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Author Topic:   GLBWCC 2012
David Pendleton posted 09-11-2011 10:41 PM ET (US)   Profile for David Pendleton  
I realize this is much, much to early to be putting this out there but I'm curious what the BWGLCC is thinking for 2012...

A few things to toss around:

Lake of the Woods, MN
Isle Royale National Park
Apostle Islands National Lakeshore
North Channel
Georgian Bay



K Albus posted 09-12-2011 10:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I hereby move that we change the name of the group from Great Lakes Boston Whaler Cruising Club to Great Lakes Big Water Cruising Club.

One trip I'd like to make sometime in the next few years would be to spend a week split up between Wisconsin's Door County peninsula and Michigan's Leelanau peninsula. Although neither area is as remote and "wildernessy" as say Isle Royale, I have very much liked what I have seen of both areas so far.

A return trip to Isle Royale is also at the top of my wish list.

Hal Watkins posted 09-12-2011 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hal Watkins  Send Email to Hal Watkins     
I would also add "Voyagers National Park" to the list as well with a departure from Crane Lake, MN.

The plan is to retire to full-time RV+Whaler next summer.

home Aside posted 09-12-2011 04:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
We're not going to smite you if you jump/change Brands,(You'll always be on the member/guest list) and we're not going to change the name....As it says on the Bulletin Board at Lockeman's "Great Lakes Boston Whaler Cruising Club".

after all it was the common denominator "Boston Whaler" that brought our group together.....I don't think I would have ended up meetng all of you if it weren't via "Boston Whaler".


home Aside posted 09-12-2011 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
Kind of got of track there...

Dave, A great list, I've not been to the Apostle's or Lake of the Woods and would like to eventually do them both...also like Kevin's idea on Door county and the Leelenau...

I've only been out twice this summer do to family responsibilities, I'm hoping to do much more next summer...

I'm planning on some local boating this month and on the Fall color tour in late Sept / Early Oct.....


ECTR posted 09-12-2011 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for ECTR  Send Email to ECTR     

I don't think it is to early, the planning for the 2010 Isle Royal trip started in August of 09. I like the bottom half of your list and/or could help with some of the hosting and logistics if the destination is the Door Peninsula.


Hoosier posted 09-12-2011 06:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
The Eastern Shore of Superior, from the Soo to Wawa and Michipicoten Island, or Marathon north to the Slate Islands/Red Rock/Nipigon.
David Pendleton posted 09-13-2011 06:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
I've been told the Eastern Superior Shore is not very boat(er)-friendly, even if you don't expect a lot.

I'll check Bonnie's book and see what she says about it.

Hoosier posted 09-13-2011 08:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
You'll need 200 miles range and food for three days away from a full service marina. Bonnie's book has descriptions of some interesting places between the Soo and Wawa. I think the southern option can be easily done with one overnight at anchorage north bound and one or two, counting Michipicoten Island, on the return. Again based on Bonnie's book, the northern option has much shorter distances between ports and has what look like very interesting places to visit. I spent some time on Google Earth and Panoramio has some very attractive pictures of the area. BUT, as you said, it's not boater friendly, especially for fuel stops.
Buckda posted 09-13-2011 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I'll be watching what you guys decide on and try to arrange a long distance strike/visitation from dixieland. My 25 is almost completely torn down right now as I rework the deck and undertake some fiberglass repairs and other upgrades...but Hopefully I can take advantage of the very mild Alabama winter to get her back together and ready to go for next summer.

David Pendleton posted 09-13-2011 09:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Dave, you'll have all winter, without snow or freezing temperatures to work on her.

Eastern L. Superior is on the bottom or my list, if it's on my list at all.

But that's just me.

home Aside posted 09-14-2011 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
My parents own property near Batchawana Bay, I spent a lot of time there in my teens, and also spent time here in my Mid 20's, fishing the bay on Lake Superior from a 12' flat bottom aluminum boat with an 8 hp Clinton Outboard.........all I can say about that trip now is "YIKES"

I agree with Dave Pendleton, N/E shore/coast of Lake superior not real cruiser friendly.....Although I wouldn't mind dragging the Revenge up to Sunset Shores & doing day cruises based from there.


6992WHALER posted 09-15-2011 11:11 AM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
In 1978 my family did the East shore of Superior on my dads 28 Bertram.
One of the most beautiful, remote places to boat.
Back then had to get fuel from fuel trucks or out of 5 gallon jugs at the pulp mill. The small craft facilities are suppose to be better now, but I have not looked into it.
Not a lot of time in marinas.
I would love to do that area again.

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is beautiful but I think it would be hard to find enough to do for more than a long weekend.

North Chanel is high on our list.

I think a St Croix/Mississippi river run would be fun.
Stillwater MN. to some place in Iowa. Launch the boats and run the trucks down so we only have to go one way.

If Kevin goes to the dark side he just has to wear his Boston Whaler t-shirt to make up for it.

jimh posted 09-18-2011 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There was some conversation on the "The 2011 Perfect Cruise of Georgian Bay"--and I mean both on the cruise and on the discussion that followed--that perhaps a rally point could be chosen to which the distance from our Western members might be shorter than, say, Lion's Head. It was supposed that Blind River, Ontario might be a suitable rally point. We did have a nice cruise that commenced from there a few years ago.

