PDA

View Full Version : Cruising Lake Nipigon



WI-Tom
11-18-2013, 03:10 PM
Anyone here sailed or paddled this lake? It's a big one, about 50 miles by 40 miles, just north of Lake Superior:

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/af343/WI-Tom/LakeNipigon.jpg (http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/WI-Tom/media/LakeNipigon.jpg.html)

I will probably be doing a long-ish sail & oar cruise this summer, and I'm thinking of heading here. It looks good from what I can see, but I haven't heard from many about firsthand experiences there. I'm curious if anyone has been there. Looks like camping permits for crown land are $10 per night, but that's about the only red tape I've seen. Seems fairly remote, and big enough to be a nice adventure. Bugs might be a problem, I suppose...

Thanks,

Tom

Woxbox
11-18-2013, 04:41 PM
Never heard of it myself, but I'll bet a bit of research on the fishing forums will bring up some good info. Just looking at that map brings the taste of a fresh fillet to the tongue.

Chip-skiff
11-18-2013, 05:07 PM
Did a quick look-up. Parts of the shoreline are mountainous, which contrasts with most of the lakes in those parts. Depending on where you go, you might need tribal permits as well as a Canada park permit. There are lodges that advertise walleye fishing. There was a TV series filmed there in the 1980s that might be fun to watch this winter, if you can find it. I searched on Netflix without resultó might be available from Disneycorp. Here's an entry from Wikipedia:

Spirit Bay was an aboriginal family television show of 14 half-hour episodes that aired on CBC Television (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBC_Television) and TVOntario (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVOntario) from 1982 to 1987. The show focuses on the lives of townsfolk on an Ojibwe reservation town near MacDiarmid, Ontario (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacDiarmid,_Ontario). Here, the residents have adapted to white society while retaining traditional links to the land through fishing, trapping and hunting. The show details the spiritual kinship between Spirit Bay families, nature, and modern life on the reserve from a young person's viewpoint. Being the first true aboriginal television series, it set the stage for all other native Canadian programming thereafter (such as The Rez (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rez), North of 60 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_of_60) and Moccasin Flats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moccasin_Flats)), and paved the way for many famous first nations, Canadian actors. Episodes were rebroadcast in the United States (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States) on the Disney Channel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Channel).

Chip-skiff
11-18-2013, 06:47 PM
You wretch. I just squandered an hour fantasizing about this stupid lake.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-41viGHl1rJo/Uoqk5ynirmI/AAAAAAAAE20/UPXIxWG_ufU/s730/Lake%2520Nipigon%25202.jpg

It's a huge gulp of country with few roads or developed places. McIntyre Bay and the peninsula that confines it on the north look particularly intriguing. Here's a Google Earth tilted view that makes it look like a glacially-scoured upland.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-SwK86OerPWg/Uoqita2c19I/AAAAAAAAE2o/sJWfy5co3zo/s1024/Lake%2520Nipigon.jpg

I zoomed in, but the resolution's not very fine. I envy you the freedom to explore the place.

Waterrat
11-18-2013, 07:25 PM
I have played a lot on Lake Superior and have often thought about Lake Nipigon. I looked awhile back for a decent map of Lake Nipigon with no avail. Good luck and keep us all posted. I hope to be there in the next couple of years.

Waterrat
11-18-2013, 09:52 PM
http://www.paddlinglight.com/articles/trip-reports/kayaking-on-lake-nipigon/ This has some interesting info.

Lewisboater
11-18-2013, 10:01 PM
Anyone here sailed or paddled this lake? It's a big one, about 50 miles by 40 miles, just north of Lake Superior:

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/af343/WI-Tom/LakeNipigon.jpg (http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/WI-Tom/media/LakeNipigon.jpg.html)

I will probably be doing a long-ish sail & oar cruise this summer, and I'm thinking of heading here. It looks good from what I can see, but I haven't heard from many about firsthand experiences there. I'm curious if anyone has been there. Looks like camping permits for crown land are $10 per night, but that's about the only red tape I've seen. Seems fairly remote, and big enough to be a nice adventure. Bugs might be a problem, I suppose...

Thanks,

Tom

I played up thataway when I was a kid... further north and west though... Red Lake. It does get buggy but not as bad as 3-400 miles north. It's gorgeous country in the summer... a bit nippy otherwise.

WI-Tom
11-19-2013, 12:18 AM
http://www.paddlinglight.com/articles/trip-reports/kayaking-on-lake-nipigon/ This has some interesting info.

