks, Treeplanter. I have a Klepper Aerius II in the basement, I finished the frame restoration and I am waiting a few extra bucks for a new skin. I hope to find a sail kit someday. I have been thinking about Malone to Rock Harbor via Superior, but I can't get much info about emergency/safety landings. what is that shoreline like?
The shoreline between Malone Bay and Rock Harbor is mostly bedrock. Very few spots to land in case of an emergency. We took along a marine radio and planned our paddle around the weather. We waited for a cold front to pass so winds would be out of the north. Paddling the south shore meant the winds were blowing off the island into the lake so waves were minimal. It was actually a beautiful paddle. Bright blue sky, relatively cool temps (it was August), low humidity and just absolutely gorgeous scenery.

As for my Klepper, I have the “downwind” sail. As the name says, it’s just meant for downwind sailing. If the winds cooperate, this is the ticket for effortless kayaking. Just hoist the sale, and let the wind do the work. Plus your boat just scoots along, fast! Great fun too.


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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by treeplanter » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:08 am

Two pics of the south shore somewhere between Malone Bay and Saginaw Point. Pretty much all rock.

Image

Image

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Base654 » Wed Apr 06, 2016 5:10 pm

Thanks for the pics pics Ingo and Treeplanter! A thousand words saved. Looks like I could drag myself out of the surf if the need arises. It looks like i could find a couple of places to run to if i made a bad weather choice.


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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by treeplanter » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:57 pm

If you do decide to solo-paddle the Malone Bay/Rock Harbor route, just pick and chose the right weather. I met a guy back in 1990 who solo-paddled from Malone to Daisy Farm with no problems. He picked a day when there was very light winds and made the paddle in about a 1/2 day.


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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Damon S » Tue May 10, 2016 12:01 pm

Heck with that amount of time, Id definitely recommend a circumnavigation. With 16 days, that would give you a lot of time for exploration. I realize you don't want to do big mile days, but that would offer you a leisurely pace. I've kayaked the island extensively and circumnavigated 3 times. There's just so much to see, and with a full trip around, you can hit all the great spots with even some day hikes and weather days scheduled in.

Damon...

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Re: suggestions for 16 day kayak trip

Post by Base654 » Wed May 25, 2016 5:44 pm

I'm thinking next year for the full circumnavigation. This year I am meeting friends for part of my trip. They will be on foot. Thanks Damon

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