The North Shore of Superior does have intrigue for me. I think the fuel endurance would be the limiting factor for many boats, particularly on the stretch from Wawa West.

David Pendleton posted 09-18-2011 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
I very much enjoyed the 2008 North Channel trip, and Blind River was a good starting and ending point.
Hoosier posted 09-24-2011 11:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I suggest that we pick Detour, Michigan as the start/end point for a North Channel cruise. Parking at the ramp is $5/day, there is a gas station 1 block from the ramp, and it opens up the option of doing the western end of the North Channel and the Saint Mary's River. New places to visit include Richards Landing and Hilton Beach on St. Joesph Island, and Thesselon in Ontario.
djahncke posted 09-27-2011 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for djahncke  Send Email to djahncke     
I second Dave's suggestion of a North Channel cruise starting from Detour. That would make a wonderful maiden GLBWCC voyage for our Revenge.
home Aside posted 09-28-2011 10:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
I like the idea of a Detour start myself, as much time as I've spent in the U.P. I haven't been to Detour or Drummond Island area


jimh posted 09-29-2011 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I see two disadvantages to starting from Detour and then heading into Canada

Entry into Canada will be by boat, necessitating landing at a specific Canadian port of entry and reporting by land telephone. This process is usually pro forma, but it can become complicated. Ask David Hart about his attempt to enter Canada by boat in July 2011. The return to the U.S.A. will be another border crossing by boat. Unless everyone on your boat has a NEXUS card or an I-68 card, American citizens returning to the USA by boat also must report to a specific port of entry and present to USA Customs and Immigration. If you enter Canada with your boat on the trailer via a regular border crossing, you avoid all of these problems.

Departing from Detour will likely mean running about 60-miles to a Canadian port. It might be simpler to just take the boats to that port on the trailer. Let's say we depart Detour for Blind River. How much farther on the highway will it be to just drive to Blind River? I'd say the time on the highway is probably four hours. The time on the water could be about the same. The fuel economy on the highway is better than on the water.

Another consideration to the general cruise plan is the last day return to point of origin. Having spent 25-weeks in the North Channel, my experience is that making a long passage West can be difficult in the open water any day the prevailing West wind is above 15-knots. On the 2008 Cruise of the North Channel, the last day we had only to make about 15-miles of Westing to reach our home port. That 15-mile stretch was a very rough passage into the wind and significant head seas. I would not have enjoyed a 60-mile run to Detour in those conditions.

Buckda posted 09-29-2011 02:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
There is a solution; start with Drummond Island Yacht Haven as the rally point (Lanuch in DeTour) and make an early, long run for the first night in Little Current. Night 2 in Little Current with regional exploration; Night 3 at anchor n the Benjamins, Night 4 at Blind River, night 5 at Sault ste Marie, where you clear customs, and then a final night at DIYH or elsewhere - minimize the long west runs, and hug the North shore to hide from the prevailing NW wind. It also allows entry and re-entry at a more relaxed pace.
David Pendleton posted 09-29-2011 03:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
I'm don't even know if I'd be allowed into Canada. I'm sure I ended up on some list after the last time I crossed the border...
K Albus posted 10-06-2011 04:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Here's a simple solution to the Detour/Blind River question. Make the first "rally point" a Sunday morning departure from Blind River (at 10:00 a.m. sharp, of course). Everybody can get to Blind River however they choose - by truck or by boat. If somebody wants to spend Saturday night at Drummond Island, they can make the 45 mile run to Blind River on Sunday morning. (Personally, I would rather launch at Detour and make the 50 mile run to Blind River by boat than spend an extra two hours driving to Blind River and then sitting in the marina for the night.)

Then we can follow Dave B's plan:

Sunday we run to Little Current. Spend Sunday afternoon around Little Current and Sunday night at Little Current.

Monday we explore MacGregor Bay. Monday night can be spent in MacGregor Bay or Little Current.

Tuesday we start heading west. Tuesday night at the Benjamins.

Wednesday night at Blind River.

Thursday night at Hilton Beach or Richards Landing.

Friday cruise up to Sault Ste. Marine. Return to Richards Landing or Hilton Beach for Friday night.

Saturday return to Blind River or Detour.

Is there a Canadian Customs check-in point in Blind River?

Buckda posted 10-06-2011 07:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Blind River is one of the entry points for Canadian Customs in the North Channel. Little Current is another, and I believe that Meldrum Bay is also an entry point location. In Blind River, there is a pay phone near the marina office that you use to report your crossing. The US customs locations are in Sault Ste. Marie or at Drummond Island Yacht Haven.
Buckda posted 10-06-2011 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Actually, I'd recommend going one stop further East before heading West....but I like your recommendation for a "rally point" at Blind River with a departure time set for 10:00 AM. The first night for participants would either be at Drummond Island or at Blind River, however, I recommend that those crossing from Michigan that morning consider Blind River as the entry point, so that the group could overnight in the Benjamin Islands group or nearby. (lunch in the many islands and channels in that area near Spanish)
(Day 1 - transit to Benjamin Islands Group)

The next day would include transit of Little Current, and allow the group to resupply provisions, fuel and other supplies. That third night would be in Killarney
(Day 2 - transit from Benjamin's to Killarney).