Yeah, I saw this; it's the most informative source I found. I did find a source for a fishing map, but there are really no official charts for the lake, apparently. Thanks,

Tom

WI-Tom
11-19-2013, 12:21 AM
You wretch. I just squandered an hour fantasizing about this stupid lake.

Chip,

I do believe there are roads up to Lake Nipigon all the way from Wyoming! Something to think about...

Tom

WI-Tom
11-19-2013, 12:23 AM
I have played a lot on Lake Superior and have often thought about Lake Nipigon. I looked awhile back for a decent map of Lake Nipigon with no avail. Good luck and keep us all posted. I hope to be there in the next couple of years.

Whereabouts on Superior? I'd love to sail the Pukwaska coast, and I'm curious about sail and oar cruising from Thunder Bay east, too. Been up on the north side there at all? If so, what's it like?

Tom

WI-Tom
11-19-2013, 12:28 AM
I looked awhile back for a decent map of Lake Nipigon with no avail.

Waterrat,

I found this on an online forum somewhere (edit to add: it's at a Boston Whaler forum, with some more info here (http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum7/HTML/001050.html)):



For paper cartography, which I believe is a must have on this trip, there is a locally-produced chart available form Chaltrek in Thunder Bay (1-807-577-8848, OR 1-807-473-4499). Ask to speak with Josh who can hook you up with a Nipigon Basin map for $14.99 CDN that shows the entire lake and marks shoals, etc. This chart does not provide true navigational information such as depths, etc; but it is useful for planning purposes. There is also another locally produced chart available from The Hook Shop in Beardmore (1-807-875-2527). Armed with these charts and a paper topographical map set to provide bearings (available from Wabakimi 1-807-767-2022), a reasonably safe expedition into the waters of this vast lake can be undertaken with some confidence in not becoming lost and, unless navigating true backwaters, most shoals and obstacles can be avoided with prudent navigation.

WI-Tom
11-19-2013, 12:31 AM
Did a quick look-up. Parts of the shoreline are mountainous, which contrasts with most of the lakes in those parts.

Yeah, that's definitely part of the attraction for me. I've heard there are some cliffs up to 500' high or so. Of course, things that climbers would call "really steep hills" often get labeled "cliffs" by non-climbers, but I might just throw in some climbing gear if I go. That'd be a trip; sail Lake Nipigon and solo a new route on a new big wall. And if not, all that climbing gear will make good ballast.

Later,

Tom

WI-Tom
11-19-2013, 12:32 AM
I played up thataway when I was a kid... further north and west though... Red Lake. It does get buggy but not as bad as 3-400 miles north. It's gorgeous country in the summer... a bit nippy otherwise.

Good to know--thanks.

gilberj
11-19-2013, 01:13 AM
I have paddled and motor cruised a little in Lake Nipigon. Two days motoring, and 6 days paddling. I saw only a small fraction of the Lake. Wanted to do a lot more, but I took employment back in BC to be closer to my kids (all grown) and grandkids. There is good fishing. I have a heap of maps from the area, mostly from Chaltrek in Thunder Bay. Go for it......an exploration. there are 3 nautical charts, covering less than a quarter of the Lake. There is a fairly healthy sport fishing industry mostly out of Beardmore, and Macdairmid, on the southeast corner.
This is a big lake, treat it with real respect.

WI-Tom
11-21-2013, 07:41 AM
Thanks--it's nice to hear from someone who has been there, if only for a little bit. Seems like the water may be very cold from what I'm hearing, colder even than Superior. Do you remember how cold it was when you were paddling there?

Tom

gilberj
11-21-2013, 08:26 AM
The water is not colder than Superior, probably somewhat warmer. If I remember correctly the Lake is mostly shallower than Superior though there are some deep patches.
I think Nipigon might probably be one of my main destinations for tripping if I still lived in the area, along with the North Shore of Superior. The relatively un-explored is more interesting than more frequented areas.

