Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sailing Lake Kalamzoo

Sailing Lake Kalamazoo.

We had a great fall Saturday here in West Michigan.  The sun was shinning and the weather was superb. We very well could have gone out to the big lake and sailed.  Instead we decided to pull out from our dock at Tower Marine and put up the sails.  This is the second time we have sailed Lake Kalamazoo.  It is very shallow in areas and you really have to get to know the lake.  Watching the eyes of the other big boats owners turn into saucer as we turn out of the marked channel and into the lake is just great.  We started with talking with people around are marina and getting some local knowledge.  Looking at the lake on Google satellite view then pulled the charts for lake K-Zoo from the NOAH web site.  With the map and charts we where able to link up some visual land marks with water depth data.  From their it was experimentation.  We started and worked northwest to southeast with our depth sounder expecting to sail from center dock at Tower to the large dock off the Butler.  We found it a bit shallower than expected note the red star.  I draw 2'6" we put on here and where able to get off fairly easily.  In the Map below you will see the orange area is where we have been sailing.  Great sailing this time of year however during the summer this is the anchorage area so it's maybe not so good on a busy summer weekend. 

Backing Out

We sailed for about 3 hours it was great to see the boats leave Tower and then return while we still sailed away.  We even became some what of an on lake tourist attraction.  The Duck boat based out of Saugatuck came out to visit us twice full of waving passengers and the Star of Saugatuck paddle wheel went by once on it's normal route around the lake.

Duck boat heading for us.
Duck boat heading off.

Ate lunch...  So now what do you do on the lake for 3 hours with a three year old.  

You get out your flag.

Striking the Colors.

You set a course.  

Getting your bearings.

You lean to.  

Dedication to the prize.

You bop the buoys. 

You bop them again, and again. 

Round seven hundred and fifty four.  

You set the "parachute sail"  also known as a spinnaker.  

Parachute sail

You trim you sail you have a good time.

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