Day 5: Crossing Lake Michigan

Self steering in action Course keeping
Magnolia takes care of herself

We headed off from Manitowoc reasonably early after filling the diesel tanks in a treachously changing wind. We were just in time to see the ferry coming in to port from Michigan. It was fairly windy (and bouncy) but once out of port the wind was steady and the self steering was working perfectly, keeping us to within five degrees of where we wanted to go.

Setting up the jacklines

Unfortunately as it was the first day the boat had been moving around as much it started to affect me, I was doing ok until I decided to show off and head down below for something. I think I lasted about five minutes before lunging for the companionway and dashing to the lee side!

I stayed in the cockpit from then on, even after I started to feel better. This did give me the opportunity to see us pass the ferry again and to take some pictures of the rainbow created by the bow banging through the water.

Seasick crew Passing the ferry Spray from the bow
Some photos from the crossing

We had planned on making our first overnight trip as part of the crossing and so rigged the radar reflector, jacklines during the day and decided on the watch system that we were to use of the rest of the trip, two hour shifts while the other person slept.

Checking our position

We made landfall before night fell and reefed down for the night before falling off on the opposite tack (heading north along the coast rather than east across the lake).

Sunset on the lake

During a spectacular sunset we got our waterproofs and harnesses on and settled in for the night. Unfortunately as the light faded so did the wind and we had to put the engine on before long.

We had put out the cockpit cushions so that first night I slept out in the cockpit, the only problem with this being that the compass with a working light was on the starboad side and the stern gland was under the port seat which meant that when it wasn't my watch I was woken every hour so that we could adjust the stern gland! Didn't sleep well that night - between the stern gland and the engine...