It’s beautiful, but it’s also remote, with some very narrow channels and a rock-lined bottom. Still, the North Channel of Lake Huron certainly qualifies as one of the best cruising destinations for boats coming from either the United States or Canada. Stretching 160 nm across the northern shore of Lake Huron, in the Canadian province of Ontario, the North Channel is filled with beckoning anchorages, uninhabited islands, hidden beaches and just enough marinas to keep everyone on board happy.
Most cruisers who’ve been there agree that navigation can be tricky. The North Channel is 20 miles across at its widest point, but it also narrows down to channels between islands that are only 50 feet wide. The appeal is all in anchoring out, enjoying the peace and quiet and beauty of such a remote spot, but the bottom is often unforgiving solid rock, and depths can change from a few hundred feet to a matter of inches in a short period of time.
Here’s a detailed, inside look at cruising the North Channel by a Canadian couple in a Mainship 30 Classic Pilot, taken from the pages of Canadian Yachting. They not only tell you the best places to go, but they also list the charts and cruising guides to take with you, and what VHF channels to listen to for local advice.
Their best advice: “Travel only the daytime when visibility is good,” and enter remote areas only with the sun at your back and a good lookout on the bow. For more about the North Channel: