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nce again, my alarm went off at 7:30 a.m. Ken
thought he heard a boat but wasn't sure. I said, "It's only 7:30 a.m., do you
think he'd be here this early?" Not five seconds after I asked that question,
Bob yelled out, "Boat!" About three seconds after that, a long blast of the horn
reverberated throughout the harbor, crushing the soothing morning
Bob had already been up for a bit and was in the process of packing when he
thought he heard the hum of an engine coming down the harbor. He walked down
to the water just in time to see the Voyager several yards away from the dock.
Bob ran back to his shelter to retrieve his gear and Ken ran down to the dock
to speak with the captain. Ken told Captain Fritz that we'd be
ready in about five minutes, to which he replied, "Take your time! I'm here
a little early anyway." We packed away our sleeping bags, threw on our boots
and rushed down to the dock. Last night had not been quite as windy as the previous
night but the temperature seemed a bit colder to me. However, the chilly morning
air didn't seem to bother me at this point because I knew we would be leaving
today for sure. By 8:00 a.m. the three of us were on the boat, our gear had
been stowed away and we were pulling away from the dock. As we were leaving
Chippewa Harbor and entering the waters of Lake Superior I saw an eagle gliding
silently through the air just over the tops of the trees near the mouth of the
harbor. It was a great sight and a good way to end the trip.
For our return trip we had a cloudy sky, the temperature was chilly but not
cold and the lake was virtually waveless. When the Voyager left Chippewa Harbor
it sailed over to Malone Bay where we made a ten minute stop to
up a couple researchers and their gear. The next stop was the dock at Windigo
to pick up the backpackers who were waiting there for their ride back to the
mainland. Since we were a day late nobody was allowed to get off the boat. Ranger
Valerie met us on the boat, collected our hiking permits and with her usua
cheery smile, said goodbye and wished us a safe and calm ride back. During our
cruise from Chippewa Harbor to Windigo we passed the Isle
on Menagerie Island and saw the Rock
of Ages Lighthouse
, which is about six miles off the west coast of the island.
Before leaving Washington Harbor the captain maneuvered the Voyager directly
over the top of the America
a boat that sank here in 1928. One portion of the ship is only 3-4 feet below
the surface of the water. It is an eerie shape lurking just below the waves which
disappears into the cold water as you look further away from the bow. If you
look closely at the picture I took you can plainly see the boat near the upper
third of the frame and can see it gradually disappear as you look toward the
middle of the picture.
During our trip over to Isle Royale, six days ago, we discovered that several people from
research group were accompanying us. We also learned that the
moose population had dropped by 200 moose and now stood at around 500. The sharp
decline was attributed to heavy tick infestations and thick snow during the winter months.
Conversely, the wolf population was doing fairly well with a total of 30 wolves in three
When we had a chance to speak with Captain Fritz he revealed the reason for
not sailing yesterday and why the transportation company could not get in touch
with him. Fritz told us the weather reports for yesterday had not been good.
also told us that he took the Voyager out to the buoy near Rock Harbor and discovered
the waves were eight to ten feet tall so he chose to stay anchored at Rock Harbor
and try again today. Captain Fritz carries his cell phone with him and the Voyager
is loaded with all the necessary marine-band radios and equipment that it should
have. So, why couldn't anyone make contact with him? Well, the phone number
we had was the one for the main office in Duluth (or someplace like that) and
not to the office in Grand Portage by the dock. The main office only had his
cell phone number and not a marine radio and when they tried to call his phone
they couldn't make a connection. I guess we should have realized there was a
good reason why he didn't sail yesterday even though it didn't appear to be
that bad from where we were standing. Better safe than sorry!
Final count for the day: A lone Bald Eagle flying effortlessly over Chippewa Harbor and
many memories of another great trip.
This page last updated on 02-25-2016 @ 11:25 AM