Sea Kayaking in the Pictured Rocks and Lake Superior should be considered as a Soft Adventure Sport.
It is not an adventure that we wait for perfect weather or a sunny day to go. We still go in rain, fog, and temps above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Large waves, winds over 20 kts. and lightning keep us on the beach. Thunderstorms usually move by, and with careful planning and observation by radar, we are normally able to complete our trips.
In that the Pictured Rocks are located along the northern shores of the Upper Peninsula and the southern shore of Lake Superior during the summer months we generally experience southerly winds and a protected shoreline from wind and waves. Historically, we have been able to kayak most days and generally have very few cancellations. Strong winds over 15 knots from the northwest, north, and northeast normally make the water too rough to paddle the Pictured Rocks. We do paddle in light rain and fog conditions which generally result in calmer water conditions.
Weather Cancellation Policy
In that neither our customers nor our company are responsible for the weather, our weather cancellation policy is as follows:
We normally do not make weather decisions until the day of the schedule trips due to the time lines involved in forecasting. Weather sometimes changes which can result in an updated weather decision during the day. Typically, wind direction, velocity, and wave heights guide our weather decisions.
If we cannot paddle in the Pictured Rocks we can often make the crossing from Sand Point and paddle the east shoreline of Grand Island which will constitute the same as a Pictured Rocks tour. Grand Island is geologically much like the Pictured Rocks and a great place to paddle.
If we cancel the trip due to weather or other reasons you will be issued a refund or an opportunity to reschedule.
If you choose not to go to Grand Island you will be issued a refund or an opportunity to reschedule. If you choose to make the Grand Island paddle and we determine at the beach that it is not safe, a refund will be issued or you may reschedule. In the event of thunderstorms in the immediate area we can often delay a tour until they pass. If we cannot delay and/or thunderstorms are forecast by the National Weather Service in Marquette to be over 50% coverage or numerous you will be issued a refund or an opportunity to reschedule. Refunds can take up to 14 days for processing.
If this trip is part of a package that includes lodging and other adventures and meals, adjustments can normally be made to reschedule to another day, however, if you do not choose that option you will only be refunded that portion of the package that applies to the cancelled kayaking trip.
In order to receive a refund you must show up for the trip unless we call you with the cancellation notice.
This is a new policy effective for all tours purchased after September 20, 2017 and applies to all kayak tour purchases.
Obviously neither of us can change the weather. And, keeping in mind that we are able to kayak at the Pictured Rocks over 90% of the days in the summer, probably the best way to make sure that you can kayak the Pictured Rocks is to plan your stay up here for at least 2-3 days. In most cases if waves keep us from going to the Pictured Rocks on a given day we can then go there the following day or so. Weather systems move from west to east and the lake does calm down quickly especially early in the summer. As fall approaches it can take a couple of days. There are many other activities that you can do while waiting for calmer seas at the Rocks. Namely, Our Dinner Cruise around Grand Island, a shipwreck tour, canoeing on the Au Train River, and waterfall touring. Our package deals are set up for this purpose to allow rescheduling of activities if weather interferes with the original plan.