Apostle 21 Islands - Update from the field


As most of you know, NPLSF is playing a critical support role in National Geographic's 21-day, 21-island kayak exploration of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. The trip grew out of NatGeo photojournalist David Guttenfelder's fascination with the cultural history and grandeur of the Apostle Islands and Lake Superior. Accompanying David on this journey is: Frida Waara, NPLSF board member, big water-tested adventurer, and host of the Lake Superior Podcast; Neil Howk, retired 35-year National Park Service employee and senior advisor to The Friends of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Maddy Marquardt, experienced Lake Superior kayaking guide, photographer and writer, who will be acting as David's photo assistant; and Greg Strobel from Wilderness Inquiry, who will be guiding the trip and making daily weather decisions.


Day 1: Wednesday, August 4, had the team carefully packing their kayaks for a 21-day trip and talking strategy with Lynne Dominy, the Park Superintendent. The group went off on their shortest day of paddling from Little Sand Bay to overnight at Sand Island. The group paddled through "The Washing Machine" to arrive at Sand Island in time to explore the sea caves and hike to the lighthouse and other historical landmarks.


Day 2: Thursday, August 5, blessed the paddlers with calm waters for the journey to Raspberry Island with a stop at York Island. It was a day the team used to dial in the weight distribution of their boats and adjust to the group paddling cadence. Longer and more challenging days lay ahead.


Day 3: The schedule for Friday, August 6, was to be a full day of exploring with a second overnight at Raspberry Island, but the lake had other plans. With the weather forecast calling for 20-knot winds and 4-foot waves on Saturday, Greg made the call for the group to push ahead to Bear Island for a Friday night arrival on Devil's Island.


Days 4 & 5: Saturday-Sunday, August 7/8. The team hunkered in on Devil's Island, exploring and waiting out the rain, wind, and waves. Rumor has it that Greg is quite the wilderness chef and has treated the group with outstanding culinary experiences. We hear that Frida is going head-to-head with David's storytelling, and Neil's right in there with some tales of his own. Tomorrow the expedition heads to Rocky Island and hopefully flatter seas.


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