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  #1  
Old 07-15-2006
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pelicanl is on a distinguished road
Question trailer sailing to Apostle Islands (Superior)

Is August still a decent time to sail to Apostle Islands for temp and good winds? Is a site available to recommend what to take on such a cruise for 4-5 days.
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Old 07-21-2006
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I sure hope so! We are planning (hoping) to go up for a weekend in mid-August. I have been kayaking up there in August and found the weather to be great. The wind is pretty constant, which was a bother when paddling, but should make for great sailing.

Get the NPS map of the park, that will give not only water depths and docks, but show trails on the larger islands. The water will still be _cold_ outside the shallow bays, but the air temp can get up to 90F. And for better info than my opinion, use this- http://www.nws.noaa.gov/om/marine/gtlakes.htm

Have fun!
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Old 07-21-2006
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If I recall correctly, there's some restsrictions about sailing in that area. Might want to double check on that.
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Old 07-24-2006
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Thanks for the heads up PBzeer. I called the park and asked them and the news is nothing but good! If you plan on anchoring and sleeping aboard, there are no permits and no fees. This may change for next year, but currently it is free to sail around the Apostles. There is a fire ban in effect right now- no beach fires and the ranger suggested not even smoking while ashore on the islands. You may make a fire as big as you wish on your boat though

The weather looks good for this week, my fingers are crossed for next weekend! Now to check the wiring and grease the hubs on the trailer...

What are you sailing pelicanl? We will be taking a 20' Balboa up.
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Old 07-24-2006
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Seems there's something else about garbage as well, but they should have told you that.
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Old 07-26-2006
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The Apostle Island are great if you have the boat. Winds have been pretty heavy this year. My boat and our marina were actually hit by a tornado on 6/17. Still adding up all the damage.
If you have something like a McGregor 26 you might want to reconsider. Pretty light weight rig for some of the conditions. We've sailed several days in winds in excess of 30kts. Sometimes over 40.
Best of luck
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Old 07-26-2006
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As a guy that has sailed the Apostle Islands for the last 20+ years, from everything from a Tartan 33 to a MacGregor 26X, I'll tell you that August is probably the best month to sail the islands! The winds are good, the water is warm, and large storms are minimal...
I presently have a 2000 26X (sold the Catalina 30 earlier this year) that I sail out of Bayfield. I downsized to a trailerable boat, since I get bored just sailing around Lake Superior. So far I've been on Lake Michigan, plan to race in Lake of the Woods (LOWISA), and hit Houghton/Hancock in September...
I've had another (1995) 26X in heavy weather (12" rain storm) on Lake Superior: NOT A PROBLEM! With any trailerable boat, you can always beach it and tie to a tree.... Don't let anyone tell you that trailerable boats have light rigging! Take a 30 Catalina (14,000 lbs.) Now take a 3000 lb, trailer boat... Yep the rigging is lighter but so is the weight!
Use common sense, listen to the weather radio, and have fun!
Cheers,
JR on UnderSail
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Old 07-27-2006
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I just found an older 22' South Coast (thats OK,I hadn't heard of it either) after owning a Hobie for so many years. Too much work goes into multihull sailing so I thought I would try a mono. Thank you for sharing what you found out about sailing the Apostle Islands-- I think you mono hull people are much more helpful and willing to help a guy get started, I can't wait to get up their and get on the water. I have been trying to sail as much as I can on our little 2500 acre lake in SD, just to prepare for this trip in August to Superior. When they talk about 2-4 foot waves on forcasts for Superior, is that a "white cap" (crashing) wave or just a rolling one?? Never been on big water like Superior.....
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Old 07-27-2006
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If you're planning a Apostle Island trip, you should buy a copy of Bonnie Dahl's book "Superior Way"... It gives useful information on the entire lake, but has an extensive section on the Apostle Islands. They have a nice chart that gives good places to anchor (dock) with varing wind conditions. It's available at the Outfitter's Store (near the Bayfield Post Office) or thru Amazon.com
A 3-4 day trip could include Stockton Island, Rocky or South Twin (unique spot that if the wind changes you just move to the other island, not far away.), and Raspberry Island.
There's a nice public launch (follow the signs in town) that can take nearly any boat. There's also a Ship's Store with an extensive stock of nautical items and an Ace Hardware store....
If the weather goes bad, (rain) you can always pull into Madeline Island for a night at the marina. They have a great store and nice facilities.
Remember to bring plenty of drinking water. Since it has been declared a "Wilderness", water pumps are not available. Mosquitoes are minimal this year with the dry conditions, but some islands have black flies. We were at Devils Island (nice little harbor for trailer boats) on the 14th. The light house tour was wonderful, but the black flies were nasty!
Fair winds,
JR
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Old 07-27-2006
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Yes, I have been watchingthe weather reports too- 2ft waves with a 5-10kt wind will not have white caps. They just roll along...

That was my experience in a 14ft kayak, which I paddled through 7ft waves in. That was not so much fun!

When are you going up there pelicanl? We hope to go next weekend, if we survive the 100 degree weekend predicted for Minneapolis this weekend.

Thanks for the tip on the book JRon, I will look for in Bayfield. BTW, what do you think of the boat ramp in Little Sand Bay? That is where I have always started kayaking and I like the proximity to Sand Island (nice bay for the first night). Our Balboa 20 has about 2-3ft draft with the keel up, could we get in and out of the ramp/bay.
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