I Am Not the Goose Whisperer on Flickr.
For the second time in my life I’ve been made to rescue a Canadian Goose at great peril to myself.
Geese are badass and this guy did not seem to want to be saved.
I think he’s been attacked by a coyote…
it’s missing a leg and quite a few flight feathers from one wing.
I’m gonna feed it some good food and give it a rest for a few days and see if I can let him go back in the lake.
If he keeps from biting my face maybe I’ll take him sailing and let him sit on my shoulder.
Captain Jesse and The Motor That Wouldn’t on Flickr.
I was all set to take another run down the Chicago River and help a friend get their sailboat out to Lake Michigan.
It was a ‘pickup crew’ and I didn’t know anyone but I figured what the heck.
I wanted to enjoy the ride down the river and see all the bridges go up because when I did it I was really nervous and hadn’t ever been at the helm of a sailboat.
I had no idea what I was doing.
I had an engine problem too…
I almost ‘became one’ with a really large drawbridge and the next time the drawbridge wouldn’t open for us because of some mechanical problem.
The third time was a charm but I was still way freakin’ nervous.
My friends motor never got running…
probably a gunked up carb and that was the last bridge run that the city does so she’ll either have to go mast down or come up with another plan.
I saw some tears there and I told her that I’d been through it.
Sometimes life on the water can be heartbreaking.
Mayre ~ Monroe Harbor Tender Pilot on Flickr.
Every time we wanna go sailing on Infinity we get to take a ride there and back on one of these tender boats they use at Monroe Harbor.
Very often it’s Mayre that’s givin’ us a ride.
She’s a very capable Captain and she’s always givin’ us the good scoop on what’s goin’ on in the harbor and with the weather.
She doesn’t like how I get on and off of Infinity and she’s always tellin’ me that…
‘Step on your boat after you come across the safety lines and then step on the tender’ she says to me every time.
I just step over the safety lines and right onto the tender because my legs are long enough to do that.
‘I got ‘boat yoga’ I always tell her.’
Headed Back to the City of Oz on Flickr.
I think we did about thirty miles yesterday on Infinity.
With some sweet breeze outta the southwest we made about nine miles out onto the lake on a 60 degree course towards Holland Michigan.
We turned back when the skies grew dark and the thunder booms were rollin’ across the lake.
We dodged a couple of storms and when we got back to port the skies were looking good again so we turned around and went right back out.
I’m loving Infinity more and more each time we get her out there.
The friend’s boat I was gonna take down the river ran into some engine problems and it was a no go so we were up and out early on Infinity.
If we had more beer I think we’d have done it but it woudda been a ten to twelve hour run and with only a twelve pack in the cooler it was too much of a gamble but it felt good to be sailing in that direction looking at the charts and thinkin’ ‘let’s go.’
Next week I’d like to do forty miles and just keep bumpin’ up the distance until crossing Lake Michigan will be ‘just another day sailing.’
The knot-meter kicked it halfway out and that sucked because it was always a good reference to see how good the sails were trimmed.
It’s in a thru-hull fitting so next weekend I gotta go swimming and see what’s goin’ on below the waterline there.
The water’s comin up to 70 degrees so it’ll be a refreshing little swim.
We’ve been sailing everywhere with just the jib sail so we could get to know it and understand it but it’s caused a little imbalance with the good winds and I ran outta rudder in some congested waters and I didn’t like that.
Next week maybe we’ll try and sail with just the main and see how that feels before putting them both up.
I wish I had time to take sailing lessons but I’ve just been too busy sailing.
I hope all of you had a blast this weekend!
Fog and Storms on Flickr.
The weather off the coast of Chicago seems more like the weather you’d find in San Francisco in the springtime.
It’s been wet and foggy with thunderstorms in abundance.
They say it’s the wettest June in 21 years.
I don’t have radar on Infinity and since Chicago is the ‘Drunk Boating Capitol’ of the United States we don’t untie when it’s foggy out there.
I’m going stir crazy for some sail action and I gotta get it this weekend.
I’d be ok with rain and rough seas if the fog would just leave.
The weekend looks to promise that but I’ve made a commitment to help a boater with less experience than I take the river trip down the Chicago River from the Canal Street Boatyard to Burnham Harbor.
It’ll be cool to make the run on someone else’s boat.
I was overloaded with nervousness when I did it for the first time and I figure I’ll enjoy it a little this time…
see what another boat’s like.
It’s a little bigger and I won’t be the Captain so I just gotta help here and there and I can kick it and watch everything go by.
I hope you got some great plans for the weekend and you get a chance to kick it with your favorite snugglebum and the ones that you love.
It’s Friday and I’m feelin’ the love!
After the Storm on Flickr.
We really wanted to do a twenty mile sail and I watched the wind forecasts for a few days and it looked like Saturday was gonna see some decent winds according to the pressure charts and the wind map.
Listening to the NOAA weather radio just before throwing off the lines we heard some apocalyptic forecasts calling for thunderboomers, sixty mile an hour winds, hail, a tornado or two, then waterspouts and heavy rain.
We started looking at forecast models on the iPad and there were four likely outcomes with the fourth looking like the end of the world closin’ in on us.
I had no doubt Infinity could handle it…
I was semi-confident that we could…
Havin’ three kids onboard I would have been pretty negligent if I’d have headed out with that information.
We decided to ride out the storm on the mooring.
This one was comin’ from the northwest and they said winds of sixty were folllowin’ it.
