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Old 12-02-2016, 14:58   #16
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

I've been sailing Lake Ontario for far too long. But in 2010 I crossed the Atlantic from the Med to Antigua.

Salt water hates flashlights. Every flashlight but one failed on our trip.

Salt water is great for your sinus. After a week or two in the salt spray, junk will come out of your nose that has been in there since you were a kid.

The winds and waves are no bigger than LO...however, I live in Kingston, where its windy every day of the summer. A double reef and 3m seas here are common. The BIG difference is the ocean swell. That long, low, rolling swelling that never ends. The boat never stops rocking. The swell lasts much longer than the wind, and makes every movement on the boat more difficult.

Albergs are good boats, built strong and seaworthy. I'm not sure about the 34, but the 30 and 37 had a narrow beam. This makes them less "stiff" and perhaps a bit more unpleasant in the ocean swell.

Yes, consult the tide tables, but navigation in general is easier than around here.

I think you will have a great time...the time of your life. Please take lots of pictures and videos for all of us stuck at home. Put a few extra flashlights and a handheld gps in a waterproof bag, just in case.

BTW, after seeing a bit of the med (spain), the canaries, and antigua, it made me realize how great the sailing is here in Kingston. Our water is fresh and clean enough to drink...great for swimming with no predators (sharks, jellyfish, etc). Lots of interesting places, and friendly people. Also, with the low canadian dollar, who can afford to leave?
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Old 13-02-2016, 07:20   #17
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

In between boats right now in an effort to get that final boat (when some property sells) that will take us south. Agree that the Great Lakes are an awesome place to sail and some that have visited the north channel say it's better than the Caribbean but the season is just too short for me, 2-3 months of truly summer weather, sailing in nothing but shorts, and sometimes less, lol, just doesn't cut it, I'm so ready for summer 12 months a year, even if there are periods of crappy, windy, rainy weather, it'll still be warm and the weather will pass, as I write this its -30C outside with the wind chill.
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Old 13-02-2016, 07:34   #18
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Lake Superior in the fall is absolutely magical. Cold but usually clear weather, fall foliage, and crispy air. We use to sail around the UP that time of year. A lot of old villages had real cider mills back then. We found one this past year near our island on mid coast Maine. Nothing quite like fresh cider an warm fried cider donuts.
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Old 13-02-2016, 07:58   #19
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

I love the Great Lakes, I have many fond memories sailing them in my youth and to date they are home to one of my all time favorite anchorages.

That said, when comparing the Great Lakes to sailing on the ocean, the Great Lakes are boring!

It's true, besides the navigational challenges of things like tides and currents, the oceans feature marine life on a scale and of a variety that makes the Great Lakes seem like inland lakes more than inland seas.

Seals, whales, dolphins, jellyfish, cuttlefish, rays, squid, sharks, phosphorescent plankton lighting up your wake at night! I could go on and on....

Puts a few couple dozen species of freshwater fish and bunch of zebra mussels to shame. I love you Great Lakes but you are not the ocean.
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Old 13-02-2016, 08:08   #20
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

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Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
I love the Great Lakes, I have many fond memories sailing them in my youth and to date they are home to one of my all time favorite anchorages.

That said, when comparing the Great Lakes to sailing on the ocean, the Great Lakes are boring! It's true. Besides the navigational challenges like tides and currents, the oceans feature marine life on a scale and of a variety that makes the Great Lakes seem like inland lakes more than inland seas.

Seals, whales, dolphins, jellyfish, cuttlefish, rays, squid, sharks, phosphorescent plankton lighting up your wake at night! I could go on and on....

Puts a few couple dozen species of freshwater fish and bunch of zebra mussels to shame. I love you Great Lakes but you are not the sea.
Moose, beavers, bears, deer, wolves, badgers, and even some humans: lots of wildlife to be seen along the Superior coastlines. Huge amounts of wildlife roam in those uninhabited woods. Only way to get to some areas is by boat so you have access to unspoiled, literally primordial life as it was eons ago.
Yes, the oceans have their own allure, but the upper lakes are truly a rare event in a sailor's life.
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Old 13-02-2016, 09:03   #21
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Yeah, yeah. Isle Royale, Apostle Islands, Georgian Bay, Beaver Island archipelago. Been there done that. It's pretty and parts of it are pristine but don't fool yourself.

You can see all that wildlife on a trip up the inside passage to Alaska and you can see it along with pods of freakin Killer Whales and glaciers the size of islands in the Great Lakes!

I have many wonderful memories of doing things like picking blueberrys behind the beach on Stockon Island which my mom made into pancakes back on the boat, they were delicious! But you can do that for breakfast in Maine and enjoy some fresh lobster and oysters for dinner later that night and still hear a lonesome loon calling.

The Great Lakes are a special place but anyone leaving them behind for sailing on the ocean has a lot to be excited about.

Anybody who has been sailing along on a calm night and then had the crap sacred out of them when a whale breached a boat length away knows what I am talking about!!!
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Old 13-02-2016, 10:10   #22
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Alberg,
Having sailed the Great Lakes for over 30 years and lived aboard full-time in the Tropics for 10 years, here's a short list:

1.) understanding the effects of tides/currents in navigation
2.) knowing how to anchor in all bottom conditions and how to
set two anchors in reversing tidal flows
3.) the effect of waves/waves patterns in deep water and off
shelves and soundings
4.) entering/leaving cuts/harbors with variable winds/currents
5.) keeping a reliable DR track at all times
6.) proper anchoring techniques in preparation for storms/frontal
systems
7.) reading water depths
8.) there is no such thing as stainless steel
9.) scrubbing your bottom monthly or more frequently
10.) changing zincs regularly
11.) a course in Crab Pot 101
12.) jellyfish, stingrays, sharks, barracudas, lionfish, sea urchins, etc.

