Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Have you ever had an adventure that you have dreamed about for so long but you never really believed that it would come true?  Whenever we would drive up to Duluth Minnesota and head up to the North Shore I would see people sailing in very large sailboats on the huge waters of Lake Superior and look on dreamily wishing that I would be on board.  It was like a childlike romantic dream. Now it is time to be Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin.

Well, just a few weeks ago a friend sent me an email asking if I would like to go sailing with a group of men out of Bayfield Wisconsin up into the Apostle Islands.  Oh My Gosh, is it possible that this dream may come true?

The Boat and Crew

Crew ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Crew ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

One of the guys in the group (Mike) owns a 35-foot center cabin sailboat named the Gypsy Spirit that he rents out and takes out groups on charter cruises.  This was their annual men’s group weekend and they had an opening.  Another gentleman, Karl was also a ship’s captain and my friend John was also a very proficient sailor.  We had plenty of skill going on the trip so there was nothing at all to be concerned about.

Roy’s Point Maria

The boat is docked at Roy’s Point Maria very near Bayfield, so basically, we were sailing out of Bayfield.  http://www.royspoint.com/

Roy's Point Marina ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Roy’s Point Marina ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

We arrived at the Marina on a Thursday evening so that we could prepare the boat for sailing the next day.

Roy's Point Marina ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Roy’s Point Marina ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Morning in Bayfield Wisconsin

In the morning we finished all the final preparations on the boat and then headed into Bayfield for the best Breakfast in town at the Manypenny Bistro  https://www.facebook.com/manypennybistro/. Amazing breakfast fare topped with a homemade bread of your choice and homemade berry jelly.

Manypenny Bistro ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Manypenny Bistro ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Then we did a little gift shopping at the eclectic fabulous Stone’s Throw http://www.stonesthrowbayfield.com/

 Stone's Throw Gifts ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Stone’s Throw Gifts ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you will never be able to find it.

 Stone's Throw Gifts ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Stone’s Throw Gifts ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Let’s Go Sailing

It was finally time to shove off and get sailing. The day was a little cool 62 – 65 F and the wind was blowing 10 – 15 Kts.  Luckily I came well prepared knowing that Lake Superior is a natural air conditioner so I had my layers on. It was a perfect day for sailing.

Stockton Island

After our first full day of sailing we ended up on Stockton Island. Normally the docks on this island would be full of boats but on this particular day the cooler weather must have kept the boats away and we were able to dock for the night.

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Stockton Island is one of the Apostle Islands, in Lake Superior, in northern Wisconsin, and is part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

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The largest island included in the national lakeshore, it is host to numerous trails and campsites. The island is also known for its high concentration of black bears, and a unique lagoon ecosystem with multiple carnivorous plants and low bush blueberries, as well as the singing sand found in Julian Bay.

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The Trout Point Logging Camp is located on the island.

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Check out the video from the trip here

Video: Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Day Two of Sailing

We woke up for the second day of sailing with similar conditions. Again, it wa going to be coolish and a very nice 10 – 15 kt wind for sailing. One of our main destinations for the day was going to be Michigan Island because of newly renovated lighthouse on the Island.

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Michigan Island Lightstation

There are two light towers at Michigan Island. One was supposed to be built somewhere else and the second originally was elsewhere!

Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

In 1856, a Milwaukee contractor’s crew came to the Apostle Islands with instructions to build a lighthouse. Plans originally called for the lighthouse to be built on Long Island, to guide ships to the port of LaPointe, on Madeline Island. However, for reasons that are not completely clear, a Lighthouse Service official ordered a last-minute change of plans, and the lighthouse was built on Michigan Island, instead. Made of rough stone, its exterior walls stuccoed and whitewashed, the new lighthouse combined a small, one-and-a-half-story keeper’s dwelling with a low, conical light tower.

Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

The light on Michigan Island entered service in the spring of 1857, but was closed after only one year of operation. Evidence suggests that higher authorities in the Lighthouse Service repudiated the rash decision of their field representative, and ordered the hapless contractors to go back and erect a new lighthouse at the planned Long Island location.

National Park Service

My hope for this particular day was that I was going to be able fly my drone around the sailboat and around the lighthouse.  I had asked about flying the drone around the park and it is still against regulations to fly drones in any national park apparently.  So we decided to take off from the sailboat and then we would have to land on the sailboat also.  There was really no place to land on the boat so one of my intrepid friends would have to grab the drone of our midair while hovering.  Karl volunteered for this duty.

Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

It turns out that hoving the drone close to the boat is quite simple. The challenge comes in when you actually grab the darn thing. With all of it’s automatic electronics on board it things it is being blown away so it fights against the person grabbing it.   And while it is fighting, it seems it is impossible to turn the darn thing off also.

Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Michigan Island Lightstation ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Well eventually we got it turned off and finished the fight.   Hew, that was a bit nerve wracking, but heck anything for the shot.   Be sure to check out the video above for the results.

Gypsy Spirit ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin
Gypsy Spirit ~ Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Conclusion

I had been dreaming about this trip for so long and it has finally become a reality.  I want to encourage you to dream and then put those dreams into action.  If I can do it, you can do it.  It is an amazing park and you will love every moment of it. If you have any questions at all about this trip, please reach out and contact me!

And until next time, get out and capture the adventure!

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Sailing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Bayfield Wisconsin

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website
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