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Old 25-01-2015, 11:15   #16
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

Hi
Here is a list of companies that have charter boats, unfortunately they are not in your size range I hope this helps
Rob

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1000 Islands Kingston Sailboat Charters Lake Ontario - Ahoy Sailing Charters
Kingston Sailing Charters, Kingston Ontario Canada
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Old 25-01-2015, 11:25   #17
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

Aussie Sailor,

I think your cruising idea with your uncle (family) sounds great! Such a good way to build memories and doing so on a great body of water for sailing.

You have gotten good advice from the previous posters who know the area from personal experience. I do not. But, I was interested in this cruising area last year. And I did a bit of reading on it and found a few things interesting (for my files) I will post below.

I am posting this not to discourage you in any way, but rather to show something that you might encounter that early (first week of June) and how it could be something fun for you to share with your Uncle.


Put another way, a little bit of "cool" teasing from nephew to uncle might be a good thing for shipmates. For example you could send him the photo below that shows Lake Superior from space, with a proposed route for your boat marked on it, and then tell him to get ready for iceberg watch!

Great Lakes Ice in Summer

• They usually thaw by May
Lake Superior was found to be the most affected by the harsh winter and was found to be 63.5 percent ice covered on April 20
• In March the Great Lakes were 92.5 percent frozen

Great Lakes Are Ice-Free at Last
With only days before the official start of summer, all five lakes became clear of the ice, which at one point in early March covered more than 92 percent of their combined surfaces.

May 28, 2014 Daily Mail Article on Ice in Lake Superior
Ice weather for it! Sunbathers flock to the banks of Lake Superior... despite it still being FROZEN | Daily Mail Online
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Old 25-01-2015, 11:40   #18
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

As you can see there are a few people that have enjoyed the Great Lakes. June, especially early June the weather can change very fast and I would tell you the water will not be cool but cold epecially in the norther parts. One thing you may want to consider would to stick to a selected locaiton within a hundred miles and spend your time there for your 2 weeks. Its not an ocean but large enough where many of us have sailed 2 to 3 week trips each summer and will never see it all in our lifetime.

North East Lake Huron's North Channel is great and many journal magazines have run excellent articles about it. Lots of little isolated anchorages you can loose yourself in for weeks and not pull into a port. 2014 season I don't believe it got over 60f and lots of rain.

Lake Erie has some very nice ports to pull into for fun. Put-in-Bay and several islands around there offers great night life, Ceder Point at Sandusky is rated as one of the best ammusiment parks in USA and has its own marina joined to the park, Many great ports on the Canada side of Erie that have great historical and friendly services. The list can go on and on.

Tip of Huron-Michigan is Mackanaw Island, turn east your at Les Cheneaux islands leading into North Channel, Turn left from Mackanaw and your at Travers Bay area as discussed before. Keep going south for over 300 miles and you end up in Chicago. Great night life there. Take the water taxi over to the Navy Pier. Lots of ports on both Michigan and Wisconson sides down and back.

Never been in Lake Ontario but I'm sure would not be disappointed there either.

Superior from what I hear is great especially on the far west side but not sailed personally.

Google "Great Lake Crusing Club" this is a well known club (fee for membership) that have many "special charts" of areas and can offer suggeted routes. Another source is "Richardsons charts" i.e. "Richardsons of Lake Huron" this is a spiro book of charts of different areas specific to each lake. In there they have suggested route plans, area attractions including resturants, shops,ect.

Lived and sailed on the Lakes for over 40 years and never been disappointed. And guess what, no salt, no tides and no sharks to deal with.

Hope this helps out.
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Old 25-01-2015, 11:51   #19
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

The North Channel is a world standard must see sight, have a look on "you tube" for stuff like "North of Superior"

The North Channel is the body of water along the north shore of Lake Huron, in the Canadian province of Ontario. It stretches approximately 160 nautical miles and is bordered on the east by Georgian Bay, on the west by the St. Marys River, to the north by the eastern Algoma District and part of the Sudbury District, and to the south by the islands of Manitoulin, Cockburn, Drummond and St. Joseph. At its widest point it's over 30 km (20 miles) wide.[1]
In addition to Georgian Bay, the North Channel is connected to the main body of Lake Huron by the False Detour Channel and the Mississagi Strait, which separate the above-noted islands.
The channel is recognized as one of the best freshwater cruising grounds in the world. There are full-service marinas in various small communities along the shore providing sufficient provisions. A large section of the north shore is bordered by La Cloche Provincial Park providing for a scenic environment.
The only road crossings of the North Channel are at the Little Current Swing Bridge, which carries Highway 6 between Manitoulin Island and the mainland of Northern Ontario, and the Bernt Gilbertson Bridge, which carries Highway 548 from the mainland onto St. Joseph Island. The bridges are located at two of the narrowest points along the entire channel.
The North Channel lies under the jurisdiction of the Georgian Bay Land Trust. The Georgian Bay Land Trust is an organization which seeks to preserve land of ecological, geological, and historical importance.
The communities on the mainland side of the North Channel, between the townships of Tarbutt and Nairn and Hyman, are commonly grouped as the North Shore region. This designation does not generally include the communities on St. Joseph or Manitoulin islands.

