WindigoIII leaves the Great Lakes . . .
Karin & Kevin’s adventure has begun, but our life has been an adventure for years. . .
To bring everyone up to speed – we bought a 37’ sailboat and have spent the last 4 years selling & giving away all our possessions that wouldn’t fit on the boat. We thought if we could rid ourselves of everything but the boat, we would head for the southern climates down the Tenn.-Tom waterway, and on to Belize in Central America as a starting point for the rest of the world. . . .
We sailed a long season on Lakes Michigan, Huron & Superior in 1999. Then, for 19 months, Windigo was in a building in Door County where we worked on its refit EVERY day.
It was a great experience, doing ALL the work ourselves, but we were very glad to get it out in the water. Windigo launched just before the 4th of July. We invited my daughter Jessy and her new husband Javier to go on a weeklong ‘honeymoon’ cruise. The third night, a “clear gale” hit us with winds over 40 knots, accompanied by 8-10 foot seas. The honeymoon was over the next morning! Ha (a positive side to the event was that the 70# stainless steel “mooring” anchor I designed & built was thoroughly tested, and performed flawlessly – and has ever since.)
We took on Kevin Kelly, who biked with me & worked with me @ www.YachtWorks.net in Door County [I built the website . . check it out!], as crew for the Hook Race. Starting in Racine, WI and ‘hooking’ around Door County finishing in Sturgeon Bay. We were a bit out-classed by the 60 ‘race’ boats, with our dinghy hanging on the davits, our deck plant, and all our worldly possessions onboard [24,000 lbs.] We were hoping for huge wind; We got little to no wind, and were forced to drop out and cut into the canal from the lakeside. We did get to see the first three boats finish and we enjoyed the party Monday night; had we continued to sail, we would have finished on Tuesday . . . hook race.JPG
We enjoyed several weeks of sailing with friends in Sturgeon Bay, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, and Waukegan. Especially enjoyable was the time with the Scheibel family children, ages 4-10, who each had their nights aboard individually learning what it’s like living on a sailboat. What a blast! Package delivery problems and bad weather kept us in Waukegan to enjoy the Bales a few extra days, but we finally got away to Chicago. After checking out the lock that we needed to transit to enter the river system, we proceeded to anchor for the night so we’d be ready to pass through downtown Chicago the next morning with the weekly flotilla.
I was a bit indignant when the Chicago police boat M-1 pulled up and told us to move as we were in a restricted area. I answered on my marine radio that I was sure this was a permissible anchorage, for I have planned this trip for years and had the chart right in my hand and . . .
The cops looked blankly at each other then asked if we had been out to sea for some time. Why, yes I replied. He said I should listen to the radio news. What a shock. Of course they were protecting the water filtration plant we were next to on the day after the plane crashes. Oh my.
We found refuge in Burnham Harbor, and used the extra time the cancelled flotilla gave us finding an inexpensive place to unstep our mast for the beginning of the inland waterway trip. We joined the flotilla on the 15th of September and entered the waterway.
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lake michigan sunrise.JPG chicago sunrise.JPG chicago approach.JPG chicago dawn.JPG chicago enter harbor.JPG burnham harbor mooring.JPG chicago skyline burnham.JPG chicago nighttime skyline burnham.JPG blue moon 167'.JPG chicago @ night.JPG CHICAGO @ NIGHT2.JPG grant park fountain.JPG mastdown3.JPG runners on LSD.JPG LSD opens.JPG michigan ave opens.JPG waiting for columbus.JPG flotilla downtown.JPG heading under bridges with mast down.JPG clearance under clark.JPG flotilla moves under 3 bridges.JPG under the sears tower.JPG KL goodbye chicago.JPG goodbye chicago.MPG
Now we are on the rivers, with no schedule. I have 1 bike [Landigo]; one dinghy, a pedal-powered catamaran [Pedigo]; and a sailboard [Boardigo]. We intend to stay ahead of the weather, but are in no hurry. We use computers at libraries & schools to access the Internet for our mail. We monitor VHF marine channel 16. Ha
Kevin & Karin
Formerly of the Great Lakes.
P.S. if anyone wishes specific photos or explanations of references & pictures, I maintain a large photographic history of our travels/boat projects/experiences.