Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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jaimee
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Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Post by jaimee » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:30 pm

Hello. I will be going on my first trip to Isle Royale next week, by kayak. We are getting dropped off at Belle Island and leaving via Rock Harbor. We may have an extra day after the portage to Tobin. I was wondering which would be a better option: exploring the area between Rock Harbor and Merrit Lane, or the harbor between rock Harbor and Three Mile.

I would appreciate any information on how protected the kayak to Merrit Lane is, and which is a more interesting day.

Thanks everyone!

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Ingo
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Re: Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Post by Ingo » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:44 pm

Merritt Lane hands down. But let the weather dictate. If you're uncomfortable coming out of Tobin Harbor past the protection of Scoville Pt, turn around and head back up Tobin.


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jaimee
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Re: Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Post by jaimee » Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:55 pm

Thanks for the rec! Is the area past Scoville Pt. protected at all? I've seen conflicting things written about it.

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Ingo
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Re: Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Post by Ingo » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:40 pm

It's pretty wide open to the SE until you get into Merritt Lane, but not for a terribly long distance.

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MikeT
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Re: Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Post by MikeT » Sat Aug 20, 2016 7:15 am

As Ingo said, it is all based on conditions. The stretch from Scoville to Merritt is open water. It is also deep water with varying water currents going different directions. Meaning the wind can be coming from one direction and the water currents going another direction and changing while going across. I've experienced this several times when crossing. However, I agree "hands down" this is the route I would recommend. It is a great paddle and, once in Merritt, there are some great places to explore.

Another thing to keep in mind, if conditions are good, you can go around Blake Point and bypass the "portage from hell". Hopefully you have a weather radio. There are days when it is safe to go around as long as you get an early start. When considering going around you have to keep in mind the condition on the south side after rounding the point. The north side can be flat while the south side can be large waves. Best condition is a light west to southwest wind.
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Re: Yet Another Itinerary Question - kayaking to Merrrit Lane

Post by treeplanter » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:19 pm

Having paddled this stretch of water many times, I'll just second what everybody else has said, it all depends on the weather. But once you're in the Merritt Lane area, paddling is great. Waves aren't an issue and all of the small islands are great places to explore. You can also explore some of the older cabins you'll see in Tobin Harbor. If the owners are there, most are very open to visitors and are usually willing to share the history of their cabins if you ask.

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