Waterrat
11-21-2013, 10:23 AM
Tom from what I can read you have explored at least as much of Superior as I have. I paddled most of the coast line from Munising east to Whitefish Point including Grand Island. I paddle from Canada to Isle Royale and around most of the island. I have driven around the Lake and hiked along some of the East Coast which could easily be mistaken for some where in the North West except for the mosquitos. The granite cliffs of the Canadian shield make it a very different place then any of the southern coastline. The mosquitos depending on weather is bad everywhere around these parts. Nothing like hearing the hum of mosquitos while on the water knowing you still need to cook diner and set camp. I have eaten my fair share of mosquitos while shoveling food under the head net. I found the right gear (white cloths and good head net) and a certain frame of mind and its all good. I have not explored the northern coast of Superior because on the drive around the Lake we were head to our put in to paddle to Isle Royale. The immigration official did not like that we entered U.S. soil without going through customs first. I did call ahead to tell immigration what we planned and they said we just had to fill out the forms with Park service and all was fine. When we came back though the Sault Saint Marie all was not fine. I laughed really hard when I read about the end of your North Channel Trip. The U.S. immigration is the worst. I have crossed at least 25 international boarders and the US Canada border has been the most difficult hands down. The Canadians have been wonderful the U.S. are unnecessary a**holes. Once I finish fixing up the sailboat in my shop I have a few ideas for different trips in the region. I would like to explore Caribou Island and Michipicoton Island and it's Woodland Caribou. I have also been looking at the Porphyry Island Provincial Park which I believe may have been closed or absorbed by Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Amazing country up there. Keep up your writing I love hearing about your adventures. I have friends in Marquette and Petoskey so if you need a place to crash or shuttle etc. Send me a note and I will see what I can do. Cheers Justin

WI-Tom
11-28-2013, 11:00 AM
Thanks, everyone. We'll see--Lake Nipigon, or maybe Lake Huron/Georgian Bay/North Channel instead this summer. Either should be good for a few weeks. I do agree (obviously) about U.S. Customs being a bit difficult at times! Although it's satisfying to cross an international border in a small boat, driving up to Canada and launching from there tends to simplify things a bit.

Wherever I end up, I'll post a bunch of pictures around September-ish.

Tom

oldsub86
11-28-2013, 10:08 PM
Have you been to Lake of the Woods?

WI-Tom
11-29-2013, 02:11 AM
Have you been to Lake of the Woods?

Nope, but I've eyed that up, too. For whatever reason, though, Nipigon appeals a bit more to me--bigger, a little more remote and unknown (at least I know very little about it), with maybe some more interesting topography/cliffs and all that. But LOTW was one of the first places I thought about going when I started open boat cruising. Have you sailed there? What's it like?

Tom

gilberj
11-29-2013, 12:49 PM
Nope, but I've eyed that up, too. For whatever reason, though, Nipigon appeals a bit more to me--bigger, a little more remote and unknown (at least I know very little about it), with maybe some more interesting topography/cliffs and all that. But LOTW was one of the first places I thought about going when I started open boat cruising. Have you sailed there? What's it like?

Tom
Lake of the Woods is fairly well populated with holiday homes cottages and camps, as well as resorts, and summer camps of various denominations. The greatest density is in the northern portion closer to Kenora, though there is as far as I know no portions of the lake which could be described as isolated. I have travelled over most of the lake on the Canadian side.

The Canadian side is littered with islands, with small and large passages between them. It is an idea sailing, cruising patch for small vessels of any description. I believe the southern portion of the lake on the Canadian side is largely Park and Nature Reserve. There are also a number of First Nation Reserves.

I have launched at both Kenora in the North and Morson in the south. I'd choose the latter again because it is a little more open there and a little more isolated. but I'd have to say some of the sight seeing in cottage country is ahhh delicious on a hot day in the summer.

FYI I'd also recommend the border area Fort Frances/International Falls Rainy Lake and Rainy River and through the Quetico. There are a lot of small and medium sized lakes. There are some portages along the route, but there are enough lakes with some sort of road access than many lakes are excelent places to consider for rowing and sailing cruising and pocket cruisers.

I have stored away hundreds of maps between Sault St Marie and the Manitoba border with kayak and canoe routes. I know rowing and sailing cruisers and pocket cruisers are generally not very good for portaging, but there are hundreds or perhaps thousands of bits of water where you could spend a few days or a week without repeating a night stopping place and without needing to portage.

In that whole area you will need to protect yourself from Mosquitoes and Blackflies and other biting insects. A good tent or bug proof shelter. but you know that I'd guess

dktyson
11-29-2013, 01:23 PM
Yeah, that's definitely part of the attraction for me. I've heard there are some cliffs up to 500' high or so. Of course, things that climbers would call "really steep hills" often get labeled "cliffs" by non-climbers, but I might just throw in some climbing gear if I go. That'd be a trip; sail Lake Nipigon and solo a new route on a new big wall. And if not, all that climbing gear will make good ballast.

