Monthly Archives: October 2012

October surprise is all wet

Friday, Oct. 19 near the Gulf off Captiva. No signs of Hurricane Sandy that day.

As I sit here writing this week’s blogpost, I am flooded with topics. Presidential Election on November 6, Hurricane Sandy, my week on the water at Off-Shore Sailing.

More importantly, what can I write about these that would matter to you? Wow. Big question. Let me see if I can wind my way to an answer.

Last weekend, I happily but wearily returned home from a week-long sailing class. It was an exhilarating week on the water – fun, physically and mentally challenging, rewarding. More than anything, we were on the water. That’s why we sail, some of us. It’s another way of being close to nature.

And close we were – to weather when it rained, to dolphins, pelicans, osprey, turtles, sandbars, deep channels, palm trees, my crewmates. All drawn to the water.

Kyle, Julie and I enjoyed learning to sail a Colgate 26 in 22 knot winds. Hard to imagine having as much fun in flat water. But flat water was ours later in the week as we took out Off-Shore’s 43-foot Dufour. Oh sure, it made it a bit easier to learn man overboard skills, but sailboats prefer water and wind. So did the crew.

I took the above photo while we were motoring back to the marina. I was taken by the crystal clear sky above us, nearly glass-like water, dolphins breaking the surface long enough to show their bottle-noses.

That placid plain is striking contrast to what I read this morning on my iPhone.

Checking the week’s weather, I was somewhat stunned to read a weather warning for Lake Michigan.

The National Weather Service has issued a Lakeshore Flood Watch for Monday night through Wednesday afternoon. Remnants of Hurricane Sandy may cause 20-25-foot waves on Lake Michigan due to prolonged periods of strong northerly 50-60 MPH winds.

It’s hard for those unfamiliar with Lake Michigan to imagine that can of weather on an inland lake. Frankly, it’s hard for me to imagine 20-25 foot waves on the lake.

So I sit here writing and listening to Sunday morning talk shows. Wondering whether or not my early vote this week will be counted on time. What the president should or shouldn’t do if/when disaster strikes the east coast.  Learning  that the October Surprise might be named Sandy and not one or other of the candidates, I’ve left with this.

Wind and water can provide peaceful solace or it can kill 44 people in no time.

Sorry, I have no answer here. Guess I’ll have to keep writing.



Now why don’t she write?

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Where was my Friday blogpost? How could I be such an unreliable journalist, missing my self imposed deadline? Sigh. I’m sailing. Taking a week-long class through Off-Shore Sailing on Captiva. Yes, I have my laptop with me, and no I … Continue reading

Maybe I should knit and not knot

The "lake that thinks it's an ocean" was very well behaved on Thursday.

The silly me worried all night.

We were to sail a 34-foot Kal about 40 nautical miles up the southeast coast of Lake Michigan – the first step in putting the boat to bed for the winter.

Those of you who have lived in the Midwest know the mercurial wind, seas and skies of early October. Cloudy skies reigned the days before and after we sailed.

Why worry, you ask? Once you’re committed to the crew, you buck up, right? Pull out the fleece, the plastic/nylon/rubber jackets, find the long-johns, pack extra socks and hope for the best. And that’s what I did. Packed a pretty good size sea bag of protection.

When we boarded DownDraft at 7:45 that morning, the weather gods were smiling. Lake Michigan acts more like an ocean than a lake, but on Thursday, October 4, it was quite the lady. And a summer lady at that.

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