Monday, July 16, 2012

Makeba is like a Mechanical Bull

Riding in Makeba these past few days has felt like riding a mechanical bull. Actually neither of us have ever been on a real mechanical bull...but we imagine this is what it would be like if you were challenged to stay on one for 6+ hours. The wave forecasts have been looking alright on NOAA reports, but once we get out on the water we are always surprised by the swells that linger from the night before or that are increasing right as we are paddling. When we left our deserted beach home on day 11, the waves and wind were criss crossing and going in no logical order. We had a northeast wind that was going directly against us and the waves were coming in mostly from the east, so it made for wet paddling. It doesn't help that the shores along this strip of northeast Illinois and southeast Wisconsin are mostly high bluffs and rock breakwalls along the shoreline. These kinds of surfaces make the waves ricochet like crazy! We stopped in the morning for a break at Waukegan marina - we had lost our rudder to the lake 2 nights ago ( see pictures) so we figured we could ask if they had some hardware we needed to fashion a new one. The popular response was "we don't have anything like that." we were greeted by two cheery young women at the gas dock. They helped us find the ship store, get a ride, and tie up Makeba. When we returned without any luck, they were interested in our story and the naming of Makeba. They had been googling her name and making guesses as to the meaning behind it before they found our blog. We talked to them for awhile and then we paddled on. It's always fun to talk to people who take interest in our journey. Thanks for trying to help us Erin, Kathleen , and Terry! Back on the water it was just as wet and choppy as it had been. We had about 7 more miles until the Illinois Beach State Park where there was an actual campground. By the time we saw the park office we were dead tired and soaked. We pulled Makeba up onto the beach (actually spilled ourselves onto shore because of the crashing waves) and went to find out how to get a camp site. We walked and walked and eventually found the right area to get one - some very nice campground workers set us up with a site as close to the beach as possible so that we could leave Makeba there and leave easily early in the morning. Only problem was that the site was about 1.5 miles away from we're we originally parked her. With waves only getting larger and us being exhausted, we opted for pushing Makeba through the water to the site - it would cool us down and give our arms a break from paddling. We were able to do this for a short ways and then the shoreline dropped off quickly so that it was too deep to walk the boat. We hopped back in on top of all of our drenched gear and paddled the rest of the way. So the day ended as 11 mile paddle, 1 mile walk with Makeba, and another 1 mile paddle - success! We set up camp quickly and relaxed for awhile before our sunset bedtime. Woke up around sunrise to another choppy lake, but at least the waves were slightly more in our favor. Paddled u@from 6-10 and then stopped in Kenosha as winds picked up. This marina became one of our favorites for several reasons. Reasons to come in next post! (Sorry we are behind, the days have been full these past few days! Pictures also to come - phone is being silly)

No comments:

Post a Comment