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Old 25-07-2012, 10:31   #1
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Gunkholing Lake Michigan .....

I'm looking for info and suggestions on low cost or free anchorages for a bit of a trip. We're planning on putting in around Burn's Harbor in Indiana, and sailing the coast, hopping up to Mackinac. After that, we'll be making the loop down the Wisconsin side. Basically a coastal loop around the lake.

Bear in mind my offshore time is very limited, and my primary experience is in scows and open dinghies. We'll be doing the run in a pocket cruiser, 20', so I want to have escape options galore if the weather turns nasty on us, and I intend to be very conservative as to putting out each day. Water depth at anchorage won't be a huge issue, we only draw 2' with the keel swung up for shoals.
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Old 25-07-2012, 10:39   #2
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan..........

On the Eastern shore of Lake Michigan, you will have ports about every 30NM or so. St Joe's, South Haven, Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, etc. In a 20' boat, I am not sure how many miles per day you plan on sailing. I used to live in Holland and these were the ports that I visited. This is going to take you a while. When do you plan on setting sail? The winds pipe up come early fall.

Fair winds,
Riz
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Old 25-07-2012, 10:55   #3
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan..........

In the next 3 weeks or so, I'd guess. We're looking at mid August and figuring on hopping from port to port, mostly. We're looking at visiting Beaver Island and South and/or North Manitou, as well, and the fliparound point will be Mackinac City. We'll spend a couple or 3 days there to R&R (Rest and reprovision ), likely, and maybe motor over to the Island for a day.
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Old 25-07-2012, 10:57   #4
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan..........

Oh, and I'm figuring tentatively on a 4 knot average and at most 6 if optimal conditions. 30-40 nm a day max sounds about right.
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:07   #5
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan..........

Sounds like a great trip. I miss Lake Michigan...fond memories. I am however, really enjoying the Chesapeake! Have fun, stay safe!

Riz
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:09   #6
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan..........

Holler if you ever sail in.....I'll arrange a meetup. On another note, how good are the chances of snagging a fish with a trolled line behind us? Fresh great lakes fish for dinner might be nice.
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Old 25-07-2012, 11:17   #7
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan..........

I didn't fish much in Lake Michigan, but I do in the Chesapeake. I have two rod holders on the stern rails and fish whenever I am sailing 3kts or less. Talk to a local tackle shop to see what works. You won't need outriggers to get away from the engine noise! I caught the fish in my profile pic in May, a 34" Striped Bass, 25lbs!

Riz
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Old 27-07-2012, 10:21   #8
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan .....

Tom,
Get a Lake Michigan guidebook and a chart kit before you leave. The eastern shore of Lake Michigan has numerous opportunities to anchor as does the northwestern shore going south into Green Bay and terminating at Sturgeon Bay. From Sturgeon Bay south you will be locked into marinas unless you are willing to anchor along shore in an open roadstead anchorage with the reality of continually changing wind direction and strength. There are a couple legal anchoring oppotunities further south: 1.) behind the breakwater in Milwaukee and behind the breakwater in Chicago but the Coast Guard prefers you take a slip because of the heavy recreational and commercial boat traffic. My advice: cruise the eastern shore to Mackinaw, sail to Michigan's south shore, then down to Door County in Green Bay and terminating in the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. Nice cruise. Unlimited anchoring possibilities. Forget the western shore of Lake Michigan from Sturgeon Bay ship canal to Chicago. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 28-07-2012, 19:01   #9
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan .....

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Originally Posted by rognvald View Post
Tom,
Get a Lake Michigan guidebook and a chart kit before you leave. The eastern shore of Lake Michigan has numerous opportunities to anchor as does the northwestern shore going south into Green Bay and terminating at Sturgeon Bay. From Sturgeon Bay south you will be locked into marinas unless you are willing to anchor along shore in an open roadstead anchorage with the reality of continually changing wind direction and strength. There are a couple legal anchoring oppotunities further south: 1.) behind the breakwater in Milwaukee and behind the breakwater in Chicago but the Coast Guard prefers you take a slip because of the heavy recreational and commercial boat traffic. My advice: cruise the eastern shore to Mackinaw, sail to Michigan's south shore, then down to Door County in Green Bay and terminating in the Sturgeon Bay ship canal. Nice cruise. Unlimited anchoring possibilities. Forget the western shore of Lake Michigan from Sturgeon Bay ship canal to Chicago. Good luck and good sailing.
I have the charts, etc, from NOAA for Nav, in electronic format and am going to print hard copy as well. I have the guidebook ordered now, and thanks for the suggestions and advice.
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Old 28-07-2012, 20:32   #10
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan .....

I would not waste my time sailing up the lake. Trailer up to Traverse City or Charlevoix and start there. You're likely to beset by weather and never make it that far north and back in a few weeks. done the run dozens of times on bigger boats.
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Old 31-07-2012, 08:13   #11
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Re: Gunkholing Lake Michigan .....

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I would not waste my time sailing up the lake. Trailer up to Traverse City or Charlevoix and start there. You're likely to beset by weather and never make it that far north and back in a few weeks. done the run dozens of times on bigger boats.
We aren't in any hurry. My job is internet based....I am a consultant for Social Media Sites much like this forum, but for a different controlling company. As long as I have net access, I can work.
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