Celebrating the Sea Caves on Lake Superior – Bryce Haack reports

Bryce Haack Wisconsin cave sup
Bryce Haack Lake Superior Wisconsin
Global Partner

Standup Journal photographer, Bryce Haack celebrates the glory of the Midwest in his most recent installment about paddling the sea caves on Lake Superior.

Bryce Haack Wisconsin cave sup
Bryce Haack exploring the Apostle Islands magnificent sea caves while paddling on Lake Superior.

Paddle & Sail:  Paddling on Lake Superior

For the last 20+ years my aunt and uncle have explored the waters on a sailboat on Lake Superior.  We have talked time and time again about them picking me up and going on a sailing adventure together.

The stars aligned this year and I was recently able to set sail for four days on the largest freshwater lake in the world. The cherry on top of this experience was that – thanks to awesome grandparents taking the kids for a few days – my wife came as well. This is a very rare occurrence, as you know, to leave the house together without kids in tow!

Lake Superior’s hidden gems: Apostle Islands and Sea Caves

Our plan:  to sail around Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands.  This island chain is made up of 22 islands off the shores of Wisconsin. One major draw about the Apostle Islands are the incredible sea caves that exist along the island chain.

Lake Superior has pounded on these sandstone cliffs for a LONG time, resulting in surreal caves and rock formations. I’ve gotten in the habit of bringing a paddleboard to most places I go these days.  If at all possible, I didn’t want to miss this historic opportunity to paddle around the islands and check out these caves!

We managed to get a couple of standup paddle boards strapped down on the deck of the sailboat resulting in one very happy guy.

Navigating the waters of Lake Superior

Lake Superior, in many regards, is more like an ocean than a lake. Coming from Minnesota, I’ve paddled on countless lakes, but Lake Superior is a whole new monster. We planned where we were going to paddle by searching for areas on the leeward side of the islands – the side that was protected from the wind and held calmer waters.

My wife and I found conditions around the Apostles to be much more challenging than most flat water paddling we’ve experienced. Even the calmer side of the islands had large rollers constantly coming in.  The waves would bounce off the islands and refract back at us. This kept us on our toes! Everything was so unpredictable.

Choosing appropriate equipment based upon conditions

Water temps on Lake Superior added to our desire to stay on the boards. Although the captain described the low to mid-60 degree waters as being “actually pretty good”, I found them to be aggressively refreshing.

Stand up paddle boards are an awesome option for exploring sea caves due to their maneuverability and our ability to get down low in order to pass through areas if needed. I use the Stohlquist Edge PFD and this was definitely a scenario where I wanted one on. Most evenings offered excellent paddling opportunities in the bays where we anchored as the wind died down and the water glassed off at sunset.

The Greyduck 11’6” Journey board is seen in this photo. The V-hull design allows it to cut through chop while still providing stability. Greyduck is a Minnesota Sup company based out of the Twin Cities.  It felt like the right choice of board to have while paddling through some of the most beautiful waters of the Midwest.

— by Bryce Haack, Standup Journal contributor

Bryce Haack – Minnesota’s Outdoor & Adventure photographer

Bryce Haack is an outdoor adventure photographer
based out of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
You can check out more of his work at:


Previous articleA Peek Into Zane Schweitzer’s Life Beyond The Water in “Beneath The Surface”
Next articleSWEET SHOT! Lake Austin morning paddle … with your best bud
Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.