The following day could be exploration of both Baie Fine and McGregor Bay, with an overnight at Pothole Portage at the top of North Bay in McGregor Bay.
(Day 3 - Killarney to McGregor Bay)

The next day would get underway early, with a return transit of Little Current (and the opportunity to resupply, provision and fuel), and perhaps an overnight in Little Current (a short day, for rest...and maybe side trips ((Neptune Island??))).
(Day 4 - McGregor Bay to Little Current)

Then a long run to Gore Bay for an overnight, exploration and perhaps a swim in the waterfall.
(Day 5 - Little Current to Gore Bay)

The final night would be a cruise to Hilton Beach on St. Joseph's Island for overnight accomodations.
(Day 6 - Gore Bay to Hilton Beach).

Then, as you suggest, final morning a run to the origination point(s) in either Blind River or Drummond Island.

L H G posted 10-06-2011 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for L H G    
Like Steve Jobs and Apple, have "LHG", "JimG" and "Backlash", now been officially fired from the Club we named and founded way back in 1991, when you guys were still in Boston Whaler diapers.

As far as I know, as Mercury and Yamaha people, we would never have licensed Evinrude dealer Lockemans's to be the Club's official location either. Who authorized that? Shocking.

And now you have let in a Pursuit gate crasher?

Nevertheless, and seriously, sounds like a good trip in the works, and we always enjoy the photos and narratives, but I've got a month in BC on my agenda next summer, so this one does not seem possible. Glad to see the club continuing on in our absence. I still have great memories of our 2003 NC trip, where the three of us, plus "Eagleman" and Dave, departed from Detour. Dave was a great hit with the four "older" women!

Buckda posted 10-07-2011 05:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Larry -

Quite the contrary - it seems that it is you who have left us in terms of publicly organizing trips. We do miss you guys and wish you'd show up or even organize an outing.

Looks like we'll miss you again next year...but I speak for myself, at least, when I say we hope you'll join us for an outing very soon.


Buckda posted 10-07-2011 06:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
While I'm certainly interested in a return to the North Channel, I'm also interested in exploring new water - and the Eastern shore of Lake Superior has held my interest for some time now - I'd love to explore that area, or alternately, the islands in Canada between Rossport and Thunder Bay.

Perhaps that is a different trip for a different time, but wanted to put it out there, since folks are "just discussing" at this point.

Additionally, my new home base location will make these trips a bit more expensive and difficult to take my opinion on trip organizing with a grain of salt until I can commit to making any trip...

jimh posted 10-08-2011 07:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Bonnie Dahl certainly writes about the Eastern shore of Lake Superior from The Soo to WaWa in a manner that makes a cruise along it sound very attractive. It would be an interesting first-step into the circumnavigation of the lake. Of course, I am including a certain 18-mile run offshore to spend a few moments in somber reflection.
David Pendleton posted 10-08-2011 03:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
...when you guys were still in Boston Whaler diapers.

Just for the record, I got my first Whaler (a 13) in 1980.

ConB posted 10-08-2011 05:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for ConB  Send Email to ConB     
I recall learning to water ski behind a 13' Whaler in the mid 60s.
I weighed a whole lot less than now, but I was well past diapers then.
Grand Traverse Bay, off the Great Lake called Michigan. ;-)


David Pendleton posted 10-08-2011 10:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Does anyone know anything about Land Between the Lakes?
Hoosier posted 10-08-2011 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
We made the run from Little Current to Detour in one shot coming back from this summer's Georgian Bay Adventure. The conditions were ideal but I wouldn't make that a "must do'" schedule item. In '08 Dave and I left from Detour and went to Blind River in considerably less than ideal conditions. If it's sloppy I'd go to Thessalon and then to Blind River the next morning.

Based on my experience this summer a NEXUS card is virtually worthless going into Canada, you still have to go through all the archaic "special phone" reporting at designated POE's. That makes Lake Superior a problem if you want to leave from the US by boat, there are no CBSA reporting stations between the Soo and Thunder Bay. However, when coming back to the US it's just a phone call with no need to go through a POE. This summer we called the NEXUS number at the Soo and then went directly to Detour.

jimh posted 10-09-2011 01:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Larry--You've been absent from all the meetings at our headquarters at Lockeman's. You've been 100-percent absent from the Christmas Parties and the Fall Color Cruises. I think you've missed the last four summer cruises. Are you still active in boating in Great Lakes? ASIDE: Also, I think your dues are in arrears. :-)
6992WHALER posted 10-09-2011 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
I think we should plan to do the Eastern Shore of Lake Superior in 2013. Dave B has made it pretty clear that that is a trip he wants to do. If stalling that trip one year allows Dave to join us I vote for that.

I have to look closer at the charts but I am in for the North Channel next summer, if the timing works out. I appreciate the consideration for us guys from the west. Every mile we can move the starting point west helps.

Holly and I were in Kentucky many years ago and thought the land between the lakes look interesting. However; when we got home a friend of ours who had his boat down there said it was not that great. Keep in mind he was probably down there 20 years ago. Not off my list but his comment lowered my interest.

Buckda posted 10-09-2011 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Well, It would be nice to keep the options open for a time, at least.

Lake Superior 2013 (eastern shore) definitely puts pressure to then do Georgian Bay or near for 2014, pushing a return to Isle Royale to 2015 or later...I don't like that! :)

K Albus posted 10-10-2011 09:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Ten years of championing the Mercury OptiMax, and how does Larry repay me? He calls me a gate-crasher. I guess it makes sense, though. His loyalty is to the brand, after all.

