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post #7 of Old 11-25-2008 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xort View Post
c'mon, tell the rest of the story...the real facts.
the mosquitos are as big as barn swallows and bite like the dickens. when they are not out in the evening ruining a pleasant sunset, the black flies are around and they are even worse. they sting like bees.
if you can soak in neet for a few days you might be able to minimize the terror of huge swarms of biting flies. But don't go to shore on any of those hiking trails. there's an unending carpet of poison ivy that will get through your pants right to your skin. Of course under all that poison ivy lurk thousands upon thousands of Missasauga rattlers the size of baseball bats with a particularly deadly venom. So stay on your boat where your chances with the flies are much better. of course the black bears are known to be good swimmers.
as for the boating, the north channel was charted in about 1650. the rocky pinnacles are quite unforgiving. you can be sailing along in 50' of water and then come upon a nice pinnacle just 2 or 3 feet below the surface. plan on having a life raft because there are no towing services within a hundred miles. also bring your own medical kit as there isn't any way to contact coast guard if you break or cut something. don't worry about heat stroke as the temps rarely get over 65 degrees, usually more like 45 degrees. if you are comfortable with 45 degree temps, you'll love the swimming. the lightning storms are sure to impress, don't worry you'll get plenty of oportunity to witness these forces of nature.

Enjoy that long treck up the barren shores of Lake Huron to get to this wonder of the north woods!!
First of all, most of the things you list here are common thing for a hiker to run into. Bears, snakes, moose, and poison ivy are a fact of life in northern nature settings, and all can be dealt with with a little prudence and pre-caution. I also have never seen a snake in the north channel. Poison Ivy and snake bites can generally be avoided by keeping an eye out and wearing boots with long pants...this is basic knowledge for anybody that has spent more than a day in real wilderness. Bears and Moose are a slim chance of danger that one has to live with, and can also be very interesting and enjoyable to watch.

Yes there are bugs...again, get over it. They dont come in the apocalyptic swarms that you describe and are just as bas as anywhere else in the woods in michigan or ontario.

Yes, there are many navigational obstacles in the north channel, and yes, there are some mistakes on the charts...this is why you need to be a competent navigator and go slow or use a lead line in questionable areas.

The coast guard does not have a near-by station, and yes it would take a long time to get a response from them, but while in the channel, a boat called a mayday that had run aground (not because of bad charts, but because of incompetence. The fact that they didnt call a pon pon instead of a mayday when nobody's life was at risk is a testament to this). Within 20 minutes, 3 power cruisers were on the scene, and within 35 minutes, our 65 foot schooner was on the scene, and within 50 minutes, the boat was off the rocks and on it merry way to get a diver to inspect the hull (which, by the way, was a service found on Manitoulin island in Kagawong).

Yes, the lightening storms are very impressive in the channel, and i had the honor of experiencing three of them, all of which had wind gusts over 30 knots and driving rain. If you call yourself a sailor and find these conditions exceptional or extreme, then i suggest you sell your boat and buy an RV; you are going to find yourself very surprised if real weather rolls in.

Furthermore, I have sailed from Port Huron to Tobermory multiple times and each time took less than 25 hours...thats one day sailing. If you really cant handle a one day transit to get to a wonderful cruising ground, then just stick with the featureless, power boat-ridden seaweed puddle they call lake st Claire and get a flatscreen TV installed in your boat. Or perhaps you should head down to south bass island and embrace the tourism. That isn't what cruising is about.

PS The swimming is very refreshing once you get past the shock.
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