Thursday, February 19, 2009

The boat show, Lake Superior adventure style

Ah, February, when we are supposed to be overcome with cabin fever and to achieve nothing more than dreams of summer. Seed catalogs for the gardeners, and boat shows for the waterborne.

While the big annual boat/camping/travel show goes on this week at the DECC in Duluth, I've enjoyed my own little neighborhood boat show. My neighborhood happens to include a few of Duluth's biggest boat storage areas. Both a lot of boats and some of the biggest boats lay up at Lakehead Boat Basin and Harbor Cove Marina just a block or two from here.

Under the blue shrink-wrap rest dozens, hundreds, of water craft--powerboats, sailboats, cabin cruisers-- that will bring another season of Lake Superior adventure to their owners and guests.

Here's the Voyaguer II, the friend of Isle Royale hikers who board it in Grand Portage and circle The Island for their favorite beach campsite or trailhead. It looks small in its winter berth, but it's bursting with memories for many outdoor folks. It sits next to the Vista Queen, the harbor party boat that scarcely even ever clears the Aerial Lift Bridge. Do they get along?

Peak down the port side of the Voyageur II and you can see the Blue Heron frozen dockside. This is the UMD/Large Lakes Observatory research vessel, the one that's been discovering all sorts of cool new things about Lake Superior, including new data about how deep the lake actually is (less than we thought, by a few yards).

Walk around a bit more you'll find a shipwreck dive boat and the three-masted schooner Zeeto that cruises the Apostle Islands out of Bayfield. Beautiful island sunsets from the deck of the schooner, sails there's a dream for a boat show.

Oh, I've got boat lust. No, not really to own one, thank you. But to ride one of these beauties in our backyard to some quiet cove for a hike, a paddle, a great Lake Superior experience. Dream on!


gtr said...

Hi, Andrew... I've been lurking, lately. Fun to see the Voyaguer II from a different perspective than I used to see as I greeted it at the dock wearing my Ranger Hat!

Blogging the North Shore said...

Thanks, "GTR", for coming out of the looming lurk. I envy your days on the dock on Isle Royale, greeting eager-eyed hikers and naturalists as they arrive in Wonderland. Which reminds me that we first met on another Park Service Island, Stockton, oh so many years ago! You've had got all the cool island jobs wrapped up!

Mark Brown said...

You are lucky to live in a community full of big boats! It looks freezing out there, though.

I'm very fond of boats particularly ocean-going yachts. I think, I got this fascination from my father who works in a yacht club. The stories he told me about sailing and cruising still fascinate me, and, when I was a kid, we would go to several boat/yacht shows just to admire the beautiful ocean yachts for sale that are being displayed. Oh well, the good old times.

Riding in one of those boats is always quite an experience for me!