Originally Posted by kbudd
We are heading up to the north shore this coming summer. Leaving Milwaukee sometime late June and do not have to be back until the middle of August. My wife and I are both teachers. I would be interested in talking to you about suggested anchorages. I would like to go to Isle Royale but we will have our dog with us so that is out. Would you suggest sailing North to Copper Harbor and then to the North shore, hopping back east and south or heading north from Sault up the east shore then crossing from north to south?
That's great. Prevailing winds tend to be out of the northwest/west. Like all the Great Lakes
systems blow through rapidly and produce winds all around the clock, so keeping a close eye on the weather is a must. The biggest issue in sailing Superior are the seas. We have large fetches, so even a 20kt wind
over a couple of days can build up an ugly sea. Fog
is a major issue early in the season (May/June), with the rate diminishing through July.
Ideally I'd suggest jumping across from Copper Harbour, and then heading east, but given the limited official boarder crossings (Sault Ste. Marie or Thunder Bay), you might find it necessary to clear in through the Sault, and head
north along the eastern shore first. You could look into a Remote Area Border Crossing
pass, but even with this I think there is still a chance they can order you to an official customs
BTW, I know some of our American cruising friends sometime skip across the border without bothering to clear into Canada Customs
(b/c of the PITA of having to go to Thunder Bay). I'd recommend against it now. For the first time ever we ran into a Canadian border patrol in a rather remote
part of the Lake. Seems they have increased the patrols.
I love the east shore once you get north of Batchawana Bay. Great anchorages start beyond that. I would hit Sinclair Cove, and then dingy over to the pictographs. Gargantua is amazing with it's steep ancient mountains, and And a stop at Michipocoten Is. is a must. Get a copy of Bonnie Dahl's Superior Way
. It's the guide for Superior cruisers. Another good source is the Great Lake Cruising Club
anchorage reports, but you have to be a member
to access them.
Stop at Buck's Marina, located just up the river near Wawa, Ontario
. You won't find another marina until Rossport (at least 150 nm away), so at very least get a pump out! Call ahead on 16 or 68 (or even cell once you get close). The river entrance changes each year, but Brad Buck will be more than happy to give you clear directions. And if you're a deep draft
boat (more than 5') you can anchor
in a nearby bay and he'll come out to you with full service
, including diesel/gas and a mobile pump-out service
(something I'd recommend!).
Heading west and north from Wawa you will find lots of pure white sandy beaches. Stop in at Imogen Cove to explore an old logging camp, anchor
at old Dave's Harbour and dingy over to Cascade Falls, which dumps straight into the Lake (take a shower!). Oiseau Bay is a favourite of mine, as is Pulp Wood Harbour. Allouez Island off of Pic Island is a near anchorage, and you gotta spend some time at the Slate Islands. I could go on...