APOSTLE ISLANDS TRIP – A TALE OF BITING FLIES, GNATS, ENGINE PROBLEMS AND A THREAT TO CALL THE COAST GUARD ON US!
10 July 2010 | Apostle Island and Silver Bay
I arrived back in Minneapolis from my California trip on June 29th with my sister Sharron who is visiting from Australia. We spent the following day grocery shopping to provision Walk A-Bout for our trip over to the Apostle Islands.
Bill, Sharron and I drove up to Silver Bay on Thursday July 1st. Several others from the Marina were heading over on the same day, with the plan to meet at the Rocky Island dock. We are the only sailboat of the group so we are always the last to arrive. About half way across we were hit by black flies, the ankle biting type. We proceeded to kill as many as we could but kind of a hopeless cause. About a ½ hour before we arrive the wind changes, blowing 20 plus knots. Sharron was starting to get seasick and as we pull up we were slammed against the doc. Even with lots of help docking and extra fenders out we decided this was not a good situation so we said good-bye to our friends with the plan to look for a safe anchorage............the engine won't start!! With help from Jim on "Destiny" they are able to get the engine started again. We ended up at Raspberry Bay on mainland Wisconsin. This bay is good for pretty much all wind directions except when blowing from the north. We settled in for the evening, grilling steaks off the stern on our new Magma grill. About a dozen other boats also anchored there, nice location so we stayed for 2 nights. We decided to set off a couple of fireworks - most of the other boaters appreciated it but of course there is always that one old curmudgeon - threatened to call the Coast Guard on us.
From Raspberry Bay we headed to Madeline Island. We went on the north side of Madeline Island and anchored for the night at Big Bay. The next day we decided we wanted to stay a night at a dock so we headed for the Madeline Island Yacht Club. I am at the helm, Sharron in the cockpit and Bill is down below. Just as Sharron and I comment about how the flies aren't so bad we were hit by gnats, billions of them. After about 10 minutes of this I am yelling at Bill "get up here - you need to share this experience with me and be as miserable as I am". By the time we arrive at the Madeline Island Yacht Club the pesky critters disappeared. We got a slip for the night, did a pump out of the holding tank, took showers and headed into town to have a couple of drinks at Tom's Burned Down Bar then to the Beach Club for dinner.
Left Madeline Island on Tuesday and headed back to Silver Bay. Stayed on the boat until Friday, did some clean-up (washing off all the dead flies and gnats) and a couple of projects. Oh the joy of sailing!!
We will go back to Silver Bay on Friday July 16th and return to the apartment on Sunday or Monday. This is the big Silver Bay fishing tournament weekend. Marina is always full and a good party weekend. Bill, with Dan's help from "Pachanga", plan on working on getting the radiator repaired, install the new filter system and remove the starter.
Countdown: 21 days until "Walk A-Bout" will be our new home.