Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area - SailNet Community
 5Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 20 Old 10-05-2018 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

I'm looking for some advice from locals within the Great Lakes/Lake Michigan/St Lawrence region.

I've been asked for my opinion/help in possibly bringing a boat down from Lake Michigan to Jacksonville Florida. My first inclination and gut feeling was "it's too late in the season and you should wait until spring".

My train of thought went like this-

The boat was last sailed in July. It's been on the hard ever since. I have not personally inspected this boat but knowing boats, it's highly unlikely it is ready for a trip of this magnitude as it sits. So in my opinion, figure three to four weeks at a minimum to go over everything and fix the basics, launch and do a couple short sea trials. So figure early to mid November at the earliest. I know him pretty well and he's owned the boat for a while so I trust his opinion on it's condition for the most part, but being that he won't be there the boat would have to meet my safety list, which means very few, if any, short cuts. So figure mid to late November as being pretty accurate.

Whats the weather and temps up there during this time frame? Obviously I looked at the historical data already but local knowledge would be helpful. Depending on how I feel about the WestB 4-107's condition once I'm there; will effect my choice of a mast up run via the St Lawrence or mast down via the locks.

The last time I did a trip from up north late season (October) was from North East MD to Charleston SC. It was cold but bearable. Wouldn't want to live there but I survived. This trip is quite a bit further north and even later in the season. I'm also well aware that the North East gets some pretty nasty fronts coming through late fall. Pretty sure you even have a name for them....

So I suppose my real question for you local guys is would you make the trip this late in the year or wait until spring? My gut says wait. Murphy gets more active when it's cold and adding a timeline is like popping a Solas flare inviting him to ride along. Not to mention my southern butt dislikes cold seats and bunks and my crew is currently in Tampa so I'm quite sure they don't like cold either. He asked me because I've done trips like this before but honestly I'm just not familiar with the local area from the lakes to the salt water. I generally trust my initial instincts but I figured there is no harm in asking the people who are currently up there for their opinions.

Thoughts?
ApparitionS is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 Old 10-05-2018
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,361
Thanks: 198
Thanked 171 Times in 167 Posts
Rep Power: 3
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

You missed your opportunity for the season. The NYS Canals close October 10th.

Hours of Operation - New York State Canals

Going out the St Lawrence would be insanity. Aside from the much much longer distance and the winds, we had -2 overnight over a week ago (Gulf of St Lawrence/canso canal).

Last edited by Arcb; 10-05-2018 at 09:22 AM.
Arcb is offline  
post #3 of 20 Old 10-05-2018
Old soul
 
MikeOReilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 3,804
Thanks: 246
Thanked 185 Times in 173 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

Yup, way too late. Unless you can go south via the Mississippi route. Donít know if this is possible, but as Arcb says, the Erie Canal system closes Oct. 10. St. Lawrence would be nuts in a small boat. Even sailing the Great Lakes right now will be pushing things. In a few more weeks only the crazy folks (or the winter liveaboards) will still be in the water.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
MikeOReilly is online now  
 
post #4 of 20 Old 10-05-2018 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
Yup, way too late. Unless you can go south via the Mississippi route. Donít know if this is possible, but as Arcb says, the Erie Canal system closes Oct. 10. St. Lawrence would be nuts in a small boat. Even sailing the Great Lakes right now will be pushing things. In a few more weeks only the crazy folks (or the winter liveaboards) will still be in the water.
Yeah, MS is not an option. You guys pretty much reaffirmed my initial thoughts. I hadn't made it to the point of checking the locks; good to know. From what I understand the St Lawrence is one helluva run even in the best conditions.

Additionally I now am armed with a few opinions from others so I can dissuade the owner from considering it too.

My crew are a bunch of hooligans so they were waiting to see what I thought, I'm sure they would have attempted it if I thought it was a good idea. I didn't and still don't. So be it, spring it is.

-2? HA! No thank you. Temps under 30 are good for two things; drinking warm brandy and making children.

Appreciate it guys. AS
ApparitionS is offline  
post #5 of 20 Old 10-05-2018 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

One more thing, based on what's written above, when do you guys start coming out of hibernation up there?
ApparitionS is offline  
post #6 of 20 Old 10-05-2018
Old soul
 
MikeOReilly's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 3,804
Thanks: 246
Thanked 185 Times in 173 Posts
Rep Power: 10
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

When I was in Lake Ontario I would launch in mid-April. This was early, but doable.

When we were in the North Channel and Lake Superior launch dates were usually early June, although you can usually get in by mid-May.

Spring is cold on the Lakes. Iíve never sailed Michigan (the only GL I missed), but I assume it is like Huron, which means the water temp will only be a few degrees above freezing. Itís doable to sail, but be prepared for constant cold.

BTW, I sailed out the St. Lawrence last season (to Newfoundland). Itís a grand trip, but not the easiest journey in a smallish sailboat.
Arcb likes this.

Why go fast, when you can go slow.
BLOG:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
MikeOReilly is online now  
post #7 of 20 Old 10-05-2018 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

"BTW, I sailed out the St. Lawrence last season (to Newfoundland). Itís a grand trip, but not the easiest journey in a smallish sailboat."

I've read some cruising guides on it and people agree it's a spectacular and scenic trip. Definitely not a last minute kind of trip though. I didn't realize it got so...arctic...up there so quickly. No wonder everyone comes down here. I'm not a big fan of last minute planning and this trip started throwing up red flags from the start. I can be adventurous but Robert Edwin Peary I am not. I figured I'd at least look into it and the more I do, the more my initial reaction makes sense. Perhaps I'll revisit this next spring, or convince him an overland route via truck is worth the cost.

