The small town of Blind River, on the north shore of the North Channel, at the very top of Lake Huron, is the place to take care of your Canadian customs problems—if you make a Great Lakes cruise this summer. The customs official will be there when you come or will come when you call. At other points along the cruise which Morten Lund begins to lay out next week (in the first of two parts) there are other advantageous situations, and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED tells you how to make the most of them.
The cruising grounds begin (going west to east) where the world's two greatest fresh-water sailing races end—at Mackinac Island. From there, through the North Channel and Georgian Bay and back to the main body of Huron, lies a wondersea of wide-open water, of water studded with islands and islets, of shores crowded with coves and shelter. Not because it is not good for sailing—it's perfect—but because the approaches are fairly long from our Great Lakes cities, these grounds are a mecca for powerboats, which can get there faster and which during the summer now outnumber sailboats nine to one.
This cruise is in some respects like others we have charted, down the Inland Waterway (SI, Nov. 28, 1955) and from San Diego to Acapulco (SI, Jan. 28, 1957). It includes advice on where to go and where to stop; on what to take and what to leave behind; on facilities for mooring and dockage, on fueling and provisioning, biking and blueberry picking, eating and drinking—and repairs. And where to get the biggest pike and perch and pickerel. In addition to the charts you'll need, there are other aids to navigation which SPORTS ILLUSTRATED has arranged for prospective voyagers to come by quickly.
I think you'll find it's quite a trip.
Morten Lund offers one admonition: "Above all, don't miss the point of your cruise: the pleasure of taking your time, chugging leisurely between islands, taking pictures, hopping over the side for a swim, giving in to the impulse to investigate and deferring decisions until morning."