An interesting thing happens when ones starts casting about for a 3 day trip to do. Here is the chart section that caught my eye (click on it for a larger view):
Even better it is a two hour drive from Marquette. Driving to the launch site on the beach, it is another one of those off the beaten track UP places. Little did I know…
Launching and heading out the conditions were perfect, little wind any day in the forecast except for sunday night when a front was to move through. A long crossing like this needs conditions like these to avoid becoming an ‘adventure’.
Navigation is always challenging in a new place. I couldn’t see significant land features for the first ninety minutes so it was paddling by compass till visually I could lock onto a landmark.
Landing at Squaw Island I was tempted to leave right away due to the loud hum of many insects wings. Amazingly the gnats (sometimes called muffleheads) were in many large groups flying about. Fortunately they are non biting and there were few mosquitoes or blackflies about. The positive is they indicate good water quality and are a bounty to fish and birds. The negative is they were out on the water where they flew into my ears, eyes and generally made a pest of themselves when the wind died.
The other feature of this trip was the heat, it was hot and humid. Most Memorial Day trips are cool due to the water temperature, not this year, most of the water felt at summer temperature. This I assume also accounts for the algae seen along the shorelines and in the shallows. This algae also made swimming in some areas unappealing.
But there were highlights. The biggest being this abandoned lighthouse (below) that someone is maintaining. It is unlocked so one is able to go up the tower! Wandering around inside of it exploring was an unexpected bonus as many of these structures are either boarded up or in such poor condition that you don’t want to go inside.
And then finally, except for Beaver, these islands are wilderness. A few boats were about and few people. It is a good place to get away, when the conditions allow it…