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Old 25-03-2015, 11:39   #61
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Just a lucky break finding the kayaks and the fact that they work out well in the NC. I am not saying we won't stay anywhere there isn't internet it is just that at first I think we would be wise to be able to print out maps and anchorages on the boat without having to take reams of anchorages with us initially. You are correct, I was concerned about not being able to get weather forecasts but that problem has been solved thanks to you!!!
We will probably take most of the summer driving around and getting used to conditions on Lake Huron & Michigan before we head to the NC does GLCC have a lot of anchorages listed that aren't on Active Captain?
Right now Active Captain is my go to place to find out about anchorages. I know I can print stuff out but not sure how to remember everything on Active Captain in case our plans change due to weather once we are up there without internet which is a concern for a never-ever!!
We are fast finding out everything we didn't know that we need to know and I wish I had started researching all of this last fall. So much to learn!!!
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Old 25-03-2015, 12:16   #62
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Here is a link to weather forecast Fo the lakes I used on the trip last year. I was able to connect via Internet to it everywhere using my iPad & AT&T service. Good luck
http://www.wunderground.com/MAR/LM/847.html


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Old 25-03-2015, 12:24   #63
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Mic, you don't really want to head out and hope to download important publications out there. You want a good route plan before you leave on the trip. Take a month before you leave, each evening study your charts and sailing directions.

Relying on the interweb out there is a risk few on here would be comfortable with taking.

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Old 25-03-2015, 17:59   #64
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Originally Posted by MicHome View Post
We will probably take most of the summer driving around and getting used to conditions on Lake Huron & Michigan before we head to the NC does GLCC have a lot of anchorages listed that aren't on Active Captain?
Active Captain is arguably the best wiki-place to build/peruse reviews on anchorages, marinas and harbors. What the GLCC adds to the mix are the availability of Port Captains (individuals with direct, first-hand knowledge of the area) and Harbor Reports, which can include detailed point-by-point directions into truly, uncharted areas. For instance, this summer we'll be poking up into some unchartered areas of the Georgian Bay. Fortuitously, a GLCC member has already entered the same fjords/inlets we want to explore- and mapped the entire entrance (through rocky shoals, deadheads, and other hazards) finding a safe route into a place that few cruisers could safely venture- and is sharing that info with other members. Those are a few things that make the GLCC membership worthwhile- and also because they are a bunch of nice, like-minded folks (both powerboaters & sailors).
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Old 26-03-2015, 05:47   #65
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Originally Posted by River Cruiser View Post
Here is a link to weather forecast Fo the lakes I used on the trip last year. I was able to connect via Internet to it everywhere using my iPad & AT&T service. Good luck
Marine Forecast | Weather Underground




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Did you get AT&T service in the North Channel?
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Old 26-03-2015, 05:52   #66
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Mic, you don't really want to head out and hope to download important publications out there. You want a good route plan before you leave on the trip. Take a month before you leave, each evening study your charts and sailing directions.

Relying on the interweb out there is a risk few on here would be comfortable with taking.

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Doesn't your cruising plans change sometimes depending on the weather? I know we won't always need internet but to start we are considering Harbor Island because it looks on the map like it is surrounded on 3 sides by 600' hills to block the wind. Not sure if we will get internet there. Just south and slightly east of the inlet to Harbor Island there is a Marina that does have internet that we could go to before heading home to check the weather. Has anyone been to the anchorage at Harbor Island? It looks like it would be the most protected for a first cruise.
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Old 26-03-2015, 05:57   #67
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Since the charts aren't inexpensive we want to buy the best ones for our area....I have looked at the Richrdson's charts. Which ones would you pros suggest?
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Old 26-03-2015, 06:12   #68
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Since the charts aren't inexpensive we want to buy the best ones for our area....I have looked at the Richrdson's charts. Which ones would you pros suggest?
Richardson's are very nice. I have Richardson's for my local area (lake Ontario and the thousand islands). I can also recommend Ports guide. Us Coast Pilot 6, and the Canadian Hydrographic Services Central Sailing Directions.

