So close and yet so far. We are 45 miles across from Chicago, which is a day trip in calm seas.
Seas are not calm.
So we’re spending a 3rd night in New Buffalo, some five miles from the Indiana border, along with seven other Looper boats. It’s not a bad place to get stuck.
We also spent three nights in St. Joe’s, also not a bad place to get stuck. The famed Lake Michigan winds are kicking up more often, and the movement windows are narrowing. So it goes.
The trip here from St. Joe’s was a bit rocky to start but eased up as we went…a pretty simple 25 miles. We are past 700 miles now and finally preparing to leave Michigan. Jeff celebrated these milestones with his 60th birthday (August 31). He set out from Pequaming on July 30 to live out his dream. To “just do it.” And so he is. Doing it. The Great Loop. Good for him.
We’ve enjoyed getting to know our fellow Loopers during this “enforced hiatus.” We’ve had time to compare notes on everything from anchors to weather apps, and to discuss what’s coming on the rivers after Chicago — a new navigation system, barges and locks, and lots of boats. On the boat-tracking app, I’ve seen at least 100 other Loopers on Lake Michigan, all making their way southward to Chicago. It’s good to have company, but we wonder how crowded it’s bound to get!
I’m trying not to be concerned about Chicago as we approach it during the busiest boating weekend of the year without a marina or mooring reservation. And all those bridges! I remind myself that I’ve traveled alone in foreign countries, where English wasn’t spoken. And that we’ve managed the “unknowns” of this trip pretty well up until now. And that many other first-time Loopers have the same concerns, even if they don’t express them. What’s the worst that can happen?
A tornado, perhaps. Hmm. Maybe it’s better not to follow this train of thought. 😉 Forward!
Whenever the winds let up, that is.
Photos and captions below.