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      Trip Report - Brandt-Gillis-Tuscarora-Missing link, with a capsize event
 
  Last Visit: 06/02/2020 10:17AM

Entry Point 52 - Brant Lake

Brant Lake entry point allows overnight paddle only. This entry point is supported by Gunflint Ranger Station near the city of Grand Marais, MN. The distance from ranger station to entry point is 45 miles. Access is a canoe landing at Round Lake with an 85- and a 35-rod portage to Brant Lake. This area was affected by blowdown in 1999.

Number of Permits per Day: 4
Elevation: 1500 feet
Latitude: 48.0692
Longitude: -90.8455
Author Message Text
user0317
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05/23/2012 11:31AM
 
New Trip Report posted by user0317

Trip Name: Brandt-Gillis-Tuscarora-Missing link, with a capsize event.

Entry Point: 52

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chipaddler
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05/23/2012 12:30PM
 
Hi user0137. Welcome to the site. Nice report! This area is on my list to get to one day. Glad everyone made it through the capsize OK.

"Not all those who wander are lost" - Tolkien
Canoe Dude
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05/23/2012 01:46PM
 
Well done on saving Guy3 there. Good to hear everyone made it out ok and that no one lost any gear. We had a capsize event on Tuscarora one year a while back... Was middle of July though so the water was not nearly as cold. Great report
SevenofNine
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05/23/2012 02:04PM
 
Thanks for sharing your trip. Glad you did take your time and assess the situation before heading out. Welcome to the board.

The best part of this journey here is further knowing yourself - Alan Kay
Zulu
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05/23/2012 04:17PM
 
Thanks for the great report and helping those fellow paddlers! You guys are heros for taking a risk to save Guy 3. Great Job!
Did they not realize how dangerous it was to be out in those conditions with those water temperatures.
Glad you had good fishing. Hopefully next trip will be less dramatic as far as rescues go.
boonie
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05/23/2012 09:14PM
 
Glad everything turned out well, but a difficult position to be in I'm sure.
trashbag
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05/23/2012 10:33PM
 
had a similar experience in 2006. set up camp early due to winds picking up. watched a canoe of 3 capsize in the middle of oyster(?) had the hardest day of paddling on our day off. hopefully we dont have these situations but its good to be in them just so you know you can handle it when it happens. you take a risk when you do these things and thats what makes it worth while

trashbag
AdamXChicago
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05/24/2012 12:16AM
 
Really enjoyed your report. It's always great to read about good people coming to others in distress - if what goes around, comes around, you're in good shape!
\
AdamX
Spartan2
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05/24/2012 07:49AM
 
That was an amazing trip report. Scary! If I am ever in serious trouble in the BWCA, I hope there is someone around like you for the rescue! Great work!
user0317
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05/24/2012 07:51AM
 
Thanks for the comments everyone. It was a great trip, and I think it was the best week of weather that I've experienced up there (aside from a bit of drought).


I do think they realized that conditions were dangerous, but we all know how the promise of that next campsite or portage can tempt you into conditions that you would best stay out of. I believe they passed up a burnt over campsite on bat, in hopes of something better on Gillis. The wind and waves were likely within their abilities when they entered Gillis, but things got worse really fast.


I found myself in a similar situation on the Frost River loop with my mom last year (Hug Lake). We didn't capsize, but the wind taught us a lesson really quick. Now I have no problem sitting it out on the portage trail, waiting for the wind to die down.
Curmudgeon
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05/24/2012 09:03AM
 
Great report, thanks.
boonie
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05/24/2012 03:46PM
 
quote user0317: "Thanks for the comments everyone. It was a great trip, and I think it was the best week of weather that I've experienced up there (aside from a bit of drought).



I do think they realized that conditions were dangerous, but we all know how the promise of that next campsite or portage can tempt you into conditions that you would best stay out of. I believe they passed up a burnt over campsite on bat, in hopes of something better on Gillis. The wind and waves were likely within their abilities when they entered Gillis, but things got worse really fast.



I found myself in a similar situation on the Frost River loop with my mom last year (Hug Lake). We didn't capsize, but the wind taught us a lesson really quick. Now I have no problem sitting it out on the portage trail, waiting for the wind to die down."



Conditions, especially the wind, can change so quickly up there that it's easy to get caught out in something you don't want to be in.
PINETREE
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05/24/2012 07:28PM
 
Very good report.Very nice loop you took. One of my favorite.
user0317
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05/24/2012 10:03PM
 
I thought it was a great loop too. It was a great compromise between covering a little territory, and getting in some great fishing. I enjoyed noting the contrast between the burnt areas on the northern end of the loop, and the wooded areas to the south.