Appreciate it.
ApparitionS is offline  
post #8 of 20 Old 10-05-2018
Master Mariner
 
capta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
Posts: 6,952
Thanks: 135
Thanked 365 Times in 353 Posts
Rep Power: 8
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

When I did Fla to the Great Lakes via the St Lawrence, in June I believe, I had pea soup fog from Nova Scotia to Kingston Ontario, every second of the trip. I'm talking fog in which one cannot see the boat's bow from the pilothouse of an 80 foot motorsailor. Just something else to consider up thar in them cold places.
ApparitionS likes this.

"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
ďBelieve me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.Ē ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

facebook.com/svskippingstone
capta is online now  
post #9 of 20 Old 10-05-2018
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,361
Thanks: 198
Thanked 171 Times in 167 Posts
Rep Power: 3
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

The St Lawrence is certainly a pretty trip, unless you have fog like Capta, or worse snow, which you would very likely see a decent amount of in November.


However, its a reasonably challenging place to sail.

Going down stream, it starts out pretty easy for the first 90 miles or so in the Thousand Islands.

Then the next 120 miles or so is tricky. The St Lawrence Seaway is a canal built for large sea going ships, so you are frequently maneuvering in close proximity to 700 foot ships, sometimes quite close, and occasionally have to share the locks with good size vessels (200-300 ft).

Then you get a bit of an easy sleigh ride, riding the current and prevailing wind from Montreal to Quebec City another 150- 200 Miles.

Then the next bit is the prettiest in my opinion, the St Lawrence Valley from Quebec City to the open Gulf, which is maybe another 400 miles. It can get a little dicey in this area with 18 foot tides and currents to 8 knots in the river.

Then you have to cross the open Gulf, which can be really rough. Its a good 300 miles across the Gulf, to the Canso Canal. Then stuff doesn't get any easier from there as you are on the open ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia until you can reach Maine. Which is another 500 miles.


Much of the trip is in Francophone areas, at tourist locations you can generally find an English speaker, but the area really is quite French.

Or, you could simply take the NYS Canals and Hudson River which is less than 300 miles in protected waters directly to New York City.

Here are some of my pics. First Thousand Islands, then the Seaway, then a couple of shots of the tide partially down in the salt water portions of the river, St Lawrence Valley. Then a pic of a beach in the Northhumberland Straight in the Eastern Gulf of St Lawrence.
Attached Thumbnails
Tousand islands.png   lock.png   Montmagny.png   Montmagny2.png   beach2.png  

MikeOReilly likes this.

Last edited by Arcb; 10-05-2018 at 02:01 PM.
Arcb is offline  
post #10 of 20 Old 10-05-2018 Thread Starter
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 14
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Rep Power: 0
 
Re: Local Season Knowledge in the Great Lakes Area

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
The St Lawrence is certainly a pretty trip, unless you have fog like Capta, or worse snow, which you would very likely see a decent amount of in November.


However, its a reasonably challenging place to sail.

Going down stream, it starts out pretty easy for the first 90 miles or so in the Thousand Islands.

Then the next 120 miles or so is tricky. The St Lawrence Seaway is a canal built for large sea going ships, so you are frequently maneuvering in close proximity to 700 foot ships, sometimes quite close, and occasionally have to share the locks with good size vessels (200-300 ft).

Then you get a bit of an easy sleigh ride, riding the current and prevailing wind from Montreal to Quebec City another 150- 200 Miles.

Then the next bit is the prettiest in my opinion, the St Lawrence Valley from Quebec City to the open Gulf, which is maybe another 400 miles. It can get a little dicey in this area with 18 foot tides and currents to 8 knots in the river.

Then you have to cross the open Gulf, which can be really rough. Its a good 300 miles across the Gulf, to the Canso Canal. Then stuff doesn't get any easier from there as you are on the open ocean off the coast of Nova Scotia until you can reach Maine. Which is another 500 miles.


Much of the trip is in Francophone areas, at tourist locations you can generally find an English speaker, but the area really is quite French.

Or, you could simply take the NYS Canals and Hudson River which is less than 300 miles in protected waters directly to New York City.

Here are some of my pics. First Thousand Islands, then the Seaway, then a couple of shots of the tide partially down in the salt water portions of the river, St Lawrence Valley. Then a pic of a beach in the Northhumberland Straight in the Eastern Gulf of St Lawrence.
Appreciate all of the information. This wouldn't be a "pleasure" trip for me so the only logical solution is the NY Lock system, which is off the table.
ApparitionS is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

By choosing to post the reply above you agree to the rules you agreed to when joining Sailnet.
Click Here to view those rules.

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.


User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
good, bad, or great Egg? (inlet) Local knowledge? deniseO30 Chesapeake / Central US east coast 2 08-11-2011 12:30 AM
Chicago Area Marinas -Bleg for "Local Knowledge" sidmon General Discussion (sailing related) 7 05-01-2010 01:54 PM
Great site for info on the Great Lakes scottbr Lake Huron 0 03-14-2009 07:07 PM
News From 91.3 KUWS More lakers sailing the Great Lakes this season (BusinessNorth) NewsReader News Feeds 0 07-25-2006 06:15 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome