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Sailing sites around Windsor, Ontario

 
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wsurfer05



Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:20 pm    Post subject: Sailing sites around Windsor, Ontario Reply with quote

May be moving to Windsor next year. What are the best sites for Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair? What are the wind conditions in the summer months June - September? Thanks.
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wmcguire



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are my picks. I should probably put these into Google Maps for easy reference but you can find them on a map. You're surrounded by water so there are a lot of access points but they can be small as most waterfront is privately owned.

Lake Erie:

Cedar Beach (Eastern side of the pier), Colchester Harbour, Seacliffe beach. Rondeau too if you want to sail in a bay (about an hour down the 401).

Detroit River:

The mouth of the river where it empties into Lake Erie, underneath the Ambassador Bridge (launch from the boat launch area, lots of current here), the foot of Lauzon Road acroos from Belle Isle (there is an empty lot just east of Abar's that you can park and launch from, lots of current here too and works through a large range of directions).

Lake St. Clair:

BeachGrove (just west of the golf club is a small launch area), Belle River Marina (friendly sandy launch) and best of all, the front of my cottage as I don't have to pile anything on top of the car Wink

There are a lot of launches but the 3 main ones I use are Cedar Beach for Lake Erie for S to WSW (or SE), underneath the Ambassador Bridge for S-SW, ABars for SW to W, and Belle River Marina for W to N to E.

Lake Erie has a bubble in the spring when the water is cold and the warm winds don't penetrate to the surface. It can be windy driving all the way there and as soon as you hit the lake, there's barely a whitecap .... Try the river instead in the spring if the water is still cold.

The reverse seems to happen with Lake St. Clair. It can be windier there than any of the surrounding sites.

In the fall when the cold fronts go through and winds are over 25 knots, head up to Kettle Point on Lake Huron for near mast-high sets that line up for a couple hundred yards. Great stuff if you are a port-tacker.
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wsurfer05



Joined: 03 May 2005
Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow - thanks for the detailed descriptions. We're looking at a house on the Detroit River near Boblo Island - fairly narrow there and there seems to be lots of current - so doubt if I'll be able to sail from there.

Nice to see there are so many sites nearby. Are there a lot of windsurfers in the area?
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wmcguire



Joined: 27 May 2005
Posts: 14

PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not as many as there used to be ... Jobs, families, all that stuff that competes for your time.

There are launches on the river close to where you are looking at buying that I didn't mention.

Don't worry about the current, it's fun once you get used to it because you can be broad reaching all the time. The current makes it easy to get back. If the wind is light, just head way downwind to sail so if you have to limp back to shore in light wind you won't miss your launch. It makes for some nice waves too with the wind working against the current. If the worst happens and you break down just swim to shore and walk back. It might be inconvenient but it's not dangerous (just get out of the shipping channels as soon as you can).

Oh, yeah, the lake freighters cast a big wind shadow, don't play chicken with them. Leave a 1/4 mile clearance to be safe. The channels are well marked and it's kind of a buzz to sail along side of them when they are cruising by, just stay on the right side of the buoys!
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logosz85



Joined: 22 Feb 2007
Posts: 24
Location: Birmingham, MI

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out the attached link for sites around Michigan. Brian Lefeve runs the store and can help you out with locations as well. Kettle Point which is just South of Grand Bend on Lake Huron is outstanding on a NW. It is just like Daytona Beach where you drive out onto the beach and park right by the water.

http://www.greatlakeskiteboarding.com/kitespots.html

There is also a great group of guys on Yahoo who work together to get the most out of the local windsurf scene. Check them out at:

http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/MiWindsurf/

If you sail in the river channels where the freighters are running be very careful. They move a lot faster than you think. Safe bet is if you can see them get out of the water and restart again after they pass. They can't stop and can't turn to avoid you. Also, wear booties since some areas have razor sharp clam shells littering the bottom that will cut you to ribbons if you step on them in bare feet (mostly in Lake St. Clair and Detroit River. Huron seems to be alright these days).

Have a great time.
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