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Power Boats off Chicago

This past weekend there were two very ugly boating accidents off Chicago. Both of these accidents resulted in numerous people being taken by the Coast Guard and Chicago Police Marine Unit to hospitals. Both involved power boats crashing into break walls and piers.

As I have stated on this list before kayakers should seriously consider not kayaking near shore Chicago on weekends. Many kayakers are going out on the weekend and staying very near shore under the assumption that it is safer than being in open water. I disagree completely with this logic. Cigarette boats as crusing speed generate significant wakes and when the kayaker is riding close to shore they also have to deal with the rebound of the wake off the sea walls that are present. From my observations of the skills of many of the kayakers I have seen this season I would suggest that in fact they would be safer if they were not so close to the shore line.

Having been at Monroe Harbor this weekend on my sail boat I can tell all the Chicago area kayakers that there were a lot of drunk sailors on the Lake. I also know that there were several arrests for operating a vessel under the influence. The Coast Guard is giving breath tests on the water this year. The central Chicago area of the Lake on the weekends is becoming to resemble the Illinois chain of Lakes area in terms of danger to boaters.

It is far safer to kayak north or south of the downtown shore line of Chicago. I know that the sky line is very cool to look at but on the weekends it is just not worth the risk for kayakers. I was sailing Saturday and a large power craft cut accross by bow about 50 yards ahead of me, I had my forward hatch open because there were only two foot wave out. The wake was so large that I took on several inches of water in my cabin. If I had been in my kayak I think I would have pitch polled.

Rod in Chicago

PS: I did this post from the cabin of my sail boat via cell phone hook up to my lap top, isn't technology amazing.

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Power Boats off Chicago
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