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Old 16-06-2011, 15:11   #1
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Introduction

Greetings, I just joined your forum. I've been lurking for some time and I have come to appreciate the wealth of information shared by your members.

I'm an old sailor, (not a extraordinarily good sailor,) just old. I started sailing Sidewinders here in the mid-West in the 60's, continued to sail larger boats in Puget Sound while living in Seattle and recently returned to the mid-West. I just bought an old Bristol 27 and plan on using it for extensive cruising with my bride, at least as much as she can stand. I have promised to contain my Captain Bligh tendencies.

My name is Jerry and I am going to pick Wind Chaser up in Chicago in the next few weeks and sail home to Fairport Harbor, Ohio. I have sailed a limited amount on Lake Erie. I have no sailing experience on Lake Michigan or Huron. Any words of wisdom from the Great Lakes sailors would be greatly appreciated.

I am thinking heading North out of Chicago and running +/- up the West coast of Lake Michigan. I am not married to that idea and the East coast works as well but the wind predictions look like the East side might be more of a lee shore and that makes me a little nervous. (I had a bad experience with a "Sail-drive" and a lee breakwater. Still have nightmares.) I am not afraid of being out of sight of land but I would like to be able duck into a harbor if it gets really nasty. Any advice? I am planning on anchoring "most" of the time and using transient berths every third day or so. Does this sound workable? Places to avoid? Not to miss? If sailing hard, can I expect to manage 80 nm per day on Michigan and Huron?

Thanks,
Jerry
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Old 16-06-2011, 15:56   #2
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Re: Introduction

Hi Jerry and welcome to what I think is the best sailing forum you are ever going to find.

It sounds like you have a lot going on right now and you are asking some good questions, but before you decide for sure which course you will plot, I would advise you to get a few days getting you, and your bride, accustomed to sailing and feeling comfortable and safe with your new boat.

You did not mention what navigation equipment you have onboard and it would be interesting to know that so that others more familiar with your planned route could offer specific advice.

With advice from others who know the route better than I do, you will have some choices to make, keep the rocky bits within sight?, or go further offshore?. It really depends on the weather, the winds, your navigation skills, and of course, your confidence.

Your Bristol 27 is good for only around 6 to 6 knots (7 Mph) in ideal wind conditions so once you have your waypoints laid in, you will be able to estimate the ideal legs for your trip.

I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful but I’m a blue water guy and I get nervous when I see coastlines….James
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Old 16-06-2011, 18:42   #3
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Re: Introduction

Jerry:

Can't say much about great lakes sailing--I do most of my sailing on the Chesapeake. But I thought I'd chime in that I'm sailing a Tartan that popped out of its mold right there in Fairport Harbor this past winter.
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Old 16-06-2011, 19:02   #4
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Re: Introduction

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum Jerry
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Old 17-06-2011, 10:30   #5
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Re: Introduction

Thanks All, I will take some time to get accustomed to the new boat. My wife isn't going with me on the first leg. Hopefully, I will be sailing with an old friend that also has been sailing for years. He has much more experience on the Great Lakes than I but little on Lake Michigan.

James' point about navigation is well taken. I have a GPS that outputs NEMA to my laptop. I have a full set of NOAA charts for the area and I am printing (and laminating) hard copy charts for the areas where there is even a remote chance I may venture. This is further backed up with an Ipad (3G) not sure yet about which applications to load. Advice would be welcome. I am planning on using an Aircard (CDMA 2000) with a laptop to keep up-to-date on weather. I have 5 good batteries for the laptop and will recharge whenever I'm in a transient slip. There are two compasses on the boat and I am bringing my old hand bearing compass. The GPS also serves as an additional back-up. The boat has a depth sounder. I don't know what kind of ground tackle is on the boat presently. I have an old 14# - 16#(?) Danforth anchor and about 20' of 3/8" hot dipped galvanized chain that I didn't sell with my last boat. I'll pick up ~200' 1/2 nylon if something equivalent isn't on the boat. Advice on this would also be appreciated.

Thanks for any advice any of you more experienced fresh water sailors may offer. Also, thanks for the welcome.

Jerry
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Old 17-06-2011, 13:20   #6
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Re: Introduction

Hi again Jerry,

For your laptop, if you have not already done so, download the free OpenCPN chart plotter and give that a try. I use it and I think its great.

James
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:24   #7
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Re: Introduction

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Its good to have you here.
kind regards,
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:40   #8
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Re: Introduction

Thanks John, it seems to be a vary active group. I had some good advice from several of the members, much of which I will take and a little I can't at this time.

I'm leaving to pick up my boat in Chicago tomorrow and then start sailing home to Eastern Lake Erie. It'll take some time. The winds on the Great Lakes are often under 5 knots this time of year. Then again, I'm not in a hurry.

Best regards,
Jerry
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