I am excited to be visiting Isle Royale for the first time this June with 3 friends. Our current itinerary involves flying into Rock Harbor from Houghton, then leaving on a water taxi to Malone Bay to stay the night. From there, we will be camping in S. Lake Desor > Siskiwit Bay > Feldtmann > Windigo, then flying out the next day from Windigo. (~40 miles, 10 miles per day)
My primary concern is the timing between landing on the seaplane, and departing on the water taxi. (Reservations have already been purchased)
Seaplane Departure: 10:00am
Estimated Seaplane Arrival: 10:45am
Water Taxi Departure: 12:30pm
Barring any obvious weather delays, will we be okay for time to perform our ranger's orientation and shop for supplies before leaving on the taxi?
Thanks in advance!
- IR Expert
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- Location: Quad Cities, IL
If you miss your 12:30pm WT departure, the WT operator should be paying attention as to why and I know they will do their best to accommodate your new seaplane arrival time. Having said all that, remember that once you arrive things run on what is often referred to as "Island Time". Let's assume your flight get delayed by an hour or two. If the water taxi schedule is busy for the day, there is a chance they might move someone else up a bit and put them in front of you, especially if they believe they can get back to RH to pick you up at your new arrival time.
There is a lot of daylight in June so your Malone arrival window can be pretty tolerant. On the more negative chance side, it never hurts to think through a couple of contingency plans (i.e. alternate routes) so you don't have the pressure on to make a hasty decision. Worst case, your plane gets delayed an entire day or you have to spend your arrival night in RH due to the water taxi not being able to sail or not have enough time to make the trip. I think though in June, these circumstances are quite remote. Shorter delays due to fog/low visibility are more common.
We are letting the lodge know our seaplane plans, so this should be no problem.
Also, the ferry schedule suggests that since we're landing on a Sunday, it should be relatively quiet in Rock Harbor.