s/v Nordic Song -
s/v Nordic Song - s/v Nordic Song - s/v Nordic Song -
s/v Nordic Song - s/v Nordic Song - s/v Nordic Song
From June 30 to July 6, we (Claire and I, John) once again ventured North from Northfield Minnesota to the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior with our three wonderful little children Linnea (5.5 years old), Anders (3.5) and Annelise (1.5). This is our summer vacation story. First, let me say, this is actually not a vacation. Sailing with three children under six is, unsurprisingly, a lot of work. But it is a profound experience for them and for us, and it cements in them certain unknown benefits and side effects that I think will help them in their future lives. We’ll just see how it all works out, I guess.
As far as an overview, we arrived at our sailboat Nordic Song on Friday night around 10:00 pm on June 30th. We unpacked the car and crashed by midnight. Six hours later, Annelise--our 18 month old-- was awake in the main cabin saying “Hi." Pause. "Hi." Pause. "Hi,” until everyone on the boat was awake. Yes, I still love Annelise.
We then proceeded to sail in the Apostle Islands for four days (Sat, Sun, Mon, and Tues) staying in Julian Bay on Stockton Island Saturday night, Rocky Island Sunday night, and Raspberry Island Monday night. The winds were glorious and the sun unrelenting. We swam every day; it was a nice escape from the heat. Tuesday and Wednesday nights were spent back at Port Superior, where we have a slip for the summer. Tuesday was fireworks in Bayfield, which were quite excellent. Wednesday was Bayfield day, shopping, eating, etc. And finally, Thursday morning was cleanup day and depart by 10:00 am for the drive home. This is the skeleton overview of the trip, which to summarize was extraordinary and exhausting.
For more detail, I am going to focus on places starting from the stars in the sky and ending with the grains of sand in the beach. Let us begin with the Milky Way…
One night I setup camp on the bow of Nordic Song and fell asleep until ~11PM, when it finally started getting dark enough to see the stars. Using a handy little star chart I stared in the sky for over an hour and studied various constellations, trying to pick them out of the night sky. Overall, I identified Ursa Major (Big Dipper), Ursa Minor (Little Dipper), Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Vega, Lyra, Cygnus (Northern Cross), and Bootes. Staring at the stars is humbling and awe inspiring. The star chart shown was generated at http://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky/, a slick website with very flexible tools for generating star charts. Note that you can click on the charts to achieve ever increasing levels of detail. Very cool!
A little more down to earth, let’s look at the Apostle Islands for a moment. They are located on Lake Superior, near Bayfield Wisconsin.
The Apostle Islands are a collection of 19 Islands of diverse characteristics with sandy beaches, sandstone caves along the shores, numerous lighthouses, abandoned fishing camps and towering cliffs. The waters of Lake Superior are crystal clear and cool early in the summer but swimmable by July on warm days. For our trip, bugs were minimal, weather was warm, sunny and not humid. In short, it is a glorious setting for cruising.