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Complete this sentence: Some of the world’s best sailing is in the Mediterranean, the Caribbean and . . .

That’s right, Great Slave Lake.

Great Slave is one of the best cruising grounds in the world – pristine, and almost empty of boaters. According to members of Yellowknife’s Great Slave Cruising Club, sailors can go for weeks in the East Arm and never see another boat close up. On top of that, there’s great fishing and a variety of landscapes (from dunes to 180-metre cliffs) that make it a sailor’s delight.

Of course, the world’s 10th-largest lake can also be dangerous. Beneath its surface are rocks and reefs; above water, 30-knot squalls can capsize a vessel in a heartbeat. If that happens, the situation is dire. Even during the four-month window when Great Slave’s ice turns to liquid, its depths are deathly cold.

If that doesn’t daunt you, the best way to experience the lake’s sailing culture is to join one of the dozen or so summer races that start in Yellowknife Bay. Some are merely evening-long affairs, while others are overnight expeditions. Don't have a boat? Skippers are often seeking crew to help out. For more information, see the Great Slave Cruising Club’s website.  

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