Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

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johnhens
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Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by johnhens » Fri Jun 12, 2009 10:22 am

We (the crew) had finished the Rock Harbor Projects. It was time to do some paddling, fishing, hiking, birding and napping. Tricia would be here on the Voyager this afternoon and we would be heading off to Malone Bay the next day. Dave and I went to look at another project for the NPS. We hiked out to The Artist in Residence Cabin and back along Tobin Harbor to view the cabin. On the way I was fortunate to get good pics of a 3 toed woodpecker, which are rare in MI.
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Tricia and I had seen one in the same locale the year before.

We went back to Rock Harbor and I made last minute gear adjustments. The Voyager arrived early, Tricia was all smiles which told me the North Side trip must have been pleasant. We grabbed her pack with sleeping bag ect. and the food she had brought for us. She introduced me to John, who it turns out works with Nick from here!! John would be going to Malone Bay with us.
We went for a hike as she wanted to stretch her legs. We went back to the cabin to check her gear and to have dinner. After dinner we did some birding. For those who are interested, Isle Royale in the Spring presents an awesome oppurtunity as warblers stop there on the hope across the lake.

I was up early as I normally don't sleep much the night before leaving. We had breakfast and moved our gear down to the dock. We had loaded our kayaks, which came out with me on the Ranger, on the Voyager. Mike tooted the horn and we were on our way. We arrived at Malone where our friend Dan was waiting. He had paddled down earlier after finshing up in Rock Harbor. We offloaded our boats and gear and helped John do the same. We paddled our yaks to the beach and got moved in. Dan had already caught a lake trout that AM, it was fish for lunch!! John joined us for lunch.
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After lunch, we grabbed our fishing gear and headed down to Mean Fish Bay. I started cating with my fly rod. I wasn't sure if I would be able to cast from a kayak, but no problems. I switched to a spinning rod with a 5 of Diamonds and so had a fish. It did not fight like a northern and Dan, who came over to help said it was a lake trout, I was surprised as we were a good mile to deep water. Fish for dinner!
We went back to camp and started the meal prep. We were cooking the fish in foil over a fire. Dinner was great!!!

We slept in the next AM. It was overcast, a good morning to sleep in!!
We had breakfast and went back to MFB. I fished with my fly rod. Dan hooked a few northern, one was 36". The action was not like we had in the past, it was slow. A cold front came through and the fishing stopped. We were cold so we headed back to Malone. Dan had to be back in RH to catch the Ranger. He decided to paddle the inland lake route as the open lakes said being on Superior was not a good thing. We offered to help him portage through to Intermediate the next AM.

We were up early the next day. It had cleared off overnight, the stars were spectacular. We grabbed Dan's gear and went to Siskiwit. He loaded his gear and we were off. It was a beautiful morning! We had a nice paddle to the portage. We had never been to that part of Siskiwit. We arrived at the portage. Tricia and I had brought our portage packs so that we could get Dan's boat and gear in one trip. The portage was pleasant-as pleasant as a portage can be!! The trail was easy carrying, easier than the portages between Wood and Whittlesey and Whittlesey and Chippewa. We saw Dan off and we returned to Siskiwit. Before we paddled back to Malone, I had to use the facilities. I grabbed the TP and headed off to find a good spot. I dug my cat hole infront of a daed birch tree that seemed good. I dropped my shorts and squatted down and grabbed the tree-and I heard a crack-and was laying on my side. The tree had given way. Tricia heard the crack and yelled if I was ok. I was on my side-but I was fine. Othere than some scrapes, I was ok. Then I heard Tricia laughing and yelling "where is Dave?" For once I was glad my friend was not around as he would have surely gotten some pictures! I finished my task and treated my scrapes and we were on our way. The paddle back was nice. We had lunch when we got back. I opted for a nap. Tricia went birding. Tricia came back later and told me of seeing a cowbird. It must have been blown over in a storm. He looked pretty beat up. For what ever reason he was hanging aorund our shelter. We were making dinner later and I dropped some oyster crackers and crushed them. "Dan" (we named the bird Dan for our friend who had just left) was right there to gobble them up. He hung around while we cooked dinner.
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The next morning, I opened the door and "Dan" was sitting on the stoop. He looked at me as if to say "its been light for a while!!" I have to say I enjoyed watching him foraging for food. He grabbed a catepillar and almost smiled.
Image

It was to be a nice day so Tricia broke out the Solar Shower. In the past we had used clear dry bags to warm up water for cleaning up. You filled this up with water and laid it inthe sun. I don't know how accurate it is, but the thermometer said that water was 110 degrees. It has a shower hose. I washed my hair. It was nice and worked well.
We helped John get his boat to the dock as he was being picked up tomorrow. A couple of moose resaerchers, Peter and Bill had showed up the day before. They were leaving on an NPS boat later, so we talked to them for a while. They had prestaked spots that they did tree browse surveys and collected moose drops in the area. Peter has been doing this since the 60's. I was jealous!!!

