Saturday, November 22, 2008

Straits of Mackinac

Departing from a tradition of paddling across the Straits of Mackinac during the Labor Day Bridge Walk, this year we chose to canoe-sail it.

I joined the Lansing Sailing Club this year with the objective of learning to sail my catamaraned Kruger canoes – Sea Breeze and Sea Wind. These are 18 foot solo expedition boats looking like a cross between a canoe and a kayak, with an add-on 45 sq ft lateen sail, lee boards, cat poles and rudder expander.

Seasoned sailor AJ Rogers came from Portland Oregon, to co-skipper this ‘kayatamaroo.’ He also helped with hailing the Coast Guard who provided escort under the main span, and offered suggestions on improving the rig.

We sailed from St Ignace to Mackinac City during the Bridge Walk. Unlike last year, we were met by our wives instead of by the governor.

After lunch the four of us sailed back under light winds and with mere one foot waves. The clear blue sky, dazzlingly green and blue waters, and thousands of walkers all served to highlight this marvelous Michigan bridge. - Chuck Amboy