Cruising
America's Great Loop
Cruising the Great Lakes
© 1993 - 2017 CaptainJohn.org
Lake Erie:
The average depth of Lake Erie is 62 feet. The maximum depth is 210 feet. Lake Erie is 241 miles long and 57 miles wide
at its widest point, and when the wind kicks up, this baby sings no lullaby's. While it can be smooth and clear, It can also
be so choppy you'll want to have your fillings checked when its all over.

There are 24 islands in Lake Erie, nine of which belong to Canada. Among the largest and most interesting islands
are Kelleys Island, home of the Glacial Grooves; South Bass Island, home to Put-in-Bay; Johnson's Island, home to a Civil
War Cemetery; Canada's Pelee Island; and Middle Bass Island, are also worth a visit.
Known for its 'Lake Effect' snow storms, the result of winter weather patterns that pick up moisture from the lake and
deposit it from Erie to Buffalo, in the form of snow.

Lake Erie is home to one of the largest commercial freshwater fisheries in the world which provides the largest supply of
yellow perch to the United States and Canada.

Major Ports along Lake Erie include Buffalo, Erie, Monroe, and Toledo. And Cedar Point and Sandusky are all on
our favorite stops list.
Lake Huron:
From Lake St. Clair, Lake Huron is your link to Lake Michigan. It is 206 miles long, and is 183 miles wide. Lake Huron has an average
depth of 195 ft. and a maximum depth of 750 feet.

It is the second largest Great Lake by surface area and the fifth largest freshwater lake in the world.  It has the longest shoreline of all the
Great Lakes, counting the shorelines of its 30,000 islands, which includes Manitoulin Island  - the largest freshwater island in the world.
Georgian Bay and Saginaw Bay are the two largest bays on the Great Lakes.

The Mackinac Bridge, one of the longest suspension bridges in the world connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan
and spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. You will boat directly under this bridge.

FYI - at this point, you will be closer to the North Pole then you are to the Equator.
Lake Michigan:
Once you pass under the Mackinac Bridge, you are on Lake Michigan. The Lake Michigan coast is a beautiful shoreline that
encompasses some of the most popular beaches on the Great Lakes. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities for adventure with sand dunes to
climb, big cities to visit, pristine waters to sail, swim and explore, as well as postcard-perfect sunsets to enjoy. Plus, let's not forget about the fishing.
There is an awful lot to see and do on Lake Michigan.
Mackinac Island is one of my favorites. No cars, just horse drawn buggies & bicycles and lots of chocolate & fudge. If you have a sweet tooth,
you can eat your way thru the Fudge shops as you watch it being made. Truly, don’t cruise by this place and not stop!  Mackinac Island and
Leland,
(Fish Town)
are both a must stop! Enjoy! Leland is a historic fishing village transformed into a tourist mecca complete with shopping and some good
restaurants. Be sure to stop in at the Blue Bird for dinner and then again for their Sunday Buffet. The harbor has 69 transient boater slips.
























Wisconsin – If you cross Lake Michigan from Leland to Green Bay – and cruise down the Bay on the eastern shore, you will cruise by a number of
Wineries and wonderful restaurants. Fish Boil - a fish boil fire is larger than life! A must-see for anyone boating down the peninsula to Green Bay.
There is also the Peninsula Players Theater - a fantastic show with an ‘outside bonfire intermission’ that will light up your life. A unique Wisconsin
must experience.

Approaching Chicago, you will boat right by Navy Pier – you will boat right by it anyway. Choose Belmont Harbor for restaurants, Lincoln Park
Zoo, Burnham Harbor is closest to the museums and aquarium. DuSable Harbor is closest to the Loop, shopping, Navy Pier and the entrance to the
Chicago River lock. The Magnificent Mile – if you can clear 17’ overhead, you will boat right thru downtown Chicago. The ride through the city on the
Chicago River is spectacular. Time your passage to reach the Amtrak RR bridge just west of the Loop after 10 AM, as it won't open during rush hour.
From the 17' fixed bridge there is no good place to stop to re-step your mast etc. until tied up at (free) Bicentennial Park wall in Joliet.
Lake St. Clair is your link from Lake Erie to Lake Huron. In comparison, it is a relatively small but it is packed
with big things to do and see.
The Nautical Mile is the hub of Metro Detroit's boating life and boasts the largest concentration of pleasure
boats and marinas in the Midwest. Located along St. Clair shores 'the Nautical Mile' provides a number of dining
and nightlife destinations along the waterfront.
The Great Lakes Maritime Center at Vantage Point (GLMC) is also worth a visit. Located at the junction of
the Black River and St. Clair River, the GLMC gives you a variety of opportunities to learn about the history and
current events of the Great Lakes. You can also grab an ice cream, and some hand cut fries and check out the
live underwater camera feed of activities below the surface along the St. Clair River. If you are into fishing, here
is a good place to not only drop a line, but to learn about the hottest spots along your way.
Mitchell's Bay is a small community of about 350 year round residents located on the east shore of Lake St.
Clair. Mitchell’s Bay and Mitchell’s Bay Marine Park are known throughout the entire Midwest for its great fishing,
boating and camping, Mitchell's Bay offers some of the best small-mouth Bass, Pickerel and Walleye fishing to
be found anywhere in North America. Mitchell's Bay attracts fishermen from all over the world.
Cruising the Inland Rivers of America's Heartland - click next.
Georgian Bay –  There are two ways to reach Georgian Bay and Georgian Bay's North Channel when cruising the Great Loop. One is by taking
the Trent-Severn Waterway from the Murray Canal on Lake Ontario to Port Severn on Georgian Bay. The other way is to enter from Lake Huron.
Folks, this is world class cruising, It is simply a boaters dream. This is world class cruising with lots to do and see on and off your boat. Words just can’
t describe this place. When it comes to the rugged beauty of windswept pines, on colorful rock, granite boulders scoured clean by glaciers, snug
anchorages. Wonderful sunsets, nothing compares to Georgian Bay.
You won’t be alone here either. Georgian Bay draws thousands of cruising yachts visiting nature’s natural best amongst the 30,000 Islands and the
North Channel. At Penetanguishene Bay it is a short walk to Bay Moorings Inn where there is a delicious prime rib dinner and church at starts at 11am
at the First Presbyterian Church.  The sheer beauty of this area will amaze you gunk-holing in these remote anchorages is distinguished by the quaint
towns and urban ports of call that make Georgian Bay cruising World class.
Either way you go, from Canada on the Trent-Severn, or from Lake Huron - I encourage you to cruise as much of Georgian Bay as you possibly can.
Mackinac Island really is a "must" stop in my opinion. It's just one of those unique places you don't want to
miss.  For sure, it will be one of the highlights of your journey.
 Cruising Georgian Bay is absolutely fabulous cruising. This is the place you might want to make sure your fishing
gear is in good shape. The Walleye fishing here is the best in the world. The Northern Pike get as big as you do. It's also
a great place to spend some time on shore - either a shore side fish fry - an evening camp fire - or a stroll along one of
the more than 30,000 mostly uninhabited islands.
You will need a passport for cruising Canada (there is a link on our links page). If you don't have one already, before
you cruise the Loop will be a great time to get one.  If you don't plan to cruise Canada, you will want to once you get near
there.
www.captainjohn.org                                                                      - Cruising America's Great Loop - Once Around Is Not Enough -