It looks settled.  I will spending September helping to run a later model 57 Carver across the Great Lakes from Chicago, around the top of Michigan, to the Welland Canal, to the Barge Canal at Oswego, to the Hudson and then south to Florida.  Which is nicer?  Up the Wisconsin side or the Michigan side of Lake Michigan to get around?  Any suggestions regarding the nicest marinas that can accommodate a 60 footer easily along the way? Preferably places with good restaurants and attractions within walking distance for old people.  Seeking any 'Local Knowledge' you can provide .  All advice will be appreciated.      

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Definitely MI side. All depends on weather and how fast you run. Starting from the South. South Haven, Saugatuck, Grand Haven, Pentwater, Frankfort, Leland, charlevoix, petoskey, Harbor Springs, Mackinaw Island all are good stops on the west side. East side is a bit more rustic until you get to Port Huron and the D.

While I can provide no insight to the Great Lakes I, and perhaps many others, hope that you can find some time to provide some photos and comment on your travels. It is a trip that I only whish that I could have taken and now must live it vicariously through others.

( BTW, in the mid 80's and in to the 90;'s I spent time in Lake Clark Shores and WRMF was my go to radio station. I must have heard your traffic reports and your name sounds vaguely familiar. There was an on air personality that I enjoyed but whose name I can't remember but he was described as being very tall.)

Hello Paul:

I have made this trip 4 different times.  The first was the very same routing as you intend to do via Oswego from Holland, MI, while the second (starting from Holland again), third and fourth going out from Michigan City, IN, to the St. Lawrence Seaway and then the St. Lawrence River out to the Atlantic which is a 600 nautical mile run from Kingston, Canada to the Gaspe Peninsula, Canada.  From then on to Prince Edward Island via the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then to Nova Scotia proceeding to New England and onwards to Florida for a total of approx. 4000 nautical miles.  Plenty of beautiful scenery to behold along  this route. 

The things that I did not like as to your intended route were the low speed limits, the lack of marinas after having departed Oswego and of course that low clearance fixed bridge just south of Oswego (20 feet).  Once leaving the marina at Oswego on your way down to Troy/Albany, NY, there are no marinas, just tieups along the approaching lock walls.  There are approx. 40 locks on the Oswego and Erie Canals.  Be sure to fuel up and take on water and stores before leaving Oswego.

I strongly suggest that you obtain the books as to this trip that are available at Blue Water Books in Fort Lauderdale.  They have a wealth of info as to your routing of which I depended heavily upon.  Any other questions as to harbors along the way, I can help you.  Your routing will be approximately 2000 nautical miles. 

Best Regards,

Jim Rivas

If you can't get under that bridge in Oswego, I think you can get into the Erie Canal at Buffalo, or stay in the lakes to the St. Lawrence, at Montreal get into the Champlain Canal down to the Hudson.

No offense to Wisconson folks . But from what you said. I would go the Michigan side. Way more of what you want. Great trip. I loved it.
No offense taken. I live in Green Bay, WI and have been all over both sides of the pond. Michigan wins... no contest! Better marinas and way more of them. You're never too far from a pretty nice "port of refuge" should you need one.

Thank You so much, Jim, Jim, Charlene, Mike, Sterling and Jay.  I grew up in Buffalo and ran several different boats from Sandusky to Buffalo to Lake Ontario via The Welland in my teens and 20s.  I'm really excited to do Lake Michigan and Huron on this trip. And Thanks Charlene,  I just got my Michigan Harbors Guide in the mail this morning.  Since the 57 Carver needs a 19' bridge clearance, Oswego will be the closest turn south because of a 15' 6" bridge over the Barge Canal east of Buffalo/Tonawanda toward Albany. Since it's been 40 years since I've been up there,  I would love to hear about specific nicer marinas along the entire route including Lake Erie and Ontario. 

And Jay, the extra tall (6'8) Radio Personality you are thinking of was named Kevin Kitchens, who unfortunately died of a heart attack at 39.  He was a funny guy and an excellent talent.  And Yes I was WRMF's "Guy in the "Yellowcopter" for 29 years. Thank You for remembering.  And talk about a small world,  when I sold my 41 Commander 2 years ago,  I bought a little condo at Lake Clarke Gardens off Florida Mango Road just to have a roof over my head between boats. It turned into a pleasant surprise.

Anyone 55 plus looking for a great older senior complex in South Florida DIRT CHEAP??? And I do mean super dirt cheap!...Lake Clarke Gardens is the place.  Close to everything.  Only 10 minutes to the marina. 30% Midwesterners, 30% Canadian, 30% Finnish. ...And you can still buy a small condo here for under $50K. Incredible. In Palm Beach County no less. No kidding.  Monthly maintenance is under $300 including water and cable. This might be the last housing BARGAIN in all of Florida.       

I'd highly recommend Charlevoix for a stop. The municipal docks are right downtown. If you can't find a slip there, send me a message and I can probably help with a private slip on Round Lake. Bay Harbor/Harbor Springs are a similar story. 

If you need a ride or a car for a day, let me know. I have some crew up there who can help you out. 

Paul, you bring back many fond memories. In the mid 80’s and in to the90.s I was living on my Chris Connie at Marina Bay in Fort Lauderdale and was spending a lot of time at a girl friend’s place in Lake Clarke Shores. In the morning, I would drive from West Lake Dr. to Florida Mango and past Lake Clarke Gardens down to 10th Ave and then to I95 south to work in Ft Lauderdale. And yes it was Kevin Kitchens and you who kept me informed and entertained for that hour long drive. As I remember, your reports were delivered with a touch of humor and Kevin was the number one air personality in the South Florida market. It is so sad that he died so young. It really is a small world.



Jay Hargest said:



Paul Cavenaugh said:

And Jay, the extra tall (6'8) Radio Personality you are thinking of was named Kevin Kitchens, who unfortunately died of a heart attack at 39.  He was a funny guy and an excellent talent.  And Yes I was WRMF's "Guy in the "Yellowcopter" for 29 years. Thank You for remembering.  And talk about a small world,  when I sold my 41 Commander 2 years ago,  I bought a little condo at Lake Clarke Gardens off Florida Mango Road just to have a roof over my head between boats. It turned into a pleasant surprise.

Be sure to read Roy Evers Loop article in the Fall 2010 SIF edition.  It was really good, a great contribution and could give you additional help.  He will be addressing our Regional Rendezvous.

Tim

Just to throw this in a different light.  I did this trip from Minneapolis to Florida.  For your journey the Chicago River to the Mississippi.  Mississippi to the Ohio, Ohio to the Cumberland, Cumberland to the Tennessee, to the Ten Tom Waterway, Tom Bigbee River into Mobile Bay.  Intercoastal along the Florida Panhandle to Apalachicola, then diagonal across the Gulf to Dunedin or Clearwater.  If you are headed for East Coast Florida go South to Fort Myers then cross the state through Lake Oceechobee and out at Stuart.  Lots fewer locks than the NY State Canal system.  Lots of stops, marinas and river towns.

Charlie Berry

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