CRUISING TO RACINE WITH CARRIE AND SCOTT
4th of July weekend Carrie and I decided to follow Mark Twain's advice - “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Ok maybe we are a bit dramatic, we decided to sail the Merit 25 to Racine. 33 miles according to the GPS. We set up a hotel room at Radisson attached to the Marina and a slip at the Reef Point Marina. Slip was compliments of a coupon from Strictly Sail.
Breeze was very light in the early am so we ran the motor for the first hour. Around Waukegan the breeze started filling in from the south-west. We put up the sails and killed the motor. Finally sailing. The hours and miles clicked by. We played with the Spinnaker a bit. Became a bit of a following sea and between the building wind and some surfing we broke 8 knots VMG on the gps. It was a beautiful run up north.
Reef Point was a perfect marina. Bars, pools, live music, etc. Great place to dock for the night. First Friday in Racine was in full force so the whole down town was a party. We walked everywhere the downtown is accessible from the marina. A number of bars, restaurants, and shops are minutes from the boat. We stayed in the Radisson but you could easily stay on the boat if you choose.
Sail home, wind could not have been more on the nose. VMG was 1.3 knots with 33 miles to go. We started the motor and cruised home. We sailed about 1/4 of the way home, other than that we motored. It was not as enjoyable as the way up but it was a great chance to clean and work on the boat.
All in all a great trip. City of Chicago is almost equidistant and I am pondering a trip down as well. Most of us have boats that can easily do a 30 mile trip. I say listen to Twain and throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor, and explore!