Page 2 of 4 FirstFirst 123 ... LastLast
Results 36 to 70 of 116

Thread: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    I always figure there's no point sailing a SMALL boat if you aren't going to sail through small passages. So I sailed about a mile north from my tombolo island, and then dropped the sail to row through a narrow channel that hugged the Aulneau mainland:

    Day 4.3.jpg

    It was actually getting fairly windy out--about time for reefing. So it was a nice break to take to the oars for a bit.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Between Bourgeoisie and Proletariat - Australia
    Posts
    5,972

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Nice work Tom - thanks so much for sharing.
    What a cute little rail portage system - what a shame to shut it down. Maybe they should have a little 'honour' system of $5 every use or something.
    It's all fun and games until Darth Vader comes.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Yeah, I have to say it was really cool to use a hand-powered rail portage to start the trip. Nice to have some actual tactile mechanical technologies still out there functioning. Except, since it was decommissioned (I think?) in 2019, I guess it's not functioning anymore. For all I know, I might be the last person ever to circle the Aulneau in a non-portageable boat.

    There is a point in technology "advancement" where we trade away too much of the physical/tactile for me to like it. Not that anyone much listens to my complaints about it!

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    At the northern end of my rowing shortcut, I hoisted up the sail again, still with a following SW wind, getting stronger and stronger. By the time I had covered 10 miles or so:

    Day 4.4.jpg

    I had reached a stretch of much more open water, where the wind's effects were really beginning to make themselves known. Windy! Very windy, even (and that's about as precise as I try to be). Having the full 85 sq ft sail up was quite a bit too much. I managed to sail into the lee of an island, drop the sail, and tie in my never-before-used triple reef.

    The Alaska plans show 2 reef points, but I had Stuart at Dabbler Sails (I can't recommend him highly enough--fantastic expertise with small traditional sails!) put in an extra third row for me, anticipating conditions like these (the Texas 200, for example, commonly has 20-25 knot following winds). With the luff shortened so drastically, I doubt it's even possible to make progress to windward with 3 reefs in (at least in conditions windy enough to demand 3 reefs), but as it turned out, the boat does very very well with 3 reefs on a broad reach to a run:



    And just like that, the mood aboard the good ship switched from mild terror to complete comfort, idling along at good speed while the line-and-bungee self-steering held a course better than I could have steered it. At one point a bald eagle swept down and grabbed a fish from the water 10 yards off the starboard bow. She did not deign to wait until my camera was ready, however.
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-05-2021 at 10:15 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  5. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Just past my eagle encounter, having covered about 15 miles since the railway portage, I sailed into a bit of a bay in the lee of a tall island and anchored for an onboard lunch and waterborne siesta, or whatever its northern equivalent might be. I didn't bother going ashore.

    20.jpg

    Things were calming down a bit by then, so I think I might have gone to a single reef when I re-hoisted the sail. There was still a strong enough following breeze to cover the next 10 miles swiftly (well, relatively swiftly--which in my boat translates to a "mile 20 of the marathon dead slow jogging pace" kind of speed).

    I broke out in the western half of Long Bay by early evening, and started looking for a place to camp. I had covered 25 miles or so by then by my best estimates.

    Day 4.5.jpg

    There were occasional cottages around, but by now the wind had dropped away to nothing (well, to "extremely light and fickle headwinds"), so it was back to the oars. I didn't want to have to row too far if I could help it. As it turns out, I found a nice little sandy bay a mile or two farther on.

    21.jpg

    Day two of my "real" Lake of the Woods trip ended with a visitor making a surprise appearance at camp:



    Two days in, maybe 40 miles covered. Time to slow down. Which, since the next leg of the trip (crossing the top of the Aulneau from east to west before turning south along its western shores) would take me directly into the prevailing westerlies, I figured would NOT be a problem. How right I was about that, as it turned out...
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  6. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Here's a look at Day Two's route:

    Day 4.6.jpg

    And in case anyone's interested, now might be a good moment for a word or two about my "self-steering" system, which pretty much allows me to have both hands free almost all the time (I tie the sheet off to an oarlock with a slippery hitch unless conditions demand constant attention).

    There are many different ways to rig something like this, and commercial products like tiller clutches available, but I really really like this system. Here's how to do it.

    1. First, you need some way to anchor a gunwale-to-gunwale line under your tiller. In my boat, the horn cleats I also use for docking are perfect for this:

    22.jpg

    2. A small thumb cleat on the bottom of the tiller, a little bit FORWARD of your gunwale cleats--just enough to hook a small-diameter line over it to hold (the one I installed is a fair bit larger than necessary, but it's not in the way, either, so I guess that doesn't matter).

