I’m thinking about crossing Lake Erie next summer starting at my uncle’s lake front home in Marblehead. From there I’d like to go island to island across the lake to Point Peele. I’m looking for advice from those who have traveled these islands. Stripbuilder
Heard its a nice crossing
My friend Tim Sonnenfeld did it about 11 or 12 yrs ago solo in his Nordkapp HM with a broken leg in a cast. (crutches on the aft deck, spare paddle on fore deck).
Steve Lutch and I were teaching BCU courses at Point Pelee. Tim paddled around with us for a while then took off on his crossing to Ceadar Point Amusement Park (Sandusky ?)
On the way over, he stopped at an island to get out and stretch but a bunch of guys in suits (bodyguards he thought) ran him off.
At one point on the way back a motor boat pulled up to him to ask directions to Windsor. He tried to explain to them where they were on the chart but they said they didn’t have one. He gave them a compass heading and wished them luck.
I’m going to see him over the holidays when I get back to Michigan (he’s actually going to pick me up at the airport, said he’ll be the one holding a sign that says “SUCKWAD”). I’ll have him get you some info one way or another. Steve Lutsch from Windsor has also done the crossing numerous times. He used to be “Shining Waters” paddlesports or something, but may not have the business anymore. He’s always helpful.
I’ve done Point Pelee to Pelee Island a couple times, once at night and once in a small craft advisory. Good times. No further than that, though.
"""Steve Lutch and I were teaching BCU courses at Point Pelee. Tim paddled around with us for a while then took off on his crossing to Ceadar Point Amusement Park (Sandusky ?)"""
--Yep, that's Sandusky area.
""On the way over, he stopped at an island to get out and stretch but a bunch of guys in suits (bodyguards he thought) ran him off.""
--Probably Rattlesnake Island. That's a private area.
There is a bunch of folks who leave the Sandusky Bay area by Millers Ferry, and cross over to the Islands for the weekend. Rather large group. They spend the weekend paddling around Green and Middle Bass Island. They camp at the State Park (Ohio) and paddle back accross to Sandusky
Here is a trip report I found for you to look over
I used to sail Erie quite a bit.
Double check the weather. Erie can go from nice to nasty very very quickly.
Since you are launching from Marblehead. I would stay east of Kelleys island. The area between Kelleys and the Bass islands can have very confused waves due to all the shorelines, even on a calm day. Plus there are a lot more powerboater in that area. There are one or two tiny islands between Kelleys Island and Pelee island.
Once you are North of Pelee island keep an eye out for commercial traffic. Freighters can go from over the horizon to hitting your boat in 10 minutes and you won’t hear them coming. You will also need good bug protection once you reach Canadian waters. The biting flies can be rather nasty. For some reason, they pretty much are North of the border. You will also need your passport to enter Canada and technically to return to the US, although many do not report back in on the return trip. You will need to get to an official customs check in over in Canada. I believe you can also get a Can-pass that allows you to call in once you arrive. It’s been a few years since I have cruised in Canadian waters.
My experience also. Erie can get pretty harsh, especially north of pelee island. And the flies are fierce on shore.