Wherever you guys decide to go in 2012, I will follow, from a respectful distance, in my new Pursuit. I will have my camera with me, but I have not yet decided whether I will be taking pictures of any Boston Whalers (j/k).

Hoosier posted 10-10-2011 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
So, you'll be in pursuit in a Pursuit, eh?
jimh posted 10-10-2011 05:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Based on how nicely that PURSUIT OFFSHORE 23-foot hull runs, it may be we in the Boston Whaler classic hulls that will be pursuing the Pursuit.
Hoosier posted 10-10-2011 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Maybe, but those of us with the 1st generation, aka Reebok, post classic designs will be pacing the Pursuit...
jimh posted 10-13-2011 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I just planned a route on GOOGLE MAPS from my home to MARATHON, ONTARIO. The distance is 582-miles, and estimated driving time 11-hours. That distance is shorter than to Copper Harbor, where we drove for Isle Royale.

In Marathon there is a little ramp and dock. com

Around the corner is Sturdee Cove

Not far to the West are the Slate Islands.

David Pendleton posted 10-13-2011 11:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
According to MapSource, Marathon ON is 532 miles and 10:37 fro m my house.
6992WHALER posted 10-14-2011 12:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Jim, what do you have in mind if we meet in Marathon?
550 mile from my house
K Albus posted 10-14-2011 07:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
You guys should review the Marathon comments in Bonnie Dahl's book. I don't think Marathon is the place you want to base a trip out of. I think Rossport makes a lot more sense as a starting point if you want to plan a trip that includes the Slate Islands.
Hoosier posted 10-14-2011 08:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
According to this,

we could launch there, carefully, and use it as a base, but there are no marina facilities other than a limited capability ramp. From what I've been able to find, the best facility in that section of Lake Superior is Red Rock, at the far western end of Nipigon Bay. That's at the top of the lake and a very long haul. For you guys in Minnesota it'd be shorter to come up through Thunder Bay.

K Albus posted 10-14-2011 09:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I guess I should have looked more carefully at Rossport. Although it has fuel and pump-out services, and showers, it doesn't look like much of a marina in the typical sense. Rossport also does not appear to have any trailer parking near the launch ramp. Red Rock, which David mentions, looks more like a traditional marina with ample parking as well. See:,-88.254633&spn=0. 005059,0.01192&hnear=Michigan&t=h&z=17&vpsrc=6
Hoosier posted 10-14-2011 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
This gives more imagery of Red Rock Marina.

And here's more detail about facilities.

It's still a long drive towing a boat.

6992WHALER posted 10-14-2011 12:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Looking at picture the ramp at Marathon might not be big enough for my boat.
K Albus posted 10-14-2011 12:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
From a logistical standpoint, Marathon does not make a lot of sense. The only thing it has going for it is that it seems to be about equidistant from Minneapolis and Detroit. If you're planning a trip to cover the eastern shore of Lake Superior, Marathon is a bit out of the way - too far north. If you're planning a trip to cover the islands and shore of northern Lake Superior, Marathon is too far east, and using it as a starting point means you will be doing some backtracking at the end of your trip.

In my opinion, Wawa is the best place to start/end a trip on the eastern shore. There's a full service marina there with what appears to be a nice launch ramp. You can go north/west for a couple of days, south for a couple of days, and out to Michipicoten Island for a couple of days. I've heard some people express concern about getting out of the Michipicoten River if there are any kind of seas running on Lake Superior, but I think if the seas are enough to keep you in the river, you probably don't want to be on the lake anyway. Like on this day for instance:

For a north shore trip, it now appears to me that Red Rock is perhaps the best place to start/end a trip. It appears that you could plan a nice circular route, checking out the islands to the south and west, then making your way as far east as the Slate Islands. You could then work your way back to Red Rock via a different route. Starting at Red Rock appears that it would provide for a lot more sheltered-water boating, as opposed to Marathon which would require big open water runs at the beginning and ending of any trip.

David Pendleton posted 10-14-2011 01:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Like on this day for instance:


I'd just drop the tabs and head straight into it...

tl2926 posted 10-14-2011 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for tl2926  Send Email to tl2926     
I totally missed this thread or I would have replied earlier.

I am very familiar with the Eastern Shore of Lake Superior - mostly the Southeastern shore - having owned 2 cottages in that area for over 20 years.

As everyone indicates, it is a real pain "in the backside" coming into Canada from the US via boat. Reversing course and coming into the US from Canada via boat - not nearly as difficult.

The best bet would be to trailer into Canada via the Soo. Clearing customs in the Soo is not a big deal at all, the only difficulty could be waiting in line depending on the time of day that you cross the border. Reminder, you need a passport to get into Canada and then back into the States.

Once in the Soo there are a couple of public launch ramps that could be used. Another option would be to head just west of the Soo and launch out at Gros Cap. Gros Cap has a good parking lot and a nice launch ramp and a few boat docks. I have not been to that area in about 3 years. If anyone is interested, I could go out and check on things during my next trip - in about 2 weeks and then give an update on the facilities at that location.

The property that I own is located in the little town of Goulais River which is north of the Soo. I have always based out of the cabin in Goulais River for my boating excursions.

