Monday, June 4, 2007
People don't seem to realize that when the weatherman says there is a 50% chance of showers that it must mean there is also a 50% chance of no showers. We chose to believe the no showers part and headed for the Apostles this weekend. The Voice of Reason, SammyW, and I had a one night permit on Manitou Island. In a complicated deal involving cars, cash, wine, and who knows what else, Sam wound up with the VOR's CD Storm. That was her first boat and the venerable Storm was my first boat also. This was Sams first solo trip so we hoped that Superior would cooperate and it did so nicely. We had some 'wind in the teeth', following swells, a blind crossing in the fog, some clapotis, and some dead flat paddling; I couldn't have devised a better paddling syllabus had I tried. Unlike many parts of the state, we seemed to only get rain when we were on the water. I'm convinced that a properly rigged tarp precludes any rain while forgetting your tarp means steady downpour. Speaking of which, I did forget a number of things in this initial cruise including the coffee press, my camera, and my drysuit. My tuliq filled in quite nicely however and was actually the perfect gear for a damp 50-60F weekend. I practiced a few rolls off the Basswood Island dock and can attest that Gitchee Gume is still pretty chilly. The fog Sunday morning was spectactular. We had visibility of about 100 yards (photo from last year....no camera, remember?) and I was excited to do a couple of blind crossings. My companions were not quite so excited. The lake was dead flat when we started and all the senses were sharp, which helped with the navigation. For example you knew where the Manitou Reef was because you could hear the gulls on the rocks. You knew when you were getting close to the Red Cliff buoy because you could smell the cormorant crap. At one point in a break you could see the top of Oak Island sticking out of the fog like a mountain. I cursed my lack of camera once again at that point. It was a nice shakedown in preparation for Devils Island next weekend and once again the lake amazed me with its many moods. I'm glad we paddle those skinny boats!