    23.jpg

    3. Drop a small bungee loop over one cleat (I use one of the bungees from a bungee-ball loop, with the plastic ball removed--I double up the loop for more tension).

    4. Anchor a small-diameter line on the opposite-side cleat (I girth-hitch mine around the center bottom hole in the cleat, so the horns are still clear to take docking lines).

    5. Run the small-diameter line UNDER the tiller and tie it off to the bungee loop at the opposite-side cleat with a quick-release tension knot of some kind (I use a slipped half hitch). You want to tie this with a good bit of tension, so it stretches the bungee loop significantly:



    That's it--your self-steering is now ready to use. Simply pull the now-taut line/bungee combination forward and hook it on the thumb cleat on the underside of your tiller. The tension should hold the tiller in place whenever you let go--once you find the correct tension, you can leave this rigged all the time. You can steer by hand at any moment, WITHOUT releasing the line/bungee. Or, you can STOP steering at any moment, and the line-bungee will hold the tiller in place.

    Edit to add: It's actually easier to tension the line and tie it off to the bungee loop if you do that while the line is already hooked over the thumb cleat--that will make it easier to get the correct amount of tension in the system.

    You can see the line-bungee rigged in place, hooked over the tiller thumb cleat, in the photo below. Even at anchor, I don't bother to unset the self-steering--it really is a "set it up and forget it" kind of system:

    24.jpg

    If you have never sailed with some kind of tiller tender or "self-steering" system in place in a small boat, you have NO idea of the convenience, enjoyment, and practicality it brings. It changes long days aboard from tedious always-have-to-have-one-hand-for-the-boat ordeals to leisurely I-do-whatever-I-want-while-the-boat-sails-itself bouts of sustained indolence. Other than the sail itself, I consider this to be the most important piece of gear on board for my kind of sailing.

    One caveat: the boat really DOES sail itself. If you fall overboard, it will KEEP sailing itself, and it will sail right away from you, and you will drown and die, or (in cold water), die of hypothermia instead if you happen to be wearing a PFD.

    Don't fall overboard. Think about rigging a trailing line if the worst should happen--that would not be stupid.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-05-2021 at 04:27 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  7. #42
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    A brief video clip from a different trip to give you some idea how well a "self-steering" system like this can work:



    Really, if you are interested in this kind of cruising, with long days aboard covering long distances for days or weeks at a time, you should rig something like this for your own boat. Go do it right now, I'd say. You'll thank me later!

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  8. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    I'm stealing that.
    Yeah, me too!

    Tom, I always enjoy these accounts of your trips. You are a very good writer!

  9. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    22,098

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Yeah, yeah. You and your neat boat cruising a neat spot. Zzzzz.

    I am BOGGED down. Should have picked one of these easy ones. Hehehe.

    Unrelated, but related, it looks like my own long suffering “cruiser” may get wet this summer. I think I may have you beat by a year? Hahaha. Do NOT expect me to take any photos anywhere NEAR this quality, though.

  10. #45
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    247

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    I remember reading this over at Small Boats Monthly and thinking that railway was pretty neat. It reminds me of the ancient Greek's Diolkos. As usual, I always love your trip reports!

  11. #46
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by amish rob View Post
    Yeah, yeah. You and your neat boat cruising a neat spot. Zzzzz.


    But you know, my boat is much more photogenic in photos than it is in person (can you be "photogenic" in person? Or maybe you can only be "photogenic" in person, and in photos, you're just a "photo"?)--there are plenty of little things that no professional, and many amateurs, would never accept. The starboard side of the hull wasn't ever really faired, for one thing, especially near the bow. And NONE of the interior was faired much at all. There's the odd bit of mis-fit pieces with obvious fixes. There's the mast "leather" that is, in reality, a neoprene drink cozy with the bottom cut out that looks surprising like leather--in photos...

    What are you building, Rob? Man, if you ever make your way to the Great Lakes, you can have all the tiller/oar time you want in my boat. You may have to bring me along for some of it, though!

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  12. #47
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    22,098

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    I have been building at least one boat or other since about 2000. There is always one or two brewing. I have a long suffering 20 x 5 foot five panel sailboat that can also be rowed, but my health has taken a few turns since I began that placed her on the back burner.

