Showing posts with the label Great Lakes cruising

Newly Salted

There are a ton of great resources available for new cruisers and those planning to become cruisers, but perhaps the best resource is the sharing of ideas, information and experiences within the cruising community. Some of the best places I’ve found to connect with the cruising community and begin gleaning some of this first-hand knowledge are at online forums such as Sailnet and Cruisers Forum . Additionally, you can get some particularly good insights by reading blogs from other cruisers like those listed in the links in my sidebar. Relatively recently a new online resource for accessing the collective knowledge and experience from cruisers has become available. The following two websites offer a chance to learn by reading answers from cruisers to 10 (or more) common questions that most all of us have before we cast off the docklines and begin life anew traveling and living on our boats. The Interview With a Cruiser Project : Interviews with cruisers who have been outside their

The first step...(Beginning a Cruise)

Our journey has officially begun. Island Bound departed North Shore Marina in Grand Haven on Monday, June 7th at approximately 6am and headed north. Onboard were myself (Kevin) and my dad. My dad was coming along as crew for the first day or two, then I plan to single-handedly cruise for a couple days and then s/v Island Bound will pick up her permanent crew (Erin, Hannah, Isabel) and the four of us will continue on. The weather on Monday was sunny with winds building throughout the day to around 10-12 knots out of the northwest. Waves were calm early, but built to 2-3 feet by mid afternoon. My dad and I motored north of Grand Haven at about 5 knots since the wind was too light for sailing. We had out a fishing pole with a North Port Nailer and Dipsy Diver, but didn’t catch a thing. The air temp was in the 50’s and we were both wearing sweatshirts, wind jackets and beanie caps. Dad at the helm After motoring for about 2-3 hours and 12 nautical miles, the engine bogged down

Off-season Charting

As I sit down and gaze at the nautical charts, GPS maps, and guide books for various ports I am warmed by thoughts of exploration for the summer of 2010.  Even though my body is in our home office on this cold January day, my spirit is sailing throughout the blue waters of northern Lake Michigan.  Who says you've got to head south to get to the islands?  We've got North and South Manitou, North and South Fox, Beaver, Garden, Hog, High, Gull, Washington, St. Martin, Horseshoe, Poverty, Summer, St. Helena and Mackinac Islands all plugged into the waypoint list on our GPS.  It's a special feeling for an islomaniac (one who has an irresistible attraction to islands) to know that s/ v Island Bound will be living up to her name in the near future. We've found a couple of websites that have been very useful in the charting/planning stages of our Lake Michigan cruise.  1) OpenCPN  - Awesome free software to convert your laptop into a GPS chartplotter. 2) NOAA Nautical

"The years thunder by"

Winter in the Great Lakes always brings plenty of time for self-reflection and deep thought.  I've been spending a lot of time contemplating our probable sailing voyage through upper Lake Michigan that is planned for the summer of 2010.  Of course, thinking of spending so much time on the boat cruising and all of the prep and planning that goes into such a cruise makes me also think about longer future voyages. A lot of my winter thoughts are inspired by the many photos, paintings and quotes that adorn my home office in the basement.  I'd like to share a somewhat lengthy quote I have hanging above my desk.  The words go right to the heart of any wannabe cruiser (or should I say voyager? - read on).  The quote is from Sterling Hayden's autobiography titled " Wanderer ". Here's the quote: "To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest.  Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known

Summer Sailing Cruise 2010

Nothing is carved in stone yet, but we're very seriously contemplating a 2 or 3 month cruise of northern Lake Michigan and the Mackinac Straits for the summer of 2010.  Such a Great Lakes cruise would be a great way to "test the waters" and see how well our family adapts to living-aboard for an extended period while cruising. At this point in the planning/contemplating stages, the itinerary is wide open, but here's a sample of how the route could look: Grand Haven - White Lake - Pentwater - Ludington - Lake Crossing - Manitowoc - Two Rivers - Door County (multiple ports) - Washington Island - Fayette - Manistique - Beaver Island Archipeligo (Beaver/High/Garden Islands) - St. Helena Island - Mackinac City - Mackinac Island - Harbor Springs - Petoskey - Charlevoix (1+ week layover in Horton Bay) - Grand Traverse Bay (multiple ports) - Leland - Manitou Islands - Frankfort - Portage Lake - Pentwater - White Lake - Grand Haven. Wow...that's a lot of sailing!  We we