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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Great Lakes > Lake Michigan
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011
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I will let you know Bryan! Probably will be June/July time frame. Also, if you do end up heading through South Haven this year, make sure you let ME know! We can all have a drink at Captain Lou's or the Idler!
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2011
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You will enjoy it, no matter your destination.

Hi Bryan, thanks for the update. On one hand, sorry you got laid off from your job, but on the other hand, YAY! More time to sail!

I did the trip from Chicago (from Crowley's Yacht Yard) to Holland, MI (to Eldeans) last June aboard my 27' Newport, which is similar in size to yours.

trip-00-planned-vs-actual

The planned rhumb line was 87nm, but our actual trip turned out to be 100nm. It took us exactly 23hrs, 49mins, 55 secs, exactly, from cast off, including the time it took transiting under the two bridges on the Calumet River between Crowley's and Lake Michigan, until we tied up in my slip at Eldeans. During the night, we slept in 1-hr shifts leaving 2 crew awake while one lucky guy got some shuteye.

trip-00-overview

We left about 8pm on 6/12, and got in just before sunset on 6/13. Oh man, there is nothing in this world like setting out to sea on a cool, dark evening. In our "rearview mirror", the gorgeous skyline of Chicago and a setting sun, and in front of us, the black horizon of a seemingly endless freshwater lake.

We took more of a circuitous route than we had planned to take advantage of a favorable wind direction. While we could've fired up the engine right out of the gate, all three of us decided we were really eager to try our hand at nighttime sailing. It was a beautiful, moonless, starry night, and we cut the engine to really soak in the experience; bright stars in the sky, the boat enjoying a spritely beam reach, with little chop on the Lake. As the wind began to die off the next morning, we fired up the engine just to make sure we got to the marine in time to catch our ride back (my fiancee met us at Eldeans to give us a lift home). I brought my camera on my trip, and forgot to take any photos. I was so in the moment, I just forgot, completely.

On our GPS track, its kind of amusing to see all of the changes of tack, and accidental course changes. Man, we were SO sleepy! It was a blast, but just looking at the track we took when we passed the Calumet Harbor breakwater and motored into the wind to raise our [hank on] jib is kind of funny. A well-choreographed racing crew, we are not!

trip-01-calumetriver-03

Later in the evening, after a sleepy change of watch, someone accidently tacked and noone noticed for 15-20 minutes. I think I was asleep at the time, so the blame must fall on one of my crew (thats my story, and I'm sticking to it).

trip-03-00

There is definitely much of your trip where you'll be out of sight of land, but always on a clear night you'll see a faint glow to the West which is the light pollution from Chicago.

I will say, the middle of Lake Michigan is much, much colder than you'd think. When we left, as we were prepping the boat for departure, it was around 82* dockside at the yacht yard, and incredibly humid. It was so hot and humid we left our extra long underwear and cold weather gear in our cars at the yacht yard and packed extra shorts and tshirts, planning to be sweaty and sticky most of the way. Big mistake! At midnight, in the morning of 6/13, somewhere about a third of the way between Chicago and Holland, MI, we recorded an air temperature of 57*! So, be prepared for either extreme.

The next morning, the pot of coffee we made really boosted our spirits, and gave us a lift. We couldn't see land in any direction (although we were close enough to shore that we should've been able to make out shorelines and watertowers) because of a thick fog that didn't burn off until around noon.

Sailing into Lake Macatawa, as you pass the Big Red lighthouse, was the most amazing feeling in the world. There were people out enjoying the pier and breakwater at the channel mouth to Lake Macatawa, and everyone waved at us as we were coming in. On your left, as you enter, is Holland State Park, on the right you'll have a closeup look at Big Red, and then quaint cottages and private homes that are a marvel.

trip-12-macatawa-00

My only advice is to plan for enough time to really enjoy your trip. Don't get in a rush. Sailing and schedules don't mix. Let the weather do what it will, and be flexible.

And lastly, bring a camera (and remember to use it) and an extra battery and share your photos with us when you check in again!