This was my second trip with Bowman Bob, and I was impressed by how much better we paddle as a team now. Our first trip was a week on Big Sag, Red Rock, Alpine, and Jasper. If a windy week on Sag doesn't hone your tandem skills, I don't know what will.
Hawbakers
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05/25/2012 07:32PM
 
Amazing story! A Great read, Thanks. I have always wondered what we would do if we saw someone capsize, WOULD we be able to help or what? Having dumped our canoe in 45 degree water ONCE I know it doesn't take long to get cold! I know that I was grateful we had traveling companions to help gather our floating items!


Great job and what a story to tell your grandkids someday! :)
AndySG
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05/26/2012 09:09AM
 
Fantastic read. Everything you did to help those guys was Right, Right, Right. I am sorry to hear of the damage to your canoe and paddle, but a small sacrifice to save a life. If I was guy3, I'd of been so grateful I would've offered to buy you a new boat. I wonder if he realized how close he came to cashing in. Glad your trip and the fishing turned out well.

"WWJD"
PINETREE
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05/26/2012 10:56AM
 
Every incident is different than the last. That said I think very few of us had thought thru or looked for some info on how to handle conditions like this. I know I could use some needed training.
WhiteWolf
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05/30/2012 06:26AM
 
The "Sunday" winds that capsized your company I was on Thomas with a group of 4. We fished from shore. Early Tuesday AM just before bed the wind started to pick up out of the NW. Not a good sign at 2:00am. It was our exit day,, but I knew we were not going to fight those winds on IMA.Nice to have that option as we usually plan for something like it. Campers next to us on Thomas were up at crack of dawn (some of us still up at 2am) and they got to the IMA port and decided to stay on Hatchet. We talked to them on WED. And even if IMA would have been manageable,, the Bank' would have been closed.

The two loudest sounds known to man: a gun that goes bang when it is supposed to go click and a gun that goes click when it is supposed to go bang.
PINETREE
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05/30/2012 07:07AM
 
quote WhiteWolf: "The "Sunday" winds that capsized your company I was on Thomas with a group of 4. We fished from shore. Early Tuesday AM just before bed the wind started to pick up out of the NW. Not a good sign at 2:00am. It was our exit day,, but I knew we were not going to fight those winds on IMA.Nice to have that option as we usually plan for something like it. Campers next to us on Thomas were up at crack of dawn (some of us still up at 2am) and they got to the IMA port and decided to stay on Hatchet. We talked to them on WED. And even if IMA would have been manageable,, the Bank' would have been closed."


We very often we have that option day available. Ima can be a bad one.
user0317
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05/31/2012 08:49AM
 
I agree that training, or at least forethought about situations like this would be useful. As PINETREE said though, every situation is different. Many times I've heard someone declare 'always stay with the boat'. If you are in the middle of Big Sag in warmer water... this might be a good strategy. Guy1 and Guy2 definetely benifited from ditching the boat though. Guy3 probably should have hung onto it (assuming he could have gotten to it), and used it to sail into shore. I don't think he'd have been concious by than though.


A long time ago I participated in dumping a canoe (intentionally) and practicing re-entry. It might be useful training if you rolled on a perfectly nice day, for some crazy reason. For dumping a large boat like the MN3 in the wind and waves though, it would be a fruitless skill.


AndySG... Thanks for the comments. The damage was discouraging, but my boat was far from totalled. Most of the scratches are just superficial epoxy rubs. There are a handful that gouge into the epoxy, and so far I've found two that abrade the kevlar. I've been planning on refinishing my boat, so this will be a good reason to tackle that project.


The chips in the new paddle were a little upsetting, simple because I was determined to not use the whiskeyjack as a 'prybar' against rocks. It was definetely necessary in this situation however, and they are worthy battle scars.


Whitewolf... I recall the winds on Tuesday. There was scarcely a boat on Gillis that day. We went out and fished a few times, but when you are getting blown around like that, it is hardly worth while. It sounds like you made a good choice in staying put on Thomas. I try to plan my exit days for a Friday, which gives me Saturday and Sunday to use up as wind days if necessary. When I did the Frost loop (via Sawbill) with my mom we felt pressured to exit on a wind day, and it would have been much more pleasant to stay put rather than stare at the waves on Alton, wishing them away. They did break up just before dark, however, as they often do.


Hawbakers... It sounds like you've got a good capsize story yourself. I would be interested in hearing more about it. Glad you made it through!
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