Friday, July 01, 2005

Sailing the Inland Seas

The Great Lakes don’t get enough chops as a sailor’s haven – at least not from me and so I’m going to remedy this. I’ve never sailed on a Great Lake so I’m not speaking from personal experience but I’ve always wanted to cruise Mackinac, a pine covered resort island of 2,200 acres located between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas - as well as generally explore the vast inland ocean that, despite my ignorance, has a very well-storied sailing tradition. There’s a recent press release here detailing the summer races that the Mackinac Island Yacht Club sponsors…of these I think that the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac is the most renown. The Great Lakes even have their own singlehand society, which, according to local legend began appropriately after the mass consumption of alcohol. So those who crap on lake sailors – recognize that pond, lake, bay or sea we are all one in booze-fueled nautical bonding. Seriously, sailing the Great Lakes has long been considered as hazardous as sailing the ocean - or even more so. As a site on Wisconsin's shipwrecks notes, the ever-present nearby shores leave little room to "run" before a storm. Waves tend to be be closer together, making them steeper on the lakes than on the ocean. And storms on the lake are renowned for their seemingly instantaneous development.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you SHOULD make a point to try the Lakes! Mackinac is awesome and the sailing in the area is unlike any other place. If you do ever make it out this way, there is a charter company out of Traverse City, MI that rents by the day, weekend, or week.