Saturday, November 1, 2008

Do lakes get lonely?

We gently paddle the surface of the lake, leaving no trace behind.

As soon as we unloaded out boats near the 59th Street Harbor this morning, we could tell how dramatically the season has changed. The sun angled low through the crisp fall leaves still clinging to twigs overhead; the algae that made the ramp slippery during the summer was gone; fishermen were casting from the barren piers in the outer harbor; there was only one boat left in the inner harbor, and it looked forlorn. We paddled out in the middle of the channel with no concern for traffic because there were no boats in sight.
The wind was about 10 knots out of the northeast, causing waves mostly in the two- to four-foot range, which collided with one another and built a little higher off the breakwater that protects 63rd Street Beach. The surface water temperature is in the mid to upper 50s now--poagie weather.
We didn't have a lot of time, so we paddled south toward Rainbow Beach, enjoying the crashing of waves hitting the boulders along the shore, and then back north to 63rd Street Beach, where we caught a few nice rides on fairly gentle surf. We saw three boats in the distance headed for dry dock, and interrupted a gaggle of geese floating near the harbor mouth.
Lake Michigan must get lonely in the autumn. Perhaps that's why she thrashes her shores in the fall before subsiding under a blanket of ice in the winter. Either that or she revels in her solitude after a summer of assaults by jet skis, motor boats, tour boats and yachts. We like to think she enjoys our company, at least, as we gently paddle her surface, leaving no trace behind.

1 comment:

keith wikle said...

Glad you got out, love the picture, it looks steep from the photo!!!