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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2012
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Quote:
There really are very few safe harbors on the Wisconsin side below Door county.
There are plenty of lay overs between Chicago and Milwaukee: Waukegan, Winthrop Harbor, Kenosha, Racine. All are safe harbors. Not anchoarges but safe harbors, yes. You can even throw in Wilmette. Although Wilmette is vary small and shallow and just North of Chicago. The longest hop would be Chicago to Waukegan, a 33NM Sail.

North out of Milwaukee:
Port Washington, Sheboygan (beautiful harbor), Manitowac, Kewanee, Algoma.
All spaced out approximately 25 Miles.
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Old 01-04-2012
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I would challenge the premise of going around the entire lake.

I live in Muskegon, Michigan and keep my Catalina 309 here. My experience on the lake goes back several decades. I'll offer the suggestion of exploring the East coast of the lake. It's almost entirely sandy beaches, and you'll never be far from a port. Start South and go North. When you get to the top of the state, put your boat in a slip, rent a car, and go fetch your vehicle and trailer.

Take a month or two and enjoy yourself.

Provisions required: credit card
Seriously, in any of the beautiful ports you'll visit, Holland, Grand Haven, Muskegon, Ludington, Manistee, etc., you'll always be able to access a grocery store and/or a restaurant, Walmart, etc.. All you really need to concern yourself with is outfitting your vessel appropriately for safety and comfort. Definitely bring a laptop, as wifi is commonplace. I would not consider the trip without a good dinghy, as there a many places where you'll be able to anchor overnight. Obviously, you'll want good ground tackle, and you'll mostly encounter sandy or muddy/weedy bottoms.

At 25 feet do you have a holding tank or a porta potti? We took the holding tank out of our 31 footer and replaced it with a porta potti. I always find a place to empty it. If a marina doesn't like you to empty into their toilets, I've noticed that they don't guard them 24/7.

To do the Eastern shore, all you'll really need is a Richardson's chart book. It'll give you charts of all the inland lakes, and include phone numbers and hailing frequencies for all the marinas. You could avail yourself of a more comprehensive cruising guide, but it's not really necessary. Your laptop will tell you all you need as you travel. I find that my Verizon cell phone service keeps me connected pretty much all the way up and down the coast...sweet.

The Eastern coast, in addition to having the nice sandy beaches, also has the awesome inland lakes. Holland's Lake Macatawa, Muskegon's Muskegon lake is about five miles long, and is probably the best on the coast, but Portage Lake is no slouch, and Lake Charlevoix (spelling?) woohoo. Paradise!

I'd be concerned that if you did the entire lake, you'd find yourself just blowing past some of areas that need to be explored at your leisure. A few days in Pentwater will do you good. Look on the chart and you'll see how much coastline there is just on Grand Traverse Bay. No sense just blowing by the bay....explore. Before you get to the bay you'll sail past the Manitou Islands and sleeping Bear Dunes. Wow.

What you really need to bring:
Again, the usual boat stuff: GPS...all I have is a handheld and I do just fine. Binoculars, compass, depth sounder, chart book (a full size roll up chart of the entire lake is also very nice to have). A good dinghy / a 2 or 3 horse motor is nice, but not essential. VHF radio.

Bring plenty of books. You'll be able to get more along the way, and shouldn't have much of a problem finding used books cheaply.

Again, the credit card is all you really need beyond some very basic items I've mentioned. You will always be within walking distance of what you need. Oh yeah....bring comfortable walking shoes.

A bicycle is not necessary, and probably an encumbrance on a 25 footer. We don't have one on our 31 footer. I sometimes wonder if one of those little electric scooters that are sort of an electric skateboard with handlebars and a seat post wouldn't be a bad idea for when it's 90, humid, and you suddenly realize you forgot to get something on your mile walk to the store. Just the same, we don't have one, and you can usually shorten most of your walks by using the dinghy to get within range of where you want to be.

So, think about the East cost. Regardless, when you get to Muskegon, look me up.

Last edited by Siamese; 01-04-2012 at 01:14 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-2012
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i am planning this sail for the training purposes stated. this is not likely to be my only trip around. so trying to make everything in this first shot, is not necessary. there will be more. i am hopping to make this trip over a couple weeks time. there is many things i need to prepare. so i am just planning the legs and anchorages and such.
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  #14  
Old 01-04-2012
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Arrow Might be just a little too ambitious ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikieg View Post
did i say that right? i plan to take some time next summer to cruise the parimeter of lake michigan. has anyone any experience with this? i am in the planning stages right now. i dont expect to ever lose sight of land as i am skirting the edges. how much time do you think it will take? where are the cool places to stop and anchor or tie up?
even though there will be many port calls, what provisions should one take?
basically, how should i go about planning this big adventure?
my boat is a W.D. Schock Santana 525 s/v In Schock. so we wont have refrigeration or many other comforts.
all comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Start with the Lake Michigan Cruising Guide linked by jackdale. Get a free copy of a computer based chartplotter program such as OpenCPN and download the Lake Michigan charts. Know what a comfortable day's sailing is for your boat and make sure you know what a typical day motoring would be.