If you have the above publications on board, you can change your plans as much as you fancy and you'll be well covered. Of those pubs only the Richardson's is expensive. I got mine used.

Go to your local marine book store and flip through these, they provide an incredible amount of information and you'll never need to be stressed about finding interweb service, when you should be stressing about finding the best swimming and fishing holes

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Old 26-03-2015, 06:18   #69
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Check out the Great Lakes Cruising Association. Tons of good info.
I believe, you might mean the Great Lakes Cruising Club.

One of the great member benefits of joining the Great Lakes Cruising Club is access to our Cruising Guides for over 1,100 detailed Harbor Reports of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron (including the North Channel and Georgian Bay), Erie and Ontario as well as Lake St. Clair. Our Harbor Reports are continually updated by fellow GLCC members, and the latest versions are immediately available on this website. However, you can also purchase printed copies of the ones you need for your next trip.

GLCC ➥ http://www.glcclub.com/
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Old 26-03-2015, 06:50   #70
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Since the charts aren't inexpensive we want to buy the best ones for our area....I have looked at the Richrdson's charts. Which ones would you pros suggest?
Your gvt offers all nautical charts for free. I like using this NOAA interactive catalog to find the necessary charts, and you can then download in various formats. Unfortunately Canada is not as wise, so charts can only be purchased. Regardless, try not to chintz out on charts. I like having the large-scale ones for my area, plus all the small-scale ones for areas I plan to anchor or dock in.

Richardsons is well worth the money if you're going to be travelling through a wide area. Used ones are fine, but again, don't be stingy around charts. It's false frugality. It should be noted that Richardson's stamps on all it's charts "NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION." Of course, they are fine for navigation, but they aren't full colour, which makes them slightly harder to use.

The GLCC is an excellent resource for Great Lakes cruisers. Their harbour reports are very good, and can all be downloaded in PDF format for offline viewing. When we were a member I copied all the reports for Lake Superior, and carried them on our iPad. Very useful, although for Superior I'd recommend Bonnie Dahl's "Superior Way" as the best guide.

Active Captain is also good, but it is a semi-vetted wiki, so is open the foibles of any crowd sourced service. My observation is that it is excellent for areas that see lots of traffic, but can be pretty useless in less busy zones like northern Lake Superior.

I've never been to Harbor Island. Depths look thin (what's your draft?), although I see AC reviewers say there is more water than indicated on the chart. It's not that large, and given it's proximity, it will likely get busy in the peak months. But otherwise it looks great. I have no idea about cell access though.
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Old 26-03-2015, 07:07   #71
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
Your gvt offers all nautical charts for free. I like using this NOAA interactive catalog to find the necessary charts, and you can then download in various formats. Unfortunately Canada is not as wise, so charts can only be purchased. Regardless, try not to chintz out on charts. I like having the large-scale ones for my area, plus all the small-scale ones for areas I plan to anchor or dock in.

Richardsons is well worth the money if you're going to be travelling through a wide area. Used ones are fine, but again, don't be stingy around charts. It's false frugality. It should be noted that Richardson's stamps on all it's charts "NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION." Of course, they are fine for navigation, but they aren't full colour, which makes them slightly harder to use.

The GLCC is an excellent resource for Great Lakes cruisers. Their harbour reports are very good, and can all be downloaded in PDF format for offline viewing. When we were a member I copied all the reports for Lake Superior, and carried them on our iPad. Very useful, although for Superior I'd recommend Bonnie Dahl's "Superior Way" as the best guide.

Active Captain is also good, but it is a semi-vetted wiki, so is open the foibles of any crowd sourced service. My observation is that it is excellent for areas that see lots of traffic, but can be pretty useless in less busy zones like northern Lake Superior.

I've never been to Harbor Island. Depths look thin (what's your draft?), although I see AC reviewers say there is more water than indicated on the chart. It's not that large, and given it's proximity, it will likely get busy in the peak months. But otherwise it looks great. I have no idea about cell access though.
Oops, silly me, I never mentioned charts. Yes, you will need charts too. personally, I've had good success with used publications. A few months ago I happened across a used folio from Oswego, New York, all the way to BVI. It's so heavy my wife needs help lifting it. If I'd bought that new- I would have needed a mortgage.

