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Old 14-05-2011, 17:35   #16
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Location: Lake Superior & Lake Mille Lacs
Boat: 23 Lindenberg - Tsumani & 18 Nacre
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Re: Lake Superior Cruise

just my two cents......

#1 - it is crucial you have a workable plan for cold water retrieval. most people don't believe that in less than a couple minutes someone in the water there can have toally diminished capabilities. believe it!

#2 - cruisers often spend a week just in the apostle islands - light houses, etc. the islands offer great protection from the well known squalls and there is always a good place to anchor for the long as you prepare/plan that afternoon . in july the black flies can be terrible around stockton island, (for some reason there more than anyplace else). bayfield city proper and madeline island have some unique night life (burnt down bar, maggies, morty's---white fish livers), very friendly marina staff, and a very laid back atmosphere. the islands, one could walk them for hours and hours...if that is your thing. the swimming is tolerable (ur belly button will be an innie if it is an outie - along with other things) as long as you are in the sand shallows near the islands. out in the open - 40 some degree water...maybe low 50's. last june we were out on the open water about 40 miles from shore ---- 48 degrees in june because of the air blowing over the water - all bundled up with chopper mitts & stocking caps, as we approached rasberry island and got out of the wind the temps climbed into the upper 80' opening an oven door! anchored nicely on the east side - the crew decided to swim to shore. i took the dinghy and followed them in - good thing i did because none of them would have made it...they were simply numb from the cold water - so respect it! from there duluth & silver bay are ez sails with even more to offer. too bad about your dog, the sail to isle royale is simply amazing - and the scenery is breathtaking. never been to the canadian side, but from what i hear is even more isolated and back to nature.

#3 - did i mention have a cold water rescue plan in place and practice it?

i wish you luck on your cruise - perhaps we will bump into each other somewhere up there. fair winds!!!!!!!

Navigare necesse est, vivere non est necesse
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Old 16-05-2011, 05:16   #17
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Boat: Dolphin 460
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Re: Lake Superior Cruise

Check into an I-68 on the US Customs site. Take some time to get things ready before you leave and when you pass through the Soo, go to the US side at the bridge and get the I68's for each member of the crew. This allows ease of getting back into the US. We lived on Lake Superior for ten years and getting around that lake is potentially harder, much harder, than doing ocean crossings. So having an I68 allows you to come back to the US , to any port, with nothing more than a phone call.

Watch out for fouling anchor situations in all anchorages (lots of old sunken logs everywhere on that lake). Accept for the Apostles, which you will not believe how crowded and how little people know the rules of the water or how to sail their chartered boat), that whole lake is a real reward to the few that sail her each year.

Places I really like- (I am in the Bahamas right now and have none of my charts so spellings may be wrong).

On the South side, Copper Harbor (Anchor or dock), Lac La Belle (anchor only), Portage Canal, Huron Bay, Grand Marais, Michigan (If it isn't silted over), Marquette (Cinder Pond Marina is very nice, quiet and easy access to great bike path, city and park).

Northwest including Isle Royal-

Grand Marais, Minnesota, Spar Island, which in my estimation has the coldest water on Lake Superior and can get crowded on some weekends (between Grand Portage and Pie Island), Thunder Bay-mostly nice boaters at the marina, easy access to a great Italian grocery store and Fort Williams is a great day trip. Across from Thunder Bay is Sawyer Bay-warm water, nice hikes, pretty. Lots of people like Silver Isle- nothing too exciting for me- so we always scooted on to the Loon Harbor area. Take some time to investigate that whole area (10 mile radius)- lots of nice anchorages. If the wild rice is in season fun to cook or fry) After that you can't go wrong with anything between there and Rossport. The Slate Islands are very interesting, I preferred an unnamed narrow harbor on the SE side of the island. Drop an anchor and run a stern line ashore. Only problem will be with a strong SE wind. By the way- seeing a caribou on the Slates is like finding hens teeth.

Isle Royale- I would find a way to leave the dog behind, just to stay there. As far back as you can go into the SW corner of Chippewa Harbor is the best. You will usually have the place to your self. Moskey Basin, Daisy Farm and Tobin Harbor all offer nice docks and great hikes. Duncan Bay, Belle Isle and the little bay 1/2 mile north of the dock in Mc Cargoe Cove are all not to be missed. Anchoring in the Harbor at Passage Island is also a very good place. The rest of the anchorages and docks at Isle Royal are all very worthwhile, but since you only have a summer!

The Provincial Park on the NE side of Lake Superior is beautiful, but best only in late July and August due to weather. Few places to hide.

Superior Way is a good reference guide as long as you really watch your step- several places in her old book weren't as described. Some of the boaters in Thunder Bay believe she hasn't been to everywhere in here book. The Great Lakes Cruising Club is a great reference.

Waves tend to be 4-5 seconds apart and I have seen 17 foot waves. Respect her and forget about the "Gotta leave today" feelings, and this just might be the greatest sailing experience you have had to date. Don't forget the BUG DOPE!

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Old 16-05-2011, 05:57   #18
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Re: Lake Superior Cruise

Don't know how to edit a post- Under South side above I meant "Big Bay: if it hasn't silted in". No problems with silting that I know of at Grand Marais, Michigan.
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Old 03-03-2013, 05:56   #19
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Location: Apostle Islands, Lake Superior; St. Paul
Boat: Rhodes, Chesapeake, 32
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Apostles are a freshwater carribean; wonderful beaches. Isle royale is magic too. Great place to sail, fish and hike. Chipewa harbor is the best spot.

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