The areas I have traveled by boat are as follows (all on the Canadian side) – the locks area in the Soo, out to Gro Cap, then to Ile Parisienne, into and all over Goulais Bay, Sand Bay, Horseshoe Bay, Havilland Bay, Harmony Bay, on up to Batchawana Bay, and Pancake Bay.

You won’t find a nicer area to boat that those areas. Please note, I have never gone on up further towards Wawa.

Can the “Big Lake” get rough, of course it can. I have been on every Great Lake and all of them get rough. Can the “Big Lake” be smooth sailing – you bet it can and when it is, it is the best of all of them!

The one and only negative (in my opinion) to this area? Once you leave the Soo, not a lot of people or towns, which means not a lot of facilities. The facilities part can be a concern. The lack of people or towns - for me that is a good thing!!

I hope this helps

Plotman posted 10-14-2011 05:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
Note that crossing into Canada by boat is easy if you get the remote permit for $30. Just apply about a month before you need it.

I've used it on Lake Superior, and snowmobiling. It might also come in handy for folks going to the North Channel, as it does allow you to cross at Cockburn Island as well.

Buckda posted 10-14-2011 09:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
Crossing into Canada by boat is easier than crossing into the US by boat. At least, that has been my experience. I do find it interesting that others have had other experiences.

jimh posted 10-15-2011 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
As I mentioned above, it is much easier to drive the boat across the border on the highway. I am not too excited to learn that there is not a NEXUS-only lane at the SOO. Having our NEXUS cards has been a great time saver when crossing at Port Huron-Sarnia the past two years.


Marathon is the largest city between Thunder Bay and the Soo. It has more facilities than WaWa, that is, more stores and lodging options. However, it does not have any sort of a marina. Also, there is a big pulp mill operation there, and the smell might be bad--actually quite awful. However it seems the pulp operation was shut down in 2009, so we probably do not need to worry about the smell.

Rossport seems more boater friendly, with a marina and fuel available. I would consider Rossport a destination, more than a start and end point.

Here's my general thinking about Lake Superior


Eastern Lake Superior

Cross into Canada at the Soo on the highway, drive to Batchawana Bay area. If dockage available, launch boats and stay Saturday night at dock there. If no dock, sleep on boats on highway or get motel. Sunday, launch and run out to wreck site, return to shore, stay at Mamaise Harbor dock. Monday coastal cruise to wilderness anchorage along shore, south of Wawa. Tuesday, coastal cruise to WaWa, stay at marina there. Replenish fuel. Wednesday, run out to Michipicoten Island, stay at anchorage or docks there. Thursday, explore Michipicoten, return to mainland, either to Wawa, wilderness anchorage, or other small port. Friday, cruise to Batchawana Bay launching area. Add one extra day in the itinerary for being weathered in someplace. Also option to visit other offshore island if the weather window looks very good and fuel supply sufficient.

An option for this cruise is to only take the boats one-way. Begin at Batchawana Bay and end at Wawa. From Wawa return (without the boats) via highway to Batchawana Bay. Retrieve the cars and trailers, drive back to WaWa, and haul boats there. Also, the car and trailer movement could be done before departing on the trip. We all drive the cars and trailers to Wawa, and then return to the boats. Of course, we need a dock for that to work.

Northeastern Lake Superior

Cross into Canada at the Soo on the highway, drive to Wawa. This is a very long one-day drive so it is likely to mean arrival will be very late in the evening or else an all-night drive. It may be necessary to sleep on the boat on the highway or launch very late at night. Stay in Wawa Saturday. Sunday depart Wawa for cruising destination. Wawa seems to offer three choices:

--South along the Eastern Shore
--West along the Northern Shore
--offshore to Michipicoten Island

After a day or perhaps two days out, you'd have to return to Wawa for fuel. Then you could depart Wawa for the other direction, spend a two days out, and return. This cruise would be based in WaWa with one or two day trips out from there.

Northern Lake Superior

Cross into Canada at the Soo, drive to Marathon--again, a very long drive, late arrival, and no marina. Perhaps rally at a motel, and do all the boat prep in the parking lot. On Sunday in Marathon, make boats ready, launch, and begin cruise West. Cruise Rossport, Slate Island, other destinations, Return to Marathon, haul out, and head home.

I note that Marathon has a large OPP post, and we might be able to arrange to leave our trucks and trailers there for a week of safe keeping, rather than at a remote ramp site.

Buckda posted 10-15-2011 02:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
A few years ago, I scoped the Buck's Marina location in Wawa. It is off the highway, new bath houses, floating docks, fuel and a paved launch ramp with deep water... and he is an Evinrude dealer and services Yamaha and Mercury motors. It would be a great place to operate out of. Wawa also features a clean, but spartan motor lodge that serves an excellent breakfast (we used to stop there on our way to a fly-in fishing lake) and, of course, the famous-among-fishermen Young's General Store, which has a summer sausage that is worth the stop, even if we don't operate out of Wawa.

Wawa's nearby lake and airstrip serve as a major "jumping off point" for fishing lodges, so hotels, restaurants, etc will be booked on Thursday and Friday nights - and those days will be extremely busy* at the highway fuel stations and other businesses. This is also a consideration for border crossing activity. The International Bridge is one lane in each direction and both the Canadian and US border can back up quite a distance when the fishing camps are turning over.

*extremely busy by northern Ontario standards

Marathon may be bigger than Wawa - I don't know. When I drove through the area in 2008 on my way to Lake Nipigon, the biggest city between Wawa and Thunder Bay seemed to be Nipigon itself. Rossport also appeared to have some commercial activity, judging by the signs along the way.