    Current “boat” projects around here include a plywood pirogue, an outrigger canoe stuck in permanent stringer and skin-less frame configuration (aka, pile of weird shaped things in a stack), a lapstrake pram for a baby to play in, and some proa we keep trying to dream up in model form before it might one day become a “real” “boat”.

    With a bit of money and proximity to real water, o could be a real hazard to myself.

    ETA: I wouldn’t hold anyone’s boat against them, nor am I at all snobby about boats. I like simple, goofy boats the most, personally, and all mine are; to be sure they are NOTHING anyone would point at as an example of anything other than being an object.

  13. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    All right, back to the trip and on with Day 3, the westward leg across the top of the Aulneau.

    Morning started out with faint and shifty headwinds, but I resisted the urge to row by steering out into the middle of Long Bay, where the distance from shore would make the lack of any real progress less obvious.

    Day 5.1.jpg

    Eventually the breeze filled in enough to actually sail a bit--in light headwinds, my boat tends to point very poorly, and move very very slowly. It's almost always a losing game to try and move to windward under sail in those conditions.

    Within 4 miles or so, I was actually starting to move a bit, sailing closehauled:

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  14. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    But soon enough, my chosen route ran through a stretch of narrow passages that made beating to windward too foolish even for me:

    Day 5.2.jpg

    So, to the oars:

    26.jpg

    There wasn't enough fetch for any waves to form, but the wind was fierce! And of course, funneled through each channel as a direct headwind that made for interesting rowing. Finally, on the edge of a bigger stretch of open water, I was able to raise the sail (reefed) and stow the oars for another attempt at windward progress. Slow going... (but then, who's in a hurry?)

    Day 5.3.jpg

    At one point, coming about just off the shore of the southern island, a couple of whitetail deer coming down to the water's edge for a drink got a bit of a surprise as I spun around just a few feet away from them. They stopped and stared. I waved. We went our separate ways.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  15. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Uki, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    33,741

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    A brief video clip from a different trip to give you some idea how well a "self-steering" system like this can work:



    Really, if you are interested in this kind of cruising, with long days aboard covering long distances for days or weeks at a time, you should rig something like this for your own boat. Go do it right now, I'd say. You'll thank me later!

    Tom
    Took me a couple of reads to understand what you meant but once I got it...I like it.
    be modest, and be proud of it.

  16. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    Took me a couple of reads to understand what you meant but once I got it...I like it.
    Yep, it's much more complicated to explain than it is to actually install and use. A very simple but effective upgrade for a small boat.

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-08-2021 at 10:44 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  17. #52
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    A looooooong day of tacking, in progressively stronger winds. Cold(ish) and very windy, with some spray coming aboard now and then. I tried to take as inside a route as I could, hoping things might be a little more manageable that way--but the westerly breeze just kept getting funneled right up every channel, while I was trying to sail down.



    Without pretending that this is anywhere near perfectly accurate, I probably sailed about 6 or 7 miles along a route that looked something like this:

    Day 5.4.jpg
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-05-2021 at 05:18 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  18. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    The wind kept getting stronger and stronger, and I kept getting colder and colder, and just generally too unambitious to sail all the way across the channel, come about, and sail all the way back to what seemed like the foot of the same tree, or the same rock. Eventually I missed a tack close to shore, and missed again when I tried to fall off for another attempt. And then it was too close to try again.

    So, a panic drop of the sail (it landed mostly aboard the boat) and a hurried deployment of the oars. Wow--it was FIERCELY windy! Always more obvious once you come to a stop. I rowed around the corner to a little beach to think things over, anchoring just off a lee shore--excellent seamanship, I know--but at least it was a sandy lee shore.

    27.jpg

    I stayed at this beach for just a few minutes--enough time to realize that 20 minutes of rowing would bring me to a more sheltered anchorage on the windward side of the bay.

    Day 5.5.jpg

    Speaking (writing?) of "sustained indolence," I wasn't the only one taking a break--on my row over to a better anchorage, I spotted this fellow lounging around on shore; about the size of a manhole cover by my estimate:

    28.jpg
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-05-2021 at 05:19 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  19. #54
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    182

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    ... I-do-whatever-I-want-while-the-boat-sails-itself.

    Tom
    Not a bad motto for a family crest, although it has stiff competition from "sustained indolence"

    Great report, Tom. Keep it coming!

  20. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by pez_leon View Post
    Not a bad motto for a family crest, although it has stiff competition from "sustained indolence"

    Great report, Tom. Keep it coming!
    Hmm... Neither one is bad in Latin:

    DUM VELA NAVIS IPSA QUID VOLO FACIO

    Or

    PIGRITIA IUGIS

    Maybe a poll is in order; might make a nice inscription somewhere on the boat. A little brass plaque, maybe?

