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Capt.’s Log: Tall Ships Duluth and Apostle Islands 2016

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Capt. Bondo
C Shirt
C Shirt

Joined: 20 Aug 2009
Posts: 711
Location: Hudson, WI

PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2016 6:37 am    Post subject: Capt.’s Log: Tall Ships Duluth and Apostle Islands 2016 Reply with quote

8/17/16; Wednesday
During the morning pre-trip trailer check I find water in starboard bearing cap (again!). Dissemble hub and run to NAPA for bearings and seal. Glad I saved the bearing/seal boxes from last time for part numbers. Drop off hub at auto shop to press out old races and in the new, have breakfast at Mickey D’s while work is completed. Return home, pack new bearings and reassemble hub, and trailer down off the jack by lunch time.
Leave for Duluth via Interstate 35 at about 2:30PM; arrive at Barkers Island Marina in Superior WI about 6:00PM, road trip uneventful. Rig and launch Happy Place and arrive at our B dock slip in time for sundowners (Life is Good). -Trailered 170 miles-
8/18/16; Thursday
Original plan was to sail out to meet the ships as they came in for the Parade of Sail at about 1:00pm. After talking to folks on the dock we discovered that most of the ships had already come in, some overnight. Apparently at the last Parade of Sail (3 years ago) there was such a large spectator fleet that there was safety issues and they wanted to avoid that this year. It was still a nice day to sail out for the afternoon. About 4:00 dark clouds on the horizon turned us back to port. The storm went to the south and never rained. -Motored and sailed (110% jib) 14 miles-
8/19/16; Friday
This is our day to drive down to the event grounds and take in the ships and all on land. They have added a first class art fair with quality vendors, so there were lots of vendors to look at and Artsy ideas for the first mate and I to steal. (Arr!) Since we had toured a couple of the tall ships last time, we passed on that ticket. Good thing too, we had heard that some folks stood in line for 3+ hours for the 15 minute walk through. I was bummed that the Viking ship DRAKEN HARALD HARFAGRE had run out of pilot funds and pulled out before Duluth. The world’s Biggest Rubber Duck added contrast to the event. Nice evening sitting in the cockpit with drinks and streaming the Olympics on the laptop at the marina.
8/20/16; Saturday
Rain. Since we have shore power, watched a couple movies, and drove into Superior fill the back-up fuel jug and get some supplies. We didn’t leave the dock. On a walk around the marina we found 3 more Chrysler 22’s, 2 in slips and one on its trailer in storage. It’s amazing how many sailors we talked to that have either owned or have known someone that has owned a Chrysler 22 on the way to something larger. Must be a transitional drug type of boat…
8/21/16; Sunday
Light winds, hoping to sail with the tall ships today. After motoring out the Superior Harbor Basin break water to Lake Superior we hoist sails (110% jib) and head NW to Duluth. After realizing how light and funky the wind is, we switch to the 150 Genoa. Sailed out to check out a couple Ore Ships that were pumping out ballast water before they went in for a load of Iron Ore. A couple the tall ships had come out into the lake but were staying along the North shore and still about 5 miles away. I just didn’t want to motor to try to catch them, just to have them go back into the Duluth harbor by the time we got there. Late afternoon the wind finally filled in and we were sailing. We had to dodge out of the way of the local regatta, as they were finally racing. Snuck into the Yacht club in the evening to watch the closing ceremonies of the Olympics on TV. -Motored and sailed 16 miles-
8/22/16; Monday
Moving Day. We had considered going out to watch the tall ships leave, but could not get a ETA and wind was quite strong out of the NE so waves would be big off the lake. So after breakfast we made Happy Place road ready back on her trailer and it was off to the Apostle Islands. After about 4 hours that included load/pack-up, drive, stop at NPS office in Bayfield, set-up and splash, we were in a slip at Little Sand Bay Harbor. No more noise and activity of a big marina. Just 4, first come slips and we are the only ones there. Kayakers are coming in and out of the local camp ground. After a refreshing swim and dinner on the boat we were treated to the first of many quality Apostle Islands sunsets. (Life was good again). -Trailered 90 miles-
8/23/16; Tuesday
Since we had no float plan for the Apostle’s, we decided we would day sail around Sand Island to the sea caves that have gotten a lot of media coverage the last couple winters as the “Ice Caves on Lake Superior”. Clear and sunny, little to no wind. After drifting along at under 110% at 2Kts we fired up the old 280 Sailor and actually got someplace. Along the way we checked out the Sea caves on the eastern side of Sand Island and the Light house on the northern end. Soon we discovered the beach in Lighthouse Bay. Since the Sea/Ice Caves were still out of view, and we would have the beach all to our self’s…we anchored in 4 feet of water, donned our swim suits and swam ashore. The afternoon was spent exploring, swimming, rock hunting and relaxing. After a late afternoon lunch and one last swim, we hoisted anchor and motor sailed back round Sand Island light. The wind was slowly starting to fill in, then a very abrupt rise in temperature and within 5 minutes the wind had come around 180 degrees and built to 25mph. With too much sail up we eased out the sheets to spill the wind out of the sails and worked our way back to Sand Bay, splashing through the white caps as we went. It was a nice evening to be tied up to a dock behind a breakwater. –Motored and sailed 14 miles-
8/24/16; Wednesday
Morning forecast; Clear, wind W @ 10, building to 20 by evening.
