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Thread: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

  1. #36
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Hadfield View Post
    Another wonderful trip, and trip log.

    I've always wondered about Nipigon. I've flown over it a thousand times, looked down, and thought, "I wonder if that's as wild as it looks?"

    Thanks! And indeed, you should look at Reindeer Lake next.

    Dave
    Thanks for the comments--it did seem to be about as wild and undeveloped as it looks on Google Earth (or, I suppose, when flying over it--where were you heading?) Definitely worth a few return trips. Looking at the images from this thread, I see that I really only ran right up the center of the lake. Lots more exploring to do. And I even managed to find some vertical cliffs that look like it'd be worth hauling in some climbing gear for, which I've always wanted to do--a climbing/sailing trip would be cool.

    Reindeer Lake looks like a possibility; I've also been eyeing up Great Slave Lake lately... apparently there's now an all-season paved road all the way to Yellowknife. Hmm...

    Tom
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  2. #37
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by Skegemog View Post
    How about an Isle Royale circumnavigation? A dream of mine....
    Yep, that looks like it'd be great as well. A few years back I had reservations on the ferry from Michigan for me and my Pirate Racer, but family obligations got in the way and I ended up cancelling the trip. But the idea is still bouncing around in my mind, that's for sure. Have you been to Isle Royale at all? I never have.

    Yet!

    Tom
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  3. #38
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by KMacDonald View Post
    Great trip and write up. Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks, Kevin

    I bet there'd even be room for a small auxiliary outboard on Nipigon for those who don't enjoy rowing--it's a big lake. Are you in the serious planning stages for taking your Marsh Cat to the Bahamas right now? THAT'S a thread I'm definitely waiting to see. I think it'd be sane if approached with appropriate caution.

    Tom
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  4. #39
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    There's a ferry to Isle Royale? So, one doesn't have to sail across Lake Superior (or drive around it) to get to Isle Royale? I may premature in adding destinations to Gardens' itinerary, but there's a bucket list trip for me.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by BobW View Post
    There's a ferry to Isle Royale? So, one doesn't have to sail across Lake Superior (or drive around it) to get to Isle Royale? I may premature in adding destinations to Gardens' itinerary, but there's a bucket list trip for me.
    Yep, the Ranger III ferry from Houghton, MI can take boats up to 20' long, so no sailing across (or driving around) the big lake is needed:

    http://www.nps.gov/isro/planyourvisi...servations.htm

    Tom
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  6. #41
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Yep, that looks like it'd be great as well. A few years back I had reservations on the ferry from Michigan for me and my Pirate Racer, but family obligations got in the way and I ended up cancelling the trip. But the idea is still bouncing around in my mind, that's for sure. Have you been to Isle Royale at all? I never have.

    Yet!

    Tom
    not yet! But I may need a bigger boat!

  7. #42
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Yes Tom, I hope to try and get to the Bahamas this winter. The weather will determine if it's a go or no go. With the right wind it won't be a problem. I will be adding a third reef point and see how it does singlehandedly in 25 or 30 kts. I think 25 kts will be fine but not sure about 30 kts.

  8. #43
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by KMacDonald View Post
    Yes Tom, I hope to try and get to the Bahamas this winter. The weather will determine if it's a go or no go. With the right wind it won't be a problem. I will be adding a third reef point and see how it does singlehandedly in 25 or 30 kts. I think 25 kts will be fine but not sure about 30 kts.
    Are you planning to leave from Key Largo and head for Bimini? That's kind of what I'm thinking if I ever try that trip. With a slow, engineless boat, conditions would sure have to be right. But I know it's been done that way. I suppose you really have to avoid capsizing in a Marsh Cat, eh? Are you going solo?

    Sounds like a very cool trip--were your earlier outings from the Keys kind of an intentional preparation for this one?

    Tom
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  9. #44
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by Skegemog View Post
    not yet! But I may need a bigger boat!
    What kind of boat do you have now? Seems like the ferry option opens Isle Royale to cruising in some pretty small boats.