But, I have to warn you that most of the replies are from hardened northern "North Americans".

The water will be bloody cold, the weather probably the same.

You might be able to see the sun if the mosquitoes clear long enough.

You WILL see trees and rocks.

But. it is stunning!

Bill
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Old 25-01-2015, 12:10   #20
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

You will absolutely freeze your rump off on the North Channel in June. The water temperature will only be 4 or 5 degrees above freezing and you may not have much luck finding a charter boat with a proper furnace. This area is beautiful, but I don't think would be a whole lot of fun in June.

June I think you'd be happier on the lower lakes, either one has fine cruising.

My pick would be Eastern Lake Ontario. Thousand Islands, Bay of Quinte and visit some nice Eastern Lake Ontario Ports including Oswego NY, Kingston, On, Alexandria Bay NY, Brockville on. As much of the Thousand Islands is located in the St Lawrence River there will be some motoring- but fantastic cruising none the less. Winds can be pretty spotty on the Great Lakes, so some motoring can be expected any where.

Option 2 that I would recommend is Western Lake Erie including the Western Basin and Detroit River. The scenery is less striking than the thousand islands, but lots of interesting sailing and great ports of call. Winery tours on Pellee island, Cleveland Ohio (rock and roll hall of fame), several beach towns. I'd recommend taking 4 or 5 days to sail down to Port Dover and Explore Long Point Bay.

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Old 25-01-2015, 12:37   #21
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

Lake Superior
Apostle Islands
Bayfield, WI

Superior Charters Inc
Sailboats Inc
BOTH great charters

Madeline Island... Burnt Down Bar
Bayfield...Maggie's

No affiliation...

What say you?
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Old 25-01-2015, 13:06   #22
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

The water in the northern Great Lakes will be cold in June and much of July. It's ALWAYS cold in Georgian Bay and the North Channel. I would suggest sailing Green Bay and Door County in Wisconsin and the north shore of the Upper peninsula of Michigan. Several nice village anchorages though some can be exposed to weather from the west/northwest. Wind pattern along shore is usually offshore in the morning, calm around noon, onshore in the PM. If you want to go offshore you can sail across the Lake to Beaver Island. Nice gunkholeing area. Good luck and have fun!
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Old 25-01-2015, 13:16   #23
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

Aussiesailor,

I don't think there's anywhere in Australia to sail (including Tassie's inland lakes in winter) that is as cold as where you're anticipating going in June. If you can postpone to August, it will be more crowded, but also, way more comfortable for you. If you stick with your timing, get the guys here who are from there to tell you what they wear in winter, because that'll be about right for you for the summer.

We come to Tassie for their summers, and feel cold because we're basically tropics adapted. Locals there who tell you it's cool are used to much colder winters than Australians. To them it's cool, to me, b**y awful cold. At least, now you've been warned twice. ;-)

Ann
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Old 25-01-2015, 14:08   #24
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

It's fun to see what people think is cold. Spending most of my last decade cruising Lake Superior, the waters of the North Channel and Georgian Bay are downright balmy, but you likely won't be swimming without a wetsuit in June. This is true pretty much everywhere on the Great Lakes.

If you're content to stay out of the water, the North Channel can be lovely in early June. Daytime highs average in the low 20s, night time lows in the mid/low teens. Winds will mostly be light. Check out Daily Data Report for June 2014 for actual past weather.

Bugs might be more of an issue. You're mostly ahead of mosquito season, but the black flies will likely be out.

http://youtu.be/f389hIxZAOc
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:01   #25
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

Don't swim if it's too cold....

One suggestion ... begin somewhere like Traverse Bay or the western side of the state of Michigan.

Two weeks is not a lot, but this way you go a little north before you enter into Lake Huron(and Lake Superior too), then down Lake Huron, then "downstream", through the Saint Clair and Detroit rivers(flow will help the speed into Lake Erie), the length of Lake Erie and then try(if you have the time), to get to Lake Ontario(I think you can go mast up through the Welland Canal)

You'd be pushing it, but you'd get all 5 "truly", Great Lakes
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Old 25-01-2015, 15:23   #26
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

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Originally Posted by SURV69 View Post
Don't swim if it's too cold....

One suggestion ... begin somewhere like Traverse Bay or the western side of the state of Michigan.

