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Old 18-07-2010, 16:55   #1
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New to Lake Michigan

Hello all,
I moved to Eastern Lake Michigan up North in Manistee area from the Seattle area.
I lived on a 93 foot wood ship I owned and ran but sadly had to sell along with my 2 small boats. A Chris Craft and a 5.5 meter racing sloop.
I am a lic. master and was a yacht painter but there doesnt seem to be any large wood boats here really.
Its just me and my kids with no family and I dont know anyone here at all.
It was hard to leave all my sailing friends back home . Now I am totally lost here.
I am a serious lover of old wood ships. Mostly Schooners, square riggers and steamers. My entire life has revolved around them.
I sailed on a 160 foot Schooner and hope to sail Square sail in a few years when my kids are all grown.
Well, I cant afford a boat now anymore, but would love to sail again if anyone needs crew.
Also, even though I have a house now, I had heard of someone who was a liveaboard up in the TC area. How can anyone live aboard if the lakes freeze solid in winter? Is there such things as live aboard at marinas like I was back in Puget Sound?
Nice to meet you all.
Andrea
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Old 18-07-2010, 20:03   #2
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Welcome to Michigan!

This is a tall ship rally year for Lake Michigan. The tall ships will be in Green Bay and Chicago, and may stop in Michigan ports on the off week. I believe the off week is the week of August 19, so watch for tall ships on the Lake and in the harbor then.

I know of tall ships in Traverse City and in South Haven, both groups are always looking for volunteers.

Some hardy souls do liveaboard here, but many rent a house for the winter months, since we are a tourist destination there are many empty rentals over the winter. I only know of one person that lived aboard for the entire winter. It is possible, with a well insulated boat, a good heater and a plastic wrapped boat.

The inland lakes and rivers do get ice, but in many marinas the ice can be kept at bay by running "bubblers", which are like electric trolling motors with the wash aimed at the boat or the surface of the water. Moving water generally won't freeze except at very low temperatures.

The coast of northwest Michigan is a very beautiful and special place, make sure you explore as much as possible, and have a great summer!
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Old 18-07-2010, 20:24   #3
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Yes, the tall ships are actually in Bay city right now. Amisted had to cancel as she suffered some rigging damage off Florida and pulled into I think Conneticut for repairs.
They have a Barque to replace her though.
It is a rather long drive to get to Bay City and I could not afford the trip.
Plus, it would actually only serve to bum me out.
I did Tall ships Tacoma on the Schooner Zodiac in 2005. It was the single best week of my entire life.
I already know too well what the ships look like inside, and to see them, and not be able to stay with them and sail again is too hard for me.
I know of several schooners wanting volunteers and I would be all over it but I have kids still home and no family. No way I can leave them to go sail. Not yet anyway. !!
Andrea
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Old 19-07-2010, 13:04   #4
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Aloha Andrea,
Welcome aboard! I hope you can find your niche. The PNW is a hard place to leave especially if you are attached to wooden boats.
Good luck.
kind regards,
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Old 19-07-2010, 17:13   #5
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Welcome to Michigan Andrea. My cabin is pretty close you you. I'm on Hamlin Lake. What you should be worried about right now is that winter is only 6 months away. Get ready now!!! Warm clothes make all the difference.

As far as boating in our area, you may want to check out Onekema. It's a nice harbor and has several marina's. You can talk to the dock guys and see if anyone is lacking crew. Also, if you want to charter, try Bay Breeze in Traverse City. For Yacht Clubs, the largest in your area is probably Pentwater's.

But really, since it seems money is tight, get a small boat and take advantage of small lakes. You can pick up old sunfish's for free, or for a thousand, a pretty nice daysailer. Lake Michigan is very easy to sail along the coast for the day. It looks like you have a lot of experience so no worries.

My last suggestion - get a snowmobile. Your going to need it.
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Old 19-07-2010, 17:30   #6
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Ok, one last suggestion. I know this is a sailing forum and you love old sailboats, but, think about kayaking. The Pere Marquette, Little Manistee, and Pine rivers are really beautiful. You can also kayak down to Lake Michigan Recreation area from Manistee then take your car back.

I know this area REALLY well so if you have any questions, pm me.
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Old 19-07-2010, 22:12   #7
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You know, here is a funny thing ... I actually took my Kyak to Eastlake Campground were I live. Just barely stuck my nose out into lake Manistee and got nervous and turned back as I was alone. Dont really know the area at all.
When I was younger, I would have stuck off alone without a single worry as I did some really insane stuff. Now, at 45 , now that I am well educated I seem to worry about everything !! It sucks.
My poor beat up Kyak was the recue boat on my Tugboat. Everytime a big fender broke loose or whatever floated off.. ( living on a tugboat with kids LOTS of stuff did ! ) I would jump in and off to fender penning it was. The tugs fenders were WAY bigger than the Kyak too. It was always a interesting sight for the rest of the liveaboards and lots of public folk to see.
Last trip out we came in during a bad storm at night nor less. My sons hat blew off. You know, THE hat and without even thinking I jump in that Kyak.. no life jacket in big waves and night and get it right before it sinks. Wasnt till I had to come along side my big tugboat in those waves I realized what I had done. Hey, that was THE hat ! So now I just shake my head as to why I turn back on just going out onto the damn lake here. Its WAY calmer too. Yet the unfamiliar area made me not want to be alone. Plus, I didnt want to have to swim all the way back if I rolled that thing as no way would I get back in. I am not fat.. just not very coordinated anymore !!
Andrea
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