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Living to Live
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Discussion Starter #1
We are planning a route to the Caribbean from Midland ON starting I'm 2014. The plan involves bringing the boat to Lake Erie, or Lake Ontario this fall, from Georgian Bay. I assume Detroit river, Wellamd Canal is the only option for a sailboat. Does anyone know how much time to budget, for Midland around to Toronto?

Also, anyone care to speculate on time needed for Toronto, through Erie Canal route, down ICW to Florida?
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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You can go to Lake Ontario via the Trent Canal with mast down if you draft is no more than five feet. Going the Welland Route should take you 10 to 12 days at a relaxed pace. From Oswego, NY where you enter the canal is about 8 to 10 days, again not rushing but moving each day. It is a very pleasant trip.
 

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Living to Live
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kilarney... however, I'm being told that the entrance to the Trent is 5' Under normal circumstances, but chart datum is showing minus two feet these days. So sounds like I won't be able to get in.
 

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I assume Detroit river, Wellamd Canal is the only option for a sailboat.
There is nothing wrong with this route picking up the canal in Oswego. But it is not the only option. You can avoid the Welland and Lake Ontario and start the canal portion of your trip at Buffalo, NY on Lake Erie.

Edit: And don't forget, there is also the inland route through the river system. Lake Michigan (beautiful Cruising Grounds), Calumet River, Cal-Sag Canal, Illinois River, Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Through Kentucky Lake, Tenn-Tom Waterway, and finaly Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

Just pointing out that there is more than one way to get where you are going. Xort from here made the river trip a couple of years ago and I believe he enjoyed it.
 

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Warm Weather Sailor
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You can do Oswego to Troy (Hudson River) in 4 days if you run hard every day but that's not the way to do the NY State Barge Canal. Take your time and smell the roses. It's a very nice trip if done from late August on. You can get your mast down in Oswego but prices have gone up a lot there and some cruisers are now getting the mast down in Sodus (a short trip from Oswego). If you do it in Sodus you can enter Lock 8 right away and spend the night in calm water rather than in Oswego Harbour. Good fee tie-ups all along the canal.
 

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Living to Live
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all. A little back grounder, so you understand the quirkiness of our process... we are thinking about living aboard for the winter, as a prep/test on whether we have the psyche to do it f/t before making drastic decisions like quitting jobs. So plan is to move to Port Credit, as I'm under the understanding it's the only year round marina close to SW Ontario?? Then step two is the ICW leaving Aug 2014. Want to be in Florida before cold whether in winter 2014. Welcome any thoughts
 

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Well than, if Port Credit on L Ontario is the near goal and if the Trent is out, I can think of two choices; The Welland or over the Falls and I don't think you want to try the over the Falls route!:)
Your next job is to gain as much information as you can regarding the Welland Canal. It has been discussed in the past. You should find some information regarding the transit here.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Welland Canal going downhill is quite easy. Uphill is quite a bit tougher because of the rush of water into the locks. If the weather is really hot you might want to do the transit at night. It is fully lit and you won't get baked in the locks.

Sorry for the bum steer about the Trent. I have not sailed on the Great Lakes for several years and forgot about the low water levels.
 

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Why not take the Erie Canal all the way to Lake Erie? The western part of the canal is more interesting and there a ton of free services. Doesn't seem to make sense to exit via Oswego unless you are going North.

We did the whole canal (Buffalo on Lake Erie to Troy on the Hudson River) in ten days this year and we were taking it easy. The is enough water for most sailboats.
 

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Hi dock neighbour :)
If you're around the marina on Saturday night, we might be chatting on Altera with a guy who's taken his boat (Compass Rose X) down to the Caribbean several times. He hasn't done the ICW all the way but he's done bits of it due to weather.
Once he left late and had to take the St. Lawrence to Montreal and go through Lake Champlain. Jeff did the trip from Hamilton to Montreal that year but that's not a hard part of the route. Jeff did the whole trip coming north last year (not through Montreal) and I don't recall him saying they were short of water anywhere on the Erie Canal.
Found some info on the NY canals: New York State Canal System Looks like the limiting depth on the Erie, Oswego, and Champlain Canals is 12 or 13'.
We'll probably be heading south around the same time next year but we may not take the ICW all the way. Depends how confident we are in our sailing by then and what the weather looks like.
 
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