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David Schmitz | Fermilab | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

End of summer sailing trip

Slide1

50-mile water route from Chicago to Racine, WI

The weather in Chicago has been pretty crummy for weeks now, but winter seems fast approaching when I finally give up on the possibility of more nice days and return the boat to its winter hibernation spot, Racine, WI.

Racine is about 50 miles north of Chicago and one immediately wonders why pick such a spot to return it to every winter. Coincidentally, I think the answer is a physics term:

inertia: a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

The sunrise over Lake Michigan on a chilly October morning.

The sunrise over Lake Michigan on a chilly October morning.

The view back as we say goodbye to Chicago for the summer.

The view back as we say goodbye to Chicago for the summer.

Basically, that’s where I found her six years ago and it seems easier to take it back each off season than to find a new location and transport the trailer which is far from road ready. Also, the marina there is very nice and extremely affordable compared to around the Chicago area. Finally, there is the matter of the 50 mile trip at the beginning and end of each season which is actually quite fun. In the spring we stopped over at Waukeegan Harbor on the way down and I wrote about it here on QD. On the return trip we usually barrel through in one 8-11 hour day on the water.

This time of year that typically means leaving before sunrise to get in to Racine well before dark. And I can assure you that it is freezing on the lake that early in the morning in October. I look relatively content in the photo to the left, but it did take six or seven layers of clothing, a winter hat and gloves, two pairs of wools socks, hot coffee, and that gorgeous sunrise to get me so cheery.

It ended up being a beautiful day, although it never really warmed up out on the water. We did make record time with a very strong tail wind the entire day, but eight hours after leaving Chicago the Main Street draw bridge as we entered the river in Racine was a welcome sight.

Bright and early tomorrow morning we’ll go up by car and take her out of the water, thus bringing summer of 2009 officially to a close 🙁

State Street draw bridge in Racine, WI

Main Street draw bridge in Racine, WI

Main Street bridge from Main Street.

Main Street bridge from Main Street.

Safely back in the Racine river.

Safely back in the Racine river.

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