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  #11  
Old 12-18-2007
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And BTW, the edmund fitzgerald was over 700 ft long, and was sunk by the weather. but it must be nice to be able to cruise without the corrosion of salt. The downside is everyone hauls out for winter.
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  #12  
Old 12-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
And BTW, the edmund fitzgerald was over 700 ft long, and was sunk by the weather. but it must be nice to be able to cruise without the corrosion of salt. The downside is everyone hauls out for winter.
Actually, let me help you edit that statement Hoffa: "The downside is WINTER."
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  #13  
Old 12-18-2007
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Lake Superior defines extreme cold - the water is black and menacing. Gitche Gumee doesn't take prisoners. However, Duluth is a great city to visit and looks like a tiny San Francisco - only much colder. We plan to sail there this summer if all goes right.
Check out the Duluth Shipping News website:
http://www.duluthshippingnews.com/
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  #14  
Old 12-18-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TradewindSailing View Post
I don't feel like sharing my favorite spots right now... But look at some of the pictures I posted. I try to get away from the crowds...

Fetch, distance: Easy to loose sight of land for hours.

Waves, I am digging for some statistics. With some decent summer wind, 2-3 meter waves are rather common in the middle of the lake, even in summer. Compared to my sailing in the Caribbean, the waves her have a shorter in wavelength, making them steeper, way less comfortable.

Just don't underestimate the lakes, in the spirit of our shipwrecks, here is a favorite song:

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early.

When you see Michigan folksingers sing this song (and believe me, you're going to if you live here) it's not uncommon for them to tape a piece of paper containing the first line of each verse to the side of their instrument. It doesn't have a chorus and it's hard to keep the verses in order. They don't have room for the other piece of paper with Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue" on it, that's why you never hear both songs performed in the same evening
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  #15  
Old 12-18-2007
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27 - I have sailed on the Great Lakes each summer for the last three years. I shot the trips for our TV show, resulting in a two-part episodes for each season. They turned out to be pretty popular, which surprised us, as most of our content comes from sailing in more "exotic" locations. I can tell you from experience that these bodies of water are definitely better defined as inland seas than just "lakes". If I hadn't produced those Great Lakes segments for the show, I don't know if I ever would have sailed there. I'm sure glad I did...

The first year, we sailed out of Traverse City on Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan. On that trip we ran from a summer storm on Lake Michigan, ending up back on the bay for protection. The next day we made a passage across the bay that the guide book said took 5-6 hours. We surfed it downwind in a Catalina 30 in 3.5 hours in very tough conditions. And that was on the bay with 6-8 foot waves (the big lake had 10-12 foot waves). It was my introduction to the Great Lakes, and I was suitably impressed. Other than that 24 hour period, the rest of the trip was nice and mellow, with winds ranging from non-existant to 15 knots. Got to visit some nice little towns, too.

The second year we cruised through the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. Once again, we had the same range in winds, and dealt with a summer squall one day (sustained winds of 45 knots). That squall was typical of what you'd find out on the ocean, in that it came upon us very fast and lasted about 30 minutes. We were in the protection of the islands, but even so we had friends who ended up with torn jibs and other damage as a result. I have a clip from that particular episode up on YouTube, and although it's just an excerpt, it can give you a glimpse of what you can encounter sailing there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_rOQl6fFkA

Last summer for our third trip we sailed from Bayfield, WI to Isle Royale on Lake Superior. It's about a 115 mile passage that we did overnight. And when you're out of sight of land in the middle of that huge body of water, you know you're not just lake sailing.

I can say without hesitation that everyone should try sailing on the Great Lakes at least once. There are some incredibly beautiful locations, it's right in our own backyard, and you can experience a full range of sailing conditions, from placid gunk holing to gnarly open ocean tempests. My favorite place so far is the Apostle Islands on Lake Superior. It's a very remote, natural location with relatively few boats and people. The charter company there is the best, both in terms of people and boats. Their web site is http://www.superiorcharters.com If you'd like to be able to visit towns and put in at a marina every night, Lake Michigan and Grand Traverse Bay might be more your style. The charter company we used there is Bay Breeze Yacht Charters, which is at http://www.bbyc.com

There are other resources for sailing on the Great Lakes, such as regional magazines and web sites, but I can't recall them off hand. Hopefully some locals can give you that information.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2007
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Wow. Thank you all. I kind of had the intuition that it not could be as easy as ignorance makes you think. I guess it is bit like a storm in high mountains... last only a couple of hours, but appears out of nowhere in no time and it is prety scary, even if you are in a shelter. The Mediterranean sea is in a way similar to what you describe, and we have theese waves we call "FSW" (F... Short Wave).

Tradewindsailing, I also like getting away from crowds. In fact, your picture in the avatar and the ones that you post are the type that make me feel like sailing there. I just started recently following the "tell me where it is" thread. I don't participate more because I am usually clueless. I'll review your old postings and note down some hideaways. (You and Kwaltersmi don't worry: I won't tell anyone. I promise )

Moonfish, thanks for the good leads. And congratulations on the show. It's a good find for me. I have kept the bookmarks of the "Latitudes and Attitudes" on Youtube to see them later.

Regarding the time of the year (not that I plan to get there on the winter, sure about that!) is there a better time than other. Comparing with the Mediterranean again, here June/July is much better than August/September. Is there a favourite time of the year for you in the lakes?

Last edited by TwentySeven; 12-19-2007 at 05:47 AM.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2007
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June or September are the best times if you want to really get away from the crowds. Especially mid week, you can sail all day and yours will be the only the boat you will see.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2007
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You are going to love your time on the inland seas.
We have some great sailing days and some windless days.

You never know what you are going to get, that is all just part of the challenge. We get all of the extremes, from no wind to 30 knots can happen in just a couple of hours. The lake can be flat as a pancake one minute with 6-8 foot choppy, very step seas the next. You have to be preppared for anything and everything.

Thunder storms that move through are usually very fast moving. They can be extreamly violent, but usually blow trough in a matter of hours, the next thing you know, you can have a beautiful sunny afternoon just hours after a violent thunderstorm.


You'll have a great time, just be preppared for everything and anything.
Some of our favorite places.




Big Red in Holland Michigan


Sailing off of the Chicago Light


Clearing the Makinaw Bridge

Sunset Over Lake Michigan
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2007
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2007
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I think that pic has been photo shopped buy our friend the photoshopper.
I'm sure you have seen it before.
In his version I have lots of hair.
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