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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:50 pm
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Location: minneapolis, MN
Looking for a kayak vacation? We just got back from an Apostle Islands vacation with the Hobie Outfitter, and it was a fantastic trip. The ability to sail, along with taking the sail down and pedaling, is idea for touring the sea caves in the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. For some detailed information about planning a kayak Apostle Island trip, here's a web site with some info: http://www.nps.gov/apis/planyourvisit/index.htm

When we rolled into Bayfield, Wisconsin, we visited the Coast Guard station to get a weather report. It's important for the winds to be light if you want to venture into the caves, so it's a good idea to get a report along with looking at the wind reports from weather underground and the wind reports from Devils Island: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/show_plot.php? ... _label=CDT

The first day was too windy to try the caves, so we took the ferry to Madeline Island and took the Outfitter on top of our SUV for fishing in the Big Bay Lagoon. The best entry point for the lagoon is using the Town Park on the north side of the lagoon because it has a parking lot that is close to the water and it's free to enter the park. (There is also an excellent beach there). The park to the south of the lagoon is a state park and costs $10. You do need to carry the yak down some steep stairs and across a bridge, but it wasn't too bad. We caught four Northern Pike in a couple hours and had a blast cruising around the lagoon. The picture below is of the bridged and mouth of the lagoon.

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The Outfitter was getting a lot of attention, which wasn't too appreciated by the yak renter at the bay, since they didn't have any Hobies. I think the renters were getting lots of requests for Hobies because The Minnesota Bound TV show just ran a special on fishing in Hobies on Madeline Island, and several people saw the show. (By the way, the fishing guide on the show said to use white spinners, which is what we successfully used.) We were the only one's catching fish, all caught by trolling, nothing by casting for some reason. The north and east part of the lagoon had the most action, and we did see bass feeding on the surface in the weeds, just couldn't catch any of them.

The next day the winds were light, 2-4 mph on Devils Island, (2 mph or less where we were), and we headed for the sea caves. We left the kayak launch west of the NPS dock at Little Sand Bay (Parking lot, GPS: N46°56’43.0â€


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2005 10:46 pm
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Location: Escondido
Great pics, beautiful scenery! Thanks! 8)


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 12:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 2:25 pm
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Location: Central Coast NSW Australia
Spectacular! The sea caves are particularly impressive. What a great destination -perfect for the Hobie! Thanks for posting.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:14 am 
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Location: minneapolis, MN
One thing I should mention, for anyone who would like to take a trip to the Apostles, is that you need to plan for the cold water. August/September is the most popular because the water is at its warmest, but hypothermia is still a real threat if you get dumped off your yak.
The coast guard and many outfitters strongly recommend wearing wetsuits or drysuits, and all the people that we saw on 3-4 day kayak/camping trips were in wetsuits. (You can camp on a few of the islands, so extended trips are also popular).
When we went out for our day trip to the caves, there weren't any waves and the weather wasn't supposed to change, so we used wetsuit shorts, just in case small waves continued to get the seats wet. We had our wetsuits along just in case though. The two person Outfitter is really hard to tip, and if we did, we would be able to get each other back in the yak quick enough before hypothermia woudl set in. The day was hot (80 degrees) so we routinely dipped our feet and arms in the water to cool off when pedaling. I took a minute long swim afterward...the water was warm enough for that.
If there were 1-3 foot waves and we were sailing, we would have been in our wetsuits.
As I mentioned, the Hobies make a great craft to bring up there, as you can have fun sailing if the wind is present, and then if the wind calms down in the evening or morning, you can take the mast down and remove the sidekicks even while in the water and go through the sea caves. People that only bring traditional kayaks wouldn't enjoy a trip as much if it stayed windy.
There is also a large sailing community up there, and the sailboat sailors I talked to were interested in the Hobie because of its dual purpose nature. It's common to see sailboats anchored by the seacaves and dinghies used to get closer to the caves...but the dinghies are too wide to go through most of the tunnels.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:50 pm
Posts: 461
Location: sacramento california
Hey Tracker :wink:
Have Fun
Kepnutz


Last edited by kepnutz on Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:25 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2007 9:50 pm
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Location: minneapolis, MN
Kepnutz,
The winds were too light to even bring the jib out on my trip, and my wife wasn't keen on having the jib in her line of site on our excursion...can't blame her since she had the camera. I had the tapered boombat in the sail, but with only 2 mph winds, the sail turned into a safety flag.
I will have 4 days on Lake Minnetonka over the Labor Day weekend, so I plan on doing as much sailing as possible :) .
I'll post my results.
Any results from the Windpaddle?

-tracker


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 7:08 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 4:50 pm
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Location: sacramento california
Hey Tracker


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:36 am
Posts: 840
Location: Gippsland Lakes Victoria Australia
Great photos - great location! :wink:
Mickey


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