Chichester

"Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester when asked why he carried so much alcohol on his solo sail around the world.

Monday, November 25, 2019

This Is Not Good News...

The docks that I keep Bootlegger at have already had to be raised once, and may have to be raised again if the Great Lake water levels continue to go up.

This story was originally posted/published by the Detroit Free Press. You can find the original story here: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/10/11/great-lakes-water-levels-record-michigan-flooding/3919348002/

Record-breaking Great Lakes water levels could be even higher in 2020

Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press Published 6:00 a.m. ET Oct. 11, 2019 | Updated 2:34 p.m. ET Oct. 11, 2019




It appears 2020 won't bring relief from high Great Lakes water levels — and they could be even higher than this past record-shattering spring and summer.

Following a generally rainy September, measurements by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers show every Great Lake, and Lake St. Clair, well above long-term monthly average water levels for October — almost 3 feet higher on connected lakes Michigan and Huron (35 inches) and on Lake St. Clair (33 inches). Lake Erie is 29 inches above long-term October averages, Lake Ontario 20 inches above and Lake Superior 15 inches above.

Forecasters now predict Lakes Michigan and Huron will start 2020 at 11 inches higher than water levels in January 2019, said Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Detroit.

"The latest forecast extends into March, and for the most part, levels are going to be on-par with or above where they were at the same time last year," he said.





Whether records go even higher next summer will be determined by factors such as snowpack and whether heavier-than-usual rains occur for a fourth straight spring, Kompoltowicz said.

Lake Superior, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario set new record high water levels over the summer, with lakes Michigan and Huron an inch or less off their 100-year highs. In July, lakes Erie and Ontario broke their monthly records by more than 4 inches.

Across the region, that led to flooded campgrounds and streets along Great Lakes connected waterways, caused boating problems with submerged structures, and caused shoreline erosion that all but eradicated some Lake Michigan beaches.

Spooky-high water levels for October
 
A wet September across Michigan has the Great Lakes and Lake St. Clair well above their long-term average levels for October. It’s potentially helping set the stage for another record-breaking spring and summer of water levels next year.
 
Doris Fleming has lived on Harbor Island Street in Detroit's Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood for more than six decades. She has seen a lot of flooding off the nearby Detroit River in high-water years, and this past spring and summer was among the worst, she said.

"It’s been bad," she said. "The city has been pretty good about bringing sandbags in. But if there’s only one opening, it messes it all up."

Flood waters tend to move up the dead-end Harbor Island Street and into the city blocks to the north and east, she said. "They have more problems than we did right here" closer to the river, she said.
The news that water levels could be even higher next spring and summer worries Fleming.




"Even if it's 6 inches higher, it will cause problems," she said.

About 250 miles to the northwest, along Lake Michigan, the forecast is troublesome for Manistee city officials.

"Certainly, if it gets worse, it's a worry," City Manager Thad Taylor said.

The city had to raise docks in its marinas to accommodate the higher water, and suffered shoreline erosion along the river channel leading from Lake Michigan into Manistee Lake.

"We fear losing some retaining walls," he said.

While the city's boat launches were usable, the docks were under water, Taylor said.

The high-water problems don't go away as fall turns into winter. Last year, the city had ice pushed by winds come ashore and damage its river walk, Taylor said.

"It's a litany of things we've experienced," he said. "We've had to make some repairs, and fortunately, our municipal insurer has stood tall for us.

"We're still concerned if it goes up another 4, 5, 6 inches, we're going to experience additional problems."
 
This year's record-breaking water levels were fueled by heavy spring rains. According to the National Weather Service, metro Detroit received 5.82 inches of rain in April, almost 3 inches more than the long-term average for the month. 

"Looking across the whole Great Lakes region, that period of January to June this year was extremely wet," said Lauren Fry, technical lead for Great Lakes hydrology at the Army Corps' Detroit office, who's currently serving as a visiting scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor.

"We started to see less precipitation in July and August. But water levels really came up early because of that spring and June precipitation. The lakes take a little while to respond to changes."

The interconnected nature of the lake system also plays a role in region-wide rising water levels, Fry said.
"If the level of Lake Erie is high, that's going to influence the level of the Detroit River," she said. "And that's going to propagate into Lake St Clair, on up into the St. Clair River and eventually Lake Huron."






The impacts of climate change on Great Lakes water levels going forward isn't clear. Historical data shows temperatures in the Great Lakes region are rising faster than the rest of the continental U.S., and winter and spring precipitation, particularly via strong storms, is increasing. Those trends are expected to continue. But modeling also shows hotter summers and less ice cover on the Great Lakes in the winter, which will tend to increase evaporation.

Now it all comes down to winter and spring rain and snowfall.

"If we see another winter with a very healthy snowpack, coupled with the flooding rains that we saw last spring, then we would be dealing with even higher record-breaking water levels next year," Kompoltowicz said.

Even average precipitation levels would keep lake levels well above their historic averages, Fry said.
"It would take a fairly dry season, and even year, to bring things down," she said.

Friday, November 1, 2019

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM


The mast is down and Bootlegger is finally put to rest for the winter. It took us three tries to get her out of the water: the first time was a no go because of high winds, the second time was a no go because of a death, and the third time was the charm. Always a sad time to know that Great Lake sailing is put on hold till next spring, but I think the time away makes me really appreciate the time when I am sailing. .

All that is left to do is to get the winter cover on her and then start thinking about next season. Hmmm....maybe another HOOK, a Super Mac and Back (1200 miles of solo non stop racing), Mike Kenny's Doublehanded Race and the 2X2/Solo Race, and .....



