The Mainship Visits Caribou Island


August 6, 2019. Caribou Island is a gorgeous and convenient place to dock (or camp) at Isle Royal, on the main channel and close to the main entrance/exit for boats traveling to or from the Keweenaw. This is why we chose it for our last night here. This is also why we have plenty of company, but it’s pleasant company. Boaters and kayakers alike chose this place for a stopover, and they co-exist peacefully here. We have time to take out own kayaks and paddleboard to explore the many nearby coves. I paddle out to the trawler that’s anchored nearby and learn that the woman living on board with her family is a writer. Like me, I think–only I’m not writing! (Unless this blog counts.)

I mentally toss away the self-judgment and join Jeff for a try at casting from the bow. I catch one; he doesn’t. Mine is small, but my excited yelp brings our neighbors running. They are disappointed. I explore the small rocky seashore on the other side of the island for the famed greenstone that is found only on Isle Royal — especially here, I’m told — and is made into jewelry. I find no greenstone, but I do find delight in the crystal-clear water lapping over multicolored stones. We spend the evening visiting with our neighbors next to a fire. I play my harmonica. “Good night ladies” is my final song at 10 p.m., signaling Isle Royal’s “quiet hours” and a hint that we should all turn in. We do. I normally prefer solitude when visiting Isle Royal. Tonight, the socializing was welcome. It’s so nice to find both, and I know how fortunate I am.

We plan to be under way by 5:30 a.m. for the 12-hour, 100-mile trip back to Pequaming. I will again hang out on the bow — my favorite place on any boat — glad to be crossing “the big lake” in daylight this time. I may even take the helm, which I gave up in frustration during the zig-zag night crossing. We will have rougher seas during a daytime crossing, but at least we’ll be able to see them! The maiden voyage of the Mainship Many Moons will end tomorrow, and we can call it a success. I know I’ve learned some important things about myself on this trip, and that itself qualifies it as “successful” in my book. What exactly did I learn? I’ll figure that out as I journal about it. I’m a writer. I don’t know what I think until I write it down!

Postscript: I did write a long journal entry about this trip. I did receive personal insights from doing so. If you’d like to read it, send me a note.

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