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  #1  
Old 07-08-2007
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Question Great Lakes (Grand Traverse Bay actually) sailing questions

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are taking ASA101/103 in two weeks and then chartering the boat we're learning on for the three days after the class.

My question has to do with anchoring. Now, I'm going to ask this question when we're taking our class but I'm so freakin' excited about this that I need to know now!

Here's my question: Where can we anchor overnight? We're going to have the boat on Wed and Thurs nights and I'm just wondering where we can stay or if we even want to try. We could always grab a transient slip (is that the correct name?) at one of the marinas in the bay (or go back to the slip for the boat) so this may be a moot point.

Am I crazy for wondering if we can anchor out overnight? I know we'll have to find someplace protected (who knows what the weather is going to be like that week) and after reading Tom's story about the family that ground his keel down I'm kind of freaking out about hurting someone else's boat.

Thanks for your help!

Tom
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Made you nervous did I?? Just a little forethought should protect you. The 30's I assume you are taking after the class belong to Bay Breeze and not private owners.

It all really depends on the weather. Period. You can anchor in Bowers Harbor which is very protected from everthing but a SW wind, and even that if it is not a big wind.

Suttons Bay, outside the mooring fields is pretty protected. If the wind is not from the south, and you can get a anchor set, Omena Bay is protected. Other than that inside the Bay you don't have many choices if the wind comes up in the middle of the night.

If you go to the Bay Breeze Yacht Charters & Sales there are some cruising iteneraries and anchoring sites on there. Go to the Lake Michigan email list here on sailnet and pull up Jim Shroegers (SP) anchorages on the northern Lake Michigan emails that cover a lot of territory as well.

The instructors at BB are all very knowledgeable. They will give you their insights and warnings as well. In three days you will most likely not get out of the Bay. Sailing, unless the wind is perfect, you cannot get out of the bay in a day. Northport is about as far as you can go unless you motor to Charlevoix, and that can be a tough 3 days IF they will even allow you out of the Bay. Northport is not a good anchorage, but a great marina just as Suttons Bay is a great marina.Space could be tight in both those weeks, but they usually find a way to get you in, even if it is rafting off other boats.

HAVE FUN!!!!! No keel dragging please.
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OH, and don't worry about big waves in the Bay. If they get to 4-6', which is rare, you will not even think about anchoring. Also, you will probably never need to worry about a boat again, as your wife will not want to go if that is her first experience. The instructors take care of you and the crew in those type of situations as well. Just know your limits.
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I think you should anchor out. It will teach you a lot more about the boat than tieing up to a transient slip. It also prevents you from going to use the marina showers and other shore-side facilities, giving you a more complete picture of what cruising is really like.

A good cruising guide to the area or someone at one of the local yatch clubs could probably give you a few good ideas... so could the instructors of the course.
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-09-2007
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I agree with the Dog. (lordy, i hate it when that happens!) Anchoring out with the wife away from the rest of humanity tends to bring certain seamanship questions to the fore. After the hook is properly set, in a suitably beautiful locale (not hard to find on the Bays), you can turn your efforts to establishing just how many locations you can fit two human bodies into on that particular vessel. Given the romantic locale and exoticness of the boat you may well find that your bride has some interesting ideas on the interaction of naval architecture and human anatomy. Works for me anyway. (g)
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Unfortunately, it will happen quite a bit, unless you decide to become as irrational as CCP is. I hope that doesn't happen... I hate when we have to put humans down... foaming at the mouth and all.

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I agree with the Dog. (lordy, i hate it when that happens!)
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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"CCP" ? Isn't that what the Soviet hockey players used to have on their uniforms? I'm an American, my people come from the Netherlands, and I only foam at the mouth when my wife bends over, usually in front of the oven. (lol)
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CCP is an oft ignored anti-semitic hatemonger that has a very self-centered thread about herself. CCCP is what the Iron Curtain boys used to have printed on their jerseys.
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"CCP" ? Isn't that what the Soviet hockey players used to have on their uniforms? I'm an American, my people come from the Netherlands, and I only foam at the mouth when my wife bends over, usually in front of the oven. (lol)
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Anchoring out is a ton of fun your going to have a good time.
However...... I tend to sleep a lot better nicely tied to a slip.
I sleep good at anchor, just better in a slip.
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back to the original Q ...

Congrats on the trip. Traverse Bay is a beautiful area, have fun.

In Northport in a west wind (common in summer) you can anchor just south of the municipal marina off the beach by the park. Easy walk into town, and you can enjoy the free Friday nite concerts - at least you could, we were there a few years ago.

There's also a little uninhabited island about 5 (?) miles north of Traverse City where you can anchor for lunch, go ashore and hike the trails. I'm sure your charter co. will tell you about this one, it is (or was) very popular.
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