Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Questions about water transportation and fishing on the island.

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Zebra11
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Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by Zebra11 »

Anyone have beta on kayaking out to Passage Island? Looks about 3 miles each way but I know the east end of the main isle gets pretty dicey depending on weather. Just looking for trip report from anyone that’s done it, estimate on actual distance with current, time estimate with the average winds - especially for the return, etc. We’re properly equipped with sea kayaks, drysuits, VHF, rescue trained, etc. We paddled around Blake Point last trip and it looks so great to make the crossing out to Passage. I could spend weeks poking around the east end islands, looking forward to returning this summer.
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Re: Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by Dogger »

Hi, a few years back on one of my trips around the island I did the light house tour. Went to all 4. Stayed at merritt lane when I went to passage. I think it is closer to 4 miles, took me a hour to paddle out to passage. Do not remember any current to speak of. The freighters were my concern. They look slow but they move along. Had a ranger who had paddled to the island tell me to have my radio on. She said a half hour before a freighter gets to passage they will call over the radio. Have a great trip. I need to get back out there again.
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Re: Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by Midwest Ed »

I fear I might sound like one of those guys on Amazon reviews that post "I don't know. I bought something different", but I've never paddled that area.

You sound like you have good experience and a cautious attitude.

I never knew how large a wake the Lakers can produce and how far they travel. One launched our 24 foot RIB into the air when we hit it straight on doing 40 knots, and the boat was barely in sight. It was like it came out of nowhere.

I would imagine there is a dominant, prevailing current under longer periods of calm winds but even this would be altered by various seiche (or seicheal?) action. It will interesting to discover what (if any) prevailing currents exist

I can't vouch for their accuracy but these seem interesting sources:

NOAA/GLERL Great Lakes Surface Currents Map

Surface Level Winds

As long as you can plan extra weather days and take all the needed emergency gear you should have fun.
Last edited by Midwest Ed on Mon Jan 29, 2024 3:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by Bobcat1 »

I have been to Passage Island only on the excursion boat, but for what it’s worth: the harbor is a nice bit of protected water, and there are a few nice items for visitors, like an outhouse and I think I recall a picnic table. There is a high dock for the excursion boat and for maintenance, but I don’t recall seeing any place that would be a great kayak landing. The dense forest comes right to the water, all around the harbor. We motored around the south end of the island, where there was an eagle’s nest so watch out for wildlife!
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Re: Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by Zebra11 »

Thanks for the replies. We’re planning to paddle to Menagerie Island when we start out at Malone Bay and thought this may be a good addition once we make it east to end the trip on. We’ll see how weather goes and how distracted we get exploring.
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Re: Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by treeplanter »

Zebra11 wrote: Mon Feb 07, 2022 12:38 am Thanks for the replies. We’re planning to paddle to Menagerie Island when we start out at Malone Bay and thought this may be a good addition once we make it east to end the trip on. We’ll see how weather goes and how distracted we get exploring.
I have paddled over to Menagerie. Rocky coast, and hard to find a spot to park a kayak, but once there, you can explore the old lighthouse, which is still in operation and maintained by the Coast Guard. While boarded up, we found one window that could be opened, so we climbed inside (not easy). The view from the top of the top of the lighthouse is one that very few people ever get to see. Great views.

As for paddling over to Passage Island, always wanted to but never had the chance. All depends on your paddling skills and the weather. Pray for a big bubble of high pressure centered right over IR (light winds). Hope you can make it over.
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Re: Passage Island Kayak Crossing

Post by Kelly »

Zebra11, did you ever make this crossing to Passage Island? I'm curious about your experience.
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