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post #11 of 21 Old 01-04-2012 Thread Starter
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haha. i am currently on the southern most tip of lake michigan. and of course i brought my little boat with me (if she found out that i came here without her, she would never speak to me again!). i spent a few months in the gulf of mexico this last spring with her. but now i have returned up here to the "big water" (quoted from the mouth of my 5 year old the first time he ever saw lake michigan.). i plan to use the lake for nav training to get me ready for the real big water.
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-04-2012
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Mikieg

What kind of boat? Do you have a sea anchor / drogue? What type of ground tsckle do you have?

The Great Lakes can be more brutal than the open ocean. More shoaling. More confused weather patterns.

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post #13 of 21 Old 01-04-2012 Thread Starter
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i have a W.D.Schock Santana 525. i do not have a sea anchor as of yet. i will be taking a couple danforth type anchors with 200' rodes. less than a mile out i prolly see alot of 30 something feet depths or less. i plan to make use of public transient slips and protected anchorages as much as possible. but there will be nights that we will be out on the hook. my boat is a bit spartan in nature as it is really meant as a go fast type. i dont go fast, so i am wondering how many leisurly miles a day i might average. again, just sailing in (vfr) easy conditions with no time frame in mind.
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post #14 of 21 Old 01-04-2012
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Your question it much too general. How do you define, 'middle of nowhere' and how do you define, 'bad weather'?

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-04-2012
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The Great Lakes can be brutal. BUT, with careful planning and closely watching your weather window, you should not get caught unexpected.
Even in the middle of Nowhere on Lake Michigan, you are never more than 40 +/- miles from a safe port. Watch and listen, learn the weather patterns.
I am not saying stuff does not happen, it does, I know. But prepare yourself the best you can and watch the weather. If your not comfortable with being out in a big blow for a while than head for cover.
The other thing about the Great Lakes Storms is that they are fast moving. They usually blow up and in and over in a matter of hours. You can go through a Squall Line in be miserable and that very same afternoon be enjoying a nice sunny day.
Sometimes the best thing is to drop all sail and simply ride it out. You should have enough sea room if you are indeed out in the middle of nowhere.
This video has been posted a couple of times around here; it's a good example.
We were on our way from Holland Michigan to Chicago for the Air and Water Show last year. It is approximately a 16 Hour sail. The forecast was for Scattered Thunderstorms the day after we departed. If I hear scattered thunderstorms in the forecast and I have 85Nautical Miles to sail and I am planning on attending a nice event, I will take my chances. Well, if you are willing to take your chances, you have to be willing to deal with the out come. We were about 30 miles out from the Wisconsin side about even with the Illinois / Wisconsin border. We knew it was coming. Had the warning of the day earlier. Could hear the thunder as we approached the storm center. I drop all sail and simply motored through it. The worst part is the Lightening. Nothing much you can do about that, this is why my wife Julie is so upset in the video. No sailor I know likes lightening.
The following video is a good example of how these things can blow through. Six hours later we were anchored off of North Avenue Beach watching the Air Show.

Storm on Board Julianna - YouTube


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Last edited by sailortjk1; 01-04-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-04-2012
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There are a lot of storm survival techniques that apply both to the Great Lakes and the open ocean, and you can find plenty of opinions on this forum. Your best bet is to be familiar with all of the ones that you can expect to use.

For example, I heave-to regularly, mostly for practical purposes, but occasionally I have had to do it in gale conditions. I don't practice lying to a sea-anchor, running with a drogue, fitting a trysail, etc. because I don't really expect to get caught out in conditions that merit those responses in the next couple of seasons, since I will be in the relatively protected waters of the Straight of Georgia.

If I were to lie to a sea anchor around here I would be worried about being blown ashore or blown over the shoaling, dangerous waters of the Fraser delta. So it's not really a meaningful option for my sailing area. Also I don't really expect to be "out in the middle of nowhere"; the Straight is never more than 20 nm wide or so and strong winds always blow one direction or the other, so it's usually easy enough to get into sheltered waters. Finally, I have the luxury of choosing not to go sailing (though sadly, not the opposite luxury).

My point is that, rather than worrying about these "survival storm" techniques, consider the waters you will be sailing in and the conditions that those waters will throw at you. The situation should determine the response.

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post #17 of 21 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: bad weather

"The legend lives on, from the Chippewa on down, of the big lake they call Gitcheegoomie...." Gordon Lightfoot

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.

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post #18 of 21 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: bad weather

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Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
All of Bill's boats are good.
I think the Flicka is a Bruce Bingham boat not a Crealock design (if that's the Bill you were referring to).
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post #19 of 21 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: bad weather

It's the time to become a real sailor! the pop-test, sink or swim! It's why we study hard, & are on this forum!..Dale

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post #20 of 21 Old 05-27-2012
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Re: bad weather

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Originally Posted by AdamLein View Post
My point is that, rather than worrying about these "survival storm" techniques, consider the waters you will be sailing in and the conditions that those waters will throw at you. The situation should determine the response.
Well said!

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