|Still wintry, but calm and ice-free. Time to paddle!|
On the Chicago River, water taxis were practicing man-overboard drills. A few hearty tourists took part in architectural boat tours.
|A man-overboard drill on the Chicago River.|
|"Kayakers to Chicago Locktender. Request passage from the river to the lake."|
|Paddling past the Chicago skyline.|
In a few months, we'll be cautious about collisions with inebriated recreational boaters; now we realized there's nobody here to harm us--or help us. It was one of those low-risk, high consequences situations: the chances we'd capsize or otherwise need assistance were remote, but if anything bad were to happen, we'd be on our own in a dangerously cold environment.
|Alone on the lake, and not too far from shore.|
But all went well. Though our hands and feet were cold at times, the pleasure of being out on the lake again overwhelmed any discomfort and made us especially appreciate the miracle of hot water on demand when we got home afterward.
|Loading up afterward, looking forward to getting warm again.|