Stealing from Peter to Pay Paul in the Apostles

*Day 1*

The islands of the Apostles, are not named for the compatriots of Jesus of Nazareth. Instead they bear the names of what they are, as islands often do. The names of the Apostles bear names like: Sand Island, Raspberry Island, Bear Island and so forth.

Four of us paddled from Meyers beach along what used to be called Squaw bay. Now called “Sand Bay”, though our chart called it Squaw bay. The chart Jim bought reminded me of the stratified geologic layers of graffiti etched into old steel toilet stalls in Tiger stadium I saw in Detroit as a kid with the words, “Nigger” or “Cunt”.

The caves along the mainland on Sunday were amazing. The water was lumpy with clapotis and small white caps. I managed to tuck my silhouette into all but the tightest corners with very little difficulty. Becky and Tom hung back from some of the caves, and Becky appeared nervous about nosing her boat into the deep sandstone crevasses of the cliffs. My biggest fear in the caves was not the waves. Oddly enough I was more afraid of some sort of bird or bat who would take issue with me invading their home. I would spot some dark blotchy patch of color in a recessed corner of stone and assume it was a bat, only to get a closer look and see a log wedged tight into a corner.

There were tight corners and small arches to wind around
and perform turns. Oddly enough I felt my left hand side slip and bow rudder were a bit rusty going into the trip. I feel I got them back up to snuff by the second day with all the caves and close quarters paddling.

After exploring the caves we made the brief crossing over to Sand Island. We discovered the dock pretty quickly in a sandy little bay. Further sandstone caves were visible due north from the mouth of the bay.

As a result of my trips to Pukaskwa and Rossport along the Black Bay peninsula on the north shore of Lake Superior, I am pretty accustomed to wilderness camping. The appeal of wilderness camping is the solitude and a sense of raw beauty. Everyone likes the sensation of cracking the shell of the egg. The expectation is that they will get to see an unbroken yolk. For those that are allegory illiterate, the shell is the effort put in to get to the wilderness, and the wilderness is the egg yolk.

If you put in the miles and the distance to get towards the northern latitudes, a grassy campsite inhabited by summer camp counselors breaks my yolk. Perhaps the yolk is an internal headspace, and it doesn’t matter. But I wouldn’t see my solid egg until later in the trip.