Color Season Sightseeing Cruise to Manitou Island

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Is anyone else with me in my belief that people are way too busy in today’s world? Granted, I did not ask everyone I know if they wanted to go on a free color cruise, and I didn’t offer much time for planning, but I made lots of phone calls to invite people who had previously shown a sincere desire to get out on the lake. I apologize if you didn’t get the call, but I made LOTS of calls and sent lots of emails to try to round up a full boat of 6 and ended up with only 4 takers.

Sunrise over Lac La Belle

Sunrise over Lac La Belle

Yesterday morning at 8:15, before the nasty weather set in as you can see from some of the pictures, Margie and I pushed off of my dock to pick up our crew from the DNR access site on Lac La Belle. It was a little bit questionable, whether or not I would be able to get my boat out because of the low water. Over the past month the lake levels had gone down about 6 inches from my calculations, so my out-drives were scraping bottom as we shoved off. With Margie pushing on the bow and me pulling on the anchor line, which was about 100 feet beyond the end of the dock, we managed to get it out to deep water. I guess I need a longer dock or have some dredging done in order to make it accessible in the spring.

Everyone, Except Margaret

Everyone, Except Margaret, after the Cruise

Mendota Lighthouse

Mendota Lighthouse

The scenery was awesome right from the start. The lake was flatter than a pancake, showing a mirror-like reflection of the boat and the shoreline colors, with accents from the fog and sunlight. Margaret took lots of pictures with her new iPhone camera, which proved its quality with some pretty nice shots. It’s amazing how they can fit such a great camera in a tiny space.

Mount Bohemia in Background

Mount Bohemia in Background

The Fishin' Mission

The Fishin’ Mission

Lac La Belle

Lac La Belle

Lac La Belle Shoreline

Lac La Belle Shoreline

Bare Bluff

Bare Bluff

After boarding everyone at the “Govy dock”, as we have called it since we were kids, we scooted out to the Gull Rock Lighthouse, about 16 miles from the Mendota Channel. I wanted to do the offshore portion of the cruise first, before it got windy, then follow up with some near-shore sights with coffee, pop and snacks later.

Western end of Lac La Belle

Western end of Lac La Belle

Retired dentist, Bob and his wife Ruth.

 

Bed and Breakfast Entrepreneur Dave.

Bed and Breakfast Entrepreneur Dave.

 

Soon-to-be Masseuse, Julia and Tourism Information Guru, Rebecca

Soon-to-be Masseuse, Julia and Tourism Information Guru, Rebecca

Captan, B

Captain, B

After seeing the lighthouses and giving some history about them (Gull Rock and Manitou), we headed back west again, into Keystone Bay, the mouth of the Montreal River, Smith’s Fishery and Bare Bluff. As we went slowly by Bare Bluff, enjoying the brilliant colors, I set out one line for 10 minutes or so, just in case there was a hungry fish to be caught (no luck though.)

Julia and Brian near Bare Bluff

Julia and Brian near Bare Bluff

Margie served up my home-smoked lake trout and home-pickled fish with crackers, soda and coffee to our guests. All of the fish disappeared in a hurry, and everyone would have eaten more, but we only had 1 bag of smoked, and 1 jar of pickled. (Margie says I should market the fish, because everyone who tries it says it is the best they ever tasted.)

At noon, as planned, we pulled into the dock again to unload our passengers and take a few pictures. It seems that as soon as we tied up the breeze started to blow, so we could tell the weather was changing, in fact later that afternoon we had a quick thunder shower come through and had some sleet this morning.

Bete Grise, just a Couple Hours Later

Bete Grise, just a Couple Hours Later (Got pretty rough)

I forgot to post on my trip to the mouth of the Montreal last week with my son Calvin. We took my Harbercraft so we could beach it and fish from the shore. I caught this fish and cooked it, along with some potatoes for lunch over a fire before heading back to Lac La Belle. Lost one other nice one and fished with plain old fashioned worms on a plain hook.

11 inch speckled trout

 

Hopefully, we get some nice weather yet next week so I can get one more trip in before I have to pull my boat home to store for the winter.

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About Brian Helminen

Brian is the owner and Captain of Sand Point Charters, LLC. He also owns and operates Designotype Printers, Inc. with his wife, Margaret. They have a cottage on Lac La Belle that can be rented by the week in the summertime.

2 Responses to “Color Season Sightseeing Cruise to Manitou Island”

  1. Laura O'Neill October 5, 2012 5:37 pm
    #

    I’m jealous!
    Wish I could have made myself go. Please ask me again next year.
    Laura.

  2. Brian Helminen October 24, 2012 7:16 am
    #

    I do hope to do it again next year, so I’ll let you know.
    Brian

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