Later,

Tom

"...solo a new route on a new big wall...? Can I have your Alaska after your rock climbing accident?

WI-Tom
11-29-2013, 02:51 PM
"...solo a new route on a new big wall...? Can I have your Alaska after your rock climbing accident?

What, your Myst isn't enough for you? Besides, I'm way too chicken to do anything dangerous. Just because you don't have a partner doesn't mean you have to do without solid anchors and a belay. But I'll be surprised if there are cliffs worth climbing there. Pleasantly so, but still surprised.

Tom

dktyson
11-29-2013, 04:00 PM
What, your Myst isn't enough for you?...

Tom

I just need something to use till mine is built- and I could start to build up my Kurylko collection.

WI-Tom
11-29-2013, 04:34 PM
I just need something to use till mine is built- and I could start to build up my Kurylko collection.

If I were a betting man, I'd be tempted to put my money on you finishing your Myst before I finish my Alaska--lots to do yet. My 2014 trip will be in a different boat, I'm guessing. But a Kurylko collection would be a nice thing to have. I'm looking forward to just having the one! (If I ever manage to get it done).

Your Myst looks great, by the way.

Tom

dktyson
11-29-2013, 05:11 PM
Thanks Tom! How long has your Alaska been in the works? Do you have pictures of it posted on the forum anywhere?

gilberj
11-29-2013, 06:29 PM
What, your Myst isn't enough for you? Besides, I'm way too chicken to do anything dangerous. Just because you don't have a partner doesn't mean you have to do without solid anchors and a belay. But I'll be surprised if there are cliffs worth climbing there. Pleasantly so, but still surprised.

Tom
Not sure what you call "worth climbing" but there is a very active climbing community in Thunder Bay, both in the summer and winter ice climbing.... and a good number of weekend cliffs in the immediate area. There are some quite impressive lumps up towards Macdairmid and Beardmore around Lake Nipigon.

WI-Tom
11-30-2013, 02:27 AM
Thanks Tom! How long has your Alaska been in the works? Do you have pictures of it posted on the forum anywhere?

There's a thread here (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?134785-Progress-on-Kurylko-Alaska-Build&highlight=) that hasn't been updated lately. There's not many pictures, but a time lapse of progress shows this:

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/af343/WI-Tom/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/DSCF1347-1.jpg (http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/WI-Tom/media/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/DSCF1347-1.jpg.html)

To this:

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/af343/WI-Tom/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/DSCF1452-1.jpg (http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/WI-Tom/media/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/DSCF1452-1.jpg.html)

To this:

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/af343/WI-Tom/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/100_2919.jpg (http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/WI-Tom/media/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/100_2919.jpg.html)

To this last picture:

http://i1022.photobucket.com/albums/af343/WI-Tom/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/DSCF1345-1.jpg (http://s1022.photobucket.com/user/WI-Tom/media/Boat%20pictures/Alaska%20build/DSCF1345-1.jpg.html)

Since then, I've added decks, the curved coaming, a mooring post, rudder, and centerboard. My brother has helped a lot. Maybe the next boat I could build alone, but not this one--I lose momentum at the tricky steps and wait for help, which has slowed me down considerably. I could get to this stage of an Alaska MUCH quicker if I did it again.

Still to do: external keel, outer stem, glass exterior, install bow eye, paint, probably lots more. So I'll be surprised if I finish before you do!

Tom

WI-Tom
11-30-2013, 02:38 AM
Not sure what you call "worth climbing"

I mean those few rare cliffs that are tall enough to get you up high, technical enough to be interesting and need ropes and gear, but easy enough not to be too scary. Tall enough to have to sleep in a cliffside hammock once along the way is perfect, but not absolutely necessary.

Good to hear about those "lumps" near Nipigon. My fantasy is a 1000' tall cliff of perfect granite with an easy free and/or aid route up it, rising directly from a flat sandy beach along a sheltered bay in a remote section of the lake where no one ever goes. Sail right up and start climbing. Oh, yeah, and 70 degrees F, with no rain. (Somehow I'm not expecting any of that to happen).

Tom

dktyson
11-30-2013, 07:11 AM
Thanks Tom! Very nice. You describe stopping to wait for inspiration or help... In my case, I've spent untold hours staring at the plans "like a monkey doing a math problem". I know how you feel. I'm 2 weeks away from the 3 year mark on my build and have tallied over 850 hours.

