Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Our long weekend in the Apostles began with a night crossing. While I kind of enjoy a night crossing if the conditions allow one, the setting up camp in the dark aspect is not quite as enjoyable. When we looked at the next day's weather forecast however, it became apparent that getting out to Lighthouse Bay on Sand Island would be considerably easier before the weather blew up. It was a wise decision.
None of the group arose at the crack of dawn after arriving at 11pm and it was howling pretty good when we all got up. The decision of whether to go or stay was debated and postponed even though the BessemerConvivialist pointed out that if we could see the the whitecaps almost to the Minnesota shore that there was likely some pretty big water out there. The one thing that we all did agree on was that it was the perfect opportunity to work on our surfing skills. My Ore Freighter, the Aquanaut HV, doesn't surf as well as the Q boat but it was still great fun. The BC took out her new Cetus and RonO and LoneRangerRob were in their Nordkapps. BDahlieOfMahtomedi rounded out the group in his Impex Force4. We all got some great rides, most of us went over (some on purpose) and we were all fairly tired out by about 11am. Since we only had a short paddle to York we were still undecided on whether to go or stay. The VOR and LRR took a hike up to the Sand Island Light to see what everyone else on the island was doing but when I heard the pop and hiss of a Heineken can being opened that seemed to be the deciding vote that we were going to stay. The intrepid hikers returned from the lighthouse and informed us that the waves hitting the ledge by the light were sending spray 30' to 40' in the air and no one was going anywhere. Since we had been out paddling in the stuff already we really couldn't claim to be windbound so between the surfing, hiking, basking on rocks, and beers with lunch, we decided that we were funbound.
Once again the lake proved to be the boss and in more dramatic fashion than even the big waves she showed us. When we set up Friday night, our boats in the photo above were pulled up on the sand and we could easily walk around the back of them. By morning, the large berm that had been built up by the northeasters had been eroded by the northwest wind up to the day hatches on our boats. Gitchee Gumee has some interesting and unexpected tricks up her sleeve (including some fantastic sunsets), which is why no two trips to the same spot are ever alike. Which is just the way I like it.