Summer’s end brings a change in weather patterns

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It seems that we’ve been hiding out from the wind more than seeking it out for sailing these last couple of weeks. It’s my experience, after cruising in this area for the past 20+ years, that August’s arrival often means high winds and spates of cold weather interspersed with hot, windless days. This August, we’ve seen much more of the former than the latter.

We’ve been choosing our anchorages wisely, with much thought to wind direction. The equipment that Ron has been testing for a future Practical Sailor article, which is giving us access to better wind forecasts, is a big help. It’s been much more accurate for the area than Environment Canada’s North Channel forecast which carries the disclaimer: “Winds and waves may vary due to shoreline effect.”

Since August 1, we have been holed up in anchorages for 3 days on 3 separate occasions, waiting out high winds. It’s beginning to feel that we no sooner get moving again when another high wind system approaches and we are again seeking shelter from the forecast winds.

Our plan is to make the 34 nm trek to Thessalon tomorrow, before the week’s stronger west winds take hold. From there, we’ll be back in the western end of the North Channel, an area we really enjoy. We hope to spend a few days in the area, waiting for favorable winds and sea conditions to carry us across the top of Lake Huron and back “home” to Cheboygan.

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