They SAIL & KAYAK the WORLD’S LARGEST LAKE

Inspired by the Backs, their friend, Dave, uses his Sea Eagle Sport Kayak as a yacht tender and for pleasure kayaking.

Inspired by the Backs, their friend, Dave, uses his Sea Eagle Sport Kayak as a yacht tender and for pleasure kayaking.

The Back’s friend Melanie, her daughter Lilka, and canine companion Zeus enjoy Sea Eagle kayking in Julian Bay off Stockton Island in Lake Superior. Daughter, Helena, swims.

The Back’s friend Melanie, her daughter Lilka, and canine companion Zeus enjoy Sea Eagle kayking in Julian Bay off Stockton Island in Lake Superior. Daughter, Helena, swims.

Marge and David Back, of Brule, Wisconsin, live what many boaters would consider the ideal lifestyle. They moved to northern Wisconsin to be minutes from the shores of the world’s largest freshwater lake (largest in terms of surface area); they sail regularly and for extended periods in their 28-foot sailboat; and they have a Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak to explore nearby sea caves…and to use as a yacht tender, too.

What’s a yacht tender? It’s the small boat the owners of a large boat use to go from shore to their larger craft and back again. Or as Marge puts it, “We sail on Lake Superior for weeks at a time in our 28-foot sailboat. Our Sea Eagle 330 is our main transportation when we’re at anchor.”

Many yacht and sailboat owners choose a larger, wider yacht tender specifically designed for hauling tons of gear, groceries, and guests between ship an shore – like the Sea Eagle Yacht Tender. But Marge and David, like their 330 just fine.  “We love our Sea Eagle kayak,” says Marge. “It tracks well, it is light enough for me to handle, and is easy for us to carry. We can tie it on board inside the bow rail. When we’re at anchor, just put it over the side and go.”

Marge explained further. “A bigger yacht tender can require ‘dinghy davits,’ she said. Dinghy davits are a hoist system that lift your dinghy out of the water and secure it while you’re underway. Marge and David don’t need that hardware: they simply lift their 26-lb. 330 on board and lash it down.

Sea cave exploring

There’s another plus, says Marge. “We explore the shoreline of Lake Superior and the sea caves on the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in our kayak.”

There are 22 islands in Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands group — the “Jewels of Lake Superior.” All but one are part of the National Park Service. The islands, particularly Sand and Devil’s Islands, are famed for their outstanding sea caves.

Marge and her friends own 3 sailboats and 4 Sea Eagle Sport Kayaks. The Sea Eagles double as yacht tenders and kayaks for exploring sea caves and shorelines along Lake Superior.

Marge and her friends own 3 sailboats and 4 Sea Eagle Sport Kayaks. The Sea Eagles double as yacht tenders and kayaks for exploring sea caves and shorelines along Lake Superior.

Sailboating friends got Sport Kayaks, too

Picking up on the Back’s yacht tender-and-sport kayak idea, their friends John and Melanie went the Sea Eagle route, too. “We encouraged them to come up to Northern Wisconsin to sail with us in their 35-foot sailboat,” Marge told us. “They thought our Sea Eagle solution worked so well that they bought two of them – a 330 and a 370 Sport Kayak.”

More sailboating friends – Dave and Leslie – joined the crowd with a 330 of their own to go to-and-from their 30-foot sailboat….and to go exploring, too.

The Back’s Sea Eagle is 10 years old and “looks pretty much like new,” she says. Marge knows boats. She’s sailed for over 30 years and runs a boating-related home business in Brule, Wisconsin. “Brule Acres Sewing Loft” manufactures sail covers, docking covers, and boat upholstery.

David and Marge frequently sail on Lake Superior from Duluth, Minnesota to Knife River, Minnesota; and from Cornucopia, Wisconsin to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. “Weather permitting,” says Marge.

Only five months ‘til boating season!

David and Marge Back enjoy exploring Lake Superior. Their Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak is their “full time transportation” while their sailboat is at anchor. Other times, it’s their “exploration kayak” as they kayak into sea caves. In the background is Lake Superior’s Sand Island Lighthouse.

David and Marge Back enjoy exploring Lake Superior. Their Sea Eagle 330 Sport Kayak is their “full time transportation” while their sailboat is at anchor. Other times, it’s their “exploration kayak” as they kayak into sea caves. In the background is Lake Superior’s Sand Island Lighthouse.

You’ll find the Backs farther afield in boating seasons to come. “Next year, we want to explore more of Lake Superior,” says Marge. “We may go to Canada and around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

At this writing, winter’s closing in. But Marge, like all avid boaters, looks at the bright side. “Boating season’s only five months away!”

Do YOU have Sea Eagle stories and photos to share? Email us – our blog visitors want to know!

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3 Responses to They SAIL & KAYAK the WORLD’S LARGEST LAKE

  1. Eva M Vokac says:

    Great story….especially since I spent half my life in the great Northern Woods of Wisconsin. I lived in Solon Springs, Ashland and later Medford. I certainly wish I had had my Sea Kayak 330 at tthat time! How much more exploring I could have done. Instead I had a Grumman canoe, which was nice but hard to travel with (especially when I went alone with my young daughter). It was heavy to transport for meas a woman, and even difficult to maneuver into the waters, since the boat landings are quite primitive in many northern areas. Another thing I envy is the availability of exploring the gorgeous Apostle Islands. Yeah for the Back family !!! Happy New Year.

  2. Fareastsails says:

    Very adventurous cruising experience.Thanks for sharing.

  3. Interesting story of kayaking and sailing. Thanks for sharing amazing experience of Sea cave exploring!!

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