Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Lake Michigan Storms and Sailboats

Happy to know this guy and his crew survived.

Gregg Henning, vice commodore of the Racine Yacht Club, was aboard his Goombay Smash on Sunday night about seven miles from the finish line in the waters of Green Bay when a squall came upon his crew.

It was, Henning believes, the same squall that hours later struck sailboats competing in the Race to Mackinac on the east end of Lake Michigan, killing two sailors.

Here's the "WTF??" line:

Within moments, he recalled in an interview Tuesday morning, he saw a funnel cloud. Though the waters were relatively calm, the waterspout descended on his boat and quickly overturned the 20-foot sailboat.

When I was crewing on Michigan, my skipper emphasized, thousands of times, that it is very foolish to sail less than a 30-footer on Michigan.

Time for a trade-in, Mr. Henning.


Anonymous said...

Growing up my family had a 20 foot sailboat on Lake Michigan harbored here in Chicago.

We never, ever went out when there was a chance of bad weather, and we never, ever went very far (always within sight of the shore).

A 20 foot on Lake Michigan is fine if you understand the limitations.

On the other hand, I sailed to Mac on a 50 footer and at times that seemed very small (we hit a squall that was the end of my sailing career).

Dad29 said...

Well, yah.

Few except those who've been there realize the stark-raving-FEAR (and the learned fear-of-God) drilled into a Lake Michigan sailor in a storm.

Been there, done that.