Today was an amazing day for the end of September. In advance of the ballistic winds tomorrow, we had nice southerly winds 20-25 and killer warm temps. I wasn't prepared for the warmth and only had my 3/2 convertible - when I could have easily sailed in a shorty. The sun was out, the winds were nice - what more could you ask for?? Ok, I would have liked some bigger waves. Though by the end they were head high, I still can't complain. (tomorrow they'll be 15 foot - so I'll get what I ask for)
I was taking it easy on account of my knee (see photo below), and I'd like to go to Maui in two weeks ready to sail, albeit with that knee brace. Still, the sesh was awesome ... ok, it was epic. Its been a dry summer for good lake action, and everyone scored big time.
We've had a rather windless fall season thus far, but thats about to come to an abrupt end.
Today (Sunday) South winds ahead of the front will bring us mild temps and winds 20-25 knots in the afternoon. Monday winds will switch to the Northwest and blow at storm force strength of 55 knots with higher gusts. Lake Michigan will be pumping waves 14-18 feet.
Winds subside on Tuesday and clock northerly at 30 knots.
Fall sailing on Lake Michigan is some of the most technical and challenging of places I've ever sailed. While the waves are big, they're close together and when you go down, its not like the ocean where you have time to recover. I've gotten mauled by 24+ foot waves on Maui, and while it was a challenging 45 minutes of swimming with trashed gear, it doesn't compare do getting pinned down on the Lake in the fall with its cold water. I've gown down on the outside break with my gear ripped out of my hands and being forced to swim 200 yards to the beach where my gear was waiting for me at the high water mark. There's no lifeguards with jetski's to pull you to safety. There's just you, the Lake and perhaps lady luck.
Its true survival sailing. Heading out and picking your way through the Greyhound bus sized waves I can't help but hearing The Gambler by Kenny Rogers in my head. "You got to know when to hold em, know when to fold em. Know when to walk away, know when to run."
But its been flat. Dead flat. No wind whatsoever in the past 10 days. I'd like to be optimistic about the upcoming 10 day forecast, but there's nothing in it to give the slightest inclination of a worthy breeze. Its actually been negatively windy. Its been so dead that the spiders have built spider webs on my wind meter. (sigh)
On the plus side, I'm gonna lock in my October Maui board test plane ticket today. ;-)