Friday, September 27, 2019

More Flying 60's

I just can't get enough of this stuff!! I wonder how the rigs hold up if they bury the bow at speed. Would think that there would be a lot of rapid deceleration trauma.



Monday, September 23, 2019

60 FT Singlehanded Boat Learns to Fly

This is absolutely amazing!! (Hit the bottom right button after clicking on "play" to see the video in full screen)

 

Monday, August 19, 2019

An interview with Mike Kenny about the 2019 Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society's Q Race

Below is an article from Sailing-World.com, the world's largest sailing network, about the Q Race that I just finished (2nd place in the solo class). The original article can be found at: https://www.sail-world.com/news/220893/Mike-Kenny-on-the-Singlehanded-Societys-Q-Race

Original article written by:
by David Schmidt 14 Aug 08:00 PDT 
The usual suspect—Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society's Q Race © Image courtesy of Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society/Phil Bush (The picture above is actually from the 2017 LMSS Doublehanded race held in June. Matthew, my son, is 2nd row far right, I'm standing next to him. We finished 4th in class and 4th overall)
Ever since 1981, the Q Race, held (roughly) every other year on the waters of Lake Michigan, has been run as a single- or shorthanded freshwater distance race whose primary goal is to use one’s own self-reliance and sailing skills, rather than cutthroat competition, to safety complete the course. That’s not to say that the Q Race, which starts on Friday, August 16, and which is organized by the Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society, is a casual affair—it’s not. But rather, its primary goal is to help develop and encourage sailors, not over-escalated war-chest rivalries.
 
The Q Race starts off of Racine, Wisconsin, and takes racers some 70 nautical miles down Lake Michigan to NOAA’s south mid-lake buoy, which serves as the course’s turning point. From there, sailors spin their bows back towards the finishing line off of Racine.
I checked in with Mike Kenny, president of the Lake Michigan Singlehanded Society (LMSS), via email, to learn more about the 2019 edition of the Q Race.

Can you tell us a bit about the regatta’s origins? Also, how has the regatta grown and evolved over the years?
 
The LMSS Q Race is run on the odd years. It was originally designed to be a qualifier event for first-time racing solo sailors.
The course is about 65 nautical miles extending over 30 nautical miles offshore around a fixed weather buoy in the middle of Lake Michigan and back to the starting point on the West Shore. Satisfactorily completing the Q Race Solo will qualify you for the longer Solo Challenge that we run on the even years. The Q Race has become more popular since we started offering a Double Handed section several years ago.
Many [sailors] prefer the Q Race as it only takes one day to complete. This LMSS Race is graciously sponsored by the Racine Yacht Club. Race is run on a Friday with Awards on Saturday.


How many boats are you guys expecting this year? Also, how do these entry numbers stack up to recent comparable years?
 
We are expecting [that] 25 to 40 boats will enter the Q race in 2019. This is up slightly from the average. Weather and attrition has been a significant factor in the last couple years. But in the long term we are seeing a slight uptick in sail racing on the Great lakes.
I attribute this [uptick] to efforts by many organizations and yacht clubs that have beefed up efforts to promote sail racing to non-Racers and beginning sailors. Much has been done to simplify entry into the sport.

Can you describe the levels of competition that sailors can expect to find, once the starting guns begin sounding?
 
You will find no shortage of competition here. Everyone is in it to win it. Don't be fooled by what may appear as a cruising boat alongside that J/boat, we have some of the best sailing talent on the Great Lakes.

Conditions-wise, what’s typical for this regatta? Also, what are the best-case and worst-case scenarios?
 
Being a mid-August event in the Midwest the temperature is usually ideal. Personally, I like to see 15 - 20 knots from the north or south (Course is roughly W > E > W) but it often starts out very light from the WNW and clocks toward the North.
Worst is the stormy years when waves can quickly exceed eight feet and/or water spouts form nearby. As an offshore race, those are the times that can really test your skills.

Do you have any advice or insider tips that you’d like to share with first-time racers? What about returning racecourse veterans?
 
The LMSS Q Race is a wonderful event for anyone interested in solo and short-handed sailing. We are a very friendly group of sailors with a primary focus on everyone's safety and a secondary focus on fun.
My best advice is stop thinking about it, signup now and see for yourself.

Looking at the entry list, do you have any pre-race favorites? What about any intriguing dark horses?
 
It's still too early to speculate. For sure there will be plenty of competition. However, I like to keep the sections small so there are more winners. There is nothing like the thrill of bringing home your brag flag
.

 
Can you tell us about any steps that you and the other event organizers have taken in the last couple years to help green-up the regatta or otherwise lower its environmental wake?
 
Our biggest efforts have been working towards zero plastic on the water. Sailing offshore on the Great Lakes offers an endless supply of freshwater that’s easily and safely filtered on board at a very low cost. This completely eliminates to need to carry any plastic water bottles.

Anything else that you’d like to add, for the record?
 
Please visit our Website at lmssonline.com Sign-up on-line and see for yourself.

 https://www.sail-world.com/USA

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Miracle Rescue: Man Overboard During Storm Survives


This is an incredible story of survival. We went through this same system while racing in The HOOK Race which starts on the same day as The Chicago to Mackinac Island Race.

Lots of lessons to be learned.


To read more about the rescue and the circumstances that led up to Mark going overboard go to: https://www.spinsheet.com/racing/miracle-rescue-man-overboard-during-storm-survives