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Benton Harbor to Chicago round trip

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Old 08-27-2008, 08:19 AM
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Default Benton Harbor to Chicago round trip

Been in 4 out of the 5 great lakes and planning on this trip for the labor day week end. This will make it 5 out of 5. anyone don it before, any advice. Have GPS and charts, looks like I'll be staying at Burnham Harbor. Research tells me its like a 67 mile trip one way. weather forcast 5 -10 mph winds all week. I'm not a forcaster by any means, but I'm guessing the waves will be in the 1-3 foot range. Feel free to correct me.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:10 AM
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Yeah, we had a group of 3 boats I was on did this trip from St. Joe to Chicago and back on July 4th 1991. Of course back then we didn't have a GPS to help us out, but about half way or less we could easily see the Chicago skyline which made it easy for navigation.

We came back the same day, but the return trip to St. Joe was a little different navigation wise---we were off to the north a little by about 10-15 miles or so. We could tell by the steam of the Palisades Nuclear Plant just south of South Haven.

Having the tech of a GPS will be a whole lot easier these days.
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Old 08-27-2008, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAAMA View Post
Yeah, we had a group of 3 boats I was on did this trip from St. Joe to Chicago and back on July 4th 1991. Of course back then we didn't have a GPS to help us out, but about half way or less we could easily see the Chicago skyline which made it easy for navigation.

We came back the same day, but the return trip to St. Joe was a little different navigation wise---we were off to the north a little by about 10-15 miles or so. We could tell by the steam of the Palisades Nuclear Plant just south of South Haven.

Having the tech of a GPS will be a whole lot easier these days.
Any suggestions on where to launch from Benton Harbor/St Joe area?
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:24 PM
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When are you planning on running? Looks like it's gonna blow north on Friday and Saturday...might make things interesting in a 28 footer.

Calling for south/southeast for Sunday and Monday, so it might do you some good to hug the shoreline on the way home.

Should be a nice run...if you wanna buy gas, I'd head down to Hammond rather than fill up at Burnham...save you some $$$.
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Old 08-27-2008, 01:57 PM
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You can launch at the DNR launch on Riverview Dr. Use the farthest launch out and make sure your drive is raised a little and get the drive/stern of the boat so that it is sitting out just past the end of the sea wall and as you're backing out in reverse get the stern of the boat out into the river just to be safe---that's what I always do.

Last edited by KAAMA; 08-27-2008 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-27-2008, 05:22 PM
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Lake MI has been a bizatch this year. Of the last 5 times out, we could anchor in comfort 1 time. Be prepared for 3-5'ers, that's been the norm most of the 2 months. That's okay for a short run, but no fun going that far, and no fun to anchor in.

The DNR launch is easier for current than the St Joe launch, if you're concerned with the current. Last weekend I had to jump out of the boat to help my wife with the line, the wind/current were so bad. Not to scare you, but like sommerfliesby said, watch the weather.
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Old 08-27-2008, 11:23 PM
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Like others have said If the wind is out of the north be ready for some big stuff. It gets worse out in open water too. Even a 10MPH wind can kick it up good.
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Old 08-28-2008, 06:15 AM
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We generally have our best boating weather when there is a huricaneon the map. But, Gustove may not be close enough to make the lake lay downuntill late in the weekend.
If you are spending the night, a morning crossing will be calmest,but then you have the best chance of running into fog.
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Old 08-28-2008, 08:25 AM
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Thanks for all of the insight, I've been keeping an eye on the weather and the marine forecast. So far it's looking decent hope it stays that way. Planning on stay in Benton Harbor area Friday night and leaving first thing in the a.m. Do they alow you to leave the truck and trailer over night at the DNR launch? I've encountered some that don't and threaten towing.

Anyone else want to make the run?

.FRIDAY NIGHT...VARIABLE WINDS 5 TO 10 KNOTS BECOMING SOUTHWEST
AND INCREASING TO 10 TO 15 KNOTS AFTER MIDNIGHT. WAVES AROUND 1
FOOT BUILDING TO 1 TO 3 FEET LATE.
.SATURDAY...SOUTHWEST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS DIMINISHING TO AROUND
10 KNOTS AND VEERING NORTH TOWARD EVENING. WAVES 1 TO 3 FEET.
.SATURDAY NIGHT...NORTH WINDS 5 TO 10 KNOTS VEERING TO SOUTHEAST.
WAVES AROUND 1 FOOT.
.SUNDAY...SOUTHEAST WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. WAVES 1 TO 3 FEET.
.MONDAY...SOUTH WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. WAVES 1 TO 3 FEET.
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Old 08-28-2008, 12:31 PM
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There isn't much to do in St. Joe---you might want to take a 18 mile run up to South Haven while on the Michigan side of the lake---really cool little town that is a lot more update when it comes to tourists and traveling boaters.
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