Looking for advice

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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booyah
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:33 am

Looking for advice

Post by booyah » Wed Jul 03, 2019 8:46 am

Looking for advice for a trip.
Going August 9th - 15th. coming from Copper Harbor MI into Rock Harbor
Bringing sea kayaks 17ft perception eclipse and 14ft necky looksha sport
Me and a daughter (40yo man and 15yo daughter)
I'm a reasonably experienced kayaker, shes a novice. Both wear life vests religiously.
Last time I was on the island was 8 years ago and I hiked it with a few friends, I was in worse shape then than I am now, but hiking it wasnt as much fun as hoped. We had an older friend with us, and we alternated hiking ahead, coming back and taking his pack so the mileage was increased, but still a rough hike. This will be the kids first trip and I'd rather it not be a brutal march.

As such I have been looking at more water trails, but my inital thought seems aggressive without enough sight seeing time, and I'm looking for suggestions

Initial thought was
day 1: Rock Harbor to Caribou island (5.29 miles paddle)
Day 2: Caribou Island to Chippawa Harbor(take Voyageur II if needed) (6.6 miles paddle)
Day 3: Chippawa to Wittlesey, Wood, and maybe Sisiwit Lake probably stay at wood lake (5.25 miles paddle and potage)
Day 4: Siskiwit to Intermediate to richie (5 miles paddle and portage)
Day 5: Richie to Moskey Basin (2.3 miles portage, probably twice)
Day 6: back to rock harbor early incase, spread out over two days if needed (9 miles paddle)
day 7: catch the boat back to Michigan

Now thinking maybe
day 1: Rock Harbor duncan bay (portage of death) stay at duncan bay campground (2.1 miles "portage of death" and paddling)
day 2: Duncan bay to five finger bay stay at Lane Cove (4 miles paddling and a portage)
day 3: Lane cove to pickeral bay campground (5 miles paddling)
day 4: pickeral bay to mccargoe cove (4 miles paddling)
day 5: mess around by rock habor hiking/paddling etc
day 6: hitch a ride back on Voyageur II to rock harbor
day 7: catch the boat back to Michigan

Thoughts on both plans? Looking to optimize easy paddling, amazing views, chances of moose sightings, and decent fishing in that order for an overall awesome trip for the kid.

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Ingo
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by Ingo » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:45 am

I like plan B better. While some (many?) consider the Tobin/Duncan portage the portage of death, I'd rather do it than the 2+ mile Moskey/Ritchie portage. Not fun, esp. with kayaks, but allow a few hrs and take your time and you'll be OK. Because once there you're in nicest paddling in the park. With plan A I'd be pretty nervous about doing the Caribou to Chippewa stretch with a newbie, and there's a lot more portaging overall. Moskey/Ritchie is at least 6 miles hiking with 2 trips across, and maybe 10.

So when you portage into Duncan and on the water you'll be able to see the dock at the Narrows unless it's foggy. If there aren't any boats, I'd head there. I like it a little better, but it can get crowded with fisherman, however, and there's only 2 shelters. If you see a bunch of activity, head the other direction for Duncan Bay CG. Both are beautiful spots in any case.

Places to be cautious: a short stretch at the end of Stockley Bay can get rough, Belle Harbor itself in a NE blow, and the most obvious, from Pickerel Cove CG into McCargoe Cove. But you have plenty of time to layover if you need to. Carry a VHF/weather radio and take the opportunities when there.

As far as campgrounds, while Lane Cove is a favorite with backpackers, I'd head for Belle Isle unless the weather says otherwise. It's my favorite spot. Be sure to wake up early for the sunrise from the point behind shelter 6. There are also campground hosts on Belle Isle that may be able to direct you to fishing spots. Birch Island is a nice alternative to McCargoe if you otherwise have 2 nights at McCargoe--Brady Cove there is supposed to be great for northern.

And one last thought: our girls were 13 and 15 when we did the Duncan/Tobin portage on a canoe trip. I made it out to be what would be the worst day of their lives, hell on earth, etc. but they bought into the challenge and when we were done said "it wasn't that bad, Dad". So that strategy worked :), at least for me, and they've both been back with me since as adults :).
79: worked RH, 01: BI-DB-RH, 02: MC-LR-WL-CH, 05: MI-CI-MB-DF-RH-TM-RH, 09: MC-BI-DN-RH, 11: WC-HC-WC, 12: MC-CB-HL-TH, 13: RH-PI, 14: BI-ML-CI-CH-MB, 16: RH-CI-TI-RH, 17: WI-IM-SB-FL-WC, 18: MC-PC-BI-DB-RH-DF


Bobcat1
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by Bobcat1 » Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:52 am

I will also be arriving Aug. 9th with my kayak, on the Ranger, and heading for Duncan Bay CG the first night. Save me a shelter if you get there first? Looks like our first couple days will follow a similar path; I am hoping to spend two nights at Belle Isle.