Just the forecast we were hoping for. We were on the western edge of the Apostles and had so many islands to explore to the east. Flying the 110% we were moving along nicely at 5kts out from Sand Bay, jibed around the north side York Island and the southern side of Raspberry Island. The sailing was grand, wind was steady and the seas were about a foot. We were in the (sailing) zone. Since we were just zig-zagging around the islands, Bear Island was next in line. After rounding the western point of Bear we could see Devils Island and the sailing conditions were holding, it was just midafternoon, and Devils Island reportedly had the best sea caves only 5 miles away. But as we sailed north the wind had begun to slowly build, until again too much sail. By this time the waves had built to 3 to 4 feet and the rebound waves from the rocky Devils Island shore made for some very choppy conditions, and I was not going to send the first mate forward to lower sail. We eased the sheets to spill the wind and focused on rounding the northern tip of Devils. It was quite a ride, and amazing dry, and at no time did I feel out of control. We were now averaging about 7kts. Rounding light house point we started surfing down the waves that were blowing in from the open lake, I steered toward the lee side of the island, but not before one last large wave pushed us up to a top speed of 9.1kts, the keel cable was singing tenor! Soon we were on the flat water on the lee of Devils Island, among the motor yachts and kayakers that had taken shelter there to explore the incredible sea caves. It was now late afternoon and I wanted to find a well sheltered place for the evening. Checking the charts, the east side of Rocky Island looked like the place. After changing to our working jib we ventured out of the lee of Devils, south along the west side of Rocky and around the southern end, the whole time the GPS is showing us traveling around 7kts, now with occasional bow spray coming back to the cockpit. Soon we were tying up to the dock on the calm lee side of Rocky Island. The folks on the 40’ Hunter in front of us were surprised to see such a little boat come in from those conditions. When I ask them why, they informed us that there was Small Craft Warnings out…well that explained a lot. I couldn’t be happier with how well my little yacht and crew handled the conditions today! (Life is good)–Sailed 26 miles-
8/25/16; Thursday
Small Craft Advisories remain in effect until 10:00pm…Been there, done that!
It will be a nice day to stay at the dock and explore the island.
Talked a couple guys camping on the south side of the island that we had seen yesterday sailing a outrigger Kayak rig back from Devils Island. They also had a friend that had owned a Chrysler 22, and they wanted to know how fast we were going when we passed them. In the afternoon a group of Boy Scouts stopped in their 3 zodiacs’ for lunch. Being a scout leader myself I’m always interested in the adventures other units have taken. These guys from Traverse City MI. called themselves an Archipelago Venture Crew. They were currently exploring the Apostles Islands and sea caves, past adventures included the North Channel of Lake Huron, and a circle navigation of Isle Royal to name a few. That evening we shared a cooler of beer and a campfire with the volunteer Ranger and 6 guys that were sailing around on a 26’ Hunter. Many a sailing yarn was told. (Good times) Small world, most of these guys were from our home sailing grounds of the St Croix River. –Hiked 6 miles-
8/26/16; Friday
Forecast winds W 5 to 10 from the west.
Thinking that we would have a nice sail down to Bayfield we hoisted the 150 genoa. Soon the only thing the genoa was supplying was shade from the sun as the wind had dropped to all most nothing; the GPS was showing the average speed at about 1Kt. Today would be a day to see what kind of fuel mileage the Chrysler Sailor outboard gets. Midafternoon the wind did come back some, but not enough turn off the motor, since we wanted to make it to Bayfield before the marina office closed. After filling up the gas tank and getting a slip, it was off to get a burger at Maggie’s. We have always visited Bayfield during Applefest (first weekend in October) so to be there without the crowds was a nice change. So much so, we stayed over Saturday too.
8/28/16; Sunday
Forecast winds SW 5 to 10, building to 10 to 15, overnight thunderstorm.
We castoff from Bayfield at noon to head back to Little Sand Bay, via a stop as Raspberry Lighthouse. Winds were light to begin with, so we motor sailed until Red Cliff point when at that point we could sail at 4 to 5kts. With a wind shift to the west, a couple of additional tacks were required to make it into the dock. After a tour boat and a couple of powerboats left we had the docks all to our self. With the threat of a overnight thunder storm we repositioned the boat on the docks with the bow out in case we needed to get away in the night. NPS warns boaters about waves pinning boats against the docks in a blow, and we had seen that damage on a MacGregor earlier in the week. After dinner and a game of Croquet, the Apostle Islands offered our last sunset for this trip. That sunset also gave us a peek of the storm that we would be dealing with later that night.
About 2:00am we are jostled out of the v-birth with waves driving us into the dock and thunder and lightning overhead. Not wanting to leave the dock in the storm, we opted to pull the boat over to the other dock that would give us more protection from waves that were now coming out of the east. We accomplished this by rigging the anchor rode from the other dock to the boat, then pulling it across. At least now the waves were not driving us into the dock, and the anchor and dock lines gave us double security.
8/29/16; Monday
By morning the wind and waves were receding, as we went ashore for a lighthouse tour at 9:00. Raspberry Lighthouse is recently restored and our seasoned Park Ranger tour guide told us stories of what it was like to live as a lighthouse keeper in the 1920’s. Since it was just the 3 of us, we spent extra time on the catwalk around the light exchanging stories with the Ranger, and enjoying the views from the top of the lighthouse. By the time we departed Raspberry island the wind had dropped to about 5mph, so we motor sailed the 6 miles back to Sand Bay. After living on a Chrysler 22 for 2 weeks we figured we were due for a little pampering. At the local casino we found just what we needed, a room overlooking the lake with a king size bed, pool with hot tub, restaurant, bar and cable TV. Life was good!
H:)ppy Place
78 Chrysler 22

