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Old 05-01-2012
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Re: Marinas while in transit

I did the Canadian side of that trip last summer. I definitely wouldn't want to show up after dark anywhere we stopped in Lake Erie.

We did arrive at Port Colborne in the dark (extenuating circumstances). We were rather confused by why the nav lights weren't as depicted on the chart.... until we realized that they were blacked out by the giant hulk of a black freighter that we couldn't see in the dark! My wife and said a few sailor words when our eyes finally sorted it all out and made room to let him through.

I wouldn't enter strange ports or anchorages in the dark so maybe leaving in the dark, and arriving before the offices close at 5pm is a prudent choice.
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Old 05-01-2012
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Re: Marinas while in transit

I would agree with Tim on the late arrivals, especially this time of year, at strange marinas. In addition, it may be a good idea to call your planned marinas and see if they can even handle you as yet so you can plan accordingly. The Fed's are not coming through with funds for dredging as they are supposed to and many ports have not been dredged as yet while they try and collect monies from locals to pay for it. That includes ports of refuge.

For you L. Michigan sailors, Leland, among others, is having that problem right now. Until they start spending $60,000 that they have collected locally they currently have a very narrow fairway that will not allow more than 4.5 feet. In rough weather, which happens often there, that can get to 1' in the troughs. Even after they dredge it will not be wide and may shoal in with that nice Michigan side sand before the end of the season. Pick your destinations with that in mind this spring and summer.
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