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Old 09-09-2016, 08:51   #16
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

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Childs play!

Try the sand fleas on Parris Island, SC during the Spring and early Summer when you are made to stand at attention with no defense

The little Bastids are in Savannah too. I remember standing my first formation and someone whispering that it was time for those biting gnats, I smiled cause being from the South I knew gnats didn't bite, but as the sun came up, I found out I was wrong, we called them flying teeth, cause anything that small but hurt so bad had to be all teeth.
My Brother got caught swatting one in Boot at PI, they made him bury it in a six ft grave. Glad I was no Marine.

But in truth nothing compares to the Mosquitos that in in the NWT in Canada, they are so bad that they will make you anemic and drive you insane.
Mosquito protection is required by the Government to fly in the NWT.
The herds of Raindeer migrate supposedly because the Mosquitos drive them, and they are so bad they make the Reindeer anemic from loosing so much blood
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:52   #17
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

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Piffle!!

While biting flies can be annoying, they pale into insignificance when compared to the no-nos of the Marquesas, and their lesser cousins, t he sand flies of Queensland. These nearly invisible bugs are a more subtle kind of antagonist, for most folks don't even feel their bite w hen they happen, and so can acquire a multitude of them... and then later, blisters the size of half-dollar coins erupt at each site, itching relentlessly and often turning septic in the tropics.

My skin quivers at the mere memory of one walk on the beach at Hanna Moe Noe... GAHHHA!

Jim
May I add the infectious dust along the west African coasts, blinding sand storms along the north African coasts, immense ice storms in the antarctic waters, and the dreaded 120 degree plus heat waves along the Arabian coasts? Use to sail along Lake Michigan at wife's family's summer place in Petoskey. Child's play. The only issue about the lakes is reduced buoyancy(fresh water) and clueless motorboat owners.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:53   #18
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

Alaska summers. noseeums, whitesock flies, mosquito's(b-52),
oh ya, the bears bite too, the moose stomp.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:30   #19
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

Bugs, you guys are stuck on bugs? Minor annoyance.... not life threatening, just hellish.

Let's talk about some of those summer storms. When a squall comes blasting at you at 40 mph with winds to boot, and stirs up the water to 15 foot waves about 10 feet apart. Gets the blood moving, to say the least.

Just when you've figured out a strategy ( which usually is run like hell to the nearest port you can before it gets you ), it's too late. Batten down the hatches, reef the main, furl the genny and remember those heavy weather sailing lessons you took eons ago.

Ok, 90 minutes later, you are sitting on a glass-like becalmed lake wondering, what happened? Ok, so then the flies arrive, just to make sure you don't dose out.

That's why Great Lakes Sailors are the Toughest, IMHO.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:13   #20
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

Think Carl has had a bit too much sun. Even with storms, we never had 18 foot seas kick up. Of course we never sailed the lake in the middle of winter. We did have a challenging time during the 1975 Mac race with some storms but nothing compared with what you get going through the Gulf Stream off of Florida. Nope, the Great Lakes are great sailing and for the most part calm as can be.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:16   #21
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

My last summer in Michigan it rained every weekend. Strange why I live in Kona.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:24   #22
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

Yea, Reed1 is right, no doubt a lotta sun, but don't discount the Great Lakes... anyone out there been chased by a waterspout on Lake Erie? The really big waves are always on that lake, since it is so shallow, and right in the middle of the storm path. And, if you think Lake Michigan is all placid, take a look at a great article in last month's (Sept/Oct 2016) Good Old Boat mag... pg 46.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:46   #23
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

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Yea, Reed1 is right, no doubt a lotta sun, but don't discount the Great Lakes... anyone out there been chased by a waterspout on Lake Erie? The really big waves are always on that lake, since it is so shallow, and right in the middle of the storm path. And, if you think Lake Michigan is all placid, take a look at a great article in last month's (Sept/Oct 2016) Good Old Boat mag... pg 46.
Oh, I agree the lakes, especially Gitchigumi can be unsailable when they are under storm conditions, especially in the late fall through March. Lots of ore carriers lay at the bottom of Superior. But no more than the north sea or the English Channel are during winter storms. First time out of Southampton, England we went plowing through 30-40 foot seas at the channel's mouth to the Atlantic. Mean, steep sided, and real short interval seas, and that was after a storm had long past the area.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:46   #24
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

