“Old Man’s Pocket” was the name of a tiny secluded cove where we spent our last night as a group of 8. The water was 50 degrees so some of us went for our first dip of the season. How is it that on Lake Superior in May, we can all be bundled to the hilt as we sail—including long underwear and neck warmers—and then, by the end of the day, be dipping in our bathing suits? I never can figure it out, but it keeps happening.
Sunday, May 22 was transition day. By day’s end we had said good-bye to Claire and Brooke, and welcomed Cedar and Coulter Holden aboard. Our group photo shot that day included all crew and family, from Ontario, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin—all the states and provinces that border Lake Superior. We also found Jack, the Canadian fisherman who rescued the Gordon family on Amicus I in his steel trawler on that fateful day 11 years ago in the Moffat Straits (see my book for the full story). He was as kindly as ever, eyes crinkling merrily as he shook my hand and inquired, “Where’s the baby? (Lamar)”
The next morning we were up at dawn, attempting to beat the Strong Wind Warning predicted, with S winds (we were headed SE.) We succeeded, partially—which is to say, we did make it to the Slate Islands 15 miles away. But we didn’t avoid lumpy seas or SE winds. It was a gripping sail—everyone gripping their seats, gripping their stomachs, and not saying much. Keera did her watch then sacked out on the settee for the rest of the journey. The only action in the cockpit was the unfortunate sound of fish-feeding, mostly from Coulter who was exhausted and nervous about his first ride on Amicus II in several years.
Coulter and everyone recovered quickly with the calm beauty of the Slate Islands and by afternoon a trip to a partially submerged shipwreck was planned. This time it was my turn to crash; I’ve learned I need a recovery time after several days of logistics and presenting. I dozed the afternoon away on a blissfully quiet boat and was able to create dinner when the troops returned—though I wouldn’t have minded another half hour.
Our original itinerary had us anchored in Terrace Bay that night so that we could hitch a ride to the high school in the morning. This plan allowed for any winds except strong southerlies. Strong southerlies were the order of the day, however, so then we planned to get up at dawn and hightail it over to Terrace Bay in the morning, in time for a 10:00 presentation at the high school. But when Mark and I woke up at dawn to pouring rain and wind, we decided that this, our first missed presentation, was come by honestly. The crew slept in until 9:00 and I climbed a nearby cliff to find enough cell phone coverage to call the highschool. Happily they were able to reschedule for the next day, and we spent a much-needed rest day playing games inside and watching the driving rain and wind outside.