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Old 15-05-2012, 20:29   #16
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Gunk,

Wife and I have been cruising the Great Lakes for years. Port out of Saginaw Bay. Closest port for us going north is Tawas. Great anchoring just outside of the yacht club and Coast Guard station. Well protected by anything but a south wind. Town is great with good supplies and resturants. Next is Harrisville. Again great port. Harbor Master will loan bikes and courtesy van avaliable for supplies. Highly recommend "Old Place Inin restruant" you can walk there quite easily. For us a long trip crossing Thunder Bay usally passing Alpena with good weather window and go directly to Presque Isle. Nothing against Alpena except you will spend half a day sailing in and another half day sailing out. The Harbor is a great place to anchor unless storms are comming then we go to the state docks. The post above about Presque are correct. Great places to visit include a little light house "haunted" you can walk to from the state dock and one of the largest active light houses about 2 miles away. Bikes avaliable across street at the general store ice cream shop. We've spent up to 2 weeks there anchoring. If crossing to North Channel this is a great place as well as Rogers City. We usally pull into Meldrum Bay from there.

If we deciede to continue on Duncun Bay is usally a good hole to anchor but be careful where you drop anchor. From there we will visit Mackinaw City with city owned dockage and state run docks. If you have plans to go to Mackinaw Island the state dock in Mackinaw City may be able to arange priority dockage at the state run dock at Mackinaw Island. Don't forget to sail under the Mighty Mac. It is as impressive from the water under it as seeing it from land.

Then there is Lake Michigan but that is another story.

All in all we will budget 1 to 2 days lay over a week for weather. Most sails from port to port is from several hours to 9-12 hours depending on wind and direction.

We can easily move from Saginaw Bay up to Mackinaw and back in a little over two weeks. To us this is one of the greatest sailing places there is. Fresh water, no tides, anchoring and ports all within a day sail away. Did I hear someone mention Ice Cream at each port?
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Old 16-05-2012, 04:47   #17
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Congratulations on your forthcoming splash and delivery home. Good luck, and enjoy the trip.
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:21   #18
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Thanks gettinthere, I appreciate the info, I've printed off your notes to take along with us.

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Old 16-05-2012, 15:23   #19
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

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Originally Posted by gulfstar37 View Post
Gunk,

Wife and I have been cruising the Great Lakes for years. Port out of Saginaw Bay. Closest port for us going north is Tawas. Great anchoring just outside of the yacht club and Coast Guard station. Well protected by anything but a south wind. Town is great with good supplies and resturants. Next is Harrisville. Again great port. Harbor Master will loan bikes and courtesy van avaliable for supplies. Highly recommend "Old Place Inin restruant" you can walk there quite easily. For us a long trip crossing Thunder Bay usally passing Alpena with good weather window and go directly to Presque Isle. Nothing against Alpena except you will spend half a day sailing in and another half day sailing out. The Harbor is a great place to anchor unless storms are comming then we go to the state docks. The post above about Presque are correct. Great places to visit include a little light house "haunted" you can walk to from the state dock and one of the largest active light houses about 2 miles away. Bikes avaliable across street at the general store ice cream shop. We've spent up to 2 weeks there anchoring. If crossing to North Channel this is a great place as well as Rogers City. We usally pull into Meldrum Bay from there.

If we deciede to continue on Duncun Bay is usally a good hole to anchor but be careful where you drop anchor. From there we will visit Mackinaw City with city owned dockage and state run docks. If you have plans to go to Mackinaw Island the state dock in Mackinaw City may be able to arange priority dockage at the state run dock at Mackinaw Island. Don't forget to sail under the Mighty Mac. It is as impressive from the water under it as seeing it from land.

Then there is Lake Michigan but that is another story.

All in all we will budget 1 to 2 days lay over a week for weather. Most sails from port to port is from several hours to 9-12 hours depending on wind and direction.

We can easily move from Saginaw Bay up to Mackinaw and back in a little over two weeks. To us this is one of the greatest sailing places there is. Fresh water, no tides, anchoring and ports all within a day sail away. Did I hear someone mention Ice Cream at each port?
Hi Gulfstar:

Great info! Makes me wish I had 3 weeks to get to Lake St. Clair instead of only 17 days.....but we'll make do! I've also printed off your notes to take along with us for reference.

Thanks!

gunk
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Old 16-05-2012, 15:25   #20
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

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Congratulations on your forthcoming splash and delivery home. Good luck, and enjoy the trip.
Gord!

How have you been my friend? Trusting that you and Maggie are both fine and survived another Thunder Bay winter. We're getting close...this Friday can't come soon enough.

gunk
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Old 16-05-2012, 16:12   #21
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

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Originally Posted by gettinthere View Post
anchorages on the Huron shore of Michigan...

Presque Isle appears like a great place, but there are a lot of weeds that foul the anchor in a blow. You will drag.

