A Voyage with Superior Charters
The Apostle Islands, situated in North America's largest freshwater lake, are the setting for a sail in luxury aboard Windwalker, a fully crewed Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 509.
A Pair of Lighthouses
|The tale of how Michigan Island came to have to lighthouses is well documented.|
From Stockton, we motored to nearby Michigan Island. After anchoring, Steve took Marianne and me ashore in the dinghy; we triumphed over the swells that slammed into the dock, scrambling up one of its sides. The next challenge, ascending a large staircase and tramway that lead to a pair of lighthouses, was easy by comparison.
An incredible story accompanies the lights, a 19th-century tale that can make any 21st-century taxpayer wince about how Uncle Sam spends our money. The short form is that the first light was supposed to be built for a different Apostle Island, a government official changed plans at the last minute, and so the first light was erected on Michigan. The second, taller light came years later but wasn’t erected until it sat on the island’s beach, awaiting assembly, for a decade. For more juicy details, read the complete story at the lakeshore website.
Reluctantly, we heeded storm warnings and agreed with Steve and Alec’s suggestion to hightail it from Michigan and park Windwalker in a marina at Madeline. This was more fun than we first thought it’d be, for the island and main town of La Pointe offer plenty for tourists. We marveled over chainsaw art at Island Carvers and paid admission for a complete tour of the Madeline Island Museum. Skies were still blue and the sun shone brightly, so we figured that renting bikes from Motion to Go would be good exercise and fun.
That great ride, including another beach stroll, hinted that fall was upon us. Red, green, and gold leaves rustled in the wind; the air felt crisp. And it let Lake Superior remind us that Mother Nature remains firmly in charge. We saw sun but heard thunderheads, and we barely made it back to the shop before suddenly black-purple skies let loose hefty sheets of slanted rain. Taking pity on us, a kind islander offered us rides in two shifts to the marina, barely a few hundred feet away.
“Do you know who that was?” Marianne asked once we were all below and dry aboard Windwalker.
“No,” I answered. “Who was he?”
“Dick Coleman,” she said. “He’s another skipper for Superior Charters, and he lives on Madeline.”
How cool is that? Everywhere you go, there’s crew on your boat, and crew on land, ready and waiting to assist you. Now that’s a level of superior service.