Jim, if you need to stop along the way between the Soo and Wawa, there are several Ontario Parks along the route that offer excellent shower/bath facilities and room to park your boat. My brother-in-law and Matt Bosch and I took advantage of these parks twice on that 2008 trip (once on the way up, once on the way home). Good experiences both times, although the second one was closer to the highway - and despite the remoteness, that road has heavy trucks running all night.

Buckda posted 10-15-2011 08:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
While we're talking about remote about Lake Nipigon ?


Hoosier posted 10-16-2011 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I'm coming around to the Southern Shore as the best option due to it's proximity and facilities. Gitchi Gummi Marina at the south end of Batchawana Bay has docks and fuel, but rather spartan "facilities". The owners are beginning to upgrade the facilities and MAY be getting a CBSA magic phone so boaters from the US can check in. They used to have one but gave it up when they reduced their hours. It is close to the Soo and is in a pretty well developed area.

Two anchorages to consider are Sinclair Cove, which has a new ramp and easy access to C17, and the Cape Gargantua area that has several good anchorages. (Based on Bonnie's book).

If we want to got out to the Fitz, it's only 10.5 miles from Mamainse Harbor.

Hoosier posted 12-14-2011 09:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
We went over to Gitchi Gummi Marina two weeks ago and things aren't as rosy as they were back in September. They aren't sure about what services and fees will be next season. On a plus note, it looks like their ramp is about the only practical one south of Wawa. Sinclair Cove has a concrete ramp and is in a Provincial Park, but from what we could see there is no provision for a dock at the ramp. The park was closed for the season so we didn't get to ask about that and there wasn't one stored nearby on shore.
Hoosier posted 02-07-2012 07:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I guess it's time to restart this discussion. I got this from the provincial parks:

"Sinclair Cove is the only boat launch in the park. There are no docking facilities. Will you be sleeping on your boats, or camping on shore? If you will be camping on shore you will need an Interior Camping & Vehicle Permit. The 2011 fee was $10 per person per night (18 and over), $4.75 per person per night (6-17 years); an increase is expected for 2012. This permit covers your campsite and vehicle, so you don’t need a daily vehicle permit in addition to your camping permit. Your permit covers your vehicle for day-use (until 10 p.m.) anywhere in the park on your departure day. Camping is permitted on designated sites only. There are 200 backcountry campsites, all available on a first-come basis.

If you are sleeping on your boat, you do not need a camping permit, but will need a permit for your vehicle since your vehicle will be parked overnight at the access point. You will need one Interior Camping & Vehicle Permit to cover each vehicle, but not for every person in your party. There may be walk-in fees in the future, which may apply to your group, if you are sleeping on your boat, but coming to shore to hike, picnic, etc. At this time these are not in effect; please check with us again next year before your visit, for updated fees.

You can park at Sinclair Cove, or in the Agawa Rock Pictographs parking area (if Sinclair is busy).

I hope this is helpful in planning your trip. Here is a good site for Lake Superior conditions:"

jimh posted 02-07-2012 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Dave--Thanks for the research on Sinclair Cove. If we sleep on our boats, which is what I anticipate, we will only need to pay the day use fee for the cars on shore. What is that fee?
David Pendleton posted 02-08-2012 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Would somebody please just pick a destination already?

What's it going to be?

Hoosier posted 02-10-2012 10:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
On the water...

6992WHALER posted 02-11-2012 05:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Fresh water
David Pendleton posted 02-11-2012 11:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
I'm going to repeat what I reflected in one of our email conservations.

I'm tired of doing these trips alone, and my wife isn't going to sign-on to a week-long wilderness insect-fest on the Eastern Shore of L. Superior.

I've been to the BWCA. The article Jim sent us is pretty accurate, the black flies at those latitudes can be so bad, you'll want to take your own life.

This isn't to say I wouldn't do it alone, but after not even taking my boat out of the shrink last year, I'd like to do something this season my wife would participate in.

I'm only one vote, but that's what it is.

Hoosier posted 02-12-2012 06:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
How about the North Channel? Meet at Detour on Saturday, launch and go to Thessalon for Saturday night. Sunday explore the offshore islands with a lunch/swim stop at the best agreed to anchorage there, then to Blind River for Sunday night. Monday we head for Little Current with a lunch stop at the Benjamins. Wednesday could be Baie Fine for lunch and on to Killarney. Thursday we could do Collins Inlet to Beaverstone Bay for lunch, then back to Killarney for dinner. Friday we could go through McGregor Bay and lunch at Pot Hole Portage, then make an afternoon the run to Spanish. We've done Spanish to Detour in a straight shot, but I'd go south across the North Channel to Gore Bay or Meldrum Bay for lunch, then on to Detour to retrieve our boats and head home, or we could overnight at Gore Bay or Meldrum Bay on Friday, have a end of cruise cookout and head for Detour Saturday morning. Those of us with NEXUS cards won't have to go through US Customs at Drummond Island, we just check in by phone once in US waters. Private parking next to the Detour ramp is $5/day, and there is a gas station a block from the ramp. I think this itinerary is very "first timer" wife friendly.

As for the Eastern Shore, we'll do that anyway on a short 2 or 3 day exploration; maybe the black flies won't notice a single boat slowly putting around...

