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Old 06-09-2012, 06:39   #31
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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Year to year all the dates can slide up to 3 weeks either way and each lake can have it's own variations too. They all make their own weather. I've seen snow on Lake Ontario in June. It's very rare but is possible.
I've seen Munising Bay on Lake Superior filled with ice on the second week of June.
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:43   #32
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

The great lakes suck don't come here especially lake Michigan.
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Old 22-09-2012, 13:24   #33
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Hey ctl, I'm thinking of doing a bunch of cruising in lake Michigan next year. What don't you like about it?
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Old 22-09-2012, 13:36   #34
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Sarcasm doesn't always come through. The lakes are great just don't tell.
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Old 22-09-2012, 14:00   #35
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Yes. It's awful. The scenery sucks and the anchorages are terrible. Stay away.
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Old 22-09-2012, 14:14   #36
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

I'm joking of course. The season can be short but up north is beautiful. Also because it is fresh water the boats and the women don't age. I cruised from Milwaukee uo to the North Channel of Lake Huron last summer. Best cruising I have ever done anywhere.
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Old 22-09-2012, 14:32   #37
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Just keep heading a bit further north kbudd and you really will find some of the best cruising anywhere. The east and north shores of Lake Superior are some of the greatest undiscovered cruising areas anywhere. Stunning scenery. Water as pure and clean anywhere on the planet (we drink it directly). Lots of interesting little anchorages all along. Rivers to explore, islands and shorelines to walk. And best of all, there are very few other cruisers out there.

We just got back from a 34-day cruise along the Canadian shore, and encountered a total of about 10 other boats the whole time. And this was a busy year! Normally we might see 2 to 4 others.

If you're seeking solitude, adventure, and real wilderness, go north young man! Of course, if you're seeking urban experiences, or you don't like being a long way from services like marinas, fuel, repair facilities or emergency support, then you best stay away.
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Old 22-09-2012, 14:46   #38
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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?
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Old 22-09-2012, 15:51   #39
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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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, weather 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 office.

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...
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Old 22-09-2012, 15:57   #40
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Do you know of any anchorages on the northern Michigan side of Lake Huron? From Saginaw Bay to Mackinaw?
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Old 23-09-2012, 10:03   #41
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

Your best bet is to cross over to Georgian Bay and the North Channel making your way to Mackinaw for anchorages. It is arguably in the opinion of mid-western cruisers the best summer cruising grounds in the US.

Once you get there your desire to continue to Mackinaw will ebb.
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Old 23-09-2012, 10:11   #42
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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Do you know of any anchorages on the northern Michigan side of Lake Huron? From Saginaw Bay to Mackinaw?
If your question was meant for me SunDevil, I have to say, no. I've never sailed the Michigan side of Huron. But I would agree with LakeSuperior's suggestion. Georgian Bay and the North Channel are wonderful cruising areas. Tons of great anchorages, short runs, and while it can blow hard at times, most of the fetches are relatively small, so big seas are limited.

It can get busy in July and August, although perhaps my definition of busy is skewed. Compared to places further south, the North Channel is probably pretty empty.
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Old 23-09-2012, 17:45   #43
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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Just keep heading a bit further north kbudd and you really will find some of the best cruising anywhere.
I drove to Thunder Bay in late May. From what I saw from the highway, I intend to come to Superior at the first hint of nautical competency on my part. We might have a boat in a few weeks, first summer on Ontario learning (and fixing!), so maybe 2014 ...

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Old 23-09-2012, 18:21   #44
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Re: What is the Appeal of Sailing the Great Lakes?

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I drove to Thunder Bay in late May. From what I saw from the highway, I intend to come to Superior at the first hint of nautical competency on my part. We might have a boat in a few weeks, first summer on Ontario learning (and fixing!), so maybe 2014 ...

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Old 25-09-2012, 20:38   #45
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SunDevil. Take a look at the Active Captain web site. It will show you what anchorages are there. Not many on the Michigan side.
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