Last edited by ChicagoNewport27; 03-03-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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  #13  
Old 03-03-2011
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Great description of the trip! Thanks for that! After reading your experience, I'm even more excited to make this trip! Bryan better get on it if he wants to do it first!
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  #14  
Old 03-04-2011
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Hey Brian from just a Lake Michigan crossing (60-100 nm) to the length of Lake Michigan and the Mac Straight and Lake Huron (400 nm) is quite a change in plans. (East coast of Michigan). Just kidding I understand you meant West Michigan which is East of Chitown.
Talk to your commodore Joey or Fins or Timmy of the PMYC all have done the trip from Chicago to West Michigan many times, I hail out of South Haven and it is a blast. Sail with the PMYC guys to Michigan City this upcoming Memorial weekend and when sailing alone as a member of the PMYC you can get on of their SPOT's.
See you this summer.
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2011
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Chicago Newport- Loved the trip log! Thanks for posting it!
What did you use to log your coordinates? The Google Earth overlay is gorgeous; and I'd certainly like to do the same for my trip!

E-J; I'll definitely plan on heading over with the PMYC; they are a great group that I dont get to see often enough ( I dock in Montrose, whereas everybody is mainly in Monroe; though I get to be the PMYC "Mayor of Montrose" now...)

In any event, this warm Chicago weather has my mind ready to splash (even if the boat isnt!).

See you all on the lake; and I'll keep this thread open on upcoming lake crossing plans!

~b
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2011
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Bryan,
Long time member of PMYC here. We sail out of Holland just like ChicagoNewport and we are on the same dock at Eldean's. The Dutchman is just south of us in SHaven. Have you been to any of the meetings at the Weathermark? I am surprised we have not meet as of yet. Hope to see you on the other shore real soon.
Tim
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  #17  
Old 03-17-2011
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Sailortjk1 I thought I recognized Julianna in the avatar.

Chicagonewport27 I second Brian's request "how did you do the overlay" as it looks great with Google Satellite/Earth.
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  #18  
Old 03-17-2011
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I can't speak for Chicagonewport27's exact process, but it's pretty simple to import GPS tracks into Google Earth. Google Earth native track format is KML and there are TONS of programs online that will convert from all the various NMEA formats into KML. For myself, I just use Google My Tracks on my Android phone and put it in my pocket while we are out on the water. When I get home, I save the track as a KML file and import into Google Earth and use Google Earths Save Map feature to save it as a JPG for uploading.


Sailing on 8/9/10 with Mark by Paladin27, on Flickr
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2011
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The way I did it, I simply imported my track from my handheld Garmin into the Garmin MapSource program. MapSource is a no-frills program that comes with the Garmin devices to aid in trip analysis and planning, and waypoint generation. It usually comes with your device on an installer disk, or you can download it from the Garmin website.

MapSource

In MapSource, you simply import your trip from your device, then choose the option under the "View" menu entitled "View in Google Earth...". From there, you can save into Google Earth's KML format. Also in MapSource, you can choose "File >> Save As" and store your trip track in other formats for importing into other applications.

Doesn't get any easier!

UPDATE: Looks like the download link for MapSource is gone. They have replaced it with a program called HomePort, which, frankly, looks much nicer (but costs $29).

http://buy.garmin.com/shop/products/homeport


Last edited by ChicagoNewport27; 03-17-2011 at 09:19 AM. Reason: updated software link.
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  #20  
Old 03-17-2011
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CN27 and Paladin thanks for your answers.
CN27 I have an old Garmin Chartplotter Model 162 that came with the boat and in order to make sure my maps were current I bought Garmins Mapsource and appropriate electronic Charts America and use it to plan my trips. The problem I have is I can't sinc with my chartplotter (upload/download) because I wasn't the original buyer of this GPS unit and therefore don't have an unlock code needed.
I went back and forward with Garmin but they are no help. The plotter might be 9 years old now but it works fine and gives me correct positions although the current Great Lakes map is a little off.
Garmin wants me to spend another couple of hundred dollars to get a new unit which I can then use with my Mapsource and new charts.
I'll use my smart phone next time like Paladin to get a picture like that.
Again guys thanks.
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Last edited by EJO; 03-17-2011 at 10:00 AM.
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