Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-03-2015, 07:17   #31
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

I did look at the map and considered leaving our marina and heading to the west taking a left and going out around Mackinac Island to be able to stay near shore. Your suggestion to stay out and weather the storm certainly makes sense and we have read that the boat can take more than the crew in most situations. Is it just a situation where you get caught in a storm, learn from it and gain experience? I am sure that nothing you can read in a book can prepare you for a real storm like living through one. I am just scared that many boats must get sold after someone goes through a bad storm where you thought you were going to die!!!
__________________

__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 07:55   #32
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 120
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Mr. OReilly is correct. Summer storms pass very quickly. A blast of wind, some rain, wind shift, maybe an hour or so of uncomfortable waves if you're in open water, and it blows over. They can happen at any time of day or night. (e.g. 2011 Mackinac Race storm.) And with your boat, you are 99% sure of being able to outrun any weather. That said, here are some web sites for wx info.: Intellicast - Weather Active Map, Intellicast - Current Surface Analysis in Great Lakes, Great Lakes Marine Text Forecasts by Zone, National Data Buoy Center, Intellicast - Current Winds in United States, and just for fun: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online AIS Passage Maps
Bookmark and spend some time learning how to use these sites, and you'll know all you need to know to cruise in Gt Lakes weather. If you need to take a marine weather class, again the USCG Auxiliary or USPS can help.
__________________

__________________
rhubstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 08:37   #33
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,036
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHome View Post
I did look at the map and considered leaving our marina and heading to the west taking a left and going out around Mackinac Island to be able to stay near shore. Your suggestion to stay out and weather the storm certainly makes sense and we have read that the boat can take more than the crew in most situations. Is it just a situation where you get caught in a storm, learn from it and gain experience? I am sure that nothing you can read in a book can prepare you for a real storm like living through one. I am just scared that many boats must get sold after someone goes through a bad storm where you thought you were going to die!!!
Yes, some people get scared enough to sell their boats. If you can't handle bad weather, then it's probably best to learn this early. Cruising is not for everyone. No shame in that. What doesn't kill you will make you stronger, wiser, better. The first day of ugly weather will be scary, the next slightly less so, etc... You will learn how to manage your boat, and yourself. Or you'll scare yourself so much that you will sell your boat. Either way, problem solved .

You can mitigate risk of failure by going slowly. Use the forecasts. Listen to other more experienced boats, and learn to read the skies. Be respectful and cautious of the environment, and of your own skills. But do get out there. Sitting at the dock teaches nothing about being out there.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 08:52   #34
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 120
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

I think you're over-thinking the weather thing. In your boat, at 20 knots, you'll never be more than 2 hours from a safe harbor anywhere in the local area, and probably in the entire Great Lakes. Be careful, but not paranoid. And I'll repeat my suggestion to learn and practice how to read a chart and navigate accurately and carefully. Also, groundings sometimes happen when get-home-itis strikes while trying to beat a storm front, and as has been suggested by others, sometimes its best to stay out and let the worst of it pass, then head in when conditions improve in an hour or so. If you have radar, learn how to use it well.
__________________
rhubstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 09:21   #35
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

I just got a call back from Traverse City Sailing School & as expected they only cater to sail not power boats. They suggested a flotilla that will be going to the NC in the beginning of Aug and we could tag along (safety in numbers) Since they are starting out in Traverse City it would be difficult to meet up somewhere. We think our best course (after finding out how slow sailboats typically travel) is to meet someone who sails from our marina and find out if they mind if we take a slow cruise with them to head to the NC...I also think that once we have been out in fair weather a few times it would be prudent to hire someone to go out on a day trip when the weather isn't perfect calm to instruct us what to do in rougher water. Yea or Nay??
__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 10:10   #36
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 120
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Cruising NC with another boat or two would be ideal. Try a posting on the marina bulletin boards in your area, or on this site. We'd go with you ourselves given the right situation! You should be able to find someone to head out with you when its a bit rough in the straits for nothing more than a pizza and a brewski. I'd pick a day with 15-20 kts out of the NW under clear skies, head out Cheboygan channel, and head NW for the bridge. Tie up in Mackinaw City for lunch, then head back. Try heading directly into waves, quartering on the bow, different speeds, taking waves abeam, etc. Make sure you have clean fuel and extra filters. (Rough water stirs up any sediment.) A couple hours of this and you'll feel much more confident. And any time you plan to head out into rough weather, if your destination is downwind, head upwind for a few minutes first, because this is what you'll face if you decide to turn around and go back.
__________________
rhubstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 19:01   #37
Registered User
 