It's a long way down to Harrisville but there is some room there to anchor in the harbor.
South of Harrisville is Tawas Bay. There is room inside the muni harbor for a few boats and the harbor itself has pretty good protection.
Across to Port Austin at the tip of the thumb there is no room to anchor.
Harbor Beach is a huge harbor of refuge, virtually unlimited anchoring room.
Port Sanilac & Lexington have some room to anchor but not a lot. No place to anchor in Port Huron.
The current in the St. Clair river runs a good 3 knots, some places more.
Silly question, why not run the Canadian rout through Georgian Bay south?

Tawas is a nice place to visit. Shelter is good there. Make sure you call ahead as there are some massive sailing and power boat events annually.
THunder bay in Alpena is well sheltered.
Presque Isle Harbor is nice.
Harrisville Harbor of refuge should be checked for depth before you plan.
You should be able to get into Oscoda

If you happen into Saginaw Bay there is good protection at the state docks in Au Gres just south of Tawas.
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Old 16-05-2012, 16:51   #22
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Running the Canadian side leaves us exposed to the prevailing westerlies, and there are not as many possibilities to seek refuge in crappy weather.

This is Beth's first trip on a sailboat...she does tend to get queasy, and I'm hoping that running what I think should be the more sheltered side of the lake will make it easier for her....and not scare the crap out of her the first time out on an extended cruise.

We will make that leg one day in the future, I just feel it's more prudent to run the American side this time. With time we hope her motion sickness symptoms either dissipate or are totally resolved.....time will tell. She is very positive about the whole deal, especially sailing off into the sunset when I retire.......so, we are keeping our fingers crossed, hoping for good weather and a relatively "calm" passage...we'll save the storms for later if we can<grin>

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Old 23-05-2012, 20:06   #23
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

It was a very busy weekend, but we stepped the mast, set up the pro-furlers, installed the sails, ran the diesel, hooked the anchors up, set up all our halyards, lines, dodger......even went out for a short sail on Sunday...had Kewalo up to 7 knots for a while<grin>

It was cold on Lake Huron once we were out a few miles....but fun! Hope it warms up quite a bit in the next 3 weeks....but packing some good warm clothes, they'll be needed for the crossing at least I'm sure. Beth got quite a bit of cleaning and organizing completed...but still a fair bit remaining to make it "ours".

So, 23 days, maybe 24, and we'll be leaving Blind River behind and heading home. Excited and a wee bit worried at the same time....hoping for a decent weather window so Beth won't suffer too much from motion sickness....the Quease/Ease inhaler worked well on Sunday. First big sail for us.....my years of sailing the 18 foot drop keeler will help ease things somewhat, and knowing that the Bayfield will take more than we will ever want to helps as well. The auto pilot is working fine, it sure is nice to have.

So, c'mon the 15th of June.....going to be some great memories coming up!

Thanks to all the positive posts.....the ice cream shops and restaurants will come in handy!

gunk
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Old 23-05-2012, 20:58   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunkylump
It was a very busy weekend, but we stepped the mast, set up the pro-furlers, installed the sails, ran the diesel, hooked the anchors up, set up all our halyards, lines, dodger......even went out for a short sail on Sunday...had Kewalo up to 7 knots for a while<grin>

It was cold on Lake Huron once we were out a few miles....but fun! Hope it warms up quite a bit in the next 3 weeks....but packing some good warm clothes, they'll be needed for the crossing at least I'm sure. Beth got quite a bit of cleaning and organizing completed...but still a fair bit remaining to make it "ours".

So, 23 days, maybe 24, and we'll be leaving Blind River behind and heading home. Excited and a wee bit worried at the same time....hoping for a decent weather window so Beth won't suffer too much from motion sickness....the Quease/Ease inhaler worked well on Sunday. First big sail for us.....my years of sailing the 18 foot drop keeler will help ease things somewhat, and knowing that the Bayfield will take more than we will ever want to helps as well. The auto pilot is working fine, it sure is nice to have.
Congrats Gunk. Sounds like you're well on your way. The North Channel water does get quite warm by July, but Huron proper remains chilly (although it's a lot warmer that Superior ever gets). Probably going to be pretty cool on your journey, but bring good foulies and you'll be fine. Enjoy the journey.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:47   #25
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I was swimming just east of the little Detroit passage (outside of Spanish ontario) two days ago water was great.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:47   #26
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Weather forecast for this Saturday is sunny, high of 26, 10 kph winds from the west. Yahooooo!

A friend of my brother in law is going to fly us direct to Elliot Lake airport Saturday morning, one of my sisters will pick us up at the airport, drive us in to the No Frills for provisioning, then down to Kewalo in Blind River. We'll get set up, last minute details like installing the chartplotter(power line already run to the helm) and we'll get her set up for a Sunday morning departure. If the weather window looks good, I'm thinking we'll sail down to Gore Bay first...Beth has never really been in the North Channel. We'll have 14 days to sail home, so we should be fine.

We're excited, only days away now, and it's all coming together very nicely.

Once again, thanks for everyone's comments and best wishes....c'mon Saturday!