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  21. #56
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    So. Late afternoon, with a fairly early start to the day. 10,326 tacks. Seven miles of straight-line distance covered. Bah. I threw my 6-lb Northill anchor as far overboard as I could, tied off the rode to the samson post in the bow, and settled in for a laundry break and reading session--Aldo Leopold, on this trip, one of my all-time favorite writers and thinkers.

    Actually, from the look of the photo below, it seems I didn't even bother to tie off the rode--just took a turn around the samson post. Another black marble in the box.

    29.jpg

    In case the black marble comment above is too obscure, I'll explain: One theory of seamanship--I can't remember where I read this--is that every boat has a metaphorical box that the sailor fills up with equally metaphorical marbles, black or white. Every time you do something prudent, cautious, or foresightful, you are putting a white marble into the box. Every time you do something reckless, foolish, or imprudent, you have to put a black marble in.

    When things start to go bad aboard--and at some point they always do, don't they?--then you draw a marble from the box. If the marble you picked is white, then the Fates have smiled on you, and you'll live to sail another day--your good seamanship has been rewarded.

    If you draw a black marble, though... Well, you get the idea.

    It's an interesting analogy to explain how our choices lead inevitably to the fate we have built for ourselves. Sometimes I think that the few white marbles in my box are buried deep beneath a heap of black ones...

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-07-2021 at 12:06 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  22. #57
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Berkeley, CA
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Hmm... Neither one is bad in Latin:

    DUM VELA NAVIS IPSA QUID VOLO FACIO

    Or

    PIGRITIA IUGIS

    Maybe a poll is in order; might make a nice inscription somewhere on the boat. A little brass plaque, maybe?

    Tom
    Those are excellent. I don't know which is better!

  23. #58
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Hills of Vermont, USA
    Posts
    40,424

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WI-Tom View Post
    Hmm... Neither one is bad in Latin:

    DUM VELA NAVIS IPSA QUID VOLO FACIO

    Or

    PIGRITIA IUGIS

    Maybe a poll is in order; might make a nice inscription somewhere on the boat. A little brass plaque, maybe?

    Tom
    I don't have the Latin, but a friend has a a beautifully calligraphed phrase on his wall. The translation is "What a long strange trip it's been". Yes, he's a deadhead.

    Not entirely inappropriate for many here.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  24. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Uki, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    33,741

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    What a long strange trip it's been"
    Sums up life quite well.
    be modest, and be proud of it.

  25. #60
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Thanks for the comments, all. Moving on with Lake of the Woods, Day Three:

    By early evening the winds had settled down quite a bit, so I pulled up the anchor and rowed out of my sheltered bay. Yep. Very manageable conditions. I hoisted the sail and even had a better wind angle, a little less of a direct header. And even, after a while, swinging around from the south so that I could manage to sail along nicely, closehauled and unreefed.

    I checked out a few inlets and backwaters along the way, and finally settled on this one for camp, right around sunset:

    30.jpg

    Two adult otters came out to meet me as I rowed ashore--they were very curious, but scampered off into the reeds as I landed. I figured it might be kind of skeetery in such a sheltered marshy backwater, so I set up my tent to camp ashore again. I hadn't slept aboard yet--a bit unusual for me, as I usually seem to be about 50/50 as far as shore vs. boat camping.

    It was a nice night for sky watching:

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  26. #61
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    A look at the day's journey:

    Day 5.7.jpg

    Maybe 15 or 16 miles, in two shifts: morning (windy!) and evening (pleasantly sedate). Here's a look at the entire 3-day trip so far:

    Day 1-3.jpg

    So far things seemed to be going generally on schedule for a week-long circumnavigation. But man, that was a looooooong day with lots and lots of tacking. The Alaska is definitely optimized for rowing, and sub-optimized for windward sailing, especially in the kinds of reefing-necessary conditions the middle of the day had brought.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  27. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Uki, NSW, Australia
    Posts
    33,741

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    You could spend a lifetime exploring there.
    be modest, and be proud of it.

  28. #63
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Quote Originally Posted by WX View Post
    You could spend a lifetime exploring there.
    Yep. A week sure wasn't enough to do it justice. Probably not my favorite cruising ground so far, but well worth a visit. A bit more cottage country vibe, and some power boat traffic almost every day (often far off and not visible, but outboards are noisy).

