Even on a hazy morning, the Chicago Skyline is visible from quite a distance across the waters of Lake Michigan. Leaving Waukegan on a southerly course- we were excited to explore Chicago. Bonus- family will visit and see us off (and deliver some provisions from home).
The skyline of Chicago was visible from miles away. We headed for the main entrance to Chicago Harbor.
Surprisingly, Chicago harbor was one of the easiest to navigate. In preparation, Colleen had printed the GLCC (Great Lakes Cruising Club) harbor reports. Entering the main break wall, then southwest toward the fountain we entered the Monroe Harbor break wall entrance. The harbor reports warned of heavy traffic from water taxis and cruise boats.
We arrived midweek and combined with post Labor Day, encountered very little boat traffic. The large cruise boat was just outside the harbor, and easy to maneuver around. The smaller taxis zip around inside the wall and sometimes cause a bit of wake. The Navy Pier is distinctive and will definitely be on our list to visit.
The first basin in Monroe Harbor is mooring balls. Imagine over 1000 mooring balls! (The lake in our hometown of Buffalo MN has 5 mooring balls.) This area can be more economical as the rate is $1.00 per foot.
The only catch is that every trip to shore is on a water taxi/ tender that charges for the pickup. We opted to make reservations at DuSable Marina further into the harbor.
We laughed as we entered the fairway toward our slip- we were first greeted by another loop boat waving from the end of a dock (they noticed our looper AGLCA flag right away). Then we were saw other boaters waiving named Last Call- they called out “nice boat” we they were on a Mainship just like ours. Dave called back “nice boat”. Boater humor.
The DuSable dock hands met us at the slip, secured the lines and welcomed us to Chicago. The fun begins.
In all honesty, we were not sure what to expect from Chicago. Boating in wilderness areas is our first love. But have to say that feeling of pulling int Chicago by boat is pretty cool. And once we had a view of the city lights from the deck of our boat, we were hooked.
Having only 2 days to explore we started with a river walk.
Wanted to see some of the bridges and part of the river that would be the next leg of our Loop Trip. Next stop was a walk through Navy Pier
When Mike and Dana arrived to visit; we took a short cruise around the harbor. Bosch was on our sailboat when just a puppy, now he jumped right up on the boat.
In the evening we walked the other way along the water front , ending up at the Millennium Park and were able to see the sculpture known as The Bean at night. Found a great place to eat, and returned along the river walk. Even at night the walking was comfortable and safe.
The list of places we wanted to go was way too long for such a short visit so will save some for next trip.
The summer on Lake Michigan has been love at first sight. While our hearts will always be on Lake Superior; Lake Michigan is a close second and can’t complain about Lake Huron either. Looking forward to boating on the other Great Lakes as we continue on the Great Loop. Our AGLCA (Americas Great Loop Cruisers Association) flag will be flying off the bow as we leave Chicago to begin the inland River portion our trip.