In fact, I don't think I've ever bought a chart or publication new. But I'm cheaper then most and have the access to good used pubs.

And I don't use electronics to navigate. I have a late 90's monochrome Garmin Etrex without charting capabilities- just in case.

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Old 26-03-2015, 09:58   #72
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

Wow! The nice glossy color picture on the front of the spiral Richardson's chart book would never give away that the charts aren't in color!! I would very much prefer color charts with the most detail and close up as possible. Since we have a big dog that boats with us & not a lot of space to roll out a big chart I would really like to find one in spiral book form (in color). Also, even though our boat is only 37 feet it feels much larger because it is a bridge boat with 3 stories and an aft cabin. Our draft is only 3.5 feet!!! We are really lucky to be able to fit a lot of places where many cannot, it would also be a savings at marinas where they charge by the foot. We are a bit concerned that all of that economy will come back to bite us when we are in a storm and the boat is really rolling. We never had to worry about that on our inland lake in Pa.
We are thinking the class we are taking on Navigation April 9th in Traverse City will answer a lot of our questions and maybe they will even offer a good deal on dividers and charts....?...
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:37   #73
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

You sound as excited as we were 7-8 years ago as newbies....

Just some pictures to get you even more excited..

Our first "crossing" of Georgian Bay, winds WNW 13- 15 knots and sunny skies, and no land in site.




In either direction






and this is why you don't trust the forecast





But the reward is certainly worth the trip, Baie Fine





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Old 26-03-2015, 13:00   #74
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Wow! The nice glossy color picture on the front of the spiral Richardson's chart book would never give away that the charts aren't in color!! I would very much prefer color charts with the most detail and close up as possible.
Just to be clear, Richardsons charts have all the detail of official charts, they're just printed in two-tone: a yellow, black and white. I do prefer the official charts with the proper blue shadings, but you get used to Richardsons yellow pretty quick.
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Old 26-03-2015, 13:07   #75
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Re: New B adventure in Lake Huron/North Channel

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Did you get AT&T service in the North Channel?

We left Beaver Island on the north end of Michigan went thru the Mackinac straights then south down Huron. I do not remember not having service anywhere, this surprised me because I was posting pictures on FB along the way. Here is the notes I kept along the way, the boat was a Concorde 47' with twin 8V-71 Detroits 350 hp. The only marinas we stayed at were Hammond, Indiana, Beaver, Is. and thunderbay at Alpena, Michigan. I planned the next day's trip on my iPad using Garmin Blue Chart Mobile with a Active Captain overlay, I didn't need a internet connection to do this the charts and the AC info is loaded on the iPad.


Monday - 8 hours = 62 miles
Tuesday - 9 hours = 50 miles
Wednesday - 7.5 hours = 60 miles
Thursday - 11.5 = 71 miles
Friday -11.5 = 62 miles lost 2.5 hours at SR lock
Saturday - 15.5 hours = 71 miles + 4 locks 122' total lift
Sunday - 4 hours = 30 miles - 368.5 gals Fuel - Hammond Marina
67 total hours & 406 total miles.

Lake Michigan

Monday - 7.5 hours = 51 miles
Tuesday - 8 hours = 58
Wednesday - 8.5 hours = 58 miles
Thursday - 8.5 hours = 66 miles
Friday - 9 hours = 65 miles

Lake Huron

Saturday - 7.75 hours = 50 miles Duncan Bay
Sunday - weather day
Monday - 11.5 hours = 81 miles Alpena,Mi.
Tuesday - weather
Wednesday - 8.5 hours = 68 miles
Thursday -12.5 hours = 118 miles entered St. Claire River
Friday. - 4.5 hours = 33 miles / end of trip Wyandotte, Mi.

Totals = 1054 miles / 153.25 hours / 1138.5 gallons of fuel bought.


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