Sunday, July 24, 2011

South Haven to Monroe Harbor, Chicago

Since would be a long trip across open water, we got an early start. At 0430 there was a very light breeze and the Lake was glass. We motored for hours before the wind and waves picked up. By 0900 there was wind from the South at 17 knots, which allowed us to sail with the engine off for a few minutes. However, by 0940 the engine was on again and the wind was from the West--right at us. At this point, we were 36 nm from Chicago. 

In the next 10 miles, the wind and waves increased. By 26 miles from Chicago, a storm wind with gusts above 40 knots and 30+ sustained hit us. We had two bursts of this high wind. Waves were 10 feet. In preparation for the storm, we furled the foresail and double-reef the main. Our wind direction instrument was telling us lies, but it was easy to tell where the wind was coming from--Northwest. The main was set to dump most of the air out of the sail. Speakeasy is healing, but acting well even in the gusts. We were tethered and hanging on. 

After the wind dropped below 30 knots, I dropped a mark on the chartplotter at about 28 miles from Chicago (N 42 07.377' W087 04.447'). A few miles later, Beth sighted the Chicago skyline  (N42 05.802' W087 09.604) and snapped a picture. 

Sunrise over South Haven
Storm clouds building
Beth snaps a picture of the Chicago skyline after the storm
Chicago skyline approaching the Chicago Light
Chicago Light
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