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Potagannissing Bay

Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
I’m looking for a place to trailer my Capri 18.

I don’t have a proper chart of the area yet, but the Navionics app seems to indicate that potagannissing Bay (northern Lake Huron) might be a good place. Most of it has depth plenty adequate for my 2‘ keel. Thinking about a VRBO on Drummond Island, and day sailing from there.

The number of islands so close together makes me wonder about massive boulders and shoals that might make for some challenges.

Does anyone have experience in that area?
 
Jan 5, 2017
2,167
Beneteau First 38 Lyall Harbour Saturna Island
You’re not getting many responses to this area. It may be that you are exploring new territory for this forum. Be careful not to fall off the edge of the world or cross the line into Canada ( CBS is still handing out fines to transgressors)
 
May 25, 2012
3,785
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
been there, sailed that, love the area. detour is great. harbor island is the stuff dreams are made of. fun winds. the mich state dock at detour is first class. drummond island, i've loaded stone there many times. the fishing is first class through out the area.

sailing north of mac island is a hoot as well.
 

AndyVS

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Sep 4, 2015
49
Macgregor 26S Adrian, MI
My son and I sailed the area for a week the summer before last. It was grand. Spent two nights at Lime island watching the freighters go by. Then sailed to Harbor Island and anchored there for two nights. Beautiful! Yacht Haven marina at Drummond island is a nice stop. Then over to Detour State marina. Great marina with restaurant/bar and grocery store within walking distance. I could go on and on about that trip. We used Navionics and didn't have any issues with rocks but did keep a close watch. We hope to be able to go back soon.

20190814_141157.jpg20190814_174202.jpg
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
i considered launching from Detour, I was concerned about ferry traffic and freighters.
I had considered taking the boat on the ferry and launching from Drummond.

Sounds like you folks are saying Detour would be a good bet?
 
May 25, 2012
3,785
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
the ferry is a non issue, the ships are in a 10 mph area and are predicable when seen. the ships are not that frequent. both locations will be fine. no, both will be great.
 

DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
1,176
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
If the border opens up you might want to check out the North Channel (North of Manitoulin Island). There are a lot of beautiful places within a day sail of Little Current. It's been a long time since I've been there but I would love to go back some day.
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
The border not being open is definitely sad, but this won't last forever. I will eat poutine again someday.
 
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Likes: DArcy

AndyVS

.
Sep 4, 2015
49
Macgregor 26S Adrian, MI
The sailing is great from either location. Traffic at Detour is minor issue. We had AIS app on tablet to monitor freighter traffic. For me overnighting on anchor at Harbor Island is a must.
The last day of sailing on that trip was the most fun. We could see on the weather radar that storms were coming mid afternoon. We sailed mostly downwind for about 4 hours and as the wind picked up so did the waves. Fastest we've ever sailed & surfed. When we heard boats on the VHF taking shelter at Mackinac, we took shelter at Lime Island and watched the storm come through.
20190818_204043.jpg
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
@AndyVS Harbor Island does look great. The chart shows a 1-2 foot depth in most of the harbor, my boat has a 2.5 ft draft - great lakes are at a historic high level right now, not sure it would be a problem or not.

We have not anchored out in our 18' boat yet, there's not a lot of creature comforts, or sanitary facilities for that matter. Harbor Island might be a perfect first try, protected, beautiful and close to the marina if we bail out.
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
As soon as I hit "post" I re-checked my chart. 3-4 foot depth in most of the harbor. That seems safer.

Might be a perfect spot to anchor out.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,176
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
@john6206 have a look at the Harbor Island anchorage review on Active Captain. They claim 10 feet of water much further in than indicated on the chart and good holding. This seems to agree with the Navionics SonarChart.
 

AndyVS

.
Sep 4, 2015
49
Macgregor 26S Adrian, MI
We didn't have any problems with water depth at Harbor Island. The edges along the shore are shallow but the center was plenty deep. Each evening 4-6 boats would anchor there and it's large enough to take many more. We did have an issue when coming up to the small beach to go ashore. There were a couple pieces of re-bar from an old dock just below the water line a few feet from shore on the left side of the beach. Scraped some gel-coat off. Another person there told me that before the high water levels it would show above the water. It is a beautiful - peaceful place & I'd like to spend more time there.
 
May 25, 2012
3,785
john alden caravelle 42 sturgeon bay, wis
water is 4' above datum boys. so add 4' to the chart depth. the harbor bottom is saucer shaped. no issues. march right in, go to the middle, the ease to a shore that looks pretty.
i draw 6', have never touched.
beautiful wild life.
in the cut between harbor and the island to the s.e. we caught a bunch of fish, yummy
a heavenly spot, then you can daysail around and return if you like.:cool:
 
Feb 19, 2008
200
Catalina Capri 18 ann arbor
Thank you for all the advice. I think we leave for the trip in 12 days - the forecast calls for 25% chance of rain the whole weekend, it's a super-long range forecast, so by the time the weekend comes it could be much better or much much worse!

My proposed itinerary is:
Depart after work on Thursday - maybe make it as far as Mackinaw.
Friday we have time, we can explore De Tour Village and make our way to Lime Island. Friday night sleep at anchor (first time we've done that).
Saturday - sail to Lime Island. DNR website says there was significant damage to the wooden docks over the winter, and dockage is limited for the 2021 season. Not sure how limited . . . I guess we won't know until we get there. Probably spend several hours on the island and then sail to De Tour Village marina.
Sunday morning - start the drive home.

It's a shorter cruise than I first imagined, but it might be better - especially with 25% chance of rain. I don't mind sailing in the rain, not sure how my wife will feel about it.

Questions for the group:
We couldn't swing a mid week trip with our jobs (curse you gainful employment!), should I be worried Harbor Island will be too full? Have a back up anchorage in mind?

Getting to Lime Island, how much will freighter traffic be a concern? Am I going to die? :huh:
I'm assuming motor rather than sail would be best in the river because of freighter chop.

Thanks,

John
 

AndyVS

.
Sep 4, 2015
49
Macgregor 26S Adrian, MI
Hi John,

We've been to Lime Island twice. I would guess there is a freighter every couple of hours so It's not like you have to play frogger. Visually, you can see and hear the freighters from a distance so you can sail & you have plenty of time to get out of the way. We use an app on our phone & tablet called ship tracker. Fun way to see what's coming. The docks at Lime island are in tough shape. Two years ago, the caretaker had us tie up on the inside of the breakwater wall. Works fine as long as you have fenders. There are picnic tables on the breakwater and porta potties on land. There is a protected tern colony on the end of the breakwater but they quiet down at night.
Lime island.jpg
Lime island (2).jpg

Harbor island is much bigger than it appears on map. I attached a couple of pics.
Harbor island SW.jpg
Harbor island NE.jpg

Both places were lightly used when we were there. We had one day when we wanted to go to Harbor Island and the wind was on our nose and it was clear it would take too long so we went back to Lime Island that night. The next day the wind was better and it was easy sailing over there.

Andy