WI-Tom
11-30-2013, 08:13 AM
You asked how long my build has been in the works--I've gone so slowly that's hard to remember; had to look up dates on photos.

1. I got the plans in September of 2009--4 years ago.
2. In May 2010 I rented a shop in a friend's extra garage, built and set up the forms (the real start if you ask me) and built spars, then spent most of my summer sailing.
3. Ripped and scarphed strips and started planking in September 2010.
4. Paused for winter (unheated shop) and finished planking and roughly fairing the exterior in May 2011, then moved the boat to my parents' garage to fair the interior roughly.
5. Moved to Idaho to teach at the University in Moscow for a year--no progress, but I did get to attend the Port Townsend Wooden Boat Festival in 2011.
6. In May 2012 I moved the boat to my brother's garage and had him help with the interior fitting, centerboard slot and case, glued in thwarts, all that stuff I was too afraid to try on my own, and which (when I did try) often ended up having to be re-done anyway.
7. Again, the boat sat in my parents' unheated garage all winter. I looked at it occasionally, but I live three hours away. No progress. Should have re-rented my friend's garage.
8. In June/July 2012, got a bit more done--all decks and furniture, coaming, rudder, etc., with lots of help.

A bit surprising laid out in detail like that: about 3 1/2 years put in already. You ARE ahead of me!

But I now have a much better idea how much work is involved in building a boat, and could plan better (and have the right marathon mindset) if I ever build another boat. I also have a MUCH better idea that trying to build a boat without a shop of your own is a DRAMATICALLY inefficient way to do it. Honestly, I think there has been less than 6 months of part-time work put into the boat. My problem has always been the long stretches of no progress: summer is for sailing, winter is too cold for glue work, and so that only leaves a few weeks a year.

Tom

dktyson
11-30-2013, 04:31 PM
Tom, I can imagine it's tough not having your boat at your house. Most of my boat work is done in 2 hour sessions a couple evenings a week when my wife (a nurse) is working her 7 pm to 7 am shifts. I work on it part of about half the saturdays of the year, but I seldom put in an 8 hour day.

You are right about the marathon- before I began seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I used to wake up in the middle of the night and think: "is this really how I want to spend every minute of my spare time for the next 2 years?" I guess the answer was "yes"... I have found in the past that I never can finish a big project if I don't become obsessed with it.

I had the plans for a year or two before I got up the nerve to start just like you. So many parts on that parts list! Now I've checked them off- thought that day would never come.

I was at a lake a couple years ago and an old man with a fiberglass boat told me: "only a fool builds a boat". (of course, I thought "only a fool makes a sweeping generalization about something he knows nothing about", but I respected my elder and kept my mouth shut.) If all I wanted was a boat, I would be a fool to build it, but I enjoy the process!

gilberj
11-30-2013, 05:35 PM
I think there are a couple near Macdairmid which look close to 1000 ft, perhaps not just cliff... Certainly lots in the order of several hundred feet.

WI-Tom
12-01-2013, 09:42 AM
I think there are a couple near Macdairmid which look close to 1000 ft, perhaps not just cliff... Certainly lots in the order of several hundred feet.

Sounds intriguing--I'll be sure to check them out if I head to Nipigon this summer. Haven't ruled out Georgian Bay or the North Channel, either.

Tom

Dave Hadfield
12-16-2013, 02:16 AM
I've cruised in that part of the world. We once did a Pukaskwa trip, from Montreal River to Marathon, including Michipicoten Island, in a MacGregor 26S. Plus many canoe trips into the Canadian Shield west of there.

I've never been in Nipigon, but have flown over it thousands of times.

Nipigon looks perfect for a centreboard camp-cruiser. A million islands. Lots of ways to sail sheltered from strong winds, if not in straight lines.

You will hit rocks with your keel and probably your rudder. They should both be kick-up designs. The granite reefs will be sudden, and the water stained dark with tannin, thus you can't see them.

The bugs are fierce in June and July. I would choose August.

The water is cold, but not as cold as Superior.

I don't know what the deal is for foreigners on Crown Land. Better find out and do it legally. And obey the fish and game laws. Inspectors have been known to drop in via floatplane. (Happened to me once on the Bloodvein.) But don't depend on fish. Plan it as a supplement.

There will be no practical rescue there -- at least not while you are still breathing. Plan to get yourself out of trouble. Canada's Coast Guard is spread very thin over a gigantic amount of coastline. An Epirb or Spot is useful primarily to the executor of your estate -- doesn't do much for you. Bush planes monitor 121.5 MHz.

