Wednesday, July 4, 2012 Home

An Unpredictable Fourth of July in the Apostle Islands

We awoke to another beautiful morning in the Apostle Islands, although without as much wind as the humans would have liked. However, there were a couple of races underway in the distance so they figured they would be able to find some wind.
Soon we were playing in the wind too, while admiring the colorful sails on the boats racing through their course.
I’m not sure what happened, but suddenly a fierce wind tore at the (already reefed) sails and sent my water dish flying across the cabin as the boat heeled way over. There was quite a scramble up on deck and plenty of shouting at Molly (who ended-up wedged in a corner and held tight there) as the humans tried to keep everything under control. They even turned the engine on to help them pull in the sails.

Then, as quick as it had come, the wind was gone, leaving us barely under sail in nearly still air. It was as if that sudden blast had never happened. The other boats around us were sailing along totally unaffected, as if the mini-gale that struck us had never occurred. It’s a reminder of how unpredictable and dangerous this lake can be.

The humans stopped and looked around (seeming a little confused), readjusted the sails, and soon enough we were sailing into the bay at La Pointe on Madeline Island

This was our goal for the day, the plan being to anchor here for the night and enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks display before going to bed. The weather forecast indicated more storms rolling in, but the humans thought the bay would provide sufficient protection, so they maneuvered into a position that provided plenty of separation from the nearest boat (clearly lots of other people had the same idea) and reasonable shore access via the dinghy. The wind had died and everything seemed peaceful so, as soon as we were settled in, my folks and I headed into town in the dinghy.

It was busy in town, with people everywhere and lots of fun stuff going on, but all of sudden we headed back to the dinghy and raced across the water back to the boat.
I was tossed back down into the cabin, but clearly another storm was approaching fast and, to make matters more complicated, another boat had come in and anchored too close to us. That situation led to some tense moments as the wind picked up. The guys stayed up on deck, watching that other boat, prepared to start the engine and pull anchor at a moment’s notice if need be.

Probably frustrated by the idiot who had put our boat in danger, the humans pulled up anchor and headed back to the marina at Port Superior once the storm had passed by. If we were going to see fireworks tonight, we were going to have to get in the car and drive into Bayfield, which was ok with me, since I’m not fond of loud noises anyway.

Happy Fourth of July!

Next post: Our Course in the Apostle Islands
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