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Author Topic:   ISLE ROYAL NP
WSTEFFENS posted 02-15-2002 04:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for WSTEFFENS   Send Email to WSTEFFENS  
I would be intrested in learning about and talking to owners who have Whalered out to the park and crused, in the recent years.
lhg posted 02-19-2002 02:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Walt - in the summer of 1990 (is that recent enough?) I trailed my 25 up though Duluth, to Grand Marais MN, on the North Shore, and then ran the Whaler up the shoreline to Isle Royale for a few days, staying on board. This was over the 4th of July holiday and the water temp on Lake Superior up there was 42 degrees! Once out on the Lake over that cold water, you need warm clothing, since you're boating in a blanket of 50 degree air hanging over the Lake. The boat needs to be tight for sleeping, as there were mosquitoes at night that time of year.

But the place is magnificent. Crystal clear cold water like you've never seen, with the best tasting Lake Trout I've ever caught. Nothing like the Trout on the lower lakes at all. Lake Superior is the calmest of the Great Lakes in summer, between June 15 and Sept 15, and when I was there it was dead calm for 3 days. The rest of the year the Lake supposedly has a continuous 6' sea running, at the minimum. We were able to circumnavigate the entire 44 mile long island, a spectacular boat trip. Much of the shoreline is protected water. It's all rock, and you need good charts, with similar conditions to the Georgian Bay Islands area of Huron. It's the least visited of all our National Parks, so you don't see many boats out there, or people for that matter. There are two harbors with nice docks for overnighting, but only one has restaurant facilities, the big one where the ferry boat comes in from the Kewanau peninsula. JimH once suggested to me that it would be interesting to launch there, and travel the 45 miles directly across the open Lake to Isle Royale. But I would only do that on a calm forecast and in the company of other boats. This is the same general area where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down, supposedly in 90' seas! Superior can be a scarry place.

I would definitely like to get our "Great Lakes Boston Whaler Cruising Club" to consider such a trip. I assume you're considering heading up there. The Canadian Eastern wilderness shore of Superior is also supposed to be a great trip. I have been hearing of new boating restrictions at Isle Royale, but I'm not sure. Do they have a website for info?

After being at Isle Royale, on the way home we stopped at the Apostle Islands for some boating there. It was pretty, but NO COMPARISON to Isle Royale. This is a wilderness place every boater should visit once in their lifetime. It's hard to get to, but worth it. If you like hiking, there's much to do on the island also, with wolves and moose lurking around.

Good luck with your planning. Let me know if I can be of additional assistance.

jimh posted 02-19-2002 09:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Recently there has been a great deal of "fuss" about Isle Royal and boating access to it. Apparently the tree-huggers want to keep "mechanized" boats away, creating quite a controversy.

I don't know what the exact policy in effect at this time allows vis a vis operating your own boat in the waters and harbors of Isle Royal. It would be important to check into this before making serious plans. Some talk that I've heard has boating down to kayaking in those waters.


WSTEFFENS posted 02-20-2002 11:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for WSTEFFENS  Send Email to WSTEFFENS     
Thanks to both of you (Larry & Jim) for the reply. Its going to take a little time to digest the information provided to ask intelligent questions.

Jim, it seems to me I did run across a web site (older started around 98-99) asking people to E mail someone or some office to petition against the use of 2 stroke engines in this area. The site didn't seem to be actively adminstered so I don't know if it was successful.

My interest is in the information gathering area and "wish-planning" stage. One of those "I want to do it sometime in the near future" trips.


Whaletosh posted 02-20-2002 01:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaletosh    
Actually the Edmund Fitzgerald went down off of Whitefish point, which is on the eastern end of of the UP. The captain and crew were desperately trying to get to Whitefish Bay which would have given them shelter frm the NW wind and thus the giant waves the wind was generating.
KeysWhale posted 02-27-2002 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for KeysWhale    

Here is the park website. Mentions boating, but did not mention restricted areas.

KeysWhale posted 02-28-2002 10:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for KeysWhale    
There is also a new book called "Submerged" by a Park Service Diver that covers Isle Royal NP and other submerged resources. The author is Daniel Lenihan.
Orca posted 03-04-2002 12:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Orca  Send Email to Orca     
Recommened! Dan and Gene Hackman also have "Wake of the Perdido Star" out.Just reading it now. Dan, Larry and N.P.S. unit are legends.
Buckda posted 03-06-2002 02:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Did a little research since I am interested in this trip...

visit for detailed information about the park, camping, boating and wildlife. It is also a great primer for those of you who are interested in this area. (a site after JimH's own heart, it has extensive information about nearly every facet of the park) Note LHG's comments about temperatures - echoed on the pages of this site - most importantly water temps/conditions. It also comments on the proper nautical chart to use for this area.

No mention of boating restrictions on this page - except for the inland lakes and streams. It also mentions that anchoring and staying aboard your boat is actually encouraged over camping at the campsites available.

Overall looks like a tremendous place to explore and do a little whalerin'.

Buckda posted 03-06-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Okay - continuing my search. One problem with the Web is you never know how old a page is unless they give a "last updated" date.

This site: is the home of the Isle Royal Boaters Association. It outlines a little more detail about the issues surrounding boating at Isle Royale.

For your information and edification.....


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