September 2nd, 2008 – by: rotorhead85
Turbulent waters funneling into Little Bay de Noc
I maneuvered a wide and cautious turn to merge into the choppy waters funneling into Little Bay de Noc. Though visibility was unlimited, an automated fog horn on the Escanaba Harbor Light bellowed a periodic monotone moan that apparently signaled small craft warnings. Swells lifted the Klepper from behind to several feet, tilted it to a steep and awkward nose-down attitude, then lurched it level like a sluggish, watery game of leap-frog. The random larger wave tried to pitch the bow left or right but a little rudder held my steer on Gladstone, six miles to the north.
With home finally on the horizon, the thrill of completing the Washington Island Expedition far outweighed the aches and pains, soreness, blisters, and fatigue that it had induced over the past five days. I had matured into its daily routine of making and breaking camp, of finding suitable angles to travel in winds and waves, and of advancing forward meter by meter with each sweep of my paddle. Combined with the three day paddle to Jackson Harbor, and side-trip to Schoolhouse Beach in 2006, the round-trip covered about 180 miles over a total of nine days. Now, on the final run for home, I was sorry that the adventure would soon end but thrilled to realize that its reward was not so much getting home as the grueling journey itself.