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Re: Lake Paddling Conditions
In Response To: Re: Lake Paddling Conditions ()

: Sounds interesting, could you share the URL with me.

: Thanks

: Jason


You can get to the Buoy information system two ways:

1. go to www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/marine/

2. go to observations

3. go to Great Lakes Buoy Observations

or go direct to www.ndbc.noaa.gov.

Some asked where I am located at. I live 4 city blocks from Lake Michigan in Chicago. My office is on Lake Shore Drive overlooking the Lake. I kayak out of Chicago, the north shore of Illinois, Indiana, and sometimes in Michigan. I have a sail boat in Chicago and during the season I am often at Monroe Harbor. Sometimes one of my Kayaks are tied off to the boat.

I can give you some hints on using the web information from the noaa. Study the nearshore forecast for the relevant area, look at wave hight predictions, then look at the wind direction. If you see winds SW changing to another direction you are most likely in for some chop during the transition. Normally the noaa can not predict when the wind will shift, sometimes it will state something like "changing late to due North." I carry a portable VHF system with me when Kayak it has a wheather alert system on it so if there is a sudden change I will get notice.

Because the Buoy system near Chicago is 20 miles out in the Lake the waves can be diferent near shore, by that I mean within 5 miles of shore. One needs to learn how what is happening out in the Lake effects what is happening near shore, it can only be learned by looking at the information and comparing one to the other. There are however some patterns and the patterns are different for different nearshore areas on Lake Michigan.

I think the new noaa resources on the internet have just been great. I began sailing on Lake Michigan with my father in 1958 and such resources just did not exist. I think these new tools make my longer cruises much safer then even 10 years ago. I hope that I have given you some useful information. I have to go, my sail boat came up the river on friday of last week and is really a mess, so I am driving to the harbor to clean. You know kayaks are really easy to take care of in comparison.

good kayaking