Watching the waves of Lake Superior roll in on a golden sandy beach, looking out at the glimmering water to a seemingly endless horizon is a great way to experience the lake. Though one of the best ways to experience Lake Superior is to actually get out on the water and exploring what can’t be seen from shore. Sail Superior offers experiences out on the water that will take your Lake Superior adventure to the next level. Whether you are looking for an intimate sail enjoying some wine and cheese, an exciting high-speed adventure upon the “Superior Rocket”, or an all-day group excursion on a 50-foot Catamaran.
Thunder Bay Harbour Tour
I had the opportunity to do two of these unique excursions with Sail Superior. The first was a wine and cheese sail around the Thunder Bay Harbour. I went with my partner and three other couples. Good friends that we haven’t been able to see for quite awhile as this was our first outing once COVID lockdowns first lifted. It was probably the best thing that we could have chosen to do. The weather was perfect that day and it felt so good to catch up and breathe in the fresh harbour air.
We were taken out by a couple of very knowledgeable and hospitable ladies. The 90-minute tour of the harbour offered a whole new perspective of the Thunder Bay waterfront. I would recommend this harbour tour to anyone. It was the ideal setting for catching up with friends. I think it would also offer a very romantic setting for couples looking for something a little different than your average “dinner and a movie” date.
Porphyry Island Zodiac Adventure
The second excursion was a thrilling zodiac trip to Porphyry Island with a couple of workmates. We arrived at the Thunder Bay Marina at 9:00 am and quickly made our way to the port where Sail Superior’s fleet of various sea vessels were docked. The sky was a brilliant blue cyan, the sun was getting higher above the horizon and cast a glimmer across the calm surface of the bay. This was a welcomed sign considering the high winds from the day previous – it was already shaping up to be a great day!
Knowing that we were going to be boarding the “Superior Rocket”, I was excitedly checking it out. Captain Greg came and introduced himself and my first question was how fast the zodiac could go. He informed us that it could reach speeds up to 90 km/h (56 mph)! Though we wouldn’t be going that fast. He said it would take us a little over an hour to reach the island which was exciting for me to be able to enjoy being on this high-speed vessel for a couple hours.
We were handed orange jumpsuits and goggles to stay warm and dry. Once I zipped into the jumpsuit I felt as though I was going on a NASA mission. We boarded the zodiac and straddled the seats. Along the way Captain Greg pointed out various points of interest. Thunder Bay Main Lighthouse, an Island of migratory birds, Pie Island, Isle Royale, the Silver Islet Mine Shafts that are submerged in Lake Superior, and the Sleeping Giant. I have seen the Sleeping Giant from many vantage points in and around Thunder Bay but going around it on the water provided a whole new incredible perspective.
Once we docked at Porphyry Island we were greeted by our guide, Paul. He took us along a wide, clear 1.3 km (0.8 mile) trail that led to Porphyry Lighthouse. The path was canopied by trees draped in old man’s beard above a mossy forest bed. We passed a couple of old cars that had been used on this path by past lightkeepers to get from the dock to the lighthouse.
The trail opened to reveal the lightkeeper’s residence, an artist residence house, a helipad, Parks Canada Red Chairs, a small museum and of course the Porphyry Island Lighthouse. It was incredible to look out at the vastness of Lake Superior and imagine what it might have been like to be a lightkeeper on this incredible island.
After a while of exploring, it was time to get back to the zodiac. The way back provided whole new points of interest to see. Captain Greg took us to the docks at Silver Islet where we could see the historical Silver Islet General Store from the water.
We then headed to the Sea Lion formation at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. This is a natural wonder I had only seen photos of. Getting the chance to see it for the first time from the water was a great experience.
From there we crossed over to Trowbridge Island where we could observe the Trowbridge Island Lighthouse perched at the highest point of the island. We returned to the marina around 3:00pm. I had such a great day, and the experience was so amazing that I promptly made this handy treasure map showcasing some of the places we saw that day.
In conclusion, if you want to truly experience the Big Lake the best way is to get out on the water. Sail Superior offers multiple excursion options that will take your Lake Superior Circle Tour from great to absolutely remarkable! You will be left with memories that will leave an imprint of the lake so deep you will long to return again. And when you do, it will be like visiting an old friend welcoming you back.