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Old 11-09-2010, 11:31   #1
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Lake St Clair to SLS - Itinerary / Cruising Guide Advice, Please

Hi Folks

My partner and I are planning on sailing from Michigan to Bermuda next summer / autumn.

To all those who have done it or have some thoughts, he would like to do the Huron to Mackinak race in mid July and cruise around in the North Channel for 2 weeks or so. My concern is that there is so much to see, 1000 island wise and Great Lakes / NS that we may be cutting it a bit fine weather window wise.

Does anyone have an itinerary or passage plan of the Lakes to the East Coast?

Are the 1000 islands worth a week, 2 weeks or should we just sail non-stop to NYC?

I have been trawling the www and have not been able to find much clear info.

Our boat draws 10ft so anchoring will probably be our thing more than marinas along the way.

Any advice or suggestions for sources of info would be gratefully appreciated in the passage plan process.

M
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Old 08-10-2010, 17:59   #2
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Great Lakes to SLS

My wife and I will be making this trip next summer. Specifically, from Saugutuck, MI to the Chesapeake Bay. My research indicates that July, August and September are good times to exit the eastern end of the SLS. From there, we plan to head for the Northumberland Strait and then through the Canso Strait lock into the Atlantic. This route is more protected that sailing over the top of Nova Scotia.

I'm interested in any info you come up with.

Don
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Old 09-10-2010, 04:39   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYHorwood View Post
Hi Folks

My partner and I are planning on sailing from Michigan to Bermuda next summer / autumn.

To all those who have done it or have some thoughts, he would like to do the Huron to Mackinak race in mid July and cruise around in the North Channel for 2 weeks or so. My concern is that there is so much to see, 1000 island wise and Great Lakes / NS that we may be cutting it a bit fine weather window wise.

Does anyone have an itinerary or passage plan of the Lakes to the East Coast?

Are the 1000 islands worth a week, 2 weeks or should we just sail non-stop to NYC?

I have been trawling the www and have not been able to find much clear info.

Our boat draws 10ft so anchoring will probably be our thing more than marinas along the way.

Any advice or suggestions for sources of info would be gratefully appreciated in the passage plan process.
Sounds like a nice trip. IMHO the 1000 Islands are over rated and over crowded earlier in the season (May to August). If you're in the area after the August holiday you'll pretty much have the place to yourself. 10' Draft will limit your ability to use any of the local marina's.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:06   #4
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10' draft will make finding dockage or anchorages a problem anywhere on the Great Lakes.
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Old 14-10-2010, 14:22   #5
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Cruising the Maritimes

I'm also planning a trip from Lake Erie through the Welland Canal, Lake Ontario, then out the SLS to visit Gaspe, NB, PEI, NS then down the US East Coast. I've just started reading the Down East Circle Cruising Guide by Capt Cheryl Barr. It came highly recommended by a friend who did the same trip in 2008. Since the major freighters travel the SLS draft there shd be OK. I only draw 5 feet, so I haven't noticed draft limits in marinas along the way. I would prefer to anchor as much as possible, but I fear that once the 1000 islands are behind me the next good anchorages will be beyond Quebec City.

If anyone knows about anchorages along the SLS, I'd be very interested in learning about them.
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Old 14-10-2010, 14:55   #6
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I assume you are planning to race the Port Huron to Mac Race? One of my favorites, you'll have a good time it's a fun race that can be rough. The North Channel is fun but a 10 foot draft will require you anchor out often, not a problem if you have a dink.

Coming back, your fuel stop will be Sheboygan on Lake Huron, next stop will be Bayview Yacht Club or Gross Point Yacht Club, from there head to Put in Bay on Lake Erie, pick up a red top mooring buoy. If you want to stop in Sandusky visit the Sandusky Yacht Club, they have the water you need. Moving east on Lake Erie you can visit Huron and lay the boat on the outside wall, they have weekend festivals. From there you can head to Lakeside Yacht Club in Cleveland then on to Erie and anchor in the bay. Next logical stop would be the locks and out you go.

We draw 9 foot, the lake is deep enough to accommodate you.

Quickest trip I heard of was an 80 footer that made NY City to the start in ~ 6 days via the SLS.
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Old 14-10-2010, 21:01   #7
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Sailing Kelly,

In addition to the "Down East Circle Route", check out Blue Jacket's trip logs on geoffschultz.org and Active Captain.com ( Interactive Cruising Guides). From my limited research, I believe, you will find many anchorages along the way. I will be drawing 6' and anticipate no problems with draft.
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Old 14-10-2010, 22:04   #8
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1000 Islands is nothing but summer homes on every square inch of land. I was not impressed going through that area last May.
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Old 15-10-2010, 07:35   #9
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Maritimes Log

I met a new friend through the Great Lakes Cruising Club this summer. His log is online and includes the trip he and his wife made from Lake Erie through the SLS, the Maritimes, and on down the east coast to the Bahamas. This link is to their log of the Maritimes: Adventures of the Jubilee: Canadian Maritimes.

They did the trip in one season, departing Lake Erie in June and arriving in the Bahamas in December.
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Old 15-10-2010, 09:24   #10
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Sailing Kelly

There is an excellent legal free software program with all the charts that you can download: opencpn.org. This program should take care of most of your navigational needs. Also, the pirated version of MaxSea is available for free from Terry Sargent's Valhalla's Mooring Page. All USA charts are legally free to download. The Canadian Maritimes can be had from Terry Sargent.
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