Good day club members,

Sorry to say, the sailing season is winding down, but the lake level continues to rise. It’s nearly 6 feet above the level back in January 2013, which saw the lowest monthly average for any month since record­keeping began in 1918. Lake Michigan is so full of water that anyone under 33 years old has never seen the water level so high. And anyone under 101 years old has never seen it higher.

I am sure this water level change affects everyone differently. For some, the bridges are closer to the water now and some of the launches have changed, as they are a lot shorter or underwater now. For myself, being on a fixed pier for the first time this year, the step up onto the boat is much higher than previous years and we need a step stool now. Some of the beaches are shorter or gone now, as the water eats up feet of beaches.

With water levels about 16 inches above this time last year, the lake is wreaking watery havoc on boaters, anglers and properties along the shore. Extreme caution must be used around unfamiliar water, as some of the breakwaters, rocks and trees that were previously exposed, are now submerged or nearly submerged. So, as the season winds down, let’s be safe out there and have smooth sailing.

Vice Commodore

Wayne Smith

2019 Lake Michigan Water Level Record

Ahoy mate! It has been a great July so far for sailing.  I hope everyone is getting out on their boat, or their friend’s boat, which is even better. It’s been a hot summer, but we’ve had some good winds so far.

This is a good time of the year to practice our man overboard drills. Probably one of the best things to practice with is a life preserver. You can just throw it overboard and see if you can retrieve it. There have been quite a few drownings in the Great Lakes this year, so the less time you spend in the water, the better off you are.

July’s topic, The Great Loop, was well received by our association. Hopefully there was some valuable information in there for everybody. My goal is that you are able to take away some valuable knowledge from our speakers, no matter how much experience you have.

This month, ice cream!

Next month, our speaker will be talking about composting toilets. Not something everybody loves to talk about and not something everybody wants to deal with either. It should be a great topic and there’s amazing new technology coming out for us boaters. I hope everybody has a fantastic August.

—Wayne Smith

This has been a crazy start to the sailing season, with the cold weather, mixed with the rain, and the heat.

Hopefully this summer will bring some decent weather soon for sailing.

I hope that every one enjoyed the guest speaker, from Double Action Divers. It was interesting to learn about the more that 2000 wrecks we are sailing over in Lake Michigan. Some are wrecks, some are pristine, some are deep, some are shallow, some have been found, but many have not been found.

Thank you to everyone who comes to the meetings, and interacts with the speakers. They all speak very highly of our group.

This month (July) we have 2 members from the Great Loopers, Randy Schmidt, and his wife Kristen Berg will talk about their experience boating the great loop.

—Wayne Smith

This month we will host Captain Bob from Double Action Dive Charters, who will speak on the great opportunities that Lake Michigan and Lake Erie provide when it comes to shipwrecks. Lake Michigan is the grave to nearly 2,000 vessels, and only 600 have been found. I look forward to seeing you at the next meeting, and thank you all for being good ambassadors to the sailing community.

Hopefully you have had a chance to get your boats wet and not just from the rain. I know this is a busy time of the year for everyone, but I wanted to make sure to relay the positive feedback that we have received from the speakers. They all have similar messages, that we are a great group that shows a genuine interest in the subjects covered, and that the questions asked are thought provoking.

Last month we hosted Bill Bloom, who sparked a lively discussion on retirement plans for living on a boat and what capital is required to live comfortably. Bill had an interesting point that we need to plan for the three stages of retirement, the Go-Go years, the Slow Go years and the No Go years. That is one of the things that is hard to judge for most of us.

—Wayne Smith


Hopefully the late snow has not put a damper on everyone’s preparations for the upcoming sailing season. It is nice to see new faces at the meetings, as that is the only way that the club can continue to grow. I hope everyone has enjoyed the guest speakers that we have had so far this year. I have received positive feedback from all of the guest speakers, so far. They enjoy the enthusiasm of the club members, and the interest in the subjects presented. Last month we hosted Al Veenstra from Chicago Sailing, and he presented “navigational aids”. Most of the members present, including myself were educated on a variety of navigational aids, and hopefully we all walked away learning something. Next month, the club will be hosting Bill Bloom.

Bill Bloom is an independent financial planner and principal of Bloom Financial Company in Chicago. He helps individuals and business owners understand their current financial situations, define future goals, and develop a strategy that is flexible and will allow them to reach their retirement objectives. Bill helps clients “Retire as You Desire” by providing them with meaningful solutions to a wide range of financial matters including: investments, risk management, tax planning as well insurance needs analysis.

Bill is also an avid sailor out of the Chicago Yacht Club and has participated in many races in Chicago.  He has also competed and won international regattas such as the Antigua Sail Week in 2015.  Last year, Bill and his crew set the record for earliest arrival ever for the Race to Mackinac.  Bill specializes in working with fellow yachter's to help them achieve their financial goals along with helping them plan for retirement.

I am really looking forward to hearing Bill speak on May 20th. Good luck with everyone’s sailing season preparations.

Wayne Smith

Vice Commodore


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