Pictures our 8/29/13 Sailing trip from Racine, Wi to South Haven, MI and back across lake Michigan.
My brother Jay and I had talked about sailing across the lake ever since he bought his boat and the timing finally worked out.
Day 1 – Thursday, August 29th leaving New Berlin early in the morning.
We start on the Root river, left Racine at 8am. Jay at the wheel of his 1989 Hunter 29 foot sail boat.
The Main Street bridge in Racine goes up every 20 minutes.
There were a few fishing boats out but unfortunately, not a lot of wind out of the NE.
Modern GPS makes navigation a breeze, (pun intended). Search for the destination port and then follow the map. Boat speed, est time of arrival and heading are listed along the top row. Then distance remaining, how far off course you are and bearing below. It gives you a greater appreciation for sailers back in the day.
Not much wind so we had to motor-sail the whole way. The lack of waves made for easy napping down in the cabin.
So it's approx 70 miles across and right around half way (close to where the WI-IL-MI state borders meet) we come across a seagul. There are also various insects (moths and flies, lots of flies) out in the middle of the lake. It's hard to see the fly swatter I'm holding.
12 hrs later, sunset just as we reach South Haven, MI.
We had rented a slip and found dinner at Clementines, one of the many bar/restaurants. The weather looked iffy for Saturday so we topped off the diesel tank and left at 8am Friday morning.
Day 2 - The forecast was for 1-2 foot waves but they turned out to be 2-4 foot with the ocasional 5 foot series of three. Wind was 16-18 knots with gusts to 20. With the boat rocking you didn't want to spend much time getting thrown around in the cabin. It was like riding a roller coaster for 12 hours. But at least we could turn the motor off and actually sail. The wind kept the flies at bay too.
What's wrong with this picture below? About 10 miles out there was a gust of wind and we heard a loud tearing sound. The main sail was ripping at the clew which is at the end of the boom. Jay tried to secure it with a rope but it tore completely off before he could finish. We motor-sailed for awhile with the jib up but it too started ripping so we took it down too.
Video #1 taken after the sail tore.
Video #2 attempting to show how much the boat was rocking.
As we got within 15 miles of Racine we hit two lines of thunderstorms. We avoided the lightning on the first and got into the breakwater before the second one hit. Video #3 shows the storms and sunset. The flies came out in force around this time too.
Mother nature rules!
Got back safe and marked another box off on my bucket list. Thanks Jay!