FamilyVan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,779
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by MicHome View Post
I understand watching the weather reports before venturing out across Lake Huron on our way to the NC....How do you know for sure that a small cell won't appear on the way? With our boat we have found that if we go the equivalent of 9mph we only use less than 1 gallon of diesel which is very efficient travel! We can go up to 30mph in a pinch if the weather turns sour but as Mike has as his signature "why go fast if you can go slow" which we have always done for frugality. Where do we learn what to do if a storm rears up? On our previous lake we loved nothing more than being on the bridge listening to rain on the canvas. It was both relaxing and cathartic. Now it is in different water that could be life threatening.
I have called Traverse City Sailing School but they haven't returned my call. Looking on their site it looks like they cater to the sailing community not the power boat community.
As noted above, fast moving cells tend to be small, the seas really don't have time to get big.

In my example above I knew the forecast was calling for west 25-30, but chose to leave Tobermory for Sault Ste Marie, I had the experience to make that call, but you can just make more conservative choices until you build confidence. The main thing is that you research you're weather, and make the choice.

I feel like we've maybe scared you a bit too much. It's beautiful cruising grounds, it's just important to check your weather and pick your route.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________
FamilyVan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 19:04   #38
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubstuff View Post
Cruising NC with another boat or two would be ideal. Try a posting on the marina bulletin boards in your area, or on this site. We'd go with you ourselves given the right situation! You should be able to find someone to head out with you when its a bit rough in the straits for nothing more than a pizza and a brewski. I'd pick a day with 15-20 kts out of the NW under clear skies, head out Cheboygan channel, and head NW for the bridge. Tie up in Mackinaw City for lunch, then head back. Try heading directly into waves, quartering on the bow, different speeds, taking waves abeam, etc. Make sure you have clean fuel and extra filters. (Rough water stirs up any sediment.) A couple hours of this and you'll feel much more confident. And any time you plan to head out into rough weather, if your destination is downwind, head upwind for a few minutes first, because this is what you'll face if you decide to turn around and go back.

This is just the kind of information we need to build confidence (see I told you I don't even know enough to ask important questions!!!) Very helpful advice for sure...Our first cruise will be with the person from Walstroms who is bringing our boat over to Duncan Bay Boat Club...We have asked them to let us know around April 15th (when the marina opens) when they plan to deliver the boat and we will ride along just to see what it is like. Once in the marina when conditions allow we plan to take a trip just outside the marina into Duncan Bay and overnight there. We understand the winds are usually out of the NW so we will have to pick a calm night to anchor and see how it goes. Next we will take a cruise up to the bridge and back. Our neighbors suggested taking a cruise down the Cheboygan river where the lakes connect but from looking at charts and reading a little we found out that 2 of the bridges are fixed and one only has 9 ft clearance and our boat from waterline to top is 14.5 ft so I am sure glad we didn't take that advice (they have a pontoon boat!!!) We have also heard the currents are pretty strong so that would have been real interesting trying to turn around while being flushed towards the bridge!!!
It will take some time before we can get to the NC but from all we have read about its beauty, it is a real incentive!!!
Be careful, we may take you up on the pizza and brewskies, or the escort to NC (or BOTH!!!!)
__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 19:11   #39
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyVan View Post
As noted above, fast moving cells tend to be small, the seas really don't have time to get big.

In my example above I knew the forecast was calling for west 25-30, but chose to leave Tobermory for Sault Ste Marie, I had the experience to make that call, but you can just make more conservative choices until you build confidence. The main thing is that you research you're weather, and make the choice.

I feel like we've maybe scared you a bit too much. It's beautiful cruising grounds, it's just important to check your weather and pick your route.