6992WHALER posted 02-12-2012 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
The North Chanel is fine with us.

The only thing I would like is to not repeat very much of last years trip. I like to see new places.

K Albus posted 02-12-2012 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Put me down for the North Channel. If we do the North Channel, there's a good chance my wife will come along. I doubt, however, that she would be interested in a Lake Superior trip, unless it was a trip to Isle Royale.
K Albus posted 02-12-2012 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Mr. Hart - I may be interested in joining you for a 2-3 day eastern Lake Superior exploration. Keep us posted on potential dates.
jimh posted 02-12-2012 01:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Chris and I are planning for a North Channel cruise. We have already spent about 30-weeks in the North Channel, but there are still places we have not visited, or have not visited in 20-years. Among those places which we might consider are the following (below in geographic order Eastward from Detour and counter clockwise):

Pilot Cove is is an interesting lunch stop with a very narrow and shallow entrance from Sitgreaves Bay on the Northeast cape of Drummond Island. Because it is in Michigan, anyone with a Michigan fishing license could try to catch a few of the 10,000 perch that live there.

Meldrum Bay is on the North shore of Manitoulin at the West end. I think it is a port of entry for customs. They have improved the docks there They have bathrooms and fuel. It is just a short hop from Detour. It would be a good first night stop. As I mentioned in my GB 2010 cruise narrative, I think having a group cook-out on the first night is a good plan. Meldrum would be a good place for it because there is not much else available for dining. There is or was a hotel there, but I don't know if its dining room is still operating.

Gore Bay can be skipped. We have been there a million times. It is not a wilderness destination. Plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, but that is not what I am seeking on this trip. I'd cruise right past it on this run.

Clapperton Island Passage is a tricky buoyed channel south of Clapperton Island. I have not been through it in 25 years. Have you read about it? See

Harbour Island on the South side of Clapperton is a good lunch stop.

Little Current is the next overnight destination. It has everything--ice, food, fuel, charts, showers, bars, and it is fun place to stop. There are a lot of other boats to look at here. It is a 58-mile (or longer) run from Meldum to here. Next, we continue East.

Pot Hole Portage or some similar backwater cove in McGregor Bay would be a good overnight anchorage away from marina facilities. We can take all day getting in there and two hours getting out the next day. Remember--it is important to share resources when anchoring out away from the marina. Not every boat has full facilities...

Now we head back to the West, along the North shore of the North Channel. We go through Little Current again (and stop to get more fuel if needed), turn up the Wabuno Channel, turn West into the McBean Channel, and look for a lunch stop.

Hotham Island, Fox Island, Otter Island are all possible stops.

Spanish or Spragge could be overnight destinations. I have never been to either. One of them just spent a fortune remodeling their marina. Dave Hart has been there. The next day we continue West.

Long Point Cove is a popular anchorage. There used to be good perch fishing there, but the Cormorants have probably ended that. Could stop for lunch here, or in Bear Drop Harbour or Clara and Turnbull Islands

Blind River and Thessalon are possible overnight marina destinations. Blind River has a nice marina and a good restaurant right there. I have driven by Thessalon a million times but never arrived by boat. It must have a marina and a restaurant. Or, we cook out, again. If we want a remote anchorage, we can try one of the many island, maybe even Mississagi Island, which I have never even seen. It looks like you could find shelter on its lee side.

From here the ways back to Detour are many. We can decide on a route as we go along, influenced by the wind and weather, and the time remaining. How does that sound?

Re the border crossing, Chris and I have NEXUS cards, Passports, and Enhanced Driver Licenses, so we should be covered for just about any method. If you don't have all those documents, do some research about crossing the border by water, and check in both directions.

K Albus posted 02-12-2012 02:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Is it safe to assume that the plan would be to meet in Detour on Saturday, August 4, and to get underway on Sunday, August 5 (by 10:00 a.m., of course)?

Assuming that is the plan, please note that Monday, August 6, is the Canadian Civic Holiday. It might be a good idea to make reservations for the Meldrum Bay and Little Current marinas.

Hoosier posted 02-10-2012 04:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
I think we've converged on going to the North Channel this season. I'm with John about going to new places. Now we can spend the next couple of months deciding on a cruise plan.
jimh posted 02-12-2012 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
What is the situation at Detour for leaving trucks parked with empty trailers for a week?
home Aside posted 02-12-2012 05:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for home Aside  Send Email to home Aside     
North Channel sounds great to me, all I have to is get the time off. After last years basic lack of boating time, I am ready...


Buckda posted 02-12-2012 05:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
JimH -

It's $5/Day in a grassy lot adjacent to the ramp and the marina.

David Pendleton posted 02-12-2012 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Now we're getting (and going) somewhere.

That itinerary is fine with us.

Hal Watkins posted 02-12-2012 07:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hal Watkins  Send Email to Hal Watkins     
The North Channel has long been a trip Margaret and I would like to pursue. Going with experienced NS cruisers will make all the difference.

We are also going to visit Isle Royale and the Apostle Islands again this summer.

See ya on the water...

Hoosier posted 02-13-2012 08:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
If the private lot next to the ramp is full, Passage Boat Works has a parking lot that's about a quarter mile from the ramp.

What dates?

