We may kick up the challenge this week and venture up to Lake Erie at Preque Isle for more of a challenge than Lake Arthur.
Hi Janet & Fred,
Welcome aboard. I think you'll find the trip up to Erie to be well worth the drive. That's my original "home port", although I now live & sail in the Washington, DC area. I grew up sailing Sunfish, Hobie 16, and Flying Juniors, all over the bay & Lake Erie. Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie, and the park, offer a wealth of places to play. I've had my AI(s) up there a number of times last year. In fact, if your AI is yellow, you're likely to run into people who think you're me. I've had my own, and my friend's AI when he wasn't using it, all over the Erie waterfront. Last I knew, they were the only AI's in town. I usually launch mine from the Erie Yacht Club, since I stay on my brother's boat there when I'm in town visiting. I have launched at the lagoons, out on the peninsula though, which is a beautiful location. Here are a couple spots, with GPS coordinates, I scouted out one afternoon last summer, when I didn't have time to actually go out. You can pick up a map or the park from the ranger office. There are a number or boat launch ramps, but I was trying to avoid the traffic & such usually found there. I don't need a ramp, so I'll go find another spot.
Presque Isle Launch Sites
Lagoon Kayak Launch
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Near the East end of Presque Isle State Park. Just past the parking lot for Perry Monument, behind Misery Bay. Misery Bay & the monument on your right, the launch area is on your left.
Leave mast unrigged until after you pass under the bridge and out into Misery Bay. Mast is easy to rig while in the boat, so not a problem.
Can also go explore back into the lagoons. I haven't done it yet, but I'm told there is a passage through the lagoons that will bring you out into Marina Bay. Hope to explore that this year.
While in the neighborhood of Misery Bay, check out the houseboats on Horseshoe Pond. Go through the little channel off the East end of Misery Bay, and there are about a dozen houseboats back there. These are permanently anchored residences, mainly used as summer & vacation places. Residents are very friendly.
Marina Bay launch
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At the West end of Marina Bay. Follow a little dirt road/trail down to the water. Several people launched there the day I was scouting spots.
Sommerheim Pumping Station
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Near the West end of Presque Isle Bay, at the foot of Sommerheim Drive. Go North from W 6th St, right next to Tracy School. I used to fish there when I was a kid. Now there are several rowing teams that store & launch there.
If you're at this end of the bay, check out the shipwreck located at approximately
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You can see the ribs & timbers sticking out of the water.
Dirt road to Thompson's Bay
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Not sure if it's an "authorized" launch point or not. A friend told me about it, but I haven't tried it yet. You'll have to unload at the roadside, and then portage about 100 yards to the water. This will put you in on the lake side of the peninsula, where Thompson's Bay opens to the lake.
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Like the dirt road above, I'm not sure if it's an "authorized" launch point or not. A friend told me about it, but I haven't tried it yet. You'll have to unload at the roadside, and then portage about 100 yards to the water. This will put you in on the lake side of the peninsula, where Thompson's Bay opens to the lake.
I have seen kayakers on Thompson's Bay, but I had gotten there by sailing out the channel from Presque Isle Bay, into Lake Erie. So I didn't talk to any of them to see where they put in at.
I'm sure you'll enjoy yourselves. Let me know how it goes. I don't know when I'll get a chance to get up there this summer, but you can be sure I will at some point. I'm hoping to make it up there the week of July 13. The Sunfish North Americans are being held in Erie that week, and I think that would be a fun time to hang out.
I'm actually toying with the idea of sailing the AI across to Port Dover, Ontario. It'd be 29 miles across from Presque Isle to Long Point peninsula, and then another 18 miles across Long Point Bay to get to the mainland. I figure about 10-14 hours, if conditions are right. Camp over there for a day or two, and then sail it back home. Of course, I'd only attempt it if the weather looked like conditions were going to be right for a few days. Have to hope that the schedule & the weather mesh enough that I get a chance.
- Jim L