There are a total of six lighthouses placed in strategic points among the Apostle Islands. While here we were able to take a ferry to Raspberry Island and tour their newly renovated lighthouse.
Raspberry Island sits 1.5 miles from the mainland and is 1/2 mile in width at its widest, making it one of the smallest of the Apostle Islands. It was judged to be the perfect location for the second lighthouse. Sitting on a bluff at the southwest point of the island, this lighthouse served double duty by showing the way to westbound ships passing Bayfield and directing eastbound ships between Bear and York Islands and into the channel around the mainland to Bayfield.
Raspberry Island Lighthouse cost $6,000 to build and its lantern was first lit in 1863. The current standing lighthouse was completed in 1906. The light of its lantern (5th order fresnel) can be seen for 10 miles and it flashes once every 60 seconds. W learned that each lighthouse lantern flashes at a different interval so sailors know which lighthouse they are looking at.
A 3/4 mile trek takes you down to the beach. Looking from any direction you can see islands dotting the channel. We are still astounded at just how clear the water is, unlike many other lakes we have encountered.
What Terry and I most wanted to see were the sea caves. Water is such a powerful force and what the waves have done to the sandstone shoreline, both the thawing and freezing action over centuries, is amazing! Probably the best way to see these is to go with an outfitter or use your own sea kayak and get up close and personal. This can be dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing, particularly during specific times of the year. We were approaching the end of the season for sea kayaking so we decided to take a trail off of the mainland to get a bird’s-eye view instead. We have been told that some of the best sea caves of the Great Lakes are located on the shorelines of the Apostle Islands.
We were pleased to have another couple join us for our hike, a couple we met while Terry was attempting to maneuver the rig into our site. They are from Iowa and have been full-timing for the 1.5 years. We were able to glean a great deal of information from them that will be helpful to us and all had a chance to laugh at some of the goofy things we have both done while on this journey. We are thoroughly enjoying their company and feel we have developed a new friendship.
Probably the most photographed and the most impressive sea caves are those on Devil’s Island and Sand Island, but those we were able to see from the mainland were dramatic as well.
From here we are headed to Houghton, Michigan and are pleased that John and Janie were planning a trip there as well. We are looking forward to creating a few more memories together.