Angle to Key West: Changing Water (8/8)

Grand Portage, MN – August 8, 2012

The water barely moved around Isle Royale. Warm and calm, it felt like gliding over a mirror as I pointed the Looksha toward the distant mainland and began to paddle. The storms would hold for another day.

Ripples spread across the surface of the lake an hour later. The hint of movement made light shimmer and dance around me.

Another hour and the water changed again. Small waves–six inches high–nipped at Looksha’s hull, then fled, leaving the water still. Lines of ripples flowed through the glass surface like rivers.

Then it was calm again, clear blue as deep as I could see, and heavy with cold. The boat felt slow, as if the water was half-frozen and stuck against the hull. My fingertips turned numb brushing against the surface.

I stared up at the cliffs on Pigeon Point, the closest American soil to Isle Royale. The world had transformed in those miles of ripples and six-inch waves. It felt like I’d traded summer for fall and everything had a cold, sharp edge.

“This is the lake they told me about,” I thought. “The one with water so cold that you fall in and sink forever.”

I turned the boat, glad to race winter South.

3 thoughts on “Angle to Key West: Changing Water (8/8)

  1. I am one of the fisherman who picked you up hitching at the beginning of your trip. If you have not entered the Duluth harbor yet, there is a web cam trained on the canal leading to the lift bridge. LSMMA web sight. Would love to see you coming in. I am going to be up north the next several weekends would like to see you at a bridge any where in central Mn. Tom Wetther.

    1. Oh! That could be fun to try and figure out when I’m going to be there! When I have a better idea, I’ll definitely post something and hopefully figure out how to get on the camera!

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