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Old 17-06-2012, 09:48   #27
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Well, we made it to Elliot Lake thanks to Doc Callahan and his plane, awesome smooth flight, brother in law picked us up, off to the grocery store for provisioning, and then to Blind River, where Beth organized and cleaned some more, I worked at figuring out how to use the Simrad NSS-7(still working on that)

We left Blind River at about noon Saturday for Gore Bay...ran out of wind near the Cousins Islands, and motored in the rest of the way. We were met at the town docks by the strongest freakin' winds you can imagine, and were lucky that there were other sailors waiting to help us on to the dock..it was scary and fun at the same time...and we eventually made it!

The Bayfield 29C rode the overnight storm out at the dock like a trooper...the wind was unreal all night long. Great start!<grin>

We are going to stay here in Gore Bay for the day, and hope to head out to the Whalesback tomorrow, weather permitting. A day or so there, then off to Meldrum Bay for an overnighter, and then through the Mississagi Straits to Rogers City. We'll see how the plans work out...ol' Ma Nature can be a wee bit fickle it seems.

So, that's a quick update, can't load pics here at this site, but will load some when we get home.

Yahooooo!

gunk
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Old 21-06-2012, 17:56   #28
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Departed Meldrum Bay at 5:45 this morning, nice light winds on the lee side of Manitoulin. That changed.

Wind on the nose through the straits, picking up slowly. Hit the south channel marker, and it began to pick up, winds gusting too much for me to hoist the sails, so we motored on. It got quite rough before we made it to Roger's City MI at 2:30 p.m......6-8 footers with breaking caps....gusty winds....not nice.

Beth is coping with motion sickness, and the Bayfield 29 wants more. It handled conditions like a champ. My back is a little sore, other than that, none the worse for wear.

Heading out in the morning, see how we feel, either Presqe Isle or Alpena...weather is supposed to be first class, winds at our back, 2 foot waves......8 days to get home, it's been an adventure so far.

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Old 07-07-2012, 16:00   #29
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Well, things got busy, sunny and just not enough hours in a day to catch up. We left Rogers City and sailed to Presque Isle, visited the lighthouses, and Presque Isle Harbour, as beautiful as it is...had only about 6 boats in it....I realize it was early in the season...but what a shame that the harbour is so empty.

After Presqe Isle, we made it to Harrisville. We did the inside passage, a little hairy, but well worth it. Saw a huge fish and an old shipwreck when I had a chance to look into the shallow, clear water. Very well treated in Harrisville by the marina staff, great folks. Beth had pretty much got her sea legs by then..thank goodness. She had suffered big time for about 6 days.

Harrisville to East Tawas....rounded the point, had heard on the VHF all day about the powerboat races in Saginaw Bay......we're putting across Tawas Bay, Beth says look at all the boats over there.....I told her they were probably just rafted up and partying like they do in the Detroit area....then a helicopter was over top of us...and we're still put putting across the bay..no wind to sail....and next thing I see, there is a large U.S. coast guard cutter blowing big time black smoke and heading right at us on the port side...look to starboard..flashing lights, and two more boats headed right at us, a police boat and DNR boat....I said to Beth...I don't know what I'm doing wrong...but I'm shutting this thing down. The DNR got to us first, were very nice about it all.....we were delaying a PBRA sanctioned race, and we had better follow them and drop anchor, we wouldn't be getting across the bay for at least 3 hours. We did as directed....and the two fellas on the DNR boat and Beth and I had a good laugh about it all....they even came back a couple of times to tease the heck out of us.

Next day, across Saginaw Bay...not nice! Big stuff once again, sailed for a few hours, then had to motor. Beth was fine, sea legs were all hers. Yippee! We ended up in Harbour Beach...very shallow getting in and out, actually dragged some bottom with my 3'2" draft....mud and weeds. Next stop was Lexington, nice little town.

We departed Lexington, and made it to Windsor the following day, it was a long day, and not much sailing, but we made it home. Next day, we took the boat to Boblo Island where we were to meet 4 other sailboats coming up from Ohio, but a huge storm in Illinois, Ohio etc. killed those plans.

All in all, an awesome trip. Did not get to sail as much as we had hoped, but when you have a two week window, and 345 miles to go....so be it.
Kewalo is everything we had hoped and then some. The Simrad NSS-7 chartplotter is very easy to use, and we are already looking ahead to our next boat......we viewed a beautiful 40 foot Jenneau DS at Boblo, an awesome 37 foot Island Trader ketch in Harrisville, a nice 38 foot Shannon ketch in Rogers City......and the list goes on. We find that a little more room and shower would be nice.

Thanks to all for your suggestions and input, this was kind of a condensed version of our trip...and when we get time to download the pics from our camera, I"ll post them. We are busy getting ready to move, and having to renovate our new to us home to get it ready has been a very hectic and time consuming task. Dang full time job keeps gettting in the way!<grin>

gunk
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Old 07-07-2012, 16:55   #30
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Re: Crossing Lake Huron...

Glad to hear that Beth, Kewalo and you made the passage with minimum grief, and some significant joy. Congratulations!
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