    Tom
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  10. #45
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    HI Tom - I just read through the thread and really enjoyed it! What a great trip and thanks for posting. You have inspired me to do my own trip thread when I go somewhere next.

  11. #46
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    What kind of boat do you have now? Seems like the ferry option opens Isle Royale to cruising in some pretty small boats.

    Tom
    I have a Herreshoff Coquina, I think she's pretty capable actually

  12. #47
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Are you planning to leave from Key Largo and head for Bimini? That's kind of what I'm thinking if I ever try that trip. With a slow, engineless boat, conditions would sure have to be right. But I know it's been done that way. I suppose you really have to avoid capsizing in a Marsh Cat, eh? Are you going solo?

    Sounds like a very cool trip--were your earlier outings from the Keys kind of an intentional preparation for this one?

    Tom
    Yup, Key Largo to Bimini. The other trips were not to prepare for this trip, just interesting place to cruise to. There are a few "might go" people but nothing firm yet. The speed of our small boats is not much slower than 30 or 35 foot cruising boats and in some cases ours are faster. Just need a south wind of 7 to 15 kts and its a go.

  13. #48
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Tom, thanks for sharing. Its pretty wild up there. I'm surprised you didn't see any fisherman. Lots of big lake trout in those waters. I caught this one up there 25 years ago.
    Not all who wander are lost...

  14. #49
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    I have a few of those miniaturized yardsticks too ha ha ha

    That's one big fish. Looks like it could eat me.

  15. #50
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Yeah, the fishing is supposed to be great; I was a bit surprised not to run into anyone. I did see the one fishing boat launch about an hour before I did from South Bay, and there were about a half dozen fishing boats at the dock waiting to pull out the day I got back, but that was about it. I got the impression that almost everyone who launches at South Bay fishes South Bay, and doesn't go farther than the southern shores of Shakespeare Island.

    Tom
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  16. #51
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Yeah, the fishing is supposed to be great; I was a bit surprised not to run into anyone. I did see the one fishing boat launch about an hour before I did from South Bay, and there were about a half dozen fishing boats at the dock waiting to pull out the day I got back, but that was about it. I got the impression that almost everyone who launches at South Bay fishes South Bay, and doesn't go farther than the southern shores of Shakespeare Island.

    Tom
    Roger that, I caught it in South Bay...
    Not all who wander are lost...

  17. #52
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    All right, another "Down with Photobucket!" moment as I begin resurrecting this thread by re-inserting all my photos. It'll take a while, but it will be happening.

    Tom
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  18. #53
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    OK, the thread is restored post-Photobucket. Kind of a good excuse to re-live the trip a bit, actually. Well, enjoy!

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  19. #54
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Another interesting place to sail a small boat is Lake of the Woods (the northern portion), which reportedly has 14,000 islands. I spent 10 days circumnavigating the Aulneau Peninsula in a 18' sailboat about 30 years ago. Not as remote as Lake Nipigon, but not as busy as the North Channel and Georgian Bay, and there are nautical charts for the area.

    I've also wondered about Lake Nipigon, so thanks for posting. I've been sailing the Canadian shores of Lake Superior ever since and kept a boat in Nipigon for several years. Apparently there was a lot more activity up there on Lake Nipigon years ago (logging and fishing camps) with boats that would ferry folks around the lake.
    Here is a picture of a fine example of one of those work boats, the "Ogama" (in Red Rock this summer), which now hails from Nipigon (the town, not the lake). Steel hull (popular in this neck of the woods), about 35'-40', plumb bow, round ports...
    P1030387.jpg

  20. #55
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Thanks for posting--Ogama sure looks like a nice boat. I could see myself living aboard quite happily.

