Sunday, November 28, 2010

In search of surf

   As winter approaches, we get more Canadian air in Chicago. When the winds are out of the northeast, Chicago gets the big waves; when they're out of the northwest, Lower Michigan gets pounded. And in either case, some of them bend south toward Indiana.
   Friday's Force 7 winds subsided considerably overnight. By Saturday morning, Indiana was the beneficiary of lovely, well-formed waves. Even though the air temperature was around freezing and the water temperature was in the mid-40s, the combination of sunshine and light winds made for perfect paddling conditions near Portage, a nice midway point for paddlers from Illinois and Michigan.
Keith Wikle, representing Michigan, dons his neoprene, dreaming of the Santa Cruz Surf Kayak Festival.

Hauling the boats down the hill.
      There were icicles on the railings along the pier, but as long as we kept moving, we stayed pretty warm.

Warming up before heading out onto the lake.
    After about two hours, everybody was ready for some hot tea and dry clothes. We loaded our boats and gear, emptied our thermoses, and drove off to the east and the west, grateful for another good day on the water.
The parking lot, post-paddling.

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