We’d ridden out a sustained six hour gust fest of fifty mile an hour winds tied to the mooring before…
those came out of the northeast which is the ‘vulnerable’ direction for our part of the harbor and we got some wild wave action with it too but even though we couldn’t sleep for shit our confidence in Infinity grew and we decided that ridin’ this one out right there would be the thing to do.
I told the girls they were about to experience their first storm on the boat as the skies grew dark and ominous, the temperature dropped quite a bit and lightning started popping all around us.
They were excited.
‘What if the mooring lines break dad’ one of them asked.
‘Then we hit that wall and die’ another one said.
‘No… we hit that wall and we abandon ship and we hang out on that wall and shiver for a while until we get rescued’ I said.
‘How are we gonna get rescued if the boat sinks… we’ll have no radio’ I was asked.
I produced my handheld water resistant marine radio out of my pocket and assured them that I had it covered… that we’d been through worse and they didn’t have to worry.
‘You’re so negative’ one said to the naysayer.
They rode it out in the bow cabin laughing and saying that it felt like a carnival ride.
It was all over in a half an hour and it was nothin’ like that one we tried to sleep through a few weeks ago from the northeast.
It looked like the end of the day for sailing though and we decided to jump off and grab some Thai food.
It wasn’t the ‘Solstice Sail’ we wanted but it’s always a good time and the kids got to see a little rough weather in a pretty safe place.
I hope you had the best weekend and you kept from getting soaked too.
'It's Been Rough on My Little Floaty House' on Flickr.
It’s the last day of spring and I’m kinda hopin’ that we’ll start to see a little summer around here…
it’s been cool and wet and Infinity takes it better than I do gettin’ all shook up down below when that wind rips outta the northeast.
Tommorow I’m geared up to get us out for a solstice sail.
My sunburn’s still serious but not critical anymore and I guess I could try to keep my clothes on or something.
I’ll wake up early and do a little repair work on the main sail where I ripped it… nothing a little sailtape can’t fix right now.
The rigging’s settled in nicely and I don’t see a need to mess around with that anymore.
I got the Lake Michigan chart on my iPad and it’s charging right now.
The windmap seems to be puttin’ a Canadian low in just the right spot now for some sweet winds tomorrow morning… maybe outta the south.
Barometer looks like it could fall as that wind comes in and we might tighten up those isobaric pressure lines just right.
The surface water temps near shore are passin’ 60’ and you won’t die instantly if you accidentally go swimmin’…
I bought sunscreen for me.
I think that’s the first time in my life.
Last week we sailed about ten or twelve miles…
this week I wanna put twenty or thirty miles under Infinity’s keel.
I just cracked open a beer and toasted the ‘Wind Gods’ and I’m hopin’ they look favorably upon us tomorrow!
With Every Thought on Flickr.
I focus on how I can ‘cut the cord’ to land…
I’ve got some kids to get through college and I’ve been trying to guide them towards schools on the east coast where I can visit them from the water.
It’s like I’ve got this ‘fever’ and I just wanna go and cast off those bowlines and explore.
The water’s where my soul’s at.
After I’ve been on the boat for a long time I feel like there’s waves on the sidewalks and the streets when I walk.
I don’t like how land ‘works’ any more.
I don’t like the way it ‘runs.’
I’ve come to feel foreign in shoes and with a shirt on.
The water pulls me out deeper and deeper and I don’t think I can resist it for too much longer.
way out there…
it’s another world and it’s seduced me like I’ve never been seduced before.
Infinity and I are tightening up every day we’re together and there’s gonna come a point I can deny the inevitable no longer.
On land my soul is heavy and encumbered by these invisible chains…
on water I’ve found self and soul and freedom in the breeze and on the waves…
There is ‘life’ and there is ‘living’ and sometimes they’re two different things.
One of them is ‘ticking time’ and one of them is savoring every moment deep and with every one of my senses.
There is no ‘choice’ for me.
Only a timetable and a plan that grows more real every day.
Infinity wasn’t the dream…
the dream lays beyond.
Lean Into Me on Flickr.
When I first got her it was hard to walk around on deck or inside the cabin… I’d come home all sore and with bruises… it hurt… but that doesn’t happen anymore… I can move around with a lot of confidence and balance… knowing her motion and knowing where to put my hands and feet… it’s pretty cool to experience… you get to really know a vessel… all of her idiosynchracies and stuff… sounds and vibrations… you watch her react to certain situations and you get to know her… this is what her rigging does when she heels like that… this is how the helm feels when the main and the gybe are curved perfectly… and there’s always something else you can do… always a little better… always seeking more and more… an edge in given conditions. I ripped her main sail a little bit… in a way I feel bad… a little sail repair tape’ll get us through the season… but I’m a clumsy and brutal sailor and I do things in a way that sometimes create a whap or a bang and a sudden force… I know I’m not supposed to sail like this but I love to kick off my shoes and feel my barefeet on her deck… it’s the most telling that way… I can feel her so much more and we keep getting tighter and tighter… sometimes I think about the big waves or a storm… I think about how we’ll both react and sometimes I can’t wait to get into the shit with her and then enjoy that first beer back in the calm of port. I’ll take it easy but I’m gonna keep pushing it all… I’ll probably break and tear things and see what we’ve both got but Infinity ain’t gonna be no ‘Harbor Queen’ no way… the lady and I are gonna keep dancin’ that dance out there and when the water gets warmer we gonna get crazy on Michigami!