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fullCastle 30-01-2010 13:37

Crossing Lake Superior
Has anyone crossed Lake Superior in May? I am planning a run from Thunder Bay to the Atlantic in the spring starting with a straight run across Superior. I made the opposite 3 day run in early September 2009 under very favorable conditions. I am however, questioning the wisdom of departing in May.

We are sailing an Alberg 30 with a two man crew.

Any advice would be welcome.

frost free 30-01-2010 15:38

Ran from Toronto to Duluth in late September last year, probably the best weather they've had up there in years. Ran from Toronto to Alexandria on Mothers Day last year (early May), I have photos of the boat covered in ice. I can't imagine doing Superior in May and I certainly won't do Lake Ontario as early as Mothers Day again.

GordMay 30-01-2010 16:26

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, fullCastle.

Mid May, on Lake Superior, can be REALLY COLD or not (just fairly cold).
Three of us brought a C&C33 from Duluth to Thunder Bay from May 16-18, in 2008 - it was cold, and I wouldn't want to repeat the trip.

Recognizing the dubious prudence of a May crossing, I’d prepare to depart, then wait for decent weather, then go.

LakeSuperior 30-01-2010 16:52

Typically May is calm on Lake wind! The land breezes are cranked up on shore but the cold lake doesn't let the air warm.

Rimica 21-02-2010 20:47

Went from Midland to Toronto end of May beginning of June last year, it was absolutely freezing. I would not do it again unless I had installed a heater in the cabin. The 12am to 4 am watch was brutal. Temperature of the water in the middle of lake Huron: 2 degrees celcius. If you do it make sure you have a heat source to get the damp out of the clothes.

clockwork orange 21-02-2010 21:50

Brought a Macgregor 36 cat from Bay City, MI up Lake Huron in the first week of may many years ago and the weather was sunny but chilly,thick fog all the way up the St Marys river dodging ore boats we couldnt see. We got as far as Whitefish point on Superior and then the weather turned ugly so we left the boat at the safe harbor and after several weeks of waiting for decent weather we went back with a trailer.I agree with Gord.That said a guy launched his F31 tri at Two Harbors last year when the Harbor in Duluth was still Frozen solid and sails solo out to the atlantic,must have been miserable.

sailstoo 23-02-2010 03:54

Recommend lotsa layers and good foulies. We did the Memorial Day races out of Bayfield a few years ago and there were ginormous stacks of ice on NW facing shores.

fullCastle 12-03-2010 11:24

Departing May 14th
Thank you for the feedback. We are departing on the 14th of May, weather permitting of course. We crossed from East to West in September of 2009 but were graced with a stalled high pressure system centered over the area. A 42 hour run from Ile Pariesenne to Ile Royale.
Can't expect great weather all the time so I thought I would get the benefit of the experience of others.

lasketella 23-03-2010 20:50

I too will be making the east to west pilgrimage this May in a 37 hunter if all goes as planned. 3 man crew. 2 novice sailors (myself included) and one that knows what he's doing. should be interesting to say the least! layers under foulies and a heater we do have thankfully. Wish us luck!

fullCastle 02-02-2012 10:39

Re: Crossing Lake Superior
Well it has been a long time since I updated this post so here's a synopsis.
Departed Thunder Bay on May 15th 2010 and ran direct across Lake Superior. Headed through the North Channel and into Georgian Bay to Parry Sound. From there crossed to the Bruce Peninsula then ran South overnight to Bayfield on the East coast of Lake Huron. Onward then to Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River into Lake Erie.

Lake Erie we did in one hop from Pelee Island to the Welland Canal and onward to Toronto. After a 1 week stop we made a one hop to Kingston then down the St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic. Had a fantastic time and generally fair sailing condition all the way. We hit the Atlantic in mid July and stopped in Miscou Island, New Brunswick intending to make a tour of the North Atlantic the following season.

My nephew Carl, a 26 year old double-lung transplant recipient in March 2009 became ill and we opted for a cruise from Florida to Jamaica. I would take the boat South and he would join me in Florida thereby skipping the fog in the North. Sadly however, he died on October 6th while I was sailing offshore South of Beaufort, North Carolina.

In our final conversation he told me he would not be able to join me as he needed a new transplant. He urged me to go all the way around so I could write a book and put his story in it. After his death I was lost for a time but now have recovered my ambition and am on my way.

I am in the Pacific Ocean about to head direct to Easter Island from Panama. My nephew was an incredible individual and continues to be an inspiration to me. If anyone would like to know more about him please visit his website at Going Beyond and also please search "Carl Bezeau" on 'Youtube' to see some short video clips.

Thank you.


epistosaurus 09-02-2012 08:04

Re: Crossing Lake Superior
This is a very sad but ultimately inspiring story. Thank you for sharing fullCastle.

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