Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Reports or links to reports on trips.

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RockRiver
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Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by RockRiver » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:36 am

For our third trip I planned two itineraries. One for the south shore and one for the north shore. The trip ended up being a combination of both.

23 May. Took the Queen out of Copper Harbor and the wind and waves lessened as we got closer to the island. The lake was fairly calm and the south wind about five to seven mph. We opted to try the north side for this trip. Beautiful passage up Rock Harbor, past Scoville Point and out through Merritt Lane. We cautiously poked out past Merritt Lane and saw that the going was good. There was still patches of ice onshore along the Palisades. We paddled to Duncan Narrows CG and took a break. Since it was still fairly early, we decided to explore Duncan Bay. We paddled along the south shore of the bay and when we got to the point just before the cove that Duncan Bay campground is in, I looked up on the ridge and there was a moose. As I went around the point into the cove, I saw the moose swim across the cove and get out at the campground. That made the trip right there as on our two previous trips we saw no moose at all. Continued exploring the bay and we camped for the night at Duncan Narrows CG. Paddled 15.0 miles in 5hr 25min.

24 May. Rained pretty good overnight. Very foggy. Loaded the boats and headed out. We explored past Locke Point into Five Fingers and Stockly Bays. Just enough visibility to see the Locke Point bouy and enjoy the closer scenery. We stopped at the portage to Lane Cove and found an old moose antler shed. Continued on past Hill Point into Belle Harbor, took a break at Belle Island and paddled out the Keyhole into Amygdaloid Channel. The NE wind must have been pushing lots of water into Robinson Bay as there was quite a current going out the Keyhole into the Amygdaloid Channel. Good depth there also. Checked out Herring Bay and the small bays in the area and then we went and stayed the night at Birch Island. Paddled 21.3 miles in a moving time of 7hr 50min. We slept well.

25 May. The original plan was to continue on to Todd Harbor. I could not get the Isle Royale recreational forecast out of Houghton or the Copper Harbor station. I could only get The forecast from Thunder Bay. It seems to be a very general forecast and mostly for points east. It did predict a high wind warning for Lake Superior with strong NE winds. We decided to start back. We paddled into the teeth of the wind back to Belle Isle and called it quits for the day. I had severely strained my right trapezius muscle on 9 May while paddling into a strong wind on the east end of the Pictured Rocks and I was having trouble with it. Not as foggy as yesterday and it cleared up for a while as we wandered around the island. Paddled 7 miles in 2hr 30min.

26 May. Loaded the boats in dense fog and heavy mist falling. Wind still out of the NE but not as strong. No more than 8 mph. We decided to see how it was. Got past Hill Point in no more than two foot waves. Still very foggy. Cut across to the other side of the bay where we could see the high ridge through the fog. As we got closer to Locke Point the waves built to two to three feet and we lost all sight of land in the fog. We steered by compass and gps for the Locke Point bouy as we knew that we would be safely past the shallows and breaking waves if we went by it. At this point the fog lifted enough to see the Palisades. We crossed over and ventured out to see what Blake Point had for us. Somewhat stronger NE wind and four to five foot waves. Enough visibility to see to keep out far enough from the breaking waves in the shallows and see Merritt Lane. Made the turn and surfed into Merritt Lane. I was only paddling hard enough to keep the boat under control but the gps showed that the wind and waves had us going 3.8 mph. My wife thought that it was great fun in the waves. I enjoy it more as a good memory. As we came up to the landing at Merritt CG to take a break, we saw a moose tiptoeing from the end of Merritt Island to the next island. After the break we went down Merritt Lane to the end of Porter Island and started our second out of sight of land navigation for the day. I put my vhf radio on and we made it across Tobin Harbor and Rock Harbor to Bat Island with a glimpse of Scoville Point in dense fog and two foot waves by compass and gps. Made the run down Rock Harbor to Caribou Island along the barrier islands. Fog stated to lift by the time we got to Mott Island. Very full day. Paddled 22.3 miles.

27 May. Slept in. Very foggy till noon. Packed up and went out Middle Island Passage to Chippewa Harbor. Fog came back after a half hour or so. Still enough visibility to enjoy the coastline. Explored the whole harbor and took a break at the campground. Went to leave to go back to Caribou Island as the weather report was rather iffy and we didn't want to get stuck at Chippewa. As we got to the harbor mouth, I looked to the SW and saw a huge squall line headed to us and the wind suddenly started to pick up. We turned around and skittered back to the campground to wait it out. An hour later it had calmed down considerably and we got back to Caribou Island without any trouble. Paddled 18.6 miles.

28 May. Slept in again. It was so foggy you could not see Cemetery Island from the dock at Caribou. No point in paddling. Couldn't see anything all day. We needed a rest day anyhow.

29 May. Packed up and left Caribou Island about 10:00 AM. Crossed over to Daisy Farm in moderate fog and paddled along the shore to Moskey Basin CG. Took a break there and then continued on to Petersens. They were gone in the field, but had left their guest book out to sign. We were first for 2016. Looked at the bones and headed across the MI Passage and up Rock Harbor to Tookers Island for the last night of the trip. Paddled 13.8 miles.

30 May. Woke up to bright sunshine and a 12 mph or so SW wind. Packed up and paddled straight across RH and then opened our WindPaddle sails to zip into Snug Harbor and the Queen at over 5 mph. Went 2 miles. Paddled a total of 99.8 miles for the trip. We really had a great trip even with the fog, mist rain and it probably never got much past 50 degrees with most of the temperatures in the mid forties.


johnhens
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by johnhens » Thu Jun 16, 2016 4:46 am

Sounds like a good trip despite the fog. You put in some miles!!! Did you run into any other paddlers?

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Ingo
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by Ingo » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:12 am

Nice report. Sounds like a great trip!


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RockRiver
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by RockRiver » Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:41 am

The trip was great. Only one other sea kayaker. He got there on Friday. We met him when we got back to Caribou Island after our day trip to Chippewa Harbor. He left for CH the next morning.

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hooky
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by hooky » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:46 am

4 - 5' waves? My pucker factor would have been a 12 on a 1-10 scale. Great report. Thanks for sharing.


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RockRiver
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by RockRiver » Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:22 pm

Pucker factor was quite high. Key is to stay in deep water and stay out of breaking waves around rocks and shallows. As long as the waves aren't steep & breaking in the deep water, you just go up and down. Kind of alarming, but really fairly safe in a good sea kayak. Blake Point is definitely scary in big waves, but you are not exposed for very long before you can duck into calmer water in Merritt Lane or Duncan Bay. Blake Point needs to be taken seriously, but any sea kayaker who is competent enough to be on the open lake should be able to safely judge a go or no go at this spot.


Spartan
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by Spartan » Mon Jun 27, 2016 5:42 pm

Nice! My wife and I have done a few 20+ mile days and have decided that about 18 miles in one day is our limit (depending on conditions of course). Any more than that and it is no longer fun...


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RockRiver
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Re: Kayak trip 23-30 May 2016.

Post by RockRiver » Tue Jun 28, 2016 3:39 am

I really don't know what got into us as we generally don't do more than 14 miles a day.

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