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rskaug 01-10-2004 04:26 PM

Gulf to Great Lakes
Some of you will recognise this as a followup of my MULTIHULLS? post.

My wife and I are planning to ''merge'' her retirement dream of cycle touring with my cruising dream. We''ve riden from Vancouver, BC to San Francisco, and had such a great time we decided to stop, sell the house and then continue the ride right on around the US. We will be leaving Sacramento by bike in September to arrive on the Gulf coast about this time next year and will then trailer our Balboa 27 in from California. We would then travel ahead by bike until we find a place we like and then take the train or bus back to get on the boat. The plan is to ''leapfrog'' like that all the way around to the Great Lakes. from there we will leave the boat and ride the rest of the way back to Vancouver.

I''m a novice sailor. Two months full time and occassional weekends on a Catalina 22 cruising the Sacramento River Delta where we frequently get 15-25 knots. This summer I will get another two months cruising the balboa on SF Bay. The goal is to build the skill (and confidence)to get out the Golden Gate before we leave in September.

Following all the good info and advice I got on my multihull topic, we want to get Arlete (my wife)sailing lessons and then charter/crew catamarans while we are in the Gulf and on the East coast.

I know the idea itself is different, but is it unreasonable, impractical, unwise?

Can''t wait to get your input!

rskaug 01-10-2004 04:31 PM

Gulf to Great Lakes
Addendum I - We have good friends in New Orleans and will likely spend some weeks or months there. Is this a good place to get the sailing lessons?

c172guy 01-11-2004 05:23 PM

Gulf to Great Lakes
Be sure to go to jazz fest while in New Orleans. There are a lot of marinas and sailboats on the gulf and lake Ponchartrain. I''m sure you can find someone for sailing lessons.
Cool about the bikes. My wife and I did the Bike ride Across Tennessee(BRAT) twice.
Unless you have a compelling reason it would probably be a lot better not to go from New Orleans to the great lakes. Unless you are considering the great circle route up the east coast and then back down the rivers. We had a lesson today while motoring up the Mobile river. When you can only motor 5 kts going into a 3 kt current is slow!!!! But when we turned around it was nice going 8 kts.

rskaug 01-12-2004 03:09 PM

Gulf to Great Lakes
Yeah, a quick story about currents: we have about the same thing here in the delta but it is tidal so you can have it either way. Last month, wanted to go to San Fran on a tight time schedule so I tried it at night to go with the current. There are nav. lights all the way down so thought it would be OK, and it was until I came to a stretch with refineries on both sides. Lost the nav lights in the refinery lights, got out of the channel and tore the rudder off my boat. $75 in tuition in the navigation school of hard knocks.

I hadn''t thought of a river option from New Orleas to The Lakes. I''m assuming I would have to trailer at least part of the way? The plan at this point is to go up the east coast but I haven''t looked at maps or charts yet(waiting on delivery of the bike maps). I think I will plan the cruising as we go. That''s why I wanted to put my question up here, just in case anyone sees a major problem with the plan.

It might be fun after the bike tour is over to come back to The Lakes and cruise down the rivers to the Gulf and then back to Sacramento via Panama!

c172guy 01-13-2004 05:59 AM

Gulf to Great Lakes
Check on the great circle route but I think you go through Chicago and follow the Illinois river south to the Ohio river. Then to the Tennessee river and follow it south on Kentucky lake. At Pickwick lake you get on the Tenn-Tom waterway to Mobile. From Mobile you can head straight across the Gulf to the Yucatan Pennisula and on to Panama. The other part of the great circle is going around Florida and up the east coast to the St Lawerence and then back to the Great lakes. For almost the entire route you have protected waterways. You can also go up the Hudson and the erie canal which would probably be safer. There is a website.

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