With these three items, you will find all the cool places to stay and estimate how long it will likely take you to circumnavigate Lake Michigan.

We did a Milwaukee-Muskegon-Leland-Door County-Milwaukee loop last season. That was 17 days and had more hours motoring than sailing.

I suspect your trip could take the better part of two months if you average 25-30 miles every day. I assume you will trailer the boat to Lake Michigan. I also assume you will leave your trailer and tow vehicle wherever you launch. This, by itself, could be a very expensive item.

The Lake has just over 1,600 miles of coastline. You might consider doing this in chunks spread out over two or three years.

Good Luck ...
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Old 01-05-2012
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yeah...what they said.

I very much agree with a great majority of what every body had to say.

I am sorry, but I cannot use PM just yet...not enough posts...getting there though.
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Old 01-05-2012
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State Parks.

Michigan's state parks are nice. Hiking, beaches, both on the Michigan side and the inland lake side are nice. On lakes like Muskegon, swimming is possible. Many of the state parks have water, toilets, and beautiful scenery. The sand dunes are something else.
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Old 01-05-2012
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I was going to suggest attending the Venetian Festival in St, Joe Mi. However while looking of this yrs dates I discovered the following.

You should still visit St. Joe it's nice place. It's Time to Visit St. Joseph

Venetian Festival Comes to an End


9/27/11 - After much deliberation, the Senior Membership of the Venetian Festival made the difficult decision last night to retire this iconic event that has been a summer destination in the City of St. Joseph for 33 years. The decision came only after exhaustive discussion of any reasonable means of redesigning the festival to fit the parameters set forth by the city during a meeting with city officials last week.

While city officials offered to listen to a new plan for the festival, they were direct in that they were inflexible on certain constraints, and festival organizers felt there was indifference toward working cooperatively to retain the event in the city.

Following that meeting, festival organizers studied a variety of concepts for redesigning the festival to work within the city's parameters including, as many have often suggested, "returning to its roots" of a smaller festival confined to the arboretum. However, the passing of years that, among other things, resulted in significant growth of trees in the original arboretum location, the need to update the infrastructure to support the event, public safety issues, and skyrocketing costs of entertainment, made that option neither viable logistically or advisable financially for the organization.

Consequently, after much hopeful discussion of continuing on, the membership came to the sad conclusion that the Venetian Festival no longer had a home in the city of St. Joseph, and elected to retire the event.

For festival organizers, it has truly been an honor and a privilege to present this festival to southwestern Michigan for the past 33 years. The Venetian Festival has been a labor of love for all of us involved, and we are deeply saddened to see the festival come to this end. But we hope that you - our friends and fans - will continue to cherish the memories of spending the third weekend of every July at the Venetian Festival, and we thank you for the wonderful memories you have created for us, as well.
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Old 01-05-2012
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  #19  
Old 01-06-2012
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We originally planned a Lake Michigan circumnavigation in 2010, but ultimately opted for a 1000 nm 3 month round trip through the North Channel. However, we have cruised the Michigan side of Lake Michigan extensively and have most of our guides and logs posted on our website here. We'll likely tackle Door County this coming summer.

I figured the Lake Michigan circumnavigation would take at least 2 months to do it properly and see all there is to see. Even then, you'd feel rushed at times, which is counter to my cruising philosophy. Alternatively, you could make a very nice smaller cruise out of a large loop in the northern portion of the lake. Not only will you find major contrast between the eastern and western shores, but you'll also obviously see big differences between the southern basin and the northern basin. For my tastes, cruising doesn't get much better than the northern portions of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Feel free to contact me if you'd like to chat more about your Lake Michigan cruise plans.
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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 01-06-2012 at 09:35 AM.
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Old 01-06-2012
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Like others have said, and like I said in my original reply to this thread; it could take months.
To give you an expample, we have been cruising Lake Michigan for several decades. I checked my Lake Land Boating Cruising Guide and I have visited right around half the ports on the Lake.
This year we hope to add Petosky and Harbor SDprings to those ports we have visited. It is a big lake.
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