The Sailing Vessel 'Heaven Bound'





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The Apostle Islands - Our 2013 Sailing Adventure 

The Apostle Islands, on the worlds largest lake - Lake Superior, was our 2013 sailing destination.  There are 21 islands that make up the Apostle Islands chain.  These islands are considered among the best cruising areas in the country.  



This was our home base - Pikes Bay Marina

Chart of the Apostle Islands

The following are a few pictures of the sea caves we were lucky to explore




Some of the caves dripped at the entrances constantly




A maze-ing... (sorry!)




Some interesting formations




Beautiful pillars carved out over time by ice and wave action




Headed toward an exit - hopefully.... 

(Did I mention I'm claustrophobic??)   

We were in a dinghy barely a foot above the water.  We still has to duck to get through some of these passages.   





Flooded Keyhole Exit 

This cave entrance reminds me of the scene in Pirates of the Caribbean where Blackbeard and Captain Jack Sparrow strike an accord (the agreement, not the car) to destroy a ship from the British Royal Navy that was waiting just outside the entrance to trap them as they ....ummm..... well, never mind


Now a few pictures of the Islands

 Hermit Island, as it was later named, became home to a hermit named Wilson.  He lost a fight on Madeline Island to a man named John Bell in 1847.  The loser of the fight agreed to leave Madeline Island forever.  

These islands were heavily quarried for their brownstone in the late 19th and early 20th century.  After the great Chicago fire, brownstone from these islands was used in the reconstruction and may still be seen today in the beautiful older buildings in downtown Chicago.




This is Basswood Island.  Basswood Island was home to a tree of the same name.  Extensive logging in the early days for it's beautiful white wood nearly depleted the island of it's namesake trees.  The only known Basswood tree left is this small specimen that somehow still clings to this rock!    

(You don't really believe that, do you?)




This small island hosted a logging and fishing camp started in the 1890s.  In the 1930s two Norwegian brothers bought the camp and remained there until the 1980s.  Each winter as the lake froze they would drive dogsleds out on the ice where they would hang gill nets on lines and poles under the ice.     

(Yes - that part is true...) 

The wooden devices in the foreground were used to dry and mend their nets.  The camp is exactly as they left it.  Pretty much everything they used is still there.




Presque Isle Bay on Stockton Island.  Stockton Island, the second largest island in the Apostle Islands, is the most visited of the Apostle Islands, primarily due to its excellent camping, protected bays, and beautiful beaches.   Presque Isle Bay is a beautiful anchorage with beaches, hiking, and camping just a quick dinghy ride away.  Notice how crystal clear the water is.




I know it's hard to see but there are six islands in this picture, three on either side.

(Ok, so it's not one of our best pictures, you had to be there...)

Raspberry Island lighthouse, the most famous of the seven lighthouses in the Apostle Islands, was the only lighthouse available for touring the summer of 2013.  The other six lighthouses were being renovated to restore them to how they would have looked in their prime 100 years ago.




This is the small lighthouse, well, more like a light sans-house, on Gull Island, which is a seagull breeding sanctuary.  This is one of two sanctuary islands in the Apostle Islands which is off limits to people.  That was no problem for us, we didn't want to step foot on that island.  Not one blade of vegetation exists there, it is completely covered in seagull guano.  The green you see is Michigan Island behind it.




Michigan Island is home to both the first and the last lighthouses built in the Apostle Islands.  The first lighthouse (on the right) was built by mistake.  It was originally contracted to be built on Long Island.  Not wanting to admit error they simply left it there.  It proved to be much too small to be seen from the other side of the island so several years later they built the second one.  

Our government hasn't changed much over the years...





Cormorants on a navigation buoy.  These birds are a close relative to one of our favorite birds found only in the northern lakes of the US, the Common Loon.  The Loon have an eerily haunting call which is actually quite beautiful over the water.  They typically call only at night, right around sunset.  

To hear their call, click here  This link will open a new tab and take you to a You Tube video commentary.  Give the guy a few seconds to say his bit then enjoy the beautiful call of this bird.  To return here, simply click on the 'Apostle Island 2013' tab.

Several tall ships were on their way to Port Superior for a large show.  Some of them cruised through the Apostle Islands on their way there.  This one is cruising past Madeline Island, the only inhabited island in the Apostles.




This was a common sight.  It's a fishing boat on it's way back to shore.  Commercial fishing is still a very large part of that area's economy.  Obviously, they are cleaning their catch on the way home and the seagulls knew it...




Here we are catching some great breezes on the lake, the boat is heeled over at about 25 degrees, and what's my First Mate doing? 

 (scroll down...)




nappie time...




View from the cockpit running wing-and-wing with a good strong tailwind...




It was a sailing paradise, even a crusty ol' Cap'n Brad was smiling...!





I usually like to end with a sunset picture, however, during one particular sunset cruise we were treated to this amazing moonrise. 
If you look closely for a small light on the right, you will see a lighthouse on Long Island.  That will give you a reference as to how bright the moon actually was that night!  

Yes, the entire sky was this beautiful rich  blue color.  

We've never seen anything like it.

Can't wait to see it again!