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Great Loop
stevepattee
Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 2:18 PM
Joined: 22/12/2009
Posts: 6


Do any captains have advice on doing the Great Loop/Great Lakes? PLace to stop or places to avoid? Any relevent information would be appreciated.
junior
Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 4:03 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


The Great Loop ? Hmm ????...... this route ?http://www.aroundtheamericas.org/log/the-route/ Or full monty with Børge and Thorleif http://www.corsair-sweden.com/blog/TheNorthPolePassage.pdf
junior
Posted: Saturday, April 17, 2010 5:36 PM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


I haven't done the LOOP, but have spent a few seasons in the Canadian Maritimes and Atlantic Canada . Nice people up there and a very challenging area to navigate. To get a feel for the region review the history of Foundation Maritime http://www.hazegray.org/navhist/canada/fm/ and read Farley Mowat, "The Grey Seas Under" and "The Serpent's Coil ". Also check out , " Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World " by Mark Kurlansky. and "The Portuguese White Fleet " www.whitepinepictures.com/seeds/ii/22/sidebar.html For Quebec and The Labrador, I have used "The Cruising Guide to The Labrador " by William E Cook. Also read up on Wilfred Grenfell and the famous medical vessel Strathcona http://www.heritage.nf.ca/society/grenfellmission.html I found Paper Charts issued by the Hydrographic Service Canada to be very accurate, allowing your to differentiate between a herd of seals poking their heads out of the water and a pile of breaking rocks when approaching a harbour under radar.
junior
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 11:03 AM
Joined: 14/01/2009
Posts: 1026


Oh Well Stevepattee, I'm not looking for a job and have nothing to sell, so I could care less about your view on pictures. I must admit I didn't notice that you were a MY Earth Warmer type. So sorry, should have picked it up from the mug shot.. I guess this means your main preoccupation in life , other than anxiously watching the little "you are here " boat advance across your chart plotter screen, is how to secure enough fuel to feed the beast....not to worry, relax, enjoy another gin and tonic, they have gas stations !!! Gee, just thinking....that Newfy Screech Rum is mighty powerful stuff. If you get into a pinch and things are look'n real bad , maybe you can feed Screech to your lovely beast.
Henning
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 12:20 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


I've run all the legs of it over the years but never as "doing the loop". Unless you want to see Kentucky Lake and the TenTom, I'd suggest you just come all the way down the Mississippi, it's a lot faster and not near as many hassles. Sorry I don't have any "Where to stays" on the rivers as I was always on commercial tugs pushing barges, and when we "stay" somewhere, we just push up into the bank. On the East Coast, some must stops are St Augustine FL, Charleston SC (use the Maritime Center marina, it's just a few blocks walk to downtown and there's a good grocery store about 3 blocks away) & Beaufort NC. Depending on the height of your vessel (IIRC 27', but it's been years) you can go up the Hudson and cut across the Erie Canal, or if you're too big you'll have to use the St Lawrence, and that opens up a whole bunch of good stops, Montreal being one of my favorite cities in North America.

Henning
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 1:14 PM
Joined: 01/06/2008
Posts: 1049


Oh yeah, make up a good solid set of fender boards and have some long lines for tying up to barges and other "unimproved" facilities. You'll be welcome to tie up for the night or a rest at a lot of places, but you have to protect your own boat. Most of the Western Rivers waterways are designed around commercial barge traffic, and recreational facilities may be far between depending on your speed. If you happen to be heading up river, and you're going to meet a barge string coming down near a turn, there's always a sandbar and eddy under the inside of the turn that makes a good spot to hang out as the barge string comes through (down bound traffic has ROW, and the tug is always going to put the props near the outside of the turn, and may put the nose of the inside barge on the sandbar as he flanks the stern around in a tight corner, then he'll pop it off and shoot it down just as the stern is getting into position. You can use this as a clue to see where the end of the sandbar is when you're getting back out, although you'll be able to read the currents in the water. You may get to tie up to a tug early in your trip and get a peek at their Pilot Book where they keep their own notes and hand made charts in exchange for a beer or two. Never land down stream on anything, especially after a rain when the current is going, it's a recipe for disaster.

stevepattee
Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010 1:20 PM
Joined: 22/12/2009
Posts: 6


That is some great advice. Thank you!
Brady
Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010 11:38 PM
Joined: 16/12/2008
Posts: 4


Steve,

I don't know much about the east coast portion of the trip, but have done the river and great lakes part many times.  I am more than happy to share any information about the rivers or the great lakes, Lake Michigan specifically. I've got some great spots on the rivers, that are more....big boat friendly than some of the other...."marinas".   Message me if you've got some questions

Tedd Greenwald
Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 5:40 PM
Joined: 26/09/2009
Posts: 8


This will be my 11 consecutive year doing the 1/2 Loop to Upper Lower Michigan and back...if your vessel can clear 21' you can use the Erie Barge Canal from the Hudson River to the Oswego River then down that to Lake Ontario. Esskay Marine in Brewerton is the place for bigger yachts to base out of and the staff there is very helpful to a cruising captain. The Welland Canal will take you to Lake Erie that has a reputation for being rough around Long Point. I use a "yacht pilot" to assist me through the Welland and Roger St.Amand is a good resourse for the Canal. A lot of the marina's are geared to smaller boats so always call ahead. To me the real gems and not to be missed are Presque Isle on Lake Huron as an amazing anchorage. The Channel Islands on the North side of Lake Huron are some of the best cruising I have ever seen. Baie Finn is not to be missed....Back over on the American side Mackinaw Island is a must stop as well as what I consider the best place in the whole Great Lakes, Harbor Springs, Michigan. Across from Harbor Springs is Bay Harbor a snug deep water harbor that will accommodate 150' , Harbor Springs can take up to 130 but you most likely will have to anchor in 100'. I have not done the whole loop I am only half looped but you can get a ton of info from the website here-http://www.greatloop.org/news.php?viewStory=84 Be prepared to have every single inch of your boat covered with sticky gooey bugs that have to be washed at least every day if not more. The intensity of bugs something that I had to see to believe. Sometimes they will show up on radar as clouds.......I'm talking the dock is 4" deep in bugs. Other than bugs it's a very worthwhile place to cruise. You can email me at tgreenw900@mac.com if you have any questions. I leave for Detroit in 2 weeks.
Miryha
Posted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 9:16 PM
Joined: 21/10/2008
Posts: 1


Steve, I have done the Lake Michigan to Florida portion of the loop via the inland rivers - Tenn Tom was my favorite part of the trip - Sorry Henning. But once you get to Lake Michigan make sure you stop in Charlevoix, Harbor Springs (as another post mentioned), Grand Haven, and Saugatuck. All excellent ports - may favorite is Saugatuck - I call it Home in the Summer. Shoot me a note if you would like more info about the trip via the Tenn Tom.
stevepattee
Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010 3:24 AM
Joined: 22/12/2009
Posts: 6


Hey, thanks to all of you for giving some great tips. The bugs! Didn't think about that. I appreciate the advice and hope you don't mind me contacting you later as we make our way north .
 
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