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Old 15-08-2018, 09:30   #1
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Green Bay vs Lake Michigan

I hail from Grand Haven. I am thinking of making a trip up to Escanaba, the Garden Penninsula, or around Door county. My question for any of you who sail on the Wisconsin side of the Lake:

How does the wind and wave state compare in Green Bay and Big Bay de Noc vs. Lake Michigan? If I am travelling north, do I get more wave protection by cutting through Sturgeon Bay? Do you lose wind speed on Geen Bay vs Lake Michigan?

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Old 15-08-2018, 15:28   #2
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Location: Green Bay WI
Boat: 2001 Catalina 36
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Re: Green Bay vs Lake Michigan

I have a Catalina 36 I keep in Marinette and sail Green Bay every weekend I am not working and a week or two each summer. Prior to that I had a Freedom 32 in Petoskey. I have gone thru Surgeon Bay once and was in a marina there two weeks ago. There are two bridges that need to open for you. Of more concern is that depending on wind direction and barometric pressure there can be a current. The direction depends on conditions. It can slow you down but is only an issue if you try to dock.
The shortest crossing point is South Manitou to Washington Island. Kaps Marina has a restaurant and he will rent you a car. I anchored in Detroit Harbor for the first time this year. 8-10 feet deep with good holding. On the north side of WI is Washington Harbor protected except to the north. Shallow only very near shore. This year Jackson Harbor has 7 feet at the dock. I consider GB to be very benign. Waves tend to be less than 4-5 feet. At Deaths Door they can be higher as it’s open to the lake but that is a narrow band. I have sailed S Manitou to Fayette alone at night via Poverty Island Passage. Lots of fish nets up to Fayette. You can and should reserve your a slip in Fayette. 25-30 miles from WI to Fayette. WI to Sister Bay 10 miles with 2 very nice marinas. Cedar River Marina is nice and the water deep into it. Nicolette Bay and Horse Shoe Island provide anchorages in any weather. Alibi Marina in Fish Creek is nice. Egg Harbor is 6 miles south open to the N/NW but a good Marina and holding. The only anchorage I have used on the east side of Door County was Bailey’s harbor. The noaa forecasts are accurate. The lake is entirely different animal from GB. Since the prevailing winds tend to be from the west, the waves tend to not an issue going north along the west Lake Michigan shoreline. It’ a very long sail to and from Fayette. WI is a good place to spend a day and drive. Check out the Stave Church, the nature center, Fragrant Isle, eat at one or three of the better restaurants. A north wind to Fayette is 5 foot waves on the nose.

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Old 17-08-2018, 05:37   #3
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Location: Intermountain West
Boat: Cabo Rico 38
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Re: Green Bay vs Lake Michigan

We just finished our second ever sailing trip on the Great Lakes in June so I'm the last guy to offer any information on what to expect but can say you'll probably enjoy the trip. We explored as much of Green Bay as we were able on this trip. We were blessed with generally good weather and fair winds. Interestingly, we encountered our first three sisters phenomenon just south of Drisco Shoal on a leg from Cedar River to Fayette. It's boring stuff but here's a link to a portion of that trip around Door County:
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Old 22-08-2018, 03:20   #4
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Re: Green Bay vs Lake Michigan

Thanks dangerfield and durangutan for the insights.
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