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Old 07-07-2013, 20:54   #1
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First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

Kids and I heading to Wilson for a few days then want to explore Lake Erie. Any advice for first timers? Went to Cobourg last year and points in between. Old but beloved 31 Chris Craft Commander. I'd love to get to Cedar Point but we've got less than 2 weeks to get to wherever and back to Toronto. Never been to Wilson. Hear great things.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:51   #2
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Re: First time cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Moonglow.
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:09   #3
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Re: First time cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

Lake Erie has some great spots but going upbound in the Welland Canal is tedious. I've done it in 5hrs and 26hrs due to commercial traffic taking precedence. A minimum of three capable crew is mandatory for upbound.
The Kids will get very bored.

Wilson is a pretty little spot with a state park but not much for the kids.

A better bet is the NY State Canal System with dozens of little towns and all kinds of summer events. Free docking everywhere, some free wifi, some places have free laundry facilities, lots to see and do. I have a lot more info and photos here ... Cruising the NY State Canal System.
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Old 08-07-2013, 21:17   #4
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Thank you Boatpoker and to the welcome wagon. Thats fantastic advice. Sylvan beach sounds perfect for my kids. We love little beach towns. Welland Canal sounds too risky and my kids are young and will indeed get bored. I'd assumed I could get to Erie via Youngstown, etc. But your trip sounds better. We'll go to Wilson en route and maybe Rochester too. But it looks like NY Canals are the way to go. Thanks again!!
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Old 18-07-2013, 14:49   #5
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Re: First time cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

If you can get to Cedar Point and Kelly's Island, those are really fun spots for the kids. Let me know if you think you can make it that far west.
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Old 23-07-2013, 00:19   #6
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Re: First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

Hi

Sounds like a fun experience. You might want to check out http://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/Great Lakes Sailing Guide They cover hundreds of ports on the Great Lakes and the information is all free and downloadable.
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Old 23-07-2013, 04:31   #7
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Re: First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, svPilgrim.

Thanks for the excellent link.
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Old 31-07-2013, 18:33   #8
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Hear great things.
Lake Erie was a real disappointment for us. It is hopelessly unhealthy, few if any places are swimmable due to high bacteria levels. Dead fish everywhere,smelly and extremely weedy.

On the US side the best spots are probably west of Kelly's Island and the Presque Isle park off Erie, PA.

It is an embarrasment to the two great nations bordering the lake. The US and Canadian governments need to put their heads together and clean it up.
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Old 31-07-2013, 19:05   #9
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Re: First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

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Lake Erie was a real disappointment for us. It is hopelessly unhealthy, few if any places are swimmable due to high bacteria levels. Dead fish everywhere,smelly and extremely weedy.

On the US side the best spots are probably west of Kelly's Island and the Presque Isle park off Erie, PA.

It is an embarrasment to the two great nations bordering the lake. The US and Canadian governments need to put their heads together and clean it up.
It depends on the time of year. You also have to remember that it is a shallow lake that gets kicked up all the time. It is not fair to compare her to the other great lakes. That said, the commercial dairy farms are ruining it (and pigs farms to a lesser extent - pigs farms contribute, but not to the degree that these factory dairies do).

So, can/do we swim in the lake - yes. However, I would prefer not to do so in August +/- 2 weeks (when the lake gets stagnant due to low rain and wind, ok not this year maybe, but in general). I expect the Eastern end is nicer, but have no first hand knowledge.
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Old 31-07-2013, 19:27   #10
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I sure do hope it gets sorted out. It is a crying shame.
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Old 31-07-2013, 19:58   #11
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Re: First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

hold on folks, things to know about lake Erie. it has a purge cycle of three years. meaning; every three years it will have a complete change of water. quicker then all of the other great lakes. lake superior takes 100 years. another thing, lake Erie is the greatest fishing lake of all the great lakes. the lake is very clean and can be swimmed in just about everywhere. in late summer the lake can get a algae bloom from river runoff and can be disgusting. this happens in the west basin which is overall shallow. Kelley's island is a great place to spend a few days at. put n bay is for the folks who need more stimulation. historical place with more things to do then you can shake a stick at. this September will be the tall ships coming to put n bay for the bi centennial of the battle of lake Erie in the war of 1812, the ship Niagara is the ship commodore Perry defeated the British squadron with. she will be there reenacting the battle on the original site. along with a dozen or more tall ships. Lake Erie borders 4 states, Michigan , Ohio, Penn. and New York. two countries Canada and US. the lake itself is larger then the North Sea. The bad press the lake got back in the sixties was for the most part true. but that is now history. the Lake can and does get very nasty with the storms and winds from any direction. lots of water spouts. keep a eye on the weather forecasts. we sail into November but that pushes it a bit.
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Old 31-07-2013, 20:10   #12
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Re: First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

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Lake Erie was a real disappointment for us. It is hopelessly unhealthy, few if any places are swimmable due to high bacteria levels. Dead fish everywhere,smelly and extremely weedy.

On the US side the best spots are probably west of Kelly's Island and the Presque Isle park off Erie, PA.

It is an embarrasment to the two great nations bordering the lake. The US and Canadian governments need to put their heads together and clean it up.
there is a joint agreement between Canada and the US to protect the lakes. hopelessly unhealthy? not. high Bacteria levels? not. dead fish everywhere? not. shannedennis, when were you here in lake Erie? there is a commercial fishery in lake Erie. most of the Lake Perch come from here. I work at the large lakes research lab on Grosse Ile. yes there can be virus that can attack the fish, but that also happens everywhere where there are fish. good sailing Mate!
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Old 31-07-2013, 20:13   #13
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Re: First Time Cruising to Lake Erie from Toronto

I agree, except that the high nitrate that cause those blooms can be studied until Niagara Falls becomes the Detroit Falls if the lobbyists have their way, and that seems to be the only major man made issue with the lake...

We do enjoy her though, especially in the fall until the marina says it's time to haul out...
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Old 31-07-2013, 20:15   #14
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The state park beach on the north side of Kelly's Island has a permanent "Do not swim" sign.

According to the EPA water quality improved from 1969 to 2000 than started deteriorating again. Yes it turns over every 2.6 years so perhaps there is opportunity to fix it?

I agree Lake Erie has a proud history and it was the backbone of the American industrial revolution. That is why it was so disappointing. We were looking forward to it. Lake Erie deserves better care.
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Old 31-07-2013, 20:24   #15
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high Bacteria levels? not. dead fish everywhere? not. shannedennis, when were you here in lake Erie?
We were on Lake Erie from 07/02/13 to 07/20/13 crossing along the US shoreline West to East. We saw a plethora of dead fish every day.

Lots of fish does not mean a healthy lake. We will not be eating any Lake Erie lake perch after what we saw.
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