Category Archives: Sailing

Cruise to St Joseph Wonderful

The Waukegan Yacht Club Cruisers completed a successful cruise to St Joseph, Michigan this Sunday. The weather was perfect and the lake provided no surprises. 

Three boats had planned to cruise on Friday, but one had to drop out for personal reasons. The Cruisers departed from the fuel pier around 1100. The wind was fresh from the northwest and the boats were able to achieve hull speed for the first 20 miles. Unfortunately, the wind dropped to 3-4 knots and the cruisers resorted to their engines for the remainder of the journey. 

Caramar pulls out toward the fuel pier to rendezvous with the other cruisers.

The boats covered the remaining 40 miles in good time and arrived just after midnight Eastern time at the entrance of St Joseph. The boats docked at the St Joseph River Yacht Club shortly afterward and watched in amazement as a huge lake freighter backed out into the channel. From the conversation heard on channel 72, the freighter had actually waited until the cruisers had passed safely out of the channel.

Dawn found the cruisers in good spirits and ready to explore the town. Some discovered a breakfast venue nearby and then crossed the drawbridge into downtown St Joe. The main street was alive with people shopping and dining at the local restaurants. A farmer’s market was still in full swing in a park overlooking the lake. 

Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club
Cruisers assemble at dawn at St Joseph River Yacht Club after a late arrival.

A couple of WYC members flew over to St Joe and met the cruisers for dinner at the Yacht Club. Everyone had a wonderful meal and enjoyed the great company.

The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club
The Cruisers and some surprise guests met for dinner at the St Joe Yacht Club

Sunday morning came early and the cruisers were up and ready to go. The sun was bright and the sky partly cloudy. The wind was fresh again this time from the southwest. As soon as the boats passed the last lighthouse sails were up and they were off toward Waukegan at hull speed.

St Joe Lighthouse
The view of the St Joe Lighthouses as the cruisers motor out of the harbor.

The wind held most of the day until the boats came within 10 miles of home. Engines were revived and the last short distance passed quickly.

Cruising back to Waukegan
Cruisers enjoying the sail back to Waukegan.

The first cruiser entered harbor around 6:00 pm. After the boats were tied up and closed down, the cruisers met for a celebratory dinner at Casa de Samuels on Belvidere in downtown Waukegan. A fitting end to a wonderful adventure.

You do not need to be a member of the Waukegan Yacht Club to cruise with us. All motor and sail boats are welcome. Come join the fun!

If you want more info, send an email to sail@waukeganjosephconrad.org.

Cruise to Kenosha great fun!

The first cruise for Waukegan Yacht Club went off with a bang Saturday! We were supposed to cruise to Montrose Harbor in Chicago, but the wind and weather dictated a change. The Cruisers decided to switch it up and sail to Kenosha, Wisconsin instead.

The cruise north went off smoothly. Departure started after 9 am and sails were raised by 9:30. The wind was a steady 12-14 knots from the south and the pace was a good 6 knots most of the way. 

Kenosha Harbor lighthouse
Kenosha Harbor lighthouse marks the entrance

A storm blew up just after the first boat arrived and fog settled down for most of the afternoon, but we had a blast. One boat docked at the Kenosha yacht club while the other reserved a pier in the marina. 

We found a great Irish pub near the harbor and waited out the rain with food and drink. Afterwards the cruisers met up at a wine bar. As the evening closed in we decided to gather aboard one of the boats and had an impromptu party. 

The cruisers all met up on board Caramar.

The next club cruise is set for Aug 9-11 to Michigan! Don’t miss it. 

88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race amazing!

On June 22, the Waukegan Yacht Club hosted the 88th Annual Chicago-Waukegan Race. Over 120 boats participated in this year’s race. Over 500 sailors descended on the club and the weather turned out nicely although rain threatened all day. Want to know who won? Check out the list of finishers here.

Chicago-Waukegan race starting line
The view of downtown Chicago from the race starting line.

Over all the racers who participated in the race in 2019, many chose to dock and raft off at the club. The dock offered food and drink to the thirsty and hungry racers. Mount Gay flowed liberally.

Racers docked and rafted out from the club dock.
Chicago-Waukegan Racers docked and rafted out from the club dock.

Dinner was served starting at 5:30pm and ending at 7:30pm. A live band played after dinner and well into the night and the dance floor was full. 

Many volunteers turned out to help with the committee boat, ticket sales, dinner, and the party on Saturday night and for the breakfast on Sunday. Thanks to all those volunteers who came out to help. We could not have done it without you!