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app

With my husbands aviation background of checking and double checking weather I am sure we will be very conservative as to when we venture out. We really want to live up to the name of our boat (Why Dock???) because at our previous marina we were rarely at the dock and loved spending most of our time aboard on the hook...I am sure we will be the joke of the marina if we rarely venture out with that name plastered on the back of our boat...
You guys are telling me like it is and that is much appreciated more than you know...
__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 19:40   #40
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubstuff View Post
Mr. OReilly is correct. Summer storms pass very quickly. A blast of wind, some rain, wind shift, maybe an hour or so of uncomfortable waves if you're in open water, and it blows over. They can happen at any time of day or night. (e.g. 2011 Mackinac Race storm.) And with your boat, you are 99% sure of being able to outrun any weather. That said, here are some web sites for wx info.: Intellicast - Weather Active Map, Intellicast - Current Surface Analysis in Great Lakes, Great Lakes Marine Text Forecasts by Zone, National Data Buoy Center, Intellicast - Current Winds in United States, and just for fun: Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online AIS Passage Maps
Bookmark and spend some time learning how to use these sites, and you'll know all you need to know to cruise in Gt Lakes weather. If you need to take a marine weather class, again the USCG Auxiliary or USPS can help.
Thank you soooo much for all of these fantastic links....I have saved ALL OF THEM as shortcuts. Makes me wish even more that there was more internet access in the NC!!!
__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-03-2015, 21:45   #41
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhubstuff View Post
Welcome to Northern Michigan and Great Lakes cruising! Except for weather, navigation will probably be your biggest challenge, so I would start with a navigation course, especially if you've never been in big water or out of sight of land. I'd also get a Coast Guard or Power Squadron vessel safety check. You'll need passports to get back into the States (but not to enter Canada), and you can preregister your boat with Customs at: https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov. I would start with a couple of mini-cruises to become familiar with your boat and the local waters; Machinac area, the "Snows" etc. Finally, remember that "schedules" and "cruising" are antithetical.
Just signed up for Diane Walkers USCG class on Navigation on April 9th in Traverse City.....I am like a dog on a mission with a bone when someone puts an idea in my head!!!
__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2015, 07:59   #42
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Baltimore, MD / Albany, NY
Boat: Alberg 35
Posts: 188
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

I'm more familiar with the northern Lake Michigan side than the North Channel but what sticks in my mind about the North Channel is that there are areas where your compass may be have some variance due to iron deposits.
Beaver Island is great. St. James harbor can be challenging to anchor in due to the bottom and all the trash there.
Lake Charlevoix is endlessly fascinating and easy to get to. Just be careful of the Beaver Island ferry.
West Traverse Bay is a cruiser paradise. Good harbors at Northport and Suttons Bay, a beautiful island and Traverse City. Good luck!
__________________
Jim Eaton
s/v Pendragon Alberg 35 #175
Pendragon35 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2015, 08:30   #43
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Northern Michigan
Boat: Meridian 368, 37 ft
Posts: 35
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendragon35 View Post
I'm more familiar with the northern Lake Michigan side than the North Channel but what sticks in my mind about the North Channel is that there are areas where your compass may be have some variance due to iron deposits.
Beaver Island is great. St. James harbor can be challenging to anchor in due to the bottom and all the trash there.
Lake Charlevoix is endlessly fascinating and easy to get to. Just be careful of the Beaver Island ferry.
West Traverse Bay is a cruiser paradise. Good harbors at Northport and Suttons Bay, a beautiful island and Traverse City. Good luck!
Looks like the NC is going to be one of many destinations on our bucket list....Here's hoping we live long enough and healthy enough to see everything we want to see!!!
__________________
MicHome is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2015, 08:36   #44
Registered User
 
Mike OReilly's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Good question
Boat: Rafiki 37
Posts: 4,036
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

This is a fun thread. Kinda like walking down memory lane. We kept our previous boat at the North Channel Yacht Club for a few years, so I have very fond memories of the whole area. We passed through there last year on our way to Lake Ontario, so we got to revisit some of the spots.

