Skip to main content Skip to footer

Sail Training Trip: Grand Marais to Knife River (via the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore)

Course Overview

Join us for an adventurous sail training expedition from Grand Marais to Knife River, along Minnesota’s North Shore. Rigorous sailing on open water is to be expected. Each night we will stay at an all-weather anchorage along the North Shore such as Taconite Harbor or Silver Bay. If weather allows, we will also spend a night in Apostle Islands and at Port Wing, WI. Students participate in all aspects of the trip from navigation and steering to sail handling and anchoring. Non-sailing activities will include hiking, kayaking, rowing, and swimming. Limited to four students, full boat booking rate for 4 students is $3200, available by calling North House only. Tuition and materials fees include all food, lodging, and marina fees throughout the trip. Separate tuition payment and cancellation policies apply to this course.


We will arrange transportation back to Grand Marais after arriving in Knife River, but students are welcome to make their own arrangements if they wish.

The Captain, Mark Gordon, is co-owner with his wife Katya of Amicus Adventure Sailing, a small, family-owned charter sailing business that operates out of Knife River. Mark has more than 25 years experience in leading wilderness trips for people of all ages and over 20 years as a licensed Captain and EMT and has sailed thousands of miles on Lake Superior. To find out more about the captain and Amicus II, go to their website at In addition to the captain, there will be an experienced first mate.


For individuals and couples, this is a chance to immerse yourselves in a hands-on, authentic voyaging experience. We welcome participants of all backgrounds and abilities and are enriched by the mutual benefits of a diverse crew. Amicus II is a custom-designed 40-ft. steel cutter. She weighs 27,000 lb with an 11 1⁄2-foot beam and 5 1⁄2-foot draft. Because of her heavy, full keel she is a joy to sail and moves smoothly through waves. Her hard dodger and well-protected cockpit make her comfortable to sail in challenging conditions. She sleeps eight (including 3 double bunks). She is outfitted to minimize her carbon footprint and to spend extended periods cruising in remote areas away from docks and marinas. She has two 120-watt solar panels and a wind generator to power her two battery banks. She carries over 100 gallons of water and 70 gallons of diesel fuel. She is equipped with a small propane galley (stove) and composting head (toilet). A diesel cabin heater makes early summer and late fall cruising cozy and warm on brisk days. Amicus II has an open cabin layout, there is one private sleeping berth onboard - all other berths are enclosed by privacy curtains and double as living space during the day. Altogether, Amicus II and her Captain embrace these core values: Simplicity, Sustainability, Seaworthiness, and Safety.

*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 (except an on-deck solar shower) and all hot water must be heated on the stove. Living space on any sailboat is limited and while Amicus II is a spacious 40 footer, participants will have limited “personal space”. Amicus II has an open cabin layout, there is one private sleeping berth onboard - all other berths are enclosed by privacy curtains and double as living space during the day. Temperatures on land and in most anchorages will be in the 60s and 70s. While the sailing is often glorious, temperatures on the water can easily dip into the low 40’s and even 30’s due to the cold lake temperature in July, so proper clothing is a must.

Cancellation Policy

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

Currently Scheduled Sessions

No sessions currently scheduled for this course.