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Last Hurrah for Superior

8 August 2010
Pos: 46 33.5’N x 084 57.5’W
Wx: ENE Force 1, Seas near glassy
At Anchor off Tahquamenon Bay, Michigan
Last Hurrah for Superior

Pride of Baltimore II, the flagship for a state that has exactly zero natural lakes, is spending her last night for the foreseeable future in the worlds largest lake. Near mid-night on Friday, we crossed 90 degrees West longitude for the first time in 11 days – making our stay in the Duluth area the longest Pride II has been west of that meridian since returning from Asia over a decade ago.

In a very mixed 48 hours of weather, we have covered most of the length of Lake Superior back toward the East, motor-sailing and sailing on and off as if on schedule for the first 24 hours. Yesterday just before lunch, however, the breeze left us entirely and we had another Lake Superior swim call, this time just off the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Nearly all the crew participated this time, and the water was alarmingly pleasant compared to our morning swim at Knife River on Tuesday.

Though the rest of yesterday we had calm conditions and gathering clouds, eventually turning into significant rain overnight. The little associated wind was from the East. When it eventually went Northeast this morning, we set sail again rounding Whitefish Point and for a time slid down Whitefish Bay toward the St. Mary’s. Then calm set in again.

With a local weather forecast that is advertising “Light Winds” with no associated direction in every area on our track over the next few days, we are taking advantage of the conditions and the time remaining to spend the night at anchor off of Tahquamenon Bay, with hopes to visit the nearby State Park at Tahquamenon Falls, Michigan. I visited the Park, which boasts America’s largest White Pine Tree, ten years ago and hope it is possible to get any of the interested parties ashore to it.

Otherwise, it will be good to enjoy a singularly calm day and night on the Largest Lake. The vacuum-like forecast means we won’t be missing out on any sailing for a bit, and as we likely will not be in these waters for the next few years, we’ll stay 600 feet above sea level for another night before taking the first step down toward the ocean at the SOO Locks tomorrow.

All best,
Jamie Trost and the crew of Pride II (about to enjoy one last Superior Swim Call)