st ignace mi

Great-Lakes-Sailing.com

St. Ignace, MI

Lat: 45° 51.958   Long: 084° 43.026

 

Quick Reference:

  • Port Type: Small City
  • Monitors VHF: 9, 16
  • Charts: NOS 14880/1
  • 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 Code906
Emergency911
Police(906) 643-8877
Hospital(906) 643-8585
Pharmacy(906) 643-7725

DISTANCES


Harbor Distance (nm) Harbor Distance (nm)
Mackinac City, MI 5 S De Tour Village, MI 37 E
Petosky, MI 52 SW Little Current, ON 123 NE
Traverse City, MI 93 SW Cheboygan, MI 16 S
Washington Is, WI 119 W Alpena, MI 113 S

DESCRIPTION


St Ignace MI is located on the north side of the Straits of Mackinac. The Anishinabe people (Ojibwe) lived here for hundreds of years before the first Europeans ventured inland. Jean Nicolet, the friend of Samuel de Champlain and a great explorer himself is likely the first European to travel these lands, coming in 1634. In 1671, the French Jesuit, Fr. Jacques Marquette, established a mission here He named it after Ignatious Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit Order.

French fur trading posts proliferated in this critical junction point of the Great Lakes. The region was fought over by the French and the British in the Seven Years War (1755-64) and the British/Canadians and Americans in the War of 1812.

The importance of St Ignace declined along with the decline of the fur trade in the mid-1800's. With the arrival of the railroad, its fortunes began to recover and by the end of the 19th century, it was starting to become a holiday destination for those living further south. It cemented that role by the end of the 20th century.

Today, St Ignace MI is a small, bustling community that thrives on tourism. From its docks, ferries leave regularly on their short trip to the holiday mecca that is Mackinac Island. As a matter of interest, MackinAC retains its original French pronunciation of MackinAW.

APPROACHES


From the NORTH and EAST
The approaches to St Ignace MI are clear when coming from either the north or the east. The harbor is formed by a large "L"-shaped breakwater that forms its north and east sides. The south side is bounded by a 300 yd/275m pier extending out from the shore. The entrance is in the SE corner. The south pierhead is marked with a Fl WHITE light visible 4.2 NM offshore. The pierhead of the east breakwater is marked with a Fl RED light, visible 5.8 NM.

Once you enter the harbor, you will face a short breakwater, forcing you to turn 90° to starboard. There is a Fl GREEN light at the end of it. Keeping this light on your port, make your way around this breakwater and move deeper into the harbor.

From the SOUTH
Coming from the south, you pass between Lime Kiln Point on Bois Blanc Island, Round Island and Mackinac Island on the starboard and the Straits of mackinac on the port side. You need to keep a constant lookout for commercial traffic. The Straits are a narrow (3 NM wide), heavily-travelled shipping route that sees as many as 2,000 freighters passing through annually. There is Majors Shoal marked with a Fl GREEN light on the west end and a GREEN buoy on the east end. North Graham Shoal is also marked with a Fl GREEN light and bell. Leave both of these shoals to port. Passing North Graham Shoal, you will see Graham Point on your port, marked with a Fl WHITE light visible 4.7 NM. Beyond Graham Point, the St Ignace marina will be on your port. The harbor is formed by a large "L"-shaped breakwater that forms its north and east sides. The south side is bounded by a 300 yd/275m pier extending out from the shore. The entrance is in the SE corner. The south pierhead is marked with a Fl WHITE light visible 4.2 NM offshore. The pierhead of the east breakwater is marked with a Fl RED light, visible 5.8 NM.

Once you enter the harbor, you will face a short breakwater, forcing you to turn 90° to starboard. There is a Fl GREEN light at the end of it. Keeping this light on your port, make your way around this breakwater and move deeper into the harbor.


From the WEST
As you make your way through the Straits, you will find deep water on either side of the well-marked shipping channel. You need to keep a constant lookout for commercial traffic as this is a heavily-travelled shipping route. Leave both South Grahan Shoal (RED buoy N "2A") and North Graham Shoal (Fl GREEN with bell G "3") well to port. Once you round Graham Point, the marina will be on your port bow, approximately 1.5 NM NW. The harbor is formed by a large "L"-shaped breakwater that forms its north and east sides. The south side is bounded by a 300 yd/275m pier extending out from the shore. The entrance is in the SE corner. The south pierhead is marked with a Fl WHITE light visible 4.2 NM offshore. The pierhead of the east breakwater is marked with a Fl RED light, visible 5.8 NM.

Once you enter the harbor, you will face a short breakwater, forcing you to turn 90° to starboard. There is a Fl GREEN light at the end of it. Keeping this light on your port, make your way around this breakwater and move deeper into the harbor.

MARINAS, YACHT CLUBS, MOORINGS, ANCHORAGES


St Ignace Public Marina   (906) 643-8381  VHF 9, 16
St Ignace Public Marina is a fairly new marina with 120 slips, of which 114 are set aside for transient sailors. There is a fuel dock (diesel and gasoline) and a pumpout station. Water and power are available as well as dockside hookups for television. There are restrooms, showers and laundry facilities on site. There is also internet access. Although there are no repair or maintenance services at the marina, staff can put you in contact with local mechanics and technicians.

St Ignace Yacht Club   (906) 643-0556
SIYC shares space with the marina restaurant/pub across from the marina. They offer some reciprocal priviledges to visiting sailors.

REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE, PROVISIONING, BANKS/ATM's


St Ignace Public Marina - see above

Family Fare supermarket is located about 1 mi/1.6 km from the marina

First National Bank is located about a block from the marina. It has counter and ATM service.

MEDICAL SERVICES


Mackinac Straits Health System (906) 643-8585 is a full-service hospital located about 2 mi/ 3.6 km from the marina.

Bay Pharmacy (906) 643-7725 is located about 1 block from the marina.

PLACES TO EAT


There are a number of restaurants and pubs along State St., the main street of St. Ignace MI that runs in front of the marina. Bentley's B-N-L Cafe is well-regards as is The Gangplank, across from the marina. Other places close by include the Mackinac Grill and the Village Inn.

THINGS TO DO/SEE/VISIT


St Ignace MI is the northern terminus of the Mackinac Bridge. This is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere and the 5th longest in the world. It is truly a marvel to behold.

There are a number of interesting places to see and visit. The Museum of Ojibwe Culture showcases the people and culture who first inhabited this area. The Marquette Museum Park interprets the history of the 17th century Huron village that became the site of the Jesuit mission. Fort de Baude Museum holds over 3,000 artifacts - one of the largest collections of Indian and military artifacts. The fort, which stood from 1683 to 1701, is the site of the present-day St Ignace. Nearby Castle Rock is a 200 ft/61 m rock formation that offers outstanding views of the surrounding countryside.

The St Ignace Fish Fry is held mid-July. At the beginning of August is the Bayside Music Festival. Late August is the Rendezvous at the Straits which includes a traditional powwow. Ferries can be taken across to nearby mackinac Island. Many visiting sailors do that rather than deal with the challenge of getting a slip on the island.

The St Ignace tourism site will give you an idea of lots more things to do and see while visiting the area.

Return from St Ignace MI to Lake Huron

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