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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Great Lakes > Lake Huron
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  #1  
Old 02-10-2009
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Lake Huron anchorages

Hey all Lake Huron sailors...

I'm going to try to head up the Canadian side from Sarnia to Tobermory this summer. I'm a cheap SOB, so I'd like to anchor instead of paying for dockage when possible.

Where can I do that on the run north from Sarnia?
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Old 02-10-2009
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lots of beach on the Canadian side. Not sure how much protection you'd need for an anchorage, or how much your boat draws. I too am interested in finding good spots to anchor between here (sarnia) and Manitoulin, so I'll be watching this thread too.
One place to start would be to take a leisurely fly-over of the coast line with Google earth. take note of natural harbours and use your chart software to find a nice deep spot out of the wind and waves.
Let me know how you make out.
-Paul
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Old 02-11-2009
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Goderich, Kincardine, Port Elgin & Southampton look like possible choices.
I draw 5'6", 42' loa.
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Old 02-11-2009
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Those are all small harbors with no anchorages. We made the trip four years ago, and I am pretty positive there is no where to anchor along the whole Canadian side until you get to Tobermory. Buy a "Ports" guide to the North Channel and Georgian Bay; it will tell you everything you need to know.
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Old 02-11-2009
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All Canadian anchorages are top secret...... so top secret in fact, that no one can find them.

There's not many places to stop on that side. Bayfield, Goderich, Kincardine, Port Elgin all have harbours and marinas that you can stay. ( there may be a couple of others I missed ) There's miles of beach all along the coast but is all exposed to the NW wind and can kick up some nasty waves, so nowhere to anchor.

Get the Ports book and it'll tell you everything you'll need to know.

Past Tobermory there's Wingfield Basin at the far East tip of the Peninsula.
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Old 02-13-2009
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Scottbr is right. Anchorages on the Canadian side of Lake Huron are top secret. There are rumours that they exist but then there were similar rumours about WMDs (see "Off Topic" for THAT debate!)

The only achorage that I know of would be in the lee of Lyal Island at Stokes Bay. It is a fair way in on the curve of the Bruce Penninsula and I haven't stopped there. I have it in my GPS if the weather kicks up and I need a safe haven but that hasn't happened so far.
Unless you do a Sarnia to Tobermory Run, there are no other anchorages that I know of.

Harbour Notes:
Grand Bend - Very few transient slips. Likely too close to Sarnia for a first stop. Grand Bend is a summer party town if that is your thing.
Bayfield - There are several marinas in Bayfield and an excellent marine shop if you are in need of repairs or supplies. The Village of Bayfield is very pretty with some fabulous restaurants and shops. (but who cares about that, we're sailors arent we!)
Goderich - This is a bulk freighter port with recreational slips. You can get in there safely even under the worst conditions. I've never stopped there so I have no opinion on the harbour.
Kincardine - Nice harbour close to downtown. One of our favourites.
Port Elgin - This is a great harbour with a very nice beach and summer events in the park. It is a kilometer or so to walk to the main street if you need provisions. It is slightly indented in the curve of the Bruce Penn and adds an hour or more to our straight run from Bayfield to Tobermory.
Southampton - There is no longer a harbour in Southampton that can take anything close to a 42 footer with 5'6". Port Elgin is the only option there.
Next stop - Tobermory.
Kincardine and Port Elgin are not expensive. I'll check my log and post the per foot rate we paid last year.

Ports Guides are very good. Richardsons will also show you there are no chartable safe anchorages along the Cdn side. Someone with fantastic local knowledge may be able to find a place in the Fishing Islands... my view - abandon hope all ye who venture there!
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Old 02-14-2009
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thanks all
My Richardsons chartbook shows some possiblilities in goderich behind the outer breakwall and in the inner harbor. But that inner harbor is probably forbidden for anchoring because of freighter traffic.
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Old 02-15-2009
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Definitely not in the inner harbour, they use it as a turning basin for the freighters if the lake is too rough. I doubt they would let you anchor in the outer harbour and if the lake if rough, you wouldn't want to anyways. You can still get some pretty good waves inside the breakwall. With the salt mine there are freighters in and out of the harbour 2-3 times a week. Usually there's 2-3 tugs out to assist the freighters and need room to manouver if its rough.
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Old 02-20-2009
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At Goderich we have managed to tie up at the wall in the inner harbour for free.Arrive late and leave early.You are right about a very nasty surge in the harbour in any wind with just a smidge of west in it.
That just leaves Stokes Bay.We have anchored a couple of times in the lee of Lyal Island according to the wind direction.Care is needed to work your way in luckily the water is very clear.Looking at the chart it is also possible to anchor at the other end of Stokes Bay but that a hell of a long way to go.
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Old 04-03-2009
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We were seasonals at Bayfield for a couple of years. When going to the North Channel we would leave about 8pm and head straight for Tobermory. It seems to me that we would make it to Little Tug around 4pm the next day. Naturally we would look for a good weather window. Now we are near East Tawas and the sail to Tobermory is about 22 hours.

Mike
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