We were preparing dinner, "Dan" was still with us, and seemed to be more perky. We had dinner and then enjoyed the evening. We got up ealry the next day to help John with his gear. We went to the dock and waited for the Voyager. It was soon here and we helped John load his gear. Mike affirmed he was picking us up on Sunday.
After the voyager left, we grabbed our gear and paddled to Wood Lake. There was not a cloud to be seen. My fishfinder was marking fish, they weren't biting. We fished for a while, I even paddled over fish I could see-nothing!! We stopped at the campground to have a snack. It was a great day to be outside!!!
We paddled back to Malone into a headwind. It was still nice to be on Siskiwit.

*For Tom the OTRP, if you have read this far, underline this sentance* :lol: :wink:

We went back to the shelter. I decided I was going to read, Tricia decided a nap was in order. I had not seen "Dan" this AM. I looked around the shelter for feathers or any sign of trouble but found none. I assume he had continued on his journey!!
It was a pleasure sharing his company.

A few kayakers shower up later. They had paddled across from MN and were on the last leg of a circumnavigation.
We carried our boats back across from Siskiwit. We were going to paddle to Ross and Hat Islands to explore.
We woke to a nice AM, sunny with a slight breeze. We noticed some boats offshore fishing the reefs. An NPS boat showed up. We were enjoying the morning as a ranger walked up. We introduced ourselves, he was Jeremy the Ranger who would be assigned there for the summer. He was pleasant to talk to and wished us well as he left.
We paddled over to Hat Island and and Ross Island. We hiked around Ross Island, no moose, we had not seen any on this trip. We were looking for cabin remains, which we did not find. We saw a Goldeneye hen with chicks swimming but did not get any pics. We paddled back to the dock, where we left out boats. We went back to begin packing.
We enjoyed our last dinner on the Island. It was supposed to be cold overnight so we packed most of our gear.

I woke to frost covered everything. It was pretty cool. We had breakfast and continued packing and moving gear to the dock. We cleaned the shelter and said goodbye. We were sad to leave. I had been on the Island for almost 3 weeks. I was not ready to go!!! Soon the Voyager rounded the point and carefully made its way through the unmarked channel. My hat is off to Mike as It would get old doing the approach through the channel w/o bouys!!!
We loaded our gear and I saw Tom Berry from UMD who we had for the last number of Spring trips had been on the same boat. It was good to see him and talk about the Island.

The ride back was smooth, we arrived in Grand Portage and unloaded gear in sleet!! It switched to snow. It was cold loading the kayaks. Capt Don was there so we had a nice chat about IR. Always good to see him and thanks to Mike and his new crew Matt for a fine job. Love the Voyager!!!

On the way through Duluth, I spoke to fonix, who was getting ready to go. I have to say iw as jealous of him and the rest of you who are going yet this year!! We have already began planning next year!!!

Pics including Passage Island http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/572811384TPQGit


upnorthjeeper
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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by upnorthjeeper » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:00 pm

Nice report! That was neat having "Dan" hang around!!!
"Imagine living your life without being afraid to take a risk and to explore life."
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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by moss13 » Sat Jun 13, 2009 4:56 pm

Great report John! Thanks for sharing but your "potty break" experience had me laughing pretty good. Yes, you are lucky there was not someone to take pictures of that!

No more trips to IR this year? I thought you went a couple times per year, in the fall?
"The Island Is Calling"


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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by johnhens » Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:19 pm

We have plans to go to Tadoussac in Quebec on the St Lawrence. Whales feed there, I have alwsy wanted to paddle with whales so we are going there. I may squeeze a trip in if I can. It would be hard to take more time off, but we shall see!!!

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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by Backpacker534 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 3:49 pm

Nice trip report, John. Thanks a lot for sharing it. :)

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Tom
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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by Tom » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:56 pm

Whew! THANKS!!! (I performed my requisite underlining, I'll have you know!)
3 weeks. I'm totally jealous. Just got back from trip 1 of the season, so writing up my own TR!

Tom
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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by trailgoat » Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:43 pm

Great TR! Thanks for sharing, John.
"In wildness is the preservation of the world."

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johnhens
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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by johnhens » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:07 pm

Tom wrote:Whew! THANKS!!! (I performed my requisite underlining, I'll have you know!)
3 weeks. I'm totally jealous. Just got back from trip 1 of the season, so writing up my own TR!

Tom
OTRP
Glad you enjoyed it!!
John
WFATR :)

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Re: Malone Bay 5/24-5/31 '09

Post by LarryL » Sat Jun 20, 2009 6:04 pm

John,

Sounds like a fantastic trip! Thanks for posting this.

Thank you again for all the help with our upcoming trip. I'll have to send you the latest itinerary, but we took your advice on not trying to combine backpacking with the canoeing. We'll be on IR from July 22-28.
2 visits (2002 and 2009) and counting

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