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Old 26-07-2016, 20:20   #1
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Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
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Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

Hi there. My family of 5 is excitedly preparing for a week-long cruising vacation launching from Leamington and crossing the border to the States in lower Lake Erie. Well, I'm excited - my family is mostly tolerating the idea.
We have some experience with overnights on the boat, plus some other week-long sailing excursions.
This will be the first time across the border and the first time across a Great Lake.

I am looking for advice from Lake Erie sailors on matters of navigation, Weather conditions, and good destinations not to miss.

Thanks

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Old 27-07-2016, 07:17   #2
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Re: Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

I'm not sure where you intend to sail but starting from Leaminton I'm going to assume you're destinations will be in the western basin islands and perhaps the Ohio shore communities including Cedar Point.

Make sure you have proper charts as there are many reefs and other shallow areas to avoid, some seemingly out in the middle of the lake.

Put in Bay is a great destination even with a family if you visit on a weekday. I would avoid the place on a Friday or Saturday night. Be careful as you approach. There is a narrow channel on the south side of Ballast island as you approach Put in Bay. Also, make your final approach to Put in Bay on the east side of Ballast island. The west side is waist deep in some areas. During the week you should not need reservations, except possibly Bay Week. Kelleys island is also a very nice island to visit, a little more laid back than Put in Bay. We like to rent a golf cart and tour the islands. We prefer to stay at Portside Marina.
Cedar Point Marina is very nice and right adjacent to Cedar Point amusement park.
Don't forget to check in with US Customs.
I hope this is the type of info you are looking for. If not, post your questions. I've been boating that area for many years.
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Old 27-07-2016, 08:14   #3
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Re: Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

Thanks for the local advice. These are all in our plans. Any advice for the Lake Erie water/weather which I am told can get rough quick?

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Old 27-07-2016, 13:03   #4
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Re: Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

You are wise to be constantly aware of the weather. I have seen the waves go from flat to 6 footers in 30 minutes or so. Not enough time if you are far out in the lake. I monitor the WX channels on the VHF radio. I also have alerts set on weather apps for Toledo Ohio since much of the bad weather comes from the southwest and that gives you a little advanced warning. If you don't have radar on your boat there are good radar apps. I monitor National Data Buoy Center number 45005 for current winds and waves.
Be aware of the weather forecast and wind/wave forecasts for open water of lake Erie. Both the US Coast Guard and Weather Canada publish this information 4 to 5 times per day.
The main thing is just be aware and pay attention and you should be OK. As a last resort you can sometimes seek shelter in the lee of one of the many islands in the western basin.
Hope this helps.
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Old 27-07-2016, 15:40   #5
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Re: Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

Awesome advice. Thanks. What are good apps for the buoy centre and for radar? Do you concern yourself with the Annual algea bloom?

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Old 27-07-2016, 15:55   #6
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Re: Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

I like the weather app for radar from WTOL Toledo. Here are a few more websites that I use a lot for Lake Erie weather. They may have apps also.

http://weather.noaa.gov/pub/data/raw...cle.glf.le.txt

iWindsurf.com - Wind Forecasts

NDBC - Station 45005 Recent Data

As far as the algae I have motored through the thick algae many times and have never experienced any problems except for the ugly scene.

Hope this helps.
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Old 27-07-2016, 15:57   #7
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Re: Sailing Lake Erie's western basin.

If the water gets thick enough to walk on ... walk over to the Kellys Island area ... water's a little deeper & a little clearer
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