Great Lakes Sailing

Vessel Name: Charrette
Vessel Make/Model: Beneteau First 38
Hailing Port: Sister Bay, WI
About: We are an experienced Great Lakes cruising family of 4 (boys 16 and 12) who live aboard during the summer months. In addition to cruising, we also enjoy JAM racing as well as Flying Scot one design racing at the Ephraim Yacht Club where both boys are accomplished racers.
Extra:
Charrette is a 1983 Beneteau First 38 auxilary sloop with a fast modern hull shape, a deep fin keel and spade rudder configuration. She is fast, stable, roomy and does not look dated despite being over 25 years old. She is a sister ship to the S/V Bagheera, a First 38 that circumnavigated the [...]
19 August 2008 | Sault Ste. Marie, MI
19 August 2008 | Sault Ste. Marie, MI
19 August 2008 | Whitefish Point, MI
19 August 2008 | Grand Marais, MI
14 August 2008 | Murray Bay, Grand Island (Munising)
14 August 2008 | Marquette, MI
14 August 2008 | Marquette, MI
09 August 2008 | Lower Keewanaw Waterway Indent
09 August 2008 | Lower Keewanaw Waterway Indent
06 August 2008 | Lilly Pond Kewaunaw Waterway Upper Entry
06 August 2008 | Black River, MI
06 August 2008 | Black River, MI
06 August 2008 | La Pointe Harbor
06 August 2008 | La Pointe Harbor Via Bayfield
01 August 2008 | Raspberry Island Sand Spit
01 August 2008 | Rocky Island
01 August 2008 | Rocky Island Via Devils Island
01 August 2008 | Stockton Island
01 August 2008 | Village of La Point, Madeline Island, WI
01 August 2008 | Bayfield WI
Recent Blog Posts
19 August 2008 | Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

8/14/08

19 August 2008 | Sault Ste. Marie, MI

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

8/13/08

19 August 2008 | Whitefish Point, MI

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

8/12/08

19 August 2008 | Grand Marais, MI

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

8/11/08

14 August 2008 | Murray Bay, Grand Island (Munising)

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

8/10/08

14 August 2008 | Marquette, MI

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

8/9/08

Summer 2008 Lake Superior Cruise

14 August 2008 | Marquette, MI
John
8/8/08

Marquette

At first light, we left the indent and headed out the lower Keewanaw entry into a beautiful sunrise. Soon, I was calling for the spinnaker as it was a beautiful south wind of about 7-10 kts and since our initial course was southeast, this would put us on a nice broad reach.. In these conditions, many boats would be using their engine in order to be able to average 5 kts of boatspeed, but Charrette will easily average 5 kts under these conditions with a spinnaker. Once around Point Abbaye, I knew we would likely be on a beam reach which would require dousing the kite, so I was looking forward to using the spinnaker while it lasted.
We rounded the point and the wind clocked and increased a bit allowing us to continue to carry the spinnaker. We sailed very close to the Huron Islands with their bold, rocky topography and the spectacular lighthouse complex high up above. These islands reminded us a lot of the Canadian north shore and we would have loved to stop and explore them but unfortunately, there isn't any sort of protected anchorage and the holding is reported to be difficult due to a rocky bottom.

As we continued toward Marquette, the wind continued to clock and thus we were able to carry the kite past Big Bay. I was beginning to think that we must really be living "right" and that the idyllic all day sail was about to occur when suddenly, the wind became really light and the kite collapsed. At the time, Stefan was driving and I was asleep on the bow. Stefan being the "sailor's sailor" that he is yelled, "Dad, windshift". I looked up and sure enough, there was a wind line coming straight at us. Over the years, I've experienced a number of 180 deg. wind shifts and they've always fascinated me but at the moment, I really didn't have time to contemplate this one as the spinnaker needed to come down quickly. With a tall masthead rig such as ours, the spinnaker can quickly develop a wrap around the forestay making it extremely difficult to come down and one does not want a 1,200 ft2 flag whipping about from the mast. Soon we were tacking upwind in the gusty, shifty breeze but after 30 minutes or so the "get there itis" kicked in and I succumbed to using the motor once again.

We pulled into Marquette just in time to see several schooners sailing out of the harbor with their crew up in the "crowsnest" and otherwise hanging off the sides dressed in pirate garb. We went to the old coal dock "wharf" to tie up where there were literally hundreds of local townspeople eating, drinking, yelling and cheering for the pirates to return. As it turns out, we were arriving right during the town's pirate festival so lacking a "jolly roger", we strung up signal flags and ran them up and down the mast. Within a few hours, most of the throngs of people dissipated but the teenage crowd remained well into the evening. Thankfully, the rain came around 2330 and they finally scattered.
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