alpena michigan

Great-Lakes-Sailing.com

Alpena, MI

Lat: 45° 03.597   Long: 083° 25.359

 

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: City
  • Monitors VHF: 9
  • Charts: NOS 14864
  • Customs: No
  • Coast Guard
  • Transient Docking
  • Anchorage
  • Diesel
  • Gasoline
  • Potable Water
  • Pump Out
  • Washrooms
  • Showers
  • Laundry
  • Repair Services
  • Provisions
  • Pharmacy
  • Hospital/Clinic
  • Banks/ATM
  • Restaurants/Pubs
  • Shopping
  • Internet
  • Amenities
  Important Numbers

Area Code989
Emergency911
Police(989) 354-1800
Hospital(989) 356-7000
Pharmacy989-356-6106

DISTANCES



Port Distance (nm) Port Distance (nm)
Sarnia, ON 135 S Cheboygan 76 NW
Harbor Beach, MI 59 S Presque Isle, MI 38 N
Tobermory, ON 81 E Bay City, MI 107 S

DESCRIPTION


Alpena Michigan is a lovely small city lying at the head of Thunder Bay. It is one of the 2 largest cities in NE Michigan and, as a result is an important economic and regional hub. Its roots lie in the lumbering and fishing industries of the 19th century. Today, thanks to significant deposits of limestone (amongst the largest in the world), it is a major producer of cenment. Its other significant economic pillar is tourism.

APPROACHES


FROM THE NORTH
Coming south along the coast, make sure you stand off about 3 nm. Leave Middle Island on your starboard. There is deep water between Middle Island and the coastline but a quick glance at your chart will show that there is a 'forest' of submerged net stakes at the south end of the passage. Why risk it? At length, you will see Thundar Bay Island on your starboard, marked with an Al GREEN/WHITE light. If you are standing off Thunder Bay Island approximately 1.5 nm, you can alter course to starboard to a heading of 227o to the Thunder Bay traffic buoy - RED/WHITE Mo(A). At the buoy, change course to 304o and hold for approximately 9 nm to enter the harbor. Do not take either of the 2 channels that branch off to your starboard. They are private commercial channels. The harbor entrance is marked with a Fl RED light and a Fl GREEN light. The entrance to Thunder Bay Shores Marine is immediately on your port.

FROM THE SOUTH
The approach from the south presents more risks for a cruising sailor. The coastline from Black River to Scarecrow Island is littered with shoals, wrecks and underwater net stakes. The safest course of action is to stand offshore at least 2 nm. Make for the Thunder Bay traffic buoy - RED/WHITE Mo(A). At the buoy, change course to 304o and hold for approximately 9 nm to enter the harbor. Do not take either of the 2 channels that branch off to your starboard. They are private commercial channels. The harbor entrance is marked with a Fl RED light and a Fl GREEN light. The entrance to Thunder Bay Shores Marine is immediately on your port.

MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES


Thunder Bay Shores Marine     (989) 356-0551     VHF 9
The harbor in Alpena is owned by the municipality and operated under contract by Thunder Bay Shores Marine. This is a full-service marina. There are over 3 dozen slips available to transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pump-out station. There is water and power available at the slips. The marina is able to carry out a full range of engine repairs, mechanical maintenance and fibreglass/hull repairs. There are haulout facilities. There are restrooms and showers. The marina has picnic areas and BBQ grills and there is a childrens' playground as well. Laundry service is available within a couple blocks of the marina.

REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's


Most necessary repairs can be carried out at Thunder Bay Shores Marine (see above).

Mobile Marine can carry out engine repairs and maintenance.

PRO-FORMANCE Marine and Small Engine Repair can do fibreglass and prop work in addition to a variety of engine repairs.

There are a number of grocery stores in Alpena for reprovisioning. The closest to the harbor is Save-A-Lot Food Store, several blocks from the marina.

There are a number of banks in Alpena. The closest to the harbor is PNC Bank.

There is free internet access at the Take 5 Deli about 6 blocks west of the harbor.

MEDICAL SERVICES


The hospital in Alpena Michigan is Alpena Regional Medical Center (989-356-7000

There are a number of pharmacies in Alpena. The Medicine Shoppe (989-356-6106) is the closest to the marina

PLACES TO EAT


There are a number of restaurants and pubs located across Alpena. Here are a few you may wish to check out.

John A Lau Saloon is a saloon dating back to the late 1800's. It has a micro brewery and is well-regarded by locals for its steaks and ribs.

Geppeto's, located south of the marina serves pizza and ribs with nice views of the bay.

The Fresh Palate offers a terrific variety of fresh paninis, wraps and sandwiches. It is about 3 blocks from the marina.

THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT


For a cruising sailor visiting Alpena Michigan, what could be better than a visit to the NOAA Maritime Center at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary This is one of 14 such sanctuaries overseen by NOAA. This is a do-not-miss venue and there is a lot for kids to do there as well.

July sees the Brown Trout Festival. This popular festival has been running annually for nearly 4 decades.

Alpena is a nice community to stroll through and just stretch your legs.

Take a look at this Alpena Michigan tourism site to see what this friendly historic community has to offer.

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