Saturday, September 09, 2006


The storms we've been waiting for have finally passed. The forecast for the next few days says the wind will be from the east. This means the seas should be relatively calm and we should be able to shove off and head for Frankfort. Now it will be a mad scramble to stay ahead of Jack Frost. I was really hoping to be farther south by this time and it's really starting to get cool here. We're wearing jackets or sweaters every day now. Yikes! My tan is fading!
The last few days while waiting here in Leland, we've run into some seasoned Lake Michigan sailors who stopped here to get off the lake and avoid the weather. (Some of the other boats came in with blown-out sails, so I guess I was right to stay in port.)Chatting with them we got some pointers on how to handle the Lake Michigan swells. The big difference is that on this lake, the swells come very close together, making boat handling difficult. It's not so much the height of the wave as it is the period. On the ocean a 6 foot swell is not much to worry about as the waves tend to be spread out. Here on this lake, the waves come much closer together so it's very uncomfortable and also not uncommon. The next time we're out, I'll try some of the tips I got from the other sailors and see if they help.
After Frankfort, the ports get closer together, so we won't have as much worry about heading out. If I know there's a port of refuge 8 or 10 miles away, I'll be much less worried heading out onto the lake. We should be able to make Manistee by Tuesday and that's about 80 miles farther down the lake. If the weather holds we should be in Chicago in another 10 days or so. After that, it's river travel for the next 1200 miles or so, something I'm much more accustomed to.

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