Wasn’t planning on getting up here on my trip this summer, but will be so close,was curious that if I did would I be way out of my league with just a rec kayak? I own Swiftys, 9’6" and wider and slower than sea kayaks. Don’t know how far some of the closer islands are to paddle to, and whether I should just put it off for another trip and rent or hook up with an outfitter then. It wasn’t in my original trip plan but I don’t think I’ll be too far away and I hate to miss an opportunity if I should be taking one. I know I’m going to be getting in plenty of paddling anyway so it’s not going to kill me to HAVE TO COME BACK ANOTHER TIME if you get my drift. I was just curious as I’m sure being on a great lake the conditions can change quickly but I don’t know how sheltered any of these are so figured I’d ask. Thanks for any answers.
Rec boat? Shoreline, yes. Islands, no.
A few of the islands are only 2 to 3 miles from shore, but personally, I'd be very afraid to try that in a rec boat. I don't know the details about Swiftys, but usually "rec boat" means no bulkheads, and that means no self-rescue. Even though the odds are good you could make the trip to one of the closer islands a bunch of times in a row without trouble, the cost of a capsize would be so severe that I wouldn't take the risk without reliable help nearby. Taking risks here is so much different than risks paddlers might take other places which are similar in many ways EXCEPT the distance to shore. Remember that the water is very cold, too.
That said, I'd check out the maps and maybe paddle some of the little bays and estuaries along the Superior shoreline, or even the shore of the main lake if the weather is good, as long as you can stay close and beaching is always an option in case the weather turns bad (in other words, no trips along the rock cliffs).
My two cents.
thats what I figured…
the answer was going to be, so like I said another trip when I will be set up with the right people and equipment. I totally respect water especially large lake waters, and how fast conditions can change. I just didn’t know how far off shore the islands were, so thanks for the answers.
If you are going to be…
in the area, then you may just want to consider renting a kayak from one of the local outfitters. Sand Island is very close from the northern put in and is only about a 2-3 mile paddle.
Check out this site
Good information re paddling in Apostles as well as a link to a chart with distances between islands and mainland-islands.