Monday, October 05, 2009

Rollin' on the River...

I don't think non-sailors truly 'get' how sad and depressing it is taking your boat out of the water.  I have always said that there is nothing more heartbreaking to me than a cold, empty harbor - and nothing more exciting than seeing boats trickle in as the season opens.  Being from Chicago - you'd think I'd be used to this ebb and flow - but nope.  It's still so sad to say "bye bye" to summer, and specifically your boat...siiiiigh.

HOWEVER, if you are going to take your boat out of the water, why not temper it with some great friends, a fun trip down a historic river and about 1,000 mimosas?  YES PLEASE!

On Saturday Scott and I got up bright and early to take our boat to Canal Street Marina, where the Rasmus will spend her winter in hibernation.  We chose Canal Street based on both logistics (it's close and easy to do the multitude of boat work we'll be doing this winter) and reputation.  They are located on the Chicago River (in Chinatown - guess who'll be experts by the end of this winter?!) and as such, you need to navigate the river to get there.  This was my first "river" trip and boy oh boy was it fun!

We had to be at the first lock at 8am (Yes, the Chicago river has a lock due to the fact that they reversed the flow back in 1900 so you need to be "lowered" to the river level before you leave the lake) in order to make it to the first bridge by 9am.  If you are familiar with down town Chicago, you know how many bridges there are.  If you are not familiar - there are 25.  Yes, TWENTY-FIVE.  Because we are a sailboat, these bridges must be opened to accomodate us.  I'm not sure if it's lore or what - but rumor has it, there is ONE DUDE who runs from bridge to bridge opening and closing each. and. every. one.  Mulitply that by 25 and you get the picture.  It takes some time.  Lukily, we were well stocked with good company, good tunes and bad champagne...

What is also interesting is that, because the bridge schedule is so exact (each bridge opens only once a day, 2 days a week during the month of October) - there are a multitude of boats all going along at the same time together.  Which is fun, unless you are a boat like ours which a) doesn't maneuver b) doesn't maneuver and c) doesn't maneuver.  Did I mention we don't maneuver?  All these other little racer-cruisers with their fin keels and nice tight turning radius's zipping this way and that ASSUMED we were just like them.  Well - we are not.  We won't ever be.  And we're cool with that, really we are.  It did make for some good laughs (after we wiped the sweat from our brows) and we came to the realization that we need a sign that says:
In all honesty though - it was a fantastic day.  Just so much fun.  Sun, mimosas, laughter, home-made Twix bars (yum!), more mimosas, music and good peeps.  We had some wonderful friends join us (thank you Dana, Eric and Melissa - we love you guys!) and I can honestly say it was one of the best days this summer/fall!  I can't wait for the return trip in April!!


Brittany & Scott


Brother Kev said...

I'm not sure if it's lore or what - but rumor has it, there is ONE DUDE who runs from bridge to bridge opening and closing each. and. every. one.

You serious Clark?

Last Paradise said...

Sad day, but just think of all the work you'll get done this winter! Jeff and I lived near Chinatown one summer, there are some GREAT (and inexpensive) restaurants there! We're leaving in a few weeks, we'll be thinking of you and we'll raise a toast to you somewhere tropical ;)

Sue Blugerman said...

How interesting to see what is involved in passing under 25 bridges and the pre-planning to get there on time. By next August, you'll be all set to see the world!
Did you get any snow on Saturday/Sunday? We saw the little white stuff flutter down only for a few minutes.
Hope the winter work on the boat doesn't get TOO cold.

Jack said...

Just found your blog and I am wondering, how do you make "twix" bars?
Congrats on the new boat!
We recently got a new one also. Leave for Mexico from Seattle this summer!
Marcus and Jen

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