A group of seven club paddlers embarked on a trip to camp, hike, and paddle Sand Island and explore the Apostle Island National Lakeshore. We planned our trip and meals well in advance and ensured we had the proper gear to experience the remote beauty and pristine yet, at times, dangerous Lake Superior and Apostle Islands.
Before departing on our paddle, the group got together for dinner in Bayfield at The Pickled Herring on Wednesday night, and for breakfast Thursday at Manypenny. Rain was anticipated, making the choice to paddle directly from Little Sand Bay to Sand Island first thing on the agenda. Camp was set up, the storm passed us by, so the rest of the day was spent paddling the Sand Island Sea Caves in extremely calm water (what an exceptional treat!), followed by a visit to the lighthouse with a tour by volunteer Ladonna. We enjoyed a group dinner of personal pizzas and delicious apple fritters and relaxed by the campfire.
Friday morning the weather forecast looked like there might be some bad weather, so the group decided to paddle around Sand Island. And we had calm weather, ate lunch on a beautiful sand beach, visited the light house again, and enjoyed smooth water while having a blast paddling around and in and out of all the passages in the sea caves. Once back at camp, we feasted on white chicken chili and was able to borrow a big pot from volunteer Ladonna. That pot was such a nice treat, and we were able to keep it for the next night’s dinner, too.
Our good weather fortune was tarnished a bit on Saturday as the wind picked up and paddling conditions were rougher. We talked about going out paddling to practice our skills but ended up hiking around and had so much fun and adventure exploring the Island we never got around to kayaking! The group meal Saturday night was a mash-up of fun ingredients to make the most delicious spinach linguine with grilled artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, and a fancy feta cheese concoction with pink pepper corns. Believe me, it was fantastic. Two lucky group members saw a mother black bear and her cub.
All good things must come to an end, and Sunday we ate breakfast, packed up our camp, and paddled back to the mainland (we did give Ladonna back her big pot with some nice cookies to say thank you). As we crossed to the mainland, the fog rolled in, and we eventually were navigating by our compass readings. Six of us then packed up our kayaks and enjoyed the mainland sea caves via Meyer’s Beach. We had a bit of fog at the beginning but had a calm and lovely paddle around to see all the features that make up this spectacular destination.