Chicago-Waukegan volunteers Joanna Tarnawski, Eleanor Vick and Erik Hellquist.
Chicago-Waukegan volunteers Joanna Tarnawski, Eleanor Vick and Erik Hellquist.

Want to get a piece of history? Buy our 2019 commemorative Chicago-Waukegan Race t-shirt. The 100% heavy-weight cotton t-shirts were very popular Saturday and Sunday, but we still have some shirts on hand for sale. Order one today and pick it up tat the club, or have it shipped right to your house. Don’t wait. we only have a few shirts left in each size!  

Commemorative T-shirt for 2019 Chicago-Waukegan race
Commemorative T-shirt for 2019 Chicago-Waukegan race

Click here to order your shirt now

Buy your 2019 Chicago-Waukegan Race T-shirt now

The commemorative t-shirt for the 2019 Chicago-Waukegan Race is now available for pre-order. This year’s shirt features an original design that honors two great cities and a historic sailboat race. Over 100 sailboats are participating in this year’s race and all the names of the racing boats are featured on the back of the shirt.

Order your shirt(s) today to be guaranteed delivery on Saturday, June 22. Shirts ordered before Saturday, will be available for pickup at the club after the race. Only a limited number are being made. Don’t miss your chance to capture a bit of history.

Click here to order a shirt now

Race to Zion scheduled for Saturday

Offshore Race/Cruise #1 to Zion has been rescheduled for Saturday, June 1. The race will commence at 1100. First warning will be at 1055. If no committee boat is on station the starting line will be a line from green buoy #3 to the Waukegan south harbor light. Depending on how many boats participate, there may be one or more sections.

Tune to VHS channel #69 for details 15 minutes prior to the first section start (1055).

The course will be north to the Zion buoy (see WJCYC racing rules, mark Z) and back to green buoy #3. The starting, turning and finishing marks must be kept within 100 yards when passing.

We have received reports that the Zion exclusion buoy has been removed. The original buoy was located at coordinates N 42.26.5 W 87.47.2. Use these coordinates in your GPS device as the turning mark. An plain post marks the end of the water intake for the former cooling towers. If you do not have a GPS device use this post as the turning mark. The turning mark is a line extending 300 yards east of this post. Stand well clear of this post as depths may be restricted.

Report start and finish times to Commodore Jim Hellquist as well as boat names ahead and behind.

Cruise #1 to Kenosha Canceled

The weather this spring has been terrible. Everyone is behind on boat projects and several boats are still not in the water. The Cruise Committee has decided to cancel the cruise to Kenosha this weekend and we will try to reschedule it for later. 

Stay tuned for more details on the next cruise!

Lake Michigan PHRF unveils new cert process

The Lake Michigan Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (LMPHRF), a not-for-profit corporation serving individuals who competitively sail cruising/racing monohull and multihull boats primarily in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, unveiled a new online process for issuing and updating PHRF handicap certificates.

Their new entry system is now ready for use. Previous certificate holdings should receive a login-id automatically. If you don’t contact the group using this email lmphrf@lmphrf.org

Click here for instructions on how to use the system. They are now beginning to issue handicap certificates. Owners will be notified via e-mail when their certificate is available. 

Great turnout for fleet prep

We had a great turnout on Saturday, April 27, to get the club’s boats ready for launching. Members showed up to the club at 10am and traveled the short distance to Larsen Marine where the boats are stored.

members painting the club's boats
(Left to right) Russ and Jeanne Valin and Anna and Andy Kepinski
sand and paint the bottom of the committee boat.

The bottoms of the Committee Boat and the Coronado 24 were sanded and painted and the hulls polished. Unfortunately, the snow started to fall heavier and we could not get to the club’s T-10 or the O’Day 17s. We’re hoping to finish those boats by next Sunday, May 5th.

members polishing the committee boat
With such a great turnout the work progressed rapidly

Since we had so many volunteers all the work was completed before noon and we went back to club for beer and pizza. 

member polishing the hull
Jeanne waits to pull off the masking tape as Andy polishes the hull and Anna paints the bottom.
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Thanks to Jonathan GaetzAnna and Andy KepinskiHoward LarsonJim Maivald, and Jeanne and Russ Valin. Without your help the jobs would not have gotten done! Thanks to Jim and Erik Hellquist for organizing and coordinating the project. 

We need more help next Sunday, May 5th, weather permitting, to get the rest of the fleet ready for the water. Please help if you can.

Free Safety Check May 4th

The Waukegan | Joseph Conrad Yacht Club has invited a safety expert to come to the club to inspect safety gear. Bring your life vests and other safety gear to the club on May 4th, from 11am – 3pm.

Don’t take a chance with your life or the life of your family and crew.