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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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  #1  
Old 06-11-2007
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pawoodbury is on a distinguished road
Chicago to Detroit

I am looking to take a cruise from Chicago to Detroit, passing under Mackinac Bridge. Only two of us will be taking this cruise, and it will be on a Catalina 25, or Hunter 26. The only problem is, I have no idea on where to stay at night, or whether I should anchor or dock. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

Paw14woody
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Old 06-11-2007
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tommyt is on a distinguished road
Nice trip, but is going to take some time. In a 25-26' boat cross the lake somewhere south and then coastal cruise the rest of the way.
With two different choices of boats I am wondering what you plan to do with the boat when you arrive? Trailer it back or sail it back.

You can find most of the information on Lake Michigan and Lake Huron ports by doing a search on the internet. I would purchase a L. Michigan and a L. Huron Ports of Call book which gives you information on every port on the lakes and also details on how to get into them, what is there, where there is fuel, etc.. They are expensive, but worth the investment if you don't have a friend to borrow them from. A chart of the areas is also required if you are not familiar with it. Grays Reef comes to mind.

As far as anchorages do a search here on northern Lake Michigan anchorages and you will find details for Leland north to LesCheneaux.

Good luck
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Old 06-11-2007
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sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about sailortjk1 has a spectacular aura about
Did that trip in reverse 3 years ago.
The tip above on the Ports o Call is right on.
Get those two cruising guides and you will have plenty of info.

We stayed in a harbor each night. If we liked a town and wanted to stay longer, we did so. Spent three days in Mack City and ferried over to the island.

Spent one night on the hook in the South Manitou anchortage.
That was a very pretty and quite night. We enjoyed it.

We went with the fifty mile a day or so rule and never pushed too hard. Its a great way to discover new ports. We now cruise back to the favorites we discovered along the way.

Both shore lines are covered with good harbors. You will never be with out a place to stop of you so wish.

A couple of our favorites: Pentwater, Beaver Island, Mackinaw City, and Presque Isle.

The St. Claire river is interesting but boring. Not much sailing. We motored North against the current and never raised the sails.

You might be able to sail a bit more going down steam with the current.
If I remember the current runs about 3 knots.

Lake St. Claire is fun sailing. Watch your charts, it is a shallow lake. Fun to sail because it has some big open water with out the 300mile fetch like Michigan and Huron. Lots of fishing boats to avoid in the area.

If I had time to do it again, I would not continue on to Detroit, but rather I would go North to the North Channel. You can spend the entire season in those cruising grounds.

You might want to concider a detoir North to the Channel. I think it would make for a more enjoyable cruise.
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Last edited by sailortjk1; 06-11-2007 at 08:16 PM.
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Thanks to you both. This is great info.
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Sailing down the rivers is a rush. You need to be even more careful than usual though, with regard to the lake freighters. You have a third vector to consider when trying to figure out how to miss them and they are essentially powerless to miss you!
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Old 06-12-2007
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LaPlaya is on a distinguished road
[QUOTEIf I had time to do it again, I would not continue on to Detroit, but rather I would go North to the North Channel. You can spend the entire season in those cruising grounds.

You might want to concider a detoir North to the Channel. I think it would make for a more enjoyable cruise.[/QUOTE]
There are for sure some awesome cruising destinations up this way...I might add that the Canuckian equivelent of the ports of call is the ports guide and is a great publication to have along on a trip up this way....I LOVE the aerial photos
a picture paints a thousand words.....
AL
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