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Sail Training Trip: Learn to Cruise the North Shore, Knife River to Grand Marais

Course Overview

Minnesota’s north shore is a 100-mile stretch of open water renowned for its scenic cliffs, water depth and clarity, and exposure. Excellent protection for mariners exists, but only sporadically along the shore, rending access difficult for daysailors or beginners. However, with a seaworthy sailboat and a seasoned captain, the north shore becomes a spectacular destination and an opportunity for extended open water sailing. Join us for an adventurous sail training expedition from Knife River to Grand Marais, a 90-mile stretch along Minnesota’s north shore, with a probable stopover on the south shore of Wisconsin at the beginning. As a participant you will have the total sailing experience, as much or as little as you choose: sail handling, coastal and celestial navigation, anchoring, steering, liveaboard skills, and engine maintenance. Rigorous sailing on open water, interspersed with light-air sailing or calms, is to be expected. Weather will almost certainly play a role in the schedule, as thunderstorms and strong adverse winds are common. Nights are spent at all-weather anchorages and marinas which dot the shoreline. Other activities include hiking, kayaking, rowing, and swimming. We will arrange transportation for those who leave their cars at one end or the other, though you are welcome to make independent plans for pick-up.

Instructors for this course are Captai Mark Gordon and First Mate Katya Gordon. Mark and Katya are co-owners of Amicus Adventure Sailing, a family-owned charter sailing business that operates out of Knife River, Minnesota. Mark has more than 30 years’ experience leading wilderness trips for people of all ages and over 25 years as a licensed Captain and EMT. Katya is also a lifetime outdoors leader and sailor. Together they have sailed thousands of miles on Lake Superior and beyond. Learn their story, credentials, and details about their sailboat at their website.  

While no sailing experience is required for this course, participants should understand the rustic nature of the accommodations aboard Amicus II and the potential for challenging weather conditions. There is no shower onboard. While Amicus II is a spacious 40 footer, participants will have limited “personal space.” Berths are enclosed by privacy curtains and double as living space during the day. Temperatures can range from the 70s right down to the 30s out on the Lake this early in the season. Proper clothing is a must. There will be 5-7 people aboard altogether. Tuition and materials fees include all food, lodging, and marina fees throughout the trip.

A small discount is available to couples, or friends willing to share a double berth ($50 per person, available by phone only).

Cancellation Policy

Due to the length of this sailing trip and the difficulty in finding replacement passengers on short
notice, participants cancelling more than four months in advance of the trip will receive a 50% refund. Participants cancelling fewer than four months in advance will not receive a refund.

Course Details

Length: 5 Days