We interrupt this thread to bring you the following announcement:
The occasional interloper may be wondering what type of lunatics sail about and subject themselves to such tortures. It is quite simple really. We get to experience the fullness of life and are always eager to share our stories over a fine beverage with our colleagues. We will see the most beautiful scenery imaginable and gaze in wonder beneath a sky filled with stars beyond counting. We endure the hardships and savor the sweet successes. All this time no matter our like or disdain for another we are always ready to lend a hand to a fellow sailor in distress and know they will reciprocate. Where else can you find this camaraderie? We now return you to our regularly scheduled thread.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:40   #25
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

After being stuck in the St. Mary Boatyard for several months in the spring of 2015 I have three solutions to help with the No-nos that actually work.
First prevent the bites with the local potion we picked up on Jekyl Island. I believe the name is No-bite or something like that. It actually works but only for short periods. It is organic so no nasty chemicals but you have shake it and reapply every 45-60 minutes.
Second you will notice that the locals are not bothered by the bugs nearly as much as us aliens from other parts. The reason is the nasty sulfer in the local water supply. If you can manage to drink the water, after a while the bug will leave you alone. We did not stay long enough to find out, but an old sailor in the yard told me this. He noticed that they no longer bothered him when he had to start drinking the water. He was not sure how long it took.
Third, after they bit you it can take WEEKS for these bits to heal and they itch the whole time, unless you rub Teatree oil on them. (I think that is how you spell it.) This oil will stop the itching almost immediately and they will usually heal within 48 hours. Rubbing alcohol will also stop the itching but won't help them heal.

Hope this helps.

Ed

PS I also survived the vampire hoards in Michigan for 18 years growing up on the lakes. I promptly left as soon as I turned 18. Still a U of M fan. Go Wolverines.
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Old 09-09-2016, 14:33   #26
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

Blood-feeding march flies at painfully high numbers - ABC North West WA - Australian Broadcasting Corporation sounds like these buggers
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Old 09-09-2016, 20:04   #27
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

Just want to be sure I have the big picture here. Sailors on the Great Lakes, like most of us, experience hot and cold temperatures and, like most of us, squalls that produce all kinds of threats. But the difference between them and the rest of us, from what I read here, is that no matter how far these sailors sail from shore, they can't ever seem to get away from biting insects... and based on that we should call them the "toughest in the world" ? Please let me know if I've missed something.
Cheers, Pappy
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Old 09-09-2016, 20:16   #28
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

No argument from me.....How do you sailors keep finding motivation to keep floating around in a cesspool?.

https://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/conta...nt-great-lakes
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Old 09-09-2016, 20:30   #29
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Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

I often considered my flesh to be unpalatable, but got a great dose of these bastardes on St Claire last month. and yes we were hundreds of yards offshore. Having said that I agree with Mike O. Years of fly in fishing and bear hunting in Ontario (not smart enough to stop going) proved that the Black Flies are the worst.
Excerpts from Lewis and Clark speak to the horses running until their hearts exploded to get away from those rotten little mofo's.
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Old 09-09-2016, 22:13   #30
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Lightbulb Re: Why are Great Lakes Sailors the Toughest in the World

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I remember evenings in Parry Sound when you could set your watch by them - 8:14 pm you would be having a quiet drink in the cockpit, 8:16 everyone would be diving for the main hatch and putting up the screens.
This suggests something other than tough, but I do not want to be overtly insulting. Seems to me, the two minutes, or maybe even five, could have been used to enter the main hatch and put up the screens. Oh well, I guess if you are tough you need to prove it.
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