O Boy! Now is the time to get on the ice. This ice and weather forecast is what West Michigan Ice Yacht Club members have long waited for!
The prospects for satisfying sailing on Muskegon Lake look favorable for the week beginning Monday Jan. 29.
Launch at Hartshorn Marina on the south shore of the lake’s eastern end, immediately west of the former YMCA, 900 Western Ave., Muskegon. There is ample parking.
From the Hartshorn launch, about 80% of the lake may be sailed, whereas a tug boat cut a now-barely-visible channel from Lake Michigan to Great Lakes Marina, 1800 Lakeshore Dr in Lakeside, confining those who launch at Balcom Cove to sailing only 20% of the lake. This fine recommendation courtesy of Arrow sailor Jim Fetters.
This optimistic forecast is based on the sailing fun of Sunday the 28th, when Keek Wickland, Marty Fredericksen, Mark Burns, Marc Hoeksema, and one of our newest members, Pat “N”, sailed the lake from the Balcom Cove launch on the lake’s west end.
They had a good time in the light and fluky air, but all packed up their boats to move to Hartshorn Marina.
Yours truly, a past commodore, also checked the ice at the lake’s eastern end from the North Muskegon Second-Street-Park launch, and from the Hartshorn Marina launch.
I am confident of acceptable ice safety after personal investigation and interviews with numerous ice fishermen. The .7-inch rain a week ago, and numerous thaw days, reduced the ice cover, but smoothed the surface, although many consider it a little rough, dimpled like a golf ball, but even so, it would be fine for regatta racing.
The forecast for the coming week is ideal Monday and Tuesday, windy and warm Wednesday morning, then that afternoon temperatures begin to fall to mid-teens ice making weather through Sunday Feb. 4. The precipitation forecast is mostly dry.
Monday morning about 9am, Jim Fetters and myself plan to arrive. Numerous other members have expressed strong interest in sailing from Hartshorn as soon as they can.
Commodore Dean Runk approved this message.
As always, walk and sail on ice at your own risk. Wear ice picks, and always sail in a group and guard one another’s safety.
DN US 4192