These are things we first noticed when making the transition from fresh water to salt water. My honest opinion based upon extensive sailing in both areas is that ocean sailing is far easier than sailing the Great Lakes which are prone to dramatic changes in sea state in a short period of time with closely-spaced, large waves and little room for error. We have encountered far worse conditions on the Great Lakes than we ever encountered in the Tropics. I hope these few things help. Good luck and safe sailing.
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Old 13-02-2016, 11:05   #23
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancey View Post
The Great Lakes are a special place but anyone leaving them behind for sailing on the ocean has a lot to be excited about.
Variety is the spice of life.

Yes. There are lots of great places in this world. And cruising is a wonderful way to see many of those places. We are a lucky group.
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Old 13-02-2016, 11:09   #24
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

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Puts a few couple dozen species of freshwater fish and bunch of zebra mussels to shame. I love you Great Lakes but you are not the ocean.
There is a song about that:
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Old 13-02-2016, 12:37   #25
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Alberg34

Along with all the other advice you have received, you will definitely need along with all the other charts a copy of Tidal Current Atlas: St. Lawrence Estuary from Cap de Bon-Désir to Trois-Rivières.

I sailed (well motor sailed a lot of it) from Port Aux Basque to Rivière-du-Loup three years ago and once you hit the tides it almost impossible to make any distance against them. Just anchor and move with them.

A guy at our club also has a Alberg 34 and he made the trip a couple years ago, a lot of motoring as well and incidentally he had some transmission trouble in Nova Scotia which held him up for a few weeks.
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Old 13-02-2016, 14:32   #26
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

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Originally Posted by Bear15 View Post
In between boats right now in an effort to get that final boat (when some property sells) that will take us south. Agree that the Great Lakes are an awesome place to sail and some that have visited the north channel say it's better than the Caribbean but the season is just too short for me, 2-3 months of truly summer weather, sailing in nothing but shorts, and sometimes less, lol, just doesn't cut it, I'm so ready for summer 12 months a year, even if there are periods of crappy, windy, rainy weather, it'll still be warm and the weather will pass, as I write this its -30C outside with the wind chill.
The problem with Summer in the Caribbean is not just periods of crappy, windy, rainy weather. It can be REALLY CRAPPY! June in Grenada, when we were there in 2011 was incredibly hot with the sun blistering hot. You couldn't do anything under the sun because it was so oppresive it feels as if it is pushing you into the ground. Then in July and August it gets very humid, as well. Then of course it's hurricane season and yes people do sail with hurricane holes to jump into when there's a threat. Grenada is usually fairly safe. The season pretty much starts at the end of June and runs until late November. So all in all, you really only get 5, maybe 6 months of really pleasant weather December/January through May. Still, during those five months, yes you are in paradise.

I reckon that for those who have the stamina, both physical and financial, the best route is to follow the seasons moving north as spring enters the North and move with the warm (not hot) weather back to Canada. Then reverse the process in the fall. But then you'd miss the winter! As I write this, the outside temp has climbed to a balmy -25C (and a "Feels like" -38)!

Good luck Bear15 with the next boat!
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Old 14-02-2016, 04:11   #27
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Amongst all the great points:

Hamburking: "Salt water is great for your sinus. After a week or two in the salt spray, junk will come out of your nose that has been in there since you were a kid."

You might be shocked how beneficial this is for your health (this is one of the prime reasons I am getting back into boats).

JimJohnston: "June in Grenada, when we were there in 2011 was incredibly hot with the sun blistering hot. You couldn't do anything under the sun because it was so oppressive it feels as if it is pushing you into the ground."

Again, you might be shocked how beneficial this is for your health. Like salt air, you won't believe the junk that will come out of your body (it's why I am far more interested in a dehumidifier than an air conditioner for the boat). The only thing better, is the really hot sauna's of Finland (which got a friend of mine out of the wheelchair he had been in for several years, and back on his feet - it was hell for him at first too). You do acclimatise, but you won't with air conditioning (though if you don't need to, don't worry about it, you will acclimatise a lot slower when you have the short periods outside of air conditioning).

Yeah, it's going to be absolute hell for me acclimatising to that heat (a bit kill or cure tbh). But after about a month to six weeks of it, I'll be able to get back in the water and start swimming again. Another couple of months, and I'll be able to start snorkeling again (just in time to give the hull a scrub *grins*).

That friend of mine that was in a wheelchair, is now living down in Peru (high altitude and low oxygen, is sorting other things out for him now). He can crew for me anytime (going back some, we did some sailing together).

It's too easy to become a dead man walking, on land. I'd far rather be an alive man living, afloat.
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Old 14-02-2016, 20:06   #28
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

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...I'm proud to be a Canadian...
Of course you are. I'm a Yank and I'm proud of Canada too. Our closest ally and best friend in the world, filled with good-natured people who don't mind having their leg pulled by a Yank.

Fair sailing to you, too, my friend.

Paul
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Old 15-02-2016, 18:30   #29
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

I'm taking our Allures in the other direction. Maybe we'll pass on the St. Lawrence.
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Old 23-02-2016, 16:11   #30
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Re: New beginnings ,Great Lakes vs the ocean what to expect

Hi Al 34, I am doing just that from Chaumont Bay to NS via St.L. starting in June if all goes according to plan. There are some good guides available both for routing/timing and current atlas etc., I will share the titles with you but not at home right now. Send me a pm and perhaps we can share planning and ideas.

Terry.
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