Milwaukee or Bust

Friday July 23, 2010

This morning at 6 am was supposed to be our departure across the lake to Milwaukee, but when the alarm went off at 4 am to check the forecast all plans were put on hold.  The radar was showing severe storms all day and we had to make the decision if we thought it would still be a safe passage across.  Comparing it to the storm we suffered through the night before consisting of gale force winds, severe lighting, sheets of rain, and tornado warnings, we decided it was safer to put the trip off til our backup date two weeks later and went back to bed.

Slowly coming to again around 8 am we opened the hatches expecting to see dark ominous clouds and winds blowing branches off trees.  What we found instead was a slightly hazy sky and a calm over the water.  Not ideal conditions for sailing since there was no wind, but definitely safe enough for a 69 mile trip across Lake Michigan.  I was quite disappointed  to say the least.  In my head I tried to do quick calculations to see if the trip was still possible if we left within an hour but it would have put us in Mikwaukee after dark, and since we had never docked a boat before we decided that would not be an ideal first attempt.  Plus we had already told our friends Ken and Mindy who were going to take the trip with us that it was cancelled and we didn’t know if they would be able to pick up and leave again at that minute.

The rest of the morning and early afternoon were spent hanging around the boat, Matt just excited to be on the boat, and me moping around because we had literally been planning the trip since December.  While sitting in the cockpit soaking up the sun that had decided to come out and taunt me, Mindy and I texted back and forth how it would have been a perfect ride over and wishing we would have gone.  Around 3:00 she sent me a text that read ‘We should just go now n let the guys sail during the night while we sleep! Lol! Just kidding!’.  But actually it was quite perfect.  If we left around 7 that evening and it took us the 12 hours we were expecting to get over, it would put us there just after sunrise.  And since we’d be sleeping on the way over we’d still be refreshed and ready to explore the next day.  After some phone calls and grumbling on Mindy’s part (she’d just cancelled the babysitter, now she’d have to get them back) we made plans for Ken and Mindy to meet us at the boat at five, grab a quick bite to eat, and set sail at seven.

Following an interesting dinghy ride back to the boat once we picked them up in which the entire floor was covered with luggage, coolers and sleeping bags, and Ken slowly sinking the bow, we loaded Serendipity up with our new guests and their belongings.  Dinner was quickly prepared and eaten and we were ready to be on our way.  With one problem.  Not only would the engine not fire up, it wouldn’t even turn over.  Matt spent the next 20 minutes huddled up next to the engine sweating, and cursing under his breath I’m sure, to find that a tube had come unattached.  With a snap (or a twist) back on the engine was roaring and we were underway.  With the mainsail raised, motor still running, and the autopoilot set at 265 degrees we set out for our first big adventure.




Sitting on the deck with fresh cocktails and beers in our hands, we let our legs dangle over the edge and catch the waves with our toes.  Watching the sky turn from blue to pink we gazed at clouds that looked like greyhounds and space saucers, blissfully unaware of the uncomfortable journey we had ahead of us through the night.


Look, it’s a greyhound!!

The calm before the storm

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