    I've been curious about Lake of the Woods, but I always assumed I'd run into lots of cottages and outboard fishing boats. For whatever it's worth, Nipigon is by far the least crowded place I've sailed, well worth some trips. Georgian Bay isn't bad, either, if you stick to the rocky shallow bits where only the occasional kayak goes.

    Have you done trips on the Pukwaska? That's a stretch of Lake Superior I intend to sail someday. Maybe even just do the whole circumnavigation, with plenty of time to wait for the weather--though there are some cliffy stretches of 40+ miles on the Michigan shore...

    Tom
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  21. #56
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    I have been to the Pukaskwa several times, including this summer. It's one of my favorite sections of the lake, the Oiseau Bay area being particularly interesting for the extensive rock intrusions and sandy beaches (rare on the north shore). The park is only accessed by land at the north end and there is a great hiking trail that follows the coast for about 40mi. One can find shelter from the big lake every 5-10nm along most of the Canadian shore, and maybe more with a beach-able vessel.

    I now sail a Westsail 32 and am limited to "deep" water anchorages (5'draft). I and prefer to spend most of my time along the Canadian shore, which along with being fairly remote, has some of the best (most protected) anchorages every few miles, and it's not uncommon to go for days without seeing another soul. The U.S. shore on the other hand has more boats and few protected anchorages, most of which are man-made.

    There is a paddler's guide to the northern shore:
    https://www.amazon.com/Paddlers-Supe.../dp/0988048302

    A book,"Adventure Bound" by Carl Behrend, about a father and daughter that circumnavigated Superior in a small catamaran. And, of course, Bonnie Dahl's cruising guide "Superior Way".

    Feel like I should post a pic of the Pukaskwa shore to whet your appetite. Sorry about the thread drift...
    P1030365.jpg

  22. #57
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    It has been 9 years since I was along the Pukaskwa shore. I agree that it is a little less suitable for larger deep keel boats. I think a small beach able boat can find dozens of tiny nooks to sneak into, whether you actually beach or not.
    Whatever...you need a good boat. My friends ( mostly kayak trippers) plan for being weathered in about 1day in 4. More or less my experience as well.
    I have to say I preferred Superior to Nipigon FWIW

  23. #58
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    The north shore of Superior, say from Thunder Bay to the Sault (including the Pukwaska and maybe Michipicoten Island), would be a great trip, or even a circumnavigation of the entire lake, with a stop off for a close circumnavigation of Isle Royale.

    As would starting in the NW corner of Lake Michigan (Door County, Wisconsin) and following the north shore through the Mackinac Strait and into the North Channel, and on to Georgian Bay. And further on through the Trent-Severn into Lake Ontario. Which puts you at the Rideau Canal if you want to continue to Ottawa and points beyond...

    I like Lake Nipigon a lot, too--not the same spectacular rocky beauty of the Great Lakes, but so remote and isolated. I could definitely be happy with some return trips there.

    As you say, a flexible schedule so you never feel pressured to go out on iffy days is the best insurance. I don't count on anyone being able to lend assistance when I'm out there.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  24. #59
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    Default Re: A Phoenix III on Lake Nipigon

    Quote Originally Posted by Neverland View Post
    There is a paddler's guide to the northern shore:
    https://www.amazon.com/Paddlers-Supe.../dp/0988048302

    A book,"Adventure Bound" by Carl Behrend, about a father and daughter that circumnavigated Superior in a small catamaran. And, of course, Bonnie Dahl's cruising guide "Superior Way".

    Feel like I should post a pic of the Pukaskwa shore to whet your appetite. Sorry about the thread drift...
    P1030365.jpg
    I don't mind this kind of thread drift at all! I've now drive along the north shore of Superior a few times and am eager to get a boat up there for sure.

    I read the "Adventure Bound" book, but am less enthused about cruising guides. For one thing, in a small beach cruiser, I've never felt I needed them. A chart or Google Earth scouting can pretty much show me what I need to know, without making feel I'm "cheating" in the same way as a detailed cruising guide.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

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