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Old 31-07-2013, 18:22   #46
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+1 for passageweather.com.We found this to be by far the most accurate and useful weather site for Lakes Superior, Huron and Erie.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:04   #47
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Re: Great Lakes-Summer SAILING not MOTORING

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Yep. Already ordered it and I've been waiting not so patiently! Good to know that it's the preferred guide though.
The Ports guide can be confusing about the North Channel; it has separate chapters for cruising and ports in the NC, to my mind with no tangible benefit considering the size of the area.

Bafflingly, it doesn't even bring up Darch island or Innes islands which are massive and interesting in their own right. No guide, that I know of, does. The "well-favoured passage", an expensive guidebook published by locals, does point out numerous 1-boat gunkholes, including alternatives to the usually-busy Beardrop.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:09   #48
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The best NC guide is the Great Lakes Cruising Club's harbor reports lot of detail that is continuously updated - like where the rocks and deadheads are located. Wouldn't go up there without these.
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Old 06-08-2013, 06:06   #49
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Re: Great Lakes-Summer SAILING not MOTORING

Hi

You might also want to look at http://www.great-lakes-sailing.com/Great Lakes Sailing Guide Well over a hundred port reviews and dozens of pages of other information. Main thing is its free and you can print off what you'd like.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:28   #50
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As for advice: leave your guns at home, and always say you're sorry ... even when you're not. It's the Canadian way .
Reading back through all the suggestions prior to leaving for the North Channel next early next month. Rereading and chuckling at this comment once again.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:32   #51
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Shelly

North Channel is awesome lots of places to anchor or dock. Canadian yacht charters appears to have a wide range of boats. There is another charter company out of Little Current although I don't remember their name.

Some thoughts: getting to Manitoulin Island for either one can be a challenge from Colorado. Maybe fly into Toronto then drive.

There will be few crowds but also expect a wide range in the weather - as in it could get very cold.
I have a 4 foot draft 31' Hunter from Canadian Yacht Charters out of Gore Bay. So far they've been prompt and professional.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:26   #52
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The Ports guide can be confusing about the North Channel; it has separate chapters for cruising and ports in the NC, to my mind with no tangible benefit considering the size of the area.

Bafflingly, it doesn't even bring up Darch island or Innes islands which are massive and interesting in their own right. No guide, that I know of, does. The "well-favoured passage", an expensive guidebook published by locals, does point out numerous 1-boat gunkholes, including alternatives to the usually-busy Beardrop.
I have to get the charter boat back to Gore Bay by noonish so Darch or Innes might be a good last stop?
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:45   #53
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Kinda depends on your style of cruising. If you're looking for a relaxing trip with short hops and multi-day stays, then going up to the Benjamins, and exploring north around Fox, Freshette and Eagle would be fun. If you're into travel, then you could head east past Little Current and go for Killarney area. Or you could go west and make it over to the anchorages around St. Joseph's Island. Heading north from Gore Bay, you can get into the the Whale's Back Channel. Tons of anchorages. Short hops to loop around to the Benjamins, and then back. Tolsmaville on Cockburn Is. is an interesting stop as well.

Lots of options.

The drive north out of Toronto is boring until you hit Georgian Bay. If the Chi-Cheemaun ferry out of Tobermory is running (I think it is, just check), then I'd definitely drive up the peninsula and take the ferry. Lots of neat towns along the way (Goderich, Kincardine, Tobermory).
Clearly this area is going to be a multiple number of vacations sort of deal. As far as style, we like to walk and hike. We like to combine short hops with one moderate hop for fun. We're comfortable with anchoring but won't have stern tie lines on the charter boat. So for this trip I think I'll focus on the Benjamin's and Whale's Back for the short hops. You mention Freshette and Eagle. Longer hops are difficult on charter boats since the contracts generally rule out sailing in the dark. Have to wait for my own boat to do that, I suppose. So your mention of Cockburn might be a good longer hop? What did you like about it?

Again, thanks so much for all the info. Really appreciate it.
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Old 10-08-2013, 13:42   #54
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Re: Great Lakes-Summer SAILING not MOTORING

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So your mention of Cockburn might be a good longer hop? What did you like about it?
It's just a cute little semi ghost town with a nice dock (at least it was 10 years ago when I last sailed in there). No services, and there is a modest cost. I don't know the history of the place, but it's fun to walk around, check out the old buildings and cars, and chat with the locals (seasonal cottagers mostly).

