Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise
19 August 2008 | Grand Marais, MI
Grand Marais, MI
We departed a little later than normal for a "moving day" because I wanted to do some brief exploration of Grand Island since we weren't able to do so the day before. Although the wind was now quite calm, one could still hear the rollers crashing onto the beach in the adjacent bay that faces north. We got into the dinghy to go over to the north end of the bay where we could see the dock that the GLCC information said was available to use to pick up the trails to the over side of the island. Unfortunately, the dock was posted so landfall eluded us, but we were able to see the schooner shipwreck nearby to our anchorage. After a "cleansing swim", we got underway under sail but soon realized that the wind was local only to the bay we weren't going to be able to sail much anyway so we furled everything so that we could motor by the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore for a closer look. This viewing turned out to be more difficult that we had first imagined as there were numerous shoals and sandbars close in. This is one case where taking a commercial sight seeing tour might be worth the while, however, we have seen the pictured rocks from land several years ago so we quickly moved on. Soon, we were moving along nicely under spinnaker and later in the afternoon, we were passed by our sailing friends who we met in Marquette who were powersailing. Just after we cleared Au Sable Point, we encountered the Drummond Islander II ferry boat pulling a barge, which was being pushed by a tug, which was towing a large pipe about 1/4mile long towards Ontonagon (per AIS info). It was difficult to stay out of his way under spinnaker but somehow we managed.
We anchored next to our sailing friend's boat in about 30' of water over sand as the shore is very steep to. After we were settled, our sailor friends stopped by for a brief visit. Apparently, they too had departed just behind us from Marquette yesterday but had quickly turned around due to the rough conditions. In fact, they were quite surprised that we had chosen to continue on.
Grand Marais is a small town with everything easily accessible from the beach which was a short dinghy ride in. We purchased essentials from the small grocery while Deanna made her way over to the coin operated showers near the local campground. Grand Marais does have a municipal dock, but it consists of a wall that is quite exposed to the east and there are no showers or other services besides water and electricity there. For that, you get to pay the full Michigan marina price.