Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 124 Times in 112 Posts
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Re: Sailing Lake Ontario
The side of the lake you choose should depend on the wind forecast. The idea is to pick the shore closest to the wind so that the waves will be as small as possible for as long as possible. So if the winds have a northerly component then stay on the north shore. If they are southerly get to the south shore early and go along that coast. Passage weather is suggesting northerlies around 5 knots on Saturday morning so you are better on the northern coast (note that a forecast that far ahead is not going to be exact.
- you are planning a 5+ knot average. To do that on a 32 footer chances are good you will motor a lot. Make sure your engine is reliable and you have lots of fuel
- have charts for both coasts (the Richardson's book is good) and know where you can bail out if you have to or want to. On the north shore, there are several until you get to Cobourg, then a fair jump. You can go outside, south of Prince Edward County (that big bump of land) or you can go inside (check to make sure that the Murray Canal is open - you don't need to worry about locks or mast height, just a couple of bridges that open.) Going inside gives you tons of protection and a few pleasant towns to stop at. Once you get out of the Bay of Quinte you can head for Sackett's if the weather forecast is still decent.
- south shore you can stop at the mouth of the Niagara R (Canadian or American side), Wilson, Olcott, Oak Orchard, Rochester, Sodus, Oswego, again lots of places to bail out.
- figure out where you are going to enter the US (as in border formalities); not sure Sackett's is a port of entry. Most of towns further west are and have a video phone setup. You may or may not get visited by an officer. I think we once were.
- as someone said, it will be bitterly cold, especially at night; I would want to have multiple layers top and bottom and boots with very warm socks along with the warmest hats you can find. Not just talking about being uncomfortable. The conditions could easily cause hypothermia if you are not careful.
Sounds like you do not have time to do this trip in day hops which means you should be prepared for nasty conditions. Get an early start in the morning so you get there next afternoon.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.