I know you're more interested in anchorages than marinas MicHome (and for that I applaud you), but there are a couple of marinas on St. Joseph's Island that might be worth a stop. Hilton Beach on the NE side is said to be quite beautiful, and Richard's Landing on the north side, in St. Joseph Channel, is quaint, friendly and well worth the visit. Last year we stopped in Richard's Landing to do a resupply, but ended up staying three nights. They had a third-night-is-free deal going on, but it was the ice cream and yummy marina restaurant that seduced us.

And I know this is a bit of thread drift, but I really do encourage cruisers to consider going north into Lake Superior. You're very close when you're at the west end of the NC. If wild, rugged beauty is what is attracting you to the NC, then you'll adore the east and north shores of Lake Superior (the Canadian shores). It's truly an undiscovered country for cruisers who have the time, and are able to be self-sufficient. We would travel for weeks sometimes and not see another cruiser. Yes, it's big water, with the potential for bigger weather. Sure, if you get in trouble you're pretty much on your own, but the anchorages are stunning, plentiful, and mostly empty. The waters is crisp, cold and clear. And there's wildlife that is truly wild.

Point your bows north -- but only when you're ready .

P.S. For you powerboaters, bring lots of fuel. Resupply spots are few and far between.
__________________
Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG: www.helplink.com/CLAFC
Mike OReilly is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 21-03-2015, 08:49   #45
Registered User
 
FamilyVan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,779
Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
This is a fun thread. Kinda like walking down memory lane. We kept our previous boat at the North Channel Yacht Club for a few years, so I have very fond memories of the whole area. We passed through there last year on our way to Lake Ontario, so we got to revisit some of the spots.

I know you're more interested in anchorages than marinas MicHome (and for that I applaud you), but there are a couple of marinas on St. Joseph's Island that might be worth a stop. Hilton Beach on the NE side is said to be quite beautiful, and Richard's Landing on the north side, in St. Joseph Channel, is quaint, friendly and well worth the visit. Last year we stopped in Richard's Landing to do a resupply, but ended up staying three nights. They had a third-night-is-free deal going on, but it was the ice cream and yummy marina restaurant that seduced us.

And I know this is a bit of thread drift, but I really do encourage cruisers to consider going north into Lake Superior. You're very close when you're at the west end of the NC. If wild, rugged beauty is what is attracting you to the NC, then you'll adore the east and north shores of Lake Superior (the Canadian shores). It's truly an undiscovered country for cruisers who have the time, and are able to be self-sufficient. We would travel for weeks sometimes and not see another cruiser. Yes, it's big water, with the potential for bigger weather. Sure, if you get in trouble you're pretty much on your own, but the anchorages are stunning, plentiful, and mostly empty. The waters is crisp, cold and clear. And there's wildlife that is truly wild.

Point your bows north -- but only when you're ready .

P.S. For you powerboaters, bring lots of fuel. Resupply spots are few and far between.
I'll second Superior. I'll also add that the south shore/ north shore of the Upper Peninsula is fantastic too. The Keewena peninsula is fantastic, Marquette is one of the coolest small cities I've ever been to.

As far as fuel goes, if you're a power boat- unless you have very large fuel tanks- the best way to get to the north shore is via the south shore.
Sault-Paradise
Paradise-Marquette
Marquette- keewena waterway,
then head north from Copper Head- Isle Royale
Isle Royale- Thunder Bay.

Using this route you're never more than 125' between fuel stops- and it's absolutely beautiful. (Yes- that's 4-5 days of motoring- at 15 knots, it's a really big lake).

Sent from my SGH-I547C using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
__________________

__________________
FamilyVan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crossing Lake Huron... gunkylump Great Lakes 33 08-07-2012 09:46
For Sale: Chartkits (2) - Richardsons: Lake Huron & Lake Mich 4th ed benjiwoodboat Classifieds Archive 0 03-03-2011 05:01
New Member from Lake Huron mason_jj Meets & Greets 4 31-07-2010 21:25
Greetings from the Frozen North Channel of Lake Huron nitpik Meets & Greets 6 25-02-2010 06:04
For Sale: Ports Guide To Huron, North Channel, Georgian Bay Blowfish Classifieds Archive 0 09-09-2009 11:16



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:47.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.