You can get good 1:50,000 topo maps, but not locally. And probably marine charts for the access areas. Get them ahead of time. Take a GPS of course. It will be an easy lake to get lost in, since all granite islands look alike. Don't camp on native reserves without the Band's permission, but they don't own the water.

Some sand beaches in SE pockets open to the NW wind. Lots of marsh and hard rock. Lots of deadwood on the bottom -- your anchor can get trapped.

Almost no re supply. Don't plan on buying stove fuel or outboard gas once away from the put-in.

Take an axe and saw and cordage in case you break your rig -- plenty of sticks on shore.

Few and poor weather forecasts -- mostly meant for farther south.

Wonderful, marvellous, glorious wilderness....

Dave

Dave Hadfield
12-16-2013, 02:22 AM
I've cruised in that part of the world. We once did a Pukaskwa trip, from Montreal River to Marathon, including Michipicoten Island, in a MacGregor 26S. Plus many canoe trips into the Canadian Shield west of there.

I've never been in Nipigon, but have flown over it thousands of times.

Nipigon looks perfect for a centreboard camp-cruiser. A million islands. Lots of ways to sail sheltered from strong winds, if not in straight lines.

You will hit rocks with your keel and probably your rudder. They should both be kick-up designs. The granite reefs will be sudden, and the water stained dark with tannin, thus you can't see them.

The bugs are fierce in June and July. I would choose August.

The water is cold, but not as cold as Superior.

I don't know what the deal is for foreigners on Crown Land. Better find out and do it legally. And obey the fish and game laws. Inspectors have been known to drop in via floatplane. (Happened to me once on the Bloodvein.) But don't depend on fish. Plan it as a supplement.

There will be no practical rescue there -- at least not while you are still breathing. Plan to get yourself out of trouble. Canada's Coast Guard is spread very thin over a gigantic amount of coastline. An Epirb or Spot is useful primarily to the executor of your estate -- doesn't do much for you. Bush planes monitor 121.5 MHz.

You can get good 1:50,000 topo maps, but not locally. And probably marine charts for the access areas. Get them ahead of time. Take a GPS of course. It will be an easy lake to get lost in, since all granite islands look alike. Don't camp on native reserves without the Band's permission, but they don't own the water.

Some sand beaches in SE pockets open to the NW wind. Lots of marsh and hard rock. Lots of deadwood on the bottom -- your anchor can get trapped.

Almost no re supply. Don't plan on buying stove fuel or outboard gas once away from the put-in.

Take an axe and saw and cordage in case you break your rig -- plenty of sticks on shore.

Few and poor weather forecasts -- mostly meant for farther south.

Wonderful, marvellous, glorious wilderness....

Dave

WI-Tom
12-16-2013, 05:39 AM
Dave,

thanks for this. Sounds enticing.

Tom

gilberj
12-16-2013, 02:00 PM
Dave is right about Lake Nipigon. There is no Coast Guard, or even Coast Guard Radio. There is no formal SAR unit on the lake, remember this lake is very big, approximately 60 NM by 40NM, with quite a few islands, and fairly large open exposed patches of water. There are only a handfull of places where you have road access and no opportunity for re-supply ( there is limited resources in MacDairmid on the FN Reserve) so you should plan on taking all your supplies with you for the trip from the start. One advantage is you can drink the water (once you are away from the communities you can drink from the lake with no purification or boiling). There is a healthy sport fishing industry, so there are boats on the lake, there is also a commercial fishery, though not a large fleet....mostly First Nations.
You will have to navigate with caution. There are no navigation charts for most of the lake, Some maps show some shoals, (fishermen like to fish around shoals). You will have to watch for subtle changes in colour, or wave patterns. You should, if you can talk to locals who know the lake, get some insights before you start.
Over-all I cruised around the South-East corner, visiting several islands, and camping ashore. I got started. I figure I could spend a week or so there every year and not cover it all.

WI-Tom
12-16-2013, 02:11 PM
One advantage is you can drink the water (once you are away from the communities you can drink from the lake with no purification or boiling).

That's one of the things I like best about small boat cruising in the Great Lakes--water is heavy and takes up a lot of space. As for the lack of support and charts, I like it. You can't be stupid about it, but I like knowing I'm out there on my own. This is sounding better and better to me the more I look into it--if not summer of 2014, then maybe 2015 instead.

Tom