This past weekend we did our annual men’s sailing retreat in the Apostle Islands of Lake Superior out of Bayfield, Wisconsin. It was a blast. Our two boats loaded with groceries, gear and 13 eager sailors enjoyed a slice of heaven. The weather was amazing with warm sun-kissed days, cool, bug-free nights and most importantly at least one day of steady strong winds. Very gentle breezes on Saturday required motoring but as always the scenery was soul renewing with the lake’s clear blue waters washing ashore on crescent sand beaches and verdant tree lined shores.
We anchored for lunch in Big Bay on the east side of Madeline Island where many of us also enjoyed a refreshing swim from our respective boats. Later in the afternoon we also stopped at Michigan Island. We ferried guys ashore in our dinghies and climbed the 128 steps to the top of the bluff to explore the two lighthouses there. A park service ranger gave us all a tour and another 132 step climb to the top of the highest lighthouse rewarded us with stunning views of many of the islands to the West and the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the East.
Saturday evening we anchored at Stockton Island in Julian Bay with arguably the most beautiful sand beach in the islands. A number of the guys jumped ship for another heart shocking swim and then all of us ate grilled steaks and fried potatoes to our hearts content. The evening was capped off as we gathered on one of the boats under the light of a full moon for worship, discussion of the Apostle Paul’s sailing adventure in Acts 27 and prayer. It was the perfect end to an awesome day.
The next morning we awoke to an increasing southwest wind blowing across our bow. To a sailor nothing compares to the sound of the wind whistling in the rigging and feel of the wind on your face. The eggs and bacon had not even settled in our stomachs before we were ready to pull up the anchor and hoist the sails. After all, this is what we all had come for, the adventure of being propelled through the water on wind power alone