The Best Of Times Page 4 - Sail Magazine

The Best Of Times Page 4

Charter a boat, sail your own boat; stay near home or cross the country to sample the waters. Summer is a good time to do it“To every thing there is a season,” said the writer of Ecclesiastes. If you’re reading this, you’re probably a sailor, and you don’t need me to tell you that this statement should be needlepointed on a pillow in the saloon of every sailboat. Generally,
Author:
Publish date:
HR6-080300-Fechart

Great Lakes

CHARTER BASES

Wisconsin: LaPointe, Bayfield,
Superior, Manitowoc

Illinois: Chicago

Minnesota: Lake City

Michigan: Traverse City, Cheboygan

Ohio: Huron, Port Clinton

Indiana: Michigan City

Ontario: Thunder Bay,
Gore Bay, Little Current

Being There: North Channel

Canada’s North Channel, a hundred-mile stretch of Lake Huron separated from the main body of the lake by Manitoulin Island, is one of the best-known cruising grounds in the Great Lakes, and not without reason. Though its cruising season is short—go too early in June and the black flies will drive you away, stay past August and you’ll want your winter hat and gloves—you could easily spend a month exploring its many islands, coves, and inlets.

With a small enough boat and a shallow draft, you can tuck yourself into coves too small to share and explore the pristine beauty of the forests that border the channel. The few towns in the area can provide what amenities you may need, but the true magic lies in its remote beauty—wind-bent pines, jutting rock formations, and water so clean you could drink it.

But the pleasures of the North Channel are not for small boats alone. At times up to 20 miles wide and with depths up to 250 feet, the channel gives you plenty of room to stretch your legs and can blow up conditions as wild as any of the Great Lakes. Big boat or small, you’re guaranteed to feel the lure of the North Channel—it keeps sailors coming back year after year. Rebecca Waters

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

Eastern Great Lakes: Our charter season runs from early June to the end of September, but the real sailing season is mid-April through October. My favorite time is September, when the water is warm, the breezes (predominantly westerly, at 8 to 12 knots) are steadier, the days are warm (70 to 75 degrees), and the lake is much less crowded. Sailors here can choose to cruise to the islands at the western end of the lake or go up to Canada. T.J. Wright, Harbor North (Lake Erie), Huron, Ohio

Western Great Lakes: The charter season here runs from May 15 to September 30. July and August are beautiful—warm, even hot sometimes—but in September things slow down, anchorages can be solitary, and the water is as warm as it gets. The wind moderates and steadies, so you can sail almost all the time. The changing of the leaves is dramatic; you’re basically sailing in northern forests.
And in fall the wind swings to the northwest; we have a lot of good anchorages for a northwest wind. Tim Bauernfeind, Sailboats Inc.

Related

Outremer45

Boat Review: Outremer 45

It’s funny the way things that work right almost inevitably tend to look right as well. Case in point: the Outremer 45, a catamaran that can’t help but turn heads with its large rig, nicely sculpted cabintrunk and narrow, purposeful bows. Better yet, under sail the boat more than ...read more

Sunset-Tyrrel-Bay

Charter: Glorious Grenada

In the wake of the hurricanes that devastated the Virgin Islands last year many charterers ended up going farther south to Grenada and the Grenadines where they found the sailing excellent and the vibe just fine“God must have been a sailor when he created the Caribbean,” a friend ...read more

WaterLinesNov

Waterlines: Tangled Up in Pots

I learned to sail on the Maine coast as a boy, and one of the things my elders taught me was to respect fishing gear. If you got caught up with a lobster pot, you did everything you could to get clear without cutting the pot warp. It represented a family’s livelihood and thus was ...read more

7353

Harken’s Reflex 3 top-down Furler

Furl PowerAre you afraid of flying—spinnakers, that is? Harken’s new Reflex 3 top-down furler will tame A-sails on monohulls from 44-58ft and multis from 39-55ft, and Code 0’s on 39-54ft monos and 36-50ft multis. All you do is heave on the furling line and the sail will roll up ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comDitch the stress Owners of high-freeboard yachts best boarded via the stern sugar-scoop like to back them into a slip, but the process can be fraught on a windy day or when there’s a current running, ...read more