You can go to a Zen Master or you can go Sailing, either way you end up in about the same place..... a Happy Place
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Joined: 07 Jul 2016
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like an epic trip. Great photos. Makes me homesick for Michigan summers.
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Joined: 17 Feb 2010
Posts: 91
Location: Winona, MN

PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing! It sounded like a great trip. I loved the photos.

It's been on my bucket list to tow our 22 up to the apostles for a long weekend. We almost did this summer for our wedding anniversary (we were married on a sailboat in the apostles) but at the last minute the wife decided a few days in Manhattan would be better than bobbing around the apostles in the tiny 22. Kudos for spending 2 weeks on yours. I think I would enjoy a long trip on ours, but 3 night would be pushing it for my wife.

We have a small plane and take one or two day trips to Madeline each summer. It's a nice walk from the airport on Madeline to the ferry dock to take us over to Bayfield. Every time we are there I say the next visit will be with the 22. But have yet to. I"m going to make it a priority for next summer.

70's Barnett Butterfly "Blue Jean"
1980 Mutineer "Guster"
1976 C-22
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Location: Knoxville TN

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing that awesome trip and the fantastic photos as well. You're living one of my dreams which is to sail Lakes Superior and Michigan. I've been to that area once and would love to return with boat in tow and set sail around the islands. My wife is a Yooper and we travel back to Michigan every summer with the hopes of setting sail in our restored C22. I'm nearing the end of 4 long years getting her ready to sail. You're post has inspired me even more! Thanks again for taking the time to share Smile

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Joined: 19 Feb 2010
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Location: s.e Wisconsin

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob...your boat looks beautiful.
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