Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

SK: Apostle Island Adventure

  • August 04, 2018
  • August 11, 2018

Trip Sponsor:  Jim Sprandel

I will sponsor a 7-day trip from Saturday, August 4 through Saturday, August 11.   This is a good time of year to go the Apostles because it’s warm and since we don’t have problems with the black flies.

We will probably have 2 groups (we had 3 in 2017) since the campsites rules in the Apostles limit group size.   The route that each group takes will depend on who signs up for each and what campsites are available.   Last year, everyone  paddled the Mainland Sea Caves on Saturday – some people going around Eagle Island when returning.    During the week, this was the itinerary of the Inner Island Group:  Little Sand BayàYorkàOak 6-à Stockton-Presque Ile Bay – Day trip to Michigan Island à Manitou à York à Little Sand Bay)..   As an example of an Outer Island Group, Brad’s group went;  YorkàSouth Twin 1 àDevils Island à Stockton 21 à Presque Ile  Bay (Stockton)  à York à Little Sand Bay.

Here is an island map if you want to check them out:   https://www.nps.gov/apis/planyourvisit/upload/APIS-map-07.pdf

Registration:   Please sign you by e-mailing me at merlin-3d@sbcglobal.net.

Each of the groups can handle up to  6 people – after the slots for a group are filled, I will “wait list” people.  4 people are currently signed up (Brad, Julie, Jim E., and me).   We can technical handle 7 people per campsite but they can get really crowded.

If you have questions, call (317-257-2063) or e-mail me and we can talk about the trip and answer any questions that you may have.   .

 High-Level Schedule:  

  • ·         (Optional) Friday, August 4   Camping Friday Night at Little Sand Bay.    Most people drive up on Friday and paddle on Saturday but you can drive up on Saturday if you want to save a Vacation day.
    Note:  I have already reserved campsites for the group at Little Sand Bay Campground on both Friday and Saturday nights.  If you plan your own trip, these sites fill up early for weekends during the summer so I make my reservations in February.  
  • ·         (Optional) Saturday, August 4 Morning:   Given reasonable conditions, we will either paddle the Mainland Sea Caves from Meyers Beach or out to the Long Island lighthouse.   If we do the sea caves, we can either return to Meyer’s Beach (8 miles)  or paddle from there back to Little Sand Bay (9.2 miles and a shuttle).  If going to the Sea Cave and we want extra mileage, part of last year’s group paddled around Eagle Island after passing the caves (12  miles with more open water).   No rush– we can see what the group wants to do that Friday night.
  • ·         Saturday, August 4  Night    All people should be at Little Sandy Bay Campground where we will spend the night.   We usually go into Bayfield for dinner Saturday night.
  • ·         Sunday, August 5  -  Set out from Little Sandy Bay Sunday morning and paddle out to Sand Island and visit the Sea Caves and possibly the Light House there.   We will then probably head from the Lighthouse over to camp on York Island,   There is a large parking lot at this campground where we can leave our cars for free.   The Outer Island group may opt to not go to Sand if depending on campsite availability at Devils or Outer..
  • ·          Monday – Friday - Paddle from island to island.
    The groups will separate after we launch Sunday Morning although we may overlap on York or Stockton.
  • ·         Saturday, August 11 – Arrive back at Little Sand Bay sometime in the morning.   If we stay over at York Friday Night, this can be quite early   People can then head back to Indy or hang around to shop in Bayfield on Saturday.   Last year, I got back into Indy around 10:30 pm.

 Trip Requirements:

  • Rescue Training - Must have training in assisted open water rescue skills prior to course – I want people along who can rescue me if I capsize and miss my roll.
  • Pod Discipline – Attendees will be expected to paddle with the group.  We will always have a sweep and lead – people need to stay together - we will have several 3-5 mile crossings.  This is big water and things do happen.  The water does get rough and is cool even in August.  Life jackets must be worn while paddling.
  • Paddling Skills - 
    Inner Island Group
    Must feel comfortable and have experience paddling in 2-foot wave conditions from all directions including broach and rear quartering.   
    Must be able to paddle 10-12  miles per day for the 6-day trip at a 3.2-3.6 mph pace.
    Outer Island
    Must feel comfortable and have experience paddling in 3 foot wave conditions from all directions including broach and rear quartering.    Experience in confused big water
    Must be able to paddle 12-18 miles per day for the 6-day trip at a 3.5-4.0 mph pace
  • Camping:  Some kayak camping experience – bring your own camping equipment – you are expected to take care of all your own meals.   Experience with packing your boat and knowing what to bring is really helpful – talk to me if you have questions.   Most of us dry pack before we come leave Indy anyway since boats seem to shrink when you go to put gear in them.  There is no place to resupply after we leave on Sunday Morning.  Bayfield has stores including a grocery and kayak store if you need something on Saturday.
  • Paddling Equipment:  Sea Kayaks only – 16 foot or longer. Lake Superior is really big.  Spray skirt required, tow rope, pumps, paddle float,  If you have a GPS, compass, Apostles map, VHF radio and/or SPOT, please bring them (if you don’t, don’t buy them since we should have one or two in each group.)
  • Water:   I will bring group filtration equipment for the Inner Island group.  We will finalize plans at the Group Planning meeting.
  • Wet Suit/Dry Suit:  Sometimes, you can get by without a dry suit or wet suit in August.  Sometimes, you can’t.   We will see what the summer brings.

 Planning Meeting: Everyone who is going will get together in late June to draft our itineraries.  Again, our final itineraries will depend on what the group wants and feels comfortable with as well as what campsites are available when we make reservations.  We can reserve our sites 1 month before our first night on the islands so we need to have our desired itineraries pinned in early July.     We will also discuss what group gear we will need and driving arrangements.

If you can’t make the planning meeting – cool
.   Give me a call before the meeting so we can register your preferences to filter into the decision process. 

The Lake is Boss - Of course, we may have to modify our plans during the trip – we’re not going to do something stupid because of campsite reservations.  I would also recommend making sure that you bring food for at least 1-2 extra days and a book.  I have experienced days where we could not paddle safely– I have never had to extend a trip because of conditions yet but it could happen.

 Costs:    Costs for camping in the islands is  $15/night/group.  Camping at Sand Bay Campground on Friday and Saturday night is about $200 split between the people going (prices went up this year).    We will divide up these costs when we get up there.  After the trip, the Little Sand Bay campgroup has a pay shower (I think $3) so bring some quarters if you want to use them.

 Driving:   The Apostles are a 11-13 hour drive from Indianapolis to Bayfield.   People usually ride up together since it’s a long drive especially coming home.

Hoosier Canoe & Kayak Club

Background image provided by Karl Zemlin www.zemlinphoto.com

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