Another option which optimizes sightseeing and minimizes portaging is to stay in Rock Harbor the waterway. I did that on my last trip, but I was a bit frustrated by the large number of people and the crowded campgrounds. The solution was to move early each morning to the next night's lodging and then spend the day sightseeing/dayhiking/etc. The day I arrived, RH campground was packed, 3Mile was packed, Daisy farm was packed and I ended up being invited to pitch my tent at a group site with a Boy Scout troop. I was at Moskey Basin and claimed a spot at 7:30am the next morning. For the rest of the week I worked my way back down RH, and in fact went back to the main area when a 2-day windstorm arrived and I was concerned about tough paddling conditions. Ended up walking to 3-mile just to sleep one night, and walking back to RH at dawn, to follow the 1-night rule.

Dayhikes over to Lake Ritchie for shore fishing, up Mt. Ojibway, the Edison Fishery and Rock Harbor Lighthouse, short portage over to Tobin Harbor for a day of exploring including hiking up Lookout Louise, Raspberry Island, and two must-do dayhikes Mt. Franklin from 3Mile and the Scovill Point trail. Day excursion to Passage Island on the MV Sandy. Camping at Moskey Basin, Tooker's Island, Daisy Farm, Caribou Island, with the kayaks you will have a lot more freedom to explore places that hikers can only look at with binoculars.......but Rock Harbor does not offer solitude, peace and quiet. So it depends on your own preferences.

moderator note: posts merged.
16 RH-DF-MB-TI-RH-3M-RH by kayak
09 RH-DF-MC-TH-HL-SD-WC
00 WC-IM-WC
96 WC-FL-SB-SD-HL-CE-3M-RH
94 RH-DF-MB-3M-RH
92 RH-DF-LR-CW-HL-SD-IM-WC


Topic author
booyah
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Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:33 am

Re: Looking for advice

Post by booyah » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:14 am

So Plan A is officially out
Plan B is looking pretty good, or a plan C with more Rock Harbor, Tobin Harbor type stuff.
Built a portage yoke that I am practicing with, as I suspect I will be carrying the boats more than the kid...


Redbad
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Re: Looking for advice

Post by Redbad » Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:40 am

I would not recommend avoiding the Tobin/Duncan portage by paddling around Blake Point unless there are ideal conditions (no wind/flat waves). I have paddled around Blake Point in less than ideal conditions and have learned from my folly not to do so.

Belle Isle is a great campground and well worth using as a campground and is perhaps a better spot for camping than Lane Cove or Pickerel Bay (you have to pass Belle Isle anyway).

Plan for weather and have options. Indian Point is exposed in a north/northwest blow and it may not be possible to paddle around with a less experienced person.

Take a VHF radio and make sure that it is waterproof or purchase an Aquapac to make it waterproof. Also consider wetsuits or drysuits -- the water never gets really warm and you should plan on spending time in the water in a worst case scenario.

5 fingers area is a great area to explore.

Good luck!


Topic author
booyah
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Posts: 10
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:33 am

Re: Looking for advice

Post by booyah » Wed Jul 10, 2019 8:17 am

Redbad wrote:
Tue Jul 09, 2019 11:40 am
I would not recommend avoiding the Tobin/Duncan portage by paddling around Blake Point unless there are ideal conditions (no wind/flat waves). I have paddled around Blake Point in less than ideal conditions and have learned from my folly not to do so.
No worries there, I did that part of the research and have decided that its not even a thing. Portage of death, here I come!
Belle Isle is a great campground and well worth using as a campground and is perhaps a better spot for camping than Lane Cove or Pickerel Bay (you have to pass Belle Isle anyway).
I'd like to get to Belle Isle, but I dont know if we will. Kid is somewhat concerned about the open water stretches, so we may stick more to Rock Harbor and the Tobin/Duncan bays.
Plan for weather and have options. Indian Point is exposed in a north/northwest blow and it may not be possible to paddle around with a less experienced person.

Take a VHF radio and make sure that it is waterproof or purchase an Aquapac to make it waterproof. Also consider wetsuits or drysuits -- the water never gets really warm and you should plan on spending time in the water in a worst case scenario.
Planning on staying closer, and having a plan B. I work in IT, so the joke is "I dont brush my teeth without a backup, a backout and a plan B"
5 fingers area is a great area to explore.

Good luck!
Thanks I hope we have a good trip!

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