South Haven Municipal Marina, South Haven, MI to Washington Park Municipal Marina. Michigan City, Indiana — September 16, 2013

The wind was really blowing this morning out of the north when Candy and I went out for a walk at first light.  You could hear the breakers on the beach to the north of the harbor entrance and the swells coming down the Black River were at least 3′ and the boat was moving around.  The flags were out straight so the wind was at least 15 knots and maybe more.

I looked at the forecast and the sky was supposed to clear later and the winds were supposed to be out of the northeast at 11 to 13 knots.  One of the locals thought that the waves were at least 3′ with the current wind.

Around noon Candy and I walked to the beach to look at the lake.  The wind was still out of the north but there were no whitecaps and the flags were not blowing stiff.  We decided to leave because the wind would be at our back and see how far we could get south in the lake.

The ride out the Black River was quite an experience with the swells still rolling into the river and we were moving at no wake speed.  Once we cleared the mouth of the river we were able to turn southwest and pick up the speed. The lake did not seem to be too bad but the waves were maybe 3′ with a few 4′ thrown in.

We passed a nuclear power plant about 5 miles south of South Haven.  There also were still some sand dunes of sort down in this area.  I always thought they were in the north portion of the lower peninsula.

The ride was still good when we past Benton Harbor/St. Joe’s.  The wind seemed to pickup some as we moved further south. There were a few whitecaps behind us and the waves were building some.  It did not slow us but we were throwing more spray now. Our original thoughts were to go to Hammond Indiana to fuel before going to Chicago.  With our late start I thought we could make Hammond today and Chicago would be a short run tomorrow.  With the waves building we would have needed to turn about 60 degrees to the west and we would have been running the troughs of the waves, not a pleasant ride.

We had set a waypoint for Michigan City Indiana and we decided to stop for the day at the Washington Park Municipal Marina so we had some time before sunset for dinner and Candy.  It was quite a challenge to enter the inlet channel with 6′ and 7′ behind us but the opening in the break wall was nice and wide with a sharp turn to port right after the break wall opening.

Very large marina with an awful lot of large boats. I think many of the boaters here are from the Chicago/Illinois area to the west to avoid the high cost of downtown Chicago.  The diesel here is $4.20 per gallon vs. Chicago’s $5.40 per gallon. Chicago is only about 35 miles to the west on the lake. The Marina has a nice City park attached to it and some large sand piles/dunes between the marina and the lake.

The winds are supposed to be out of the southeast tomorrow and less than 10 knots so we will probably move to Chicago after fueling here.