Two weeks is not a lot, but this way you go a little north before you enter into Lake Huron(and Lake Superior too), then down Lake Huron, then "downstream", through the Saint Clair and Detroit rivers(flow will help the speed into Lake Erie), the length of Lake Erie and then try(if you have the time), to get to Lake Ontario(I think you can go mast up through the Welland Canal)

You'd be pushing it, but you'd get all 5 "truly", Great Lakes
You can definitely do the Welland canal mast up. Its designed for 730' ships.

All 5 lakes in two weeks sounds very very ambitious to me. I'm not even sure it could realistically be done.

For a two week trip better to focus on a known cruising ground. Several good ones have been mentioned, southern superior and the Keewena, north channel, Georgian Bay, western Basin, thousand islands. Any one of those could offer 2 weeks of cruising. Especially combining the North Channel all the way down to southern Georgian Bay.

All 5 lakes would be a delivery trip.

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Old 25-01-2015, 15:50   #27
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

A couple of respondents have said Canadian Yacht Charters (CYC) out of Gore Bay on Manitoulin Island. I agree fully. I chartered with them over a 10-15 year period before buying my own cruising boat. The company, run by Ken Blodgett and his wife Pam, is 1st rate. Boats are ship-shape and clean and ready on time. The region is what you want--lots (like thousands) of little islands and anchorages with some ports to pull into for dinner. There used to be scene wonders of the ancient world; well, the view from the top of South Benjamin Island is among the seven scenic wonders of the world. The towns of Gore Bay, Little Current, Killarney and Tobermory are a day sail from each locale. Can hit one of those every other night or third night.

People friendly as will be other sailors. June will be chilly at night--my first charter was there in 1988. I think we were the first boat out that year. We had to turn on the oven (a big no-no, I know) every AM to make the boat comfortable. Warmed up in the day. We had decent wind.

CYC is a great company. They will tell you the best places to go and the way to do it, and you can stop at the towns I mentioned. Not gourmet food there, but solid food and nice people. Every week you can postpone your trip will lead to warmer weather and more people, but even in early June, it is wonderful.

At the time of my first charter, I owned a 22' day sailor, and I was nervous about chartering a "big boat"--a 32' Aloha. Ken was encouraging. I did a quick checkout ride (test), and away we went. The area has very deep water. Not many buoys or aids to navigation, but well-chartered, so if you pay attention, no issues. On the other hand, if you hit something, the sound will be "crunch,' which is not good with fiberglass. The glaciers ended here.

It's a wonderful area, the North Channel, and CYC will do you proud.
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Old 25-01-2015, 16:00   #28
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

Another vote for the North Channel but have you found a boat? That might be we where to start. If that becomes a problem perhaps a charter out of Sturgeon Bay! Green Bay north to Washington Island is very pretty with a lot of anchorages. In any case enjoy!
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Old 25-01-2015, 18:17   #29
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

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Originally Posted by nesscapade View Post
You can't go wrong in the North Channel. It's incredibly beautiful. The water will be cool and there will be a chill in the air, especially at night (in the 40s is possible).

Another option is the Traverse City area. You can charter a boat from Baybreeze in TC (you can fly into and out of TC too). Then head to a few islands in the bay. It's a nice ride up to Charlevoix, then Harbor Springs which are fantastic little towns with great sailing and excellent marinas. There are islands in Grand Traverse Bay and also off the north west shore of Michigan. All are within a days sail of Harbor Springs. If time permits you an even make it to Mack Island. It's always fun to sail under the mighty mackinac bridge. This area will be a bit warmer than the North Channel and have better facilities.

Hope this helps.
I would have gone straight for the north Channel suggestion, however - - The Traverse city/Beaver Island, Manitoulin Island, Lake Charlevoix, Manistee cruise is not bad. Throw in Mackinaw and Government Bay in the Les Cheneau Islands & its a plan. We sailed the N Channel & it cannot be beat. It is ranked in the top ten cruising destinations on Earth. For pure beauty & scenery it is without parallel. There are many charters in the area. You could also have a fine time in Georgian bay or even take a houseboat on the Trent Severn & forget the wind.

We have many friends who prefer the Green Bay, Washington Island, Fishhook Bay cruise.

As noted, you are about two weeks early for traditional warm waters in the North & pleasant swimming. Bring a shortie wetsuit to swim.
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Old 25-01-2015, 18:39   #30
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Re: Two weeks on the Great Lakes in June - suggestions?

I have sailed the Green Bay area around Door County, Wi for over 50 years. If the cold water is a concern this place may be best because the bay is relatively shallow and warms up quicker than most other areas. There are harbors and marinas and places to stop on both sides of the bay - including the north end with the ghost town Fayette.

Having said that, the North Channel is probably the best gunkholing area I have ever seen. That will be some cold water, tho.

Welcome to the CF. Fair winds.
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