Thursday, September 24, 2009


Though technically fall, the weather lingers in full-blown summer, making it difficult to think about doing fall things. Pumpkins, grouse, leaf raking are all far in the back of my mind. A few minutes ago, I was thinking how nice it would be to take the dogs to the beach and lay there in the hot sand one more time.

Risa is off getting a massage and I am jealous. It is the old and infirm who need such tender care - like me.

Tomorrow we climb into the car for another long road trip to Madison to see Kate and maybe watch a football game, though neither of us is much of a football fanatic. I don't have tickets yet so we will play the ticket game outside of the stadium to see if we can score a discounted seat or two.

This is what I was doing two weekends ago. Four of us took off on a long weekend to cruise the Apostle Islands off the "junior" peninsula that sticks up from Wisconsin on the south shore of Lake Superior. This is a C&C Landfall 38 with a center cockpit. Very comfortable with four on board. We stocked up on food and booze before embarking which was a good thing because we spent most of our time motoring through calm seas and anchored in placid bays. The weather there was also very un-fall-like for Superior in September.

Whenever preparing for a trip on the waters of Superior, you have to pack for all occasions including weather that you would normally find in the depth of winter. Hence I had heavy oil-impregnated wool sweaters, turtlenecks, fleece pants to go under my goretex ski bibs, etc. What I wore was shorts and a T-shirt. The weather was in the eighties with only the occasional puff of a breeze. Things were very relaxed.

There were beers for lunch, wine and cheese for cocktail hour, and various concoctions after that. Our first night was spent tied to the dock at La Point on Madeline Island where we proceeded to tour all of the various sailors haunts which led to events that will necessitate a brief hiatus before I visit again.

From there, we abandoned land for the serene safety of the waves (well, not really waves, but more like glassy ripples) as we went in search of adventure. We took a tour of the Raspberry Island light house that was led by a garrulous old ranger who was in love with his life and happy to share the lighthouse lore with anyone who had the time to hear it. He and I wound up swapping tales because even though I am not a real light house keeper, I played one in a movie one time which gave me some hind sight into the lives of the keepers.

Our last stop was Presque Isle Bay on the south side of Stockton Island. We were one of about twenty-five sailing vessels at anchor there on that night. It was a beautiful anchorage stretching out along an arching white sand beach that supported about twenty campsites along the shore. We took the dinghy in to shore for a swim in the 70 degree water, washing off the day's accumulation of sweat.

I turned in early that night as the candle burning of the previous two had taken their toll on me. I awoke to a chill, gray dawn and an old fashioned blanket of fog. Because I prefer shore facilities to the limited options on board, I broke the silence with the outboard on the dinghy as I motored over to the dock a good half mile away.

As we ate our breakfast, boats ghosted out of the bay, one by one in the cotton wool fog. When our turn came, we fired up the diesel and joined the flotilla heading back to Bayfield and the harbor. By the time we reached our marina, the fog had lifted, a breeze appeared (too late for us), and we needed another shower.

It was a wonderful time and I was glad to get back in a boat on the lake. I grew up sailing out of Bayfield and Duluth. I can still see our old sloop if I go down to the marina on Park Point. I hope I don't have to wait as long until the next time.



Blogger lime said...

sounds like it was really a wonderful time. you really paint a great picture of it all. you have got me wondering about the incidents which necessitate the hiatus...

6:13 AM, September 25, 2009  
Blogger Cheesy said...

[note from my son- your email isn't working]

"Definitely Citroen! Zak has many...Good eye. If you want specifics I can ask

7:20 AM, October 07, 2009  

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