I don’t like leaving the one thing we must do until the last day but the weather during our stay has not been great. The forecast for today has always been sunny and clear so we held off on the Pictured Rocks Cruise until now. The forecast was correct.
They say that the best time to see the Pictured Rocks is in the evening so we booked the 2 1/2 hour sunset cruise which leaves at 6 pm.
The day was so nice that we didn’t want to waste the rest of it. Jennie had seen a brochure for the Riptide Ride Jet Boat tour of Grand Island. Since it was of a different area than the cruise tonight, we thought we would give it a try. It leaves at 1 pm and is 1 1/2 hours long so we had plenty of time in between.
I will split today into two posts because we took so many pictures on each trip.
Grand Island is the large island in the upper left. The entire island is a national recreation area. Mostly hiking and camping.
Here is our path from their brochure.
The boat, with twin 350 hp jet drives. Seating for 20 but there were only 12 of us today.
The circles on the map above are where he basically buries the nose of the boat and does a 360 spin. They were a whole lot of fun but I never got a picture because we were all too busy just hanging on.
It was kind of cool with a high of about 13C. It was also rather windy. Knowing we would be in an open, very fast, boat we piled on the layers with a waterproof outer layer. One poor couple went in jeans and jean jackets. They looked pretty cold the whole time.
There was also a good swell once we got out from behind the island in the open lake. The captain said they were about 3 to 4 feet peak to trough but I think we hit a few larger ones. He did a good job of avoiding most of them but there were a few spine rattlers.
Anyway, fasten your seat belts.
And we are off.
Our first stop was the east channel lighthouse. No longer in use and privately owned.
This is a stop on the Pictured Rock cruise as well. One of their boats was there with us so of course the captain did one of the spins right next to them, Good advertising.
The shoreline has lots of nooks and crannies to explore.
The colours are from minerals left behind as water seeps out.
The spot was called the amphitheater.
It didn’t look that big from outside but the whole boat fit easily in there.
I think we got a little less than normal commentary because the captain was too busy trying to control the boat.
I am pretty sure this is Trapper’s Cave.
In we go. Again, it didn’t look that big.
But it was.
More colourful cliffs.
A small waterfall called Spring Falls.
I think this is the North Light Portal. It was also hard to hear what narration there was because of the wind and crashing waves.
We nosed in on the far side.
We had to take a detour out into the open water to be far enough away from the cliffs to see the North Light Lighthouse, high up top.
In this bay we spotted a falcon high up on the cliff, center top in the picture below.
Heading around the north west shoreline.
Lots of patterns on the cliffs.
When we were moving I dared not look through the viewfinder to take a picture, for fear of bashing my head on the camera. Therefore a lot of picture came out like this, a bit crooked.
A nice swirl.
Another nose in.
He tried to control the boat and let people touch the waterfall. Mostly he was successful but one wave got him and he soaked the poor couple in the jeans who were sitting in the front next to us.
The rest of the shoreline was low and treed so we blasted home.
We passed in front of our campground. The Beast is just left of center.
He did two hard donuts just before we landed. I don’t think my heart slowed down until we got back to the RV for a late lunch / early dinner.
The trip had a lot of interesting sights and it just was a lot of fun. Highly recommended but dress well.
The next post will be about the evening cruise.