If you're picking up CYC boat in Gore Bay then it's only about 40nm west. Of course this might be a beat since I believe the prevailing winds are mostly westerlies (north-westerly). Still, it might be a good first run. Get up wind, spend the night, and then have a nice run back down to the Whale's Back or Turnbull Island.

Have fun. Kinda wish I was down there right now. The weather on Superior has been rather cool this season.
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Old 23-09-2013, 20:12   #55
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Thanks for all the info. We had a good trip. Enough windy days and good enough weather. We did stop in Parry Sound on the way up which was relaxing. Canadian Yacht Charters worked out really well.
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Old 24-09-2013, 04:55   #56
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Re: Great Lakes-Summer SAILING not MOTORING

Looks like you had a great trip. Next year, give Lake Superior a try.
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Old 25-09-2013, 07:02   #57
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Looks like you had a great trip. Next year, give Lake Superior a try.
+1 Lake Superior is very special.
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Old 02-11-2013, 14:17   #58
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Re: Great Lakes-Summer SAILING not MOTORING

North channel is my recommendation. Look for charters on line. Definitely available in Little Current. There are other locations. We sailed our ketch from Muskegon Michigan to the NC two summers back. We covered 1200 miles over 3.5 weeks. There are many cruising guides for this destination. I think it was Cruising world or Blue Water that ranked the top 10 cruising destinations in the world. NC was one of them. We had a wonderful time and will go again next summer. End of July - early August is the warmest time. We swam every day. Wind varied from - 0 to 30. Prevailing is SW 5 to 15. There are hundreds of bays facing various directions so there is always a place to find shelter. You will probably live on the hook more than docked. If you transit Little Current, you can dock free at the city docks all day till 9:00 PM & use the power, water and facilities. This is a good place to provision and there are a few nice restaurants & a theater (no IMAX ). The entire area looks like parts of the northern Michigan as I remember it in the olden days. We found the people warm & kind.

Plan to have a kayak if possible. Fishing is pretty good for bass & pike as well as pan fish.

You can easily find YouTube videos of cruises of the NC. Also, look at the photos on Google Earth. I would attach a few pictures but can't match the pictures there. Spend at least a week, more if possible.

Special destinations to look for are:

Kagawong where you can hike to Kagawong Falls (Bridal Veil Falls). You can rent kayaks on the lake above the falls and there are two places to eat right there.

Baei Fine - Claimed "largest Fjord in North America". This is a stunning piece of geography at the southern edge of the Canadian Shield. (oldest rock on the planet). The Northern edge is the Laclotche Range, made of brilliant white quartz.

While in Baie Fine, travel back to the POOL at the east end. The prominant building overlooking the Pool is the Evinrude family cottage. Fish in the Pool for pike. In the NE corner of the Pool is the hiking trail to TOPAZ Lake. Take "noodles" or other floaty things and swim in Topaz. Topaz is infused with copper from the surrounding rock and there is absolutely nothing that can live in the water. It is clear as Caribean water and there is not even algae on the rocks.

Plan to spend time in the Benjamen Islands. There are many places to moore/anchor here facing all directions. This is all red granite most similar to the Maine coast.

A few charters are:

Welcome to Canadian Yacht Charters - Canadian Yacht Charters - Manitoulin Island, North Channel, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, Midland, Great Lakes, Ontario
Discovery Yacht Charters -*Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, North Channel, Killarney, Ontario
COSMOS Yacht Charters - sailboat charter - Georgian Bay, North Channel, 30000 Islands, Bahamas, Caribbean - Georgian Bay North Channel Charters
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Old 02-11-2013, 15:08   #59
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Re: Great Lakes-Summer SAILING not MOTORING

There are eagle nests over at Sanford Island...you can get in there with a sailboat but take your time......it's right out front of Lauzon creek in Algoma Mills, last time I was out there, about 5 years ago, there were 2 nests...and they are huge. There was an eagle chick giving us the eyeball big time.....I would imagine there are quite a few more of these bald eagles there now. A beautiful sight to see.

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