Wednesday, September 28, 2016



      Sitting in Waukegon, and seeing the Chicago skyline south of you has been hard. But when the winds have been like the last few days, prudence says to sit tight. Saturday morning, 17Sep finds us still in Waukegon, starting our fourth day. But it is calmer than the forecast had called for, "Somewhere in Time", and Barbara and I on SummerTime decide to head out. We go over to the pier to get our holding tanks pumped as it is free for docking. We are off to Chicago at 9:45. The conditions are not ideal, but they are favorable for traveling. The wind is out of the SW, so the shore is protected. We are dealing with a 1' chop instead of the 2-3' swells we thought we would have. Enroute we call about docking. We want to stay near the Chicago River as we want to travel down the river. Somewhere in Time is too tall to go through down town Chicago, and will need to enter the Calumet River south of town. The maximum height is 16'-6" on the Chicago River. We will have to put the mast down with our communications antennas to make that height, as they are up in the air 18'. So we call to check availability at marinas. The in between location marina as a compromise for both boats is the Burnham Marina. But they are $3/ft. We make reservations at Columbia Yacht Club, which is just south of the lock to enter the Chicago River. The rate is $2/ft for Loopers, and if you stay two nights, the third night is free. Somwhere in Time continues on to the Calumet River to tie onto the Crowley's Marina wall. As we approach Chicago, there are several sail boat races going on.

One is across the path we chose to get to Chicago, so we modify our track to stay out of their course. A bunch of colorful sails are flying. We pass into the outer harbor wall, and there are boats everywhere. Every speed and type flying around or stopping, at all kinds of headings.

And we are not in the inner harbor yet. When we get there, there is a "No Wake" sign. We will learn that it means nothing. We arrive at Columbia Yacht Club at about 1:30pm. We have never had so much help docking. There are three dock hands handling our lines and tie-ing us up. We check in, after being welcomed by one of the Board Members. After getting settled in, we exchange text with "Easy Pace", and meet Mike and Kathy at Navy Pier.

It is new to them, and changed since Barbara and I were there 16yr ago with our daughters. We walked around the pier, and then had dinner at Margaritaville. Dinner was pretty good. Afterwards we went into the shops area, and I bought some Jelly Bellies to replenish my stock. And we went by Ben and Jerry's and got an ice cream, waffle cone for me. It was good, but I have had better from some of the small dairies the last few weeks.
        On Sunday, we get up and get ready for church. We are meeting Mike and Kathy to share a taxi to Moody Church. It is impressive inside, and is in the midst of being re-modeled. They have an interim pastor, his second Sunday, as their previous pastor, in his 70s, is retiring. They have a "Visitors Welcome" social afterward that we attend. We flag a taxi back to our marinas. Amazing thing, two different taxi drivers, and both have come to Chicago from Nigeria. Abby arrives from Columbus in the afternoon. Later than expected, but she is a free transport system for parts I had ordered and had sent to her apartment. We walk three blocks in the afternoon, and eat at Ming Hin. Very upscale in these tall buildings overlooking the Lake. Very good Chinese food, and we bring some back to SummerTime which we will warm and eat one day when traveling. And we played a game of Scrabble just to see who was best.

       On Monday, we get up and Abby drives us to West Marine on Division and N Halsted. She bought an AIS (Automatic Information System) transponder to us for mounting and using on the rivers. It lets you see commercial boats, but more importantly they can identify you. It was supposed to not only be compatible with our radio, but also a complete system. Reading the directions on Sunday evening, I realize we are going to need a splitter, or another antennae. West does not have a splitter for utilizing our existing antennaes in the system, so we buy the special AIS nntenna they have in stock. It turns out to be cheaper than the splitter. From West we head to the museum area of Chicago. We go to the Shed Aquarium. It has been over 20yrs. since our family came here on vacation. It is nice, better than I remembered it. Abby drops us at SummerTime afterwards, and returns to Ohio.



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