Scenic Sailing

Drummond Island’s hand-crafted tall ship offers voyages on the Great Lakes.
The Huron Jewel sets sail for another Great Lakes excursion.

For centuries, majestic schooners have plied the waters of the Great Lakes. Today, visitors to Drummond Island are invited to embark on a scenic sail aboard the region’s newest vessel, the Huron Jewel.

Over the course of three years, the 78-foot, gaff-rigged ship was hand-crafted on the island by Capt. Hugh Covert, his wife and first mate, Julie, and a group of 50 drop-in volunteers. The ship was launched in June 2018.

From mid-June through mid-September, the Huron Jewel offers multiple two- or four-hour and full-day sails most days, including a Picnic Sail, Fudge Sampler Sail, Supper Under Sail, and Sunset Dessert Sail (Sundays only). The Coverts partner with local caterers and chefs to provide a rotating menu.

“Sailing aboard the Huron Jewel was absolutely fantastic,” says Michelle Walk of Cedarville, who took a two-hour excursion around Potagannissing Bay. “Passengers have the opportunity to help with tasks such as raising the sails. There are only a few people on board, so it really is a personalized experience.”

Day trips are limited to six passengers and are ideal for families looking for a fun freshwater voyage. While under sail, the crew shares information about the local ecology, as well as the area’s geography and history.

Multi-day overnight trips include meals, sightseeing, stargazing, and relaxation. Lynn Johnson, of Project Lakewell, will lead a new three-day Nature Wonders Sail from July 29-31.

Capt. Hugh Covert and his wife/first mate, Julie, relax aboard their 78-foot sailing ship based at Drummond Island.

“Focusing on Michigan’s first inhabitants, the Anishinaabe, and European explorers and settlers, Lynn will entertain passengers with stories about the lifeways and traditional skills of the people who opened up Michigan’s vast wilderness to exploration and settlement,” Julie Covert says. “She’ll explain how knowledge of the past reveals the importance of preserving the future of our Great Lakes and the rivers of Michigan.”

Other multi-day windjammer trips include the two-day Around Drummond and the four-day Around and Under, which travels west to the Mackinac Bridge. A special trip to Hessel the second weekend of August, for the Les Cheneaux Antique and Wooden Boat Show, can incorporate a floating bed-and-breakfast stay.

The two-week Canadian North Channel trip, departing Sept. 3, is the ultimate Great Lakes sailing expedition. The Huron Jewel typically coasts past scenic and historic sites like Moiles Harbour, Little Current Swing Bridge, Strawberry Island Lighthouse, Heywood Island, Collins Inlet, and Devils Door Rapids. Expected stops at The Pool at Baie Fine allow for hiking to Topaz Lake, while visits to Little Current and Killarney give a glimpse into the history of these culturally significant towns.

Four passengers are allowed on the multi-day sails, and sleeping arrangements below deck include a queen and a twin bunk berth. Guests must be at least 14 years old for these extended trips.

Plan it!

Drummond Island Tall Ship Co.

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