Wow. Just, wow! That’s what I kept saying as we approached the Chicago skyline on the Mainship Many Moons. I did it decades ago, in a sailboat. But this time…well. So memorable.
It’s our 2nd big milestone. (Leaving Lake Superior was our 1st.) And now we’re here. Along with 1,125 other boats, in the Burnham Harbor marina. We thought our last marina was big!
Last night, our 3rd night in the Hammond Marina (about 12 miles south of Chicago, in Indiana) was quite fun. We were invited to “docktails” — i.e., social hour — on board the big yacht Quite Nice, also doing The Loop. We met many more Loopers, almost all with boats bigger than ours — sometimes a lot bigger! But we felt very much welcomed and at home. I’m not a natural socializer (in spite of many years doing just that as part of my Navy work), but it was genuinely fun. After dark, we enjoyed live outdoor music at the marina, our 4th such experience on this trip.
I was a bit unnerved but excited about moving to Chicago. We were lucky to find a slip during Labor Day weekend at a marina on the south end. Jeff was ready to try an anchorage or mooring buoy, but I opted for the $100 dock fee for a more secure option. (We heard stories of those other options!) We wanted to be closer to the Chicago River and the beginning of “the inland waterway” section of The Loop and the new challenges that brings. And I wanted the experience of being in a Chicago marina.
It is beautiful!!–but I don’t mind limiting it to one night. I originally reserved for two, but we changed our minds because of high winds coming…nearly 30 knots, which is concerning. This is the Sunday night of Labor Day weekend, and the city noise is startling, even for this Washington DC resident. It’s been fun to be part of the hustle-and-bustle for a few days, but I’ll be glad for more quiet venues! As I write this at 11 p.m., I can hear the concert under way at nearby Soldier’s Field.
We took a long walk today, as we did a few days ago when we took a train in from Hammond. This city reminds me of Washington D.C. and San Francisco, with the walk-ability and waterfront venues and interesting diversity of people. (You hear a lot these days about the violence in Chicago, but we sensed none of that.) I could spend more time here. But, tomorrow morning…to the river and beyond! Photos and captions below.