6992WHALER posted 02-13-2012 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
I think the plan is to meet at the departure location (Sounds like Detour MI) on Saturday August 4. Be underway at 10:00am on Sunday the 5th. Return to Detour on Saturday August 11th. Hit the road for home on either the 11th or 12th.

There has been some concern about crossing the boarder by boat. Is there an alternative start location that crosses the boarder by truck? Or is it not something to worry about?

K Albus posted 02-13-2012 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I don't see any problem crossing the border by water. On the way into Canada, Meldrum Bay Marina has a Customs office that is supposed to be available 24 hours a day. See the last sentence on this web page:

On the way back into the U.S., there is Customs office at Drummond Island Yacht Haven, which undoubtedly will be open on a Saturday afternoon in the middle of summer. See: .

Hoosier posted 02-13-2012 10:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
It's not something to worry about. Hilton Beach, Thessalon, Meldrum Bay, and every other harbor on the North Channel has a "magic phone" for check-in purposes. I ran into trouble last year because I came on a route along the south shore of Manitoulin Island that didn't have any.

David Pendleton posted 02-13-2012 04:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
I like the idea of a De Tour Village departure because I won't have to pay Canadian fuel prices...
K Albus posted 02-14-2012 03:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Mr. Pendleton - What are the fuel capacity, cruising MPG, and range for your boat? This trip looks to be in the 300-350 mile range for the week.
David Pendleton posted 02-14-2012 04:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Jim estimates this to be closer to a 250 mile trip.

My fuel tank capacity is 125 gallons; I actually don't know my range or mileage exactly. I don't have the modern instrumentation that Jim and others have, only an analog gauge.

Based on my experiences on previous trips of similar distances and cruising styles, I will likely not need to refuel on this trip.

6992WHALER posted 02-14-2012 04:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
Dave, when we end up towing you in the last 10 miles you know Jim will be taking a lot of pictures.
K Albus posted 02-14-2012 05:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Yeah, I saw that Jim's proposal listed above was about 250 miles, but it's also short by one day, presumably for possible weather complications. My 300-350 mile estimate included doing something with that extra day.

The performance reports posted by Pursuit for my new boat are based on the older 3.3 liter Yamaha F250 and show a maximum cruising range of about 250 miles. My boat has the newer 4.2 liter Yamaha F250 which supposedly gets about 17% better mileage at cruising speeds. That should put my range close to 290 miles. It sure would be nice not to have purchase fuel in Canada.

Hoosier posted 02-14-2012 06:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Ask Jim about our fuel costs on the '08 trip...or even last year...

My fuel capacity is ~100 gal and I get ~3mpg, but I SAS don't want to make the last legs with less than 1/3 tank.

They're (who the hell are "they"?) predicting $5/gal in the US this summer, so it might make a lot of sense to have an itinerary that looped back to Detour for fuel...just a thought...

David Pendleton posted 02-14-2012 09:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
I suspect I get somewhere between 2 and 3 miles per gallon.
David Pendleton posted 02-14-2012 09:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
Maybe I'll install a sail...
Hoosier posted 02-15-2012 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
That's an interesting thought, a surplus parachute rigged like a spinnaker could work for the eastbound legs when we would have a predominately west, NW wind....though it might be a bit slow for your taste...
jimh posted 02-17-2012 09:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have only 70-gallon capacity. Optimum is 3-MPG, so my range is only 210-miles. I will need to purchase some fuel in Canada.

I recall one point in the last trip in this area when we were heading into rough seas from the West. My boat speed was very much not-optimum. Fuel consumption was around 1.2-MPG. Gasoline was about $6/gallon. It occurred to me the cost to move the boat was about $5/mile at that point. I began to think about a sailboat.

6992WHALER posted 02-17-2012 01:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for 6992WHALER  Send Email to 6992WHALER     
I think I am the one who can whine about fuel costs.
I get 1.4 mpg so this trip will cost me $1000 just in boat fuel. 180 gallon tank = 252 mile cruising range in perfect conditions.
David Pendleton posted 02-17-2012 02:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Pendleton    
If this trip is like any of the others I have been on (regardless of locale), a significant amount of our cruising is done at idle speeds.

I can guarantee the trip in and out of McGregor Bay will be at idle speeds.

Hoosier posted 03-17-2012 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     
Well, it was 81 today in Fort Wayne and it's St. Patrick's Day. If this keeps up all the water in the North Channel will have evaporated by August and we won't have to worry about gas prices in Canada.

All joking aside, it looks like it'll be a hot summer and that we can look forward to some warm water. I vote for less long runs and more "Gunk Holes" where we can hang out, swim, and kick back. Kathy and I went through the Bay of Islands a couple of years ago, and, frankly it was like McGregor Bay, cottages on rocks. The area between the Benjamin's and Blind River looks very interesting with lots of places to hang out that aren't too far apart. I figure that Canadian gas is going to hit $2.00+/liter this summer so fuel usage/cost is going to be a consideration. Too bad Whaler didn't make a trawler.. ;-)

K Albus posted 04-09-2012 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Is August ever going to get here?
leapin lunker posted 04-10-2012 07:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for leapin lunker  Send Email to leapin lunker     
So, it is August 4th then? If so, I have a Chris Craft Commander Rendezvous at Kean's. I will check back as I have not been following the conversations lately. NC sure was fun last time. JIm, I may even have my radio fixed before then.
Hoosier posted 04-22-2012 10:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoosier  Send Email to Hoosier     

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