    If it's a more wilderness vibe you're after, in similar terrain, I think Lake Nipigon is a more interesting destination. A similar-sized lake, with MUCH less development. Like, essentially NO development in 90% of the lake:

    Nipigon.jpg

    And I like the Thirty Thousand Islands of Georgian Bay even better:

    Georgian Bay.jpg

    And I may end up liking Lake Superior's north shore and Pukwaska region (NE corner of the lake) even more, if I ever manage a trip there:

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  29. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    But Lake of the Woods was great, too. Three days into my trip, and more or less on whatever passes for a "schedule" for me--I had arranged a 2-3 day window with my friends for arrival at their cabin, and it still seemed realistic.

    Day Four began with pleasant light(ish) breezes that weren't (yet) headwinds. I wasn't sure where I was going yet (see earlier comment about the "essence of travel"), but there seemed to be 3 basic options:

    Day 6.1.jpg

    The northern route was obviously the longest, and thus in many ways the most appealing. If I hadn't suspected that going this way would mean missing my arrival window at my friends' cabin, I would have already been heading that way.

    The middle route seemed most likely to bring me another day of headwinds--a long(ish) narrow channel running straight east-west at one point.

    The southern route? Hmm... A channel running north-south might--just might--offer a tailwind if the winds were generally out of the N or NW, which they often are around here. More likely, there'd be no wind at all, which would still beat headwinds.

    But there was that "interesting" narrow spot (marked with question marks on the image above).
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-08-2021 at 10:50 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  30. #65
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    A look at the chart almost convinced me that the southern route would be continuous, with no portage necessary.

    Portage.jpg

    Except... The passage was labeled "French Portage Narrows." Hmm... And my chart didn't quite show enough detail to know for sure if it was a continuous non-portage route. I figured that it probably was, if only because the arrows on the red line that marked a route on the chart were both pointing north, on either side of the pinch point. In the end, I decided that meant the route continued through without obstruction.

    And, with the available choices thus submitted to rigorous scrutiny and logical analysis, I set out westward, hugging the mainland shore of the Aulneau Peninsula, heading for a marked portage route that for some reason I had decided wouldn't involve an actual portage.

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

    www.tompamperin.com

  31. #66
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    central cal
    Posts
    22,098

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    I’m thinking one of those wheels-as-a-centerboard boats would be the bomb. Drop the centerboard/wheel, slide your oars into the “wheelbarrow mode” sockets, and por-to the-tage, Mon Ami. Por-to the-tage.

  32. #67
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    When I crewed for my brother in the Everglades Challenge, we took the inside route with a mandatory (flat and paved) portage. We used a cheap set of hardware store wheels that worked well enough:

    wheels.jpg

    But at 350 lbs empty or so, even that would be a handful with my Alaska, I think. Oh, well--let's keep on, and see if I made it through French Portage Narrows. If not, cest la vie!

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-06-2021 at 09:29 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  33. #68
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Five miles of pleasant sailing (PIGRITIA IUGIS!) with barely a need to nudge the tiller--the Alaska's long straight keel probably helps with directional stability, but the line-and-bungee magic was still operating at full potential as well--brought me to where I'd need to round a corner around some islands.

    day 6.2.jpg

    Which meant an hour or two of this:

    32.jpg

    And here it was back to cottage country. Or, more likely from the look of things, a commercial fly-in fishing lodge:


    33.jpg

    I had to sail right past their dock. It must not have been a weekend, as I didn't see any customers--looked pretty un-busy to my eye. I got the impression from the nonverbals and sidelong glances aimed my way, that the idea of traveling around in a small boat with no engine was... shall we say, not consistent with local cultural norms?

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 03-06-2021 at 09:37 AM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  34. #69
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    Spoiler alert! If you prefer not to find out what the "portage" (or lack thereof) at French Portage Narrows is like, you'll have to skip the next couple of posts.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

  35. #70
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    10,505

    Default Re: A Kurylko Alaska on Lake of the Woods

    After passing the fishing lodge, an hour of beating to windward in light fluky breezes finally got me to the entrance channel to French Portage Narrows. And as I'd hoped, there was a (tiny) bit of a tailwind whispering down the channel. Not enough to actually keep me moving at any kind of respectable speed, but enough to convince me it was OK not to deploy the oars.

    It was hot. And the boat was filled with mutant houseflies that had apparently escaped from a nearby research facility to bite the feet of everyone they could find.

    And so it went.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    www.tompamperin.com

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •