The Door was awarded to the owner of the first ticket stub drawn and they had no choice in the prize selection. The winner of the "Door Prize" would add a sticker or comment to it and hang on to the door until the following year. Photos by Larry Hagemann.

September 18th and 19th, 2015

"2nd Year Bell-ringer in Racine"

Feel sorry for yourself if you missed the sail in Racine, hosted by the Racine Yacht Club. The weather on Saturday was AOK. Not perfect, like Hawaiian trade winds, but certainly above average. In fact, with the sunshine, good brisk wind in the morning, and the moderating swells, we found ourselves with a great sailing and social event, in spite of the earlier grim forecast.

Just like last year, a Small Craft Advisory for Friday and Saturday was issued by NOAA Just two skippers, Hal and Almut Shanafield, took the trip north on Friday, aboard their 32' Pearson, Hjalmar II, amid fog and building weather. The forecast for Friday and Saturday called for 20- 25 mph winds with gusts to 35, all out of the north northeast, and seas building to 7 feet. A 30% chance of rain as well. Hal and Almut sailed up and stayed the night as guests of RYC Friday night. By Saturday early morning, the forecast still called for strong winds from a northerly direction, with gusts to 25, but gradually moderating. No rain. Small craft advisory still had been issued for the whole day, but as so often is the case, the reality was a day just fine for small craft. Shortly into the sail, we shook out the reefs and enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of sailing. Full sunshine, good sailing wind, and sea conditions quite manageable.

We have some very good, seasoned skippers in our club, who know their boats' strengths well. These were conditions quite acceptable for a good safe sail on Lake Michigan. NOAA cautions are so often contrary to up-to-the-minute real conditions. Folks, if your Cruise Captains deem it fine and dandy, calm your jitters. None will put you or themselves and their boats at risk. Nor is trepidation about boats under 30 feet reason to worry. You'll find your best experiences out there on responsive boats of smaller size, built for the job and skippered by seasoned, talented skippers like Chuck Litgen and Bill Seger. Overcome that irrational fear, and go out in spite of it, or you'll miss what you came for in the club.

Chuck Litgen and Bill and Linda Seger, who own sound vessels under 30', smartly opted out of the uncomfortable early morning headwind sail north to Racine, opting instead to drive to Racine from Kenosha, and take crew back down for a sail offshore of Kenosha. Saturday, both Chuck and Bill drove up to Racine ready to chauffeur several NWSA crew back to Kenosha, and then make sail. Since we had enough boats, Bill opted to leave his 22' Catalina, Free Willy, in Kenosha, to stay put and sail with John and Joyce Bardin on their 37' Jeanneau, ReJoyce II. Chuck took 2 able crew off to Kenosha for a fine day's sail on his very able 20' Com-Pac, Kerplunk. The rest of us set sail with Spencer and Martha Johnson aboard their 38' C & C Landfall, Alegria.

Altogether, we had 3 boats, and 17 crew head out from the RYC docks and Kenosha harbor.The wild wind and waves forecast was greatly exaggerated. By late afternoon it turned into a light-wind leisurely sail in bright warm sunshine. Back to our respective harbors, everyone converged at Racine Yacht club's beautiful facilities for 5:30 shrimp boil dinner. Some NWSA members who opted not to sail did come to the dinner. Some dined elsewhere in town. We started with cocktails overlooking the field of boats and the grand beach, then sumptuous dining, followed by a live band out on the patio. The dinner was positively magnificent in this superb nautical setting. We owe a big “thank you” to the Racine Yacht Club for providing complimentary boat slips, and including us in their annual Bluenose Regatta Shrimp Boil feast, showing us the most generous hospitality.

Thanks especially to our Cruise Captains, John and Joyce Bardin, Chuck Litgen, Spencer and Martha Johnson for providing excellent, well-found vessels for this very successful NWSA sailing event. Thanks also to Hal and Almut Shanafield for bringing their boat, ready to take crew if need be. Thanks to Bill and Linda Seger for making their boat available as well. And thanks to all 17 crew members for showing up as planned, and for helping sail those 3 great boats.

Sorry to say, a number of members had to cancel out on Saturday morning. Wish more of you at NWSA could have experienced this special weekend event. Best advice: never let a forecast rob you of an opportunity like this one!

Gary Gronberg
Cruise Captain

Cruise Captain report of Kenosha II on Saturday, September 12, 2015

Margie Schmitz replied to my request for member’s remarks.

INTENSE...this was the greatest NWSA members’ event from start to finish! Thirteen members signed up, showed up and agreed to sail and test the small craft advisory. We sailed for about two hours. Ate our sack lunch at the Marina and relaxed enjoying a beautiful sunny day as our green complexion returned to normal.


Tony Campo's Codfather III crewed by John & Cindy Heisler, Margie Schmitz, Larry Libauer and Mickey Glickman and Chuck Litgen's Kerplunk! Crew of Michelle Gasinski A Nancy Tikalsky were first out of the harbor. Bill Seger's Free Willy crewed by Ty Liles, Art Noel and Larry Hagemann were right behind.

Chuck and crew sailed ending up at Winthrop Harbor's Northpoint. A predicted easing wind shift never came. Chuck and I sailed Kerplunk! Back to home port Kenosha Sunday.

Saturdays’ seas and winds tested Skippers and Crew. We met that challenge!

Look for Bill Seger's Video: Small Craft Advisory on the Member Articles on the NWSA website.

Co-Cruise Captains Bill Seger and Larry Hagemann


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