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It’s time for boating 🙌

Boating season is nearly upon us all in the Great Lakes!  There is something special about spring. Nature has a way of resetting and focusing.  I really enjoy winter because summer always comes after it.  The short days and long nights become long days and short nights.  Looking back and reflecting on the last season creates excitement and anticipation for this season.  Learning from our mistakes or struggles and celebrating successes builds a deep fulfilling life that inspires me to be brave and take the next step forward.  I hope sharing our journey encourages you on your own journey!

Kara and Kyle selfie sailing

Last season we spent 28 days (or “trips”) out on Lake Michigan.  Traveled nearly 700 nautical miles (697.8 nm to be exact).  Visited 7 harbors – 4 that were new to us.  Moored overnight for 2 nights, and anchored 1 day.  Caught zero fish.  All of these milestones or achievements encourage me – even the fishing one.

Kyle on deck while SV Zeke E Boy is tucked in at the dock

Keep Practicing

I was able to practice piloting SV Zeke E Boy in many different conditions and locations.  Sometimes I wasn’t successful:  one trip, upon departure I devised a plan to navigate us out of the slip.  I asked for help from the marina staff and communicated my plan well.  When we started to leave the dock, all plans failed in epic fashion!  I  nearly collided with several other boats and was very lucky to get SV Zeke E Boy pointed in the right direction without damaging us or others. 

Thankfully nothing severe happened, but it was definitely a memorable failure.  I learned that when we leave the dock the prevailing wind will push the bow of the boat – I can’t fight it but instead navigate knowing that I won’t overcome the wind until I can get SV Zeke E Boy moving forward.  So, now … this one time backing out of a slip in Muskegon is vividly remembered for the near miss – maybe we’ll try a different marina for the next visit.

sunrise on lake michigan leaving ludington

Wanna Come too?

Last year, we were able to take several family and friends out on Lake Michigan.  We were more confident in ourselves and the boat, and our crew trusted us enough to give it a try (or their curiosity of sailing on a Great Lake won out) …  Either way, expectations for a smooth, glamorous sailing experience on Lake Michigan are typically dashed.  Warm, calm, sunny, smooth are all things that rarely ever occur at the same time on a Great Lake.  Chilly, windy, rolling waves from multiple directions are more likely.  And getting seasick may unexpectedly happen – even to the most experienced guest.  We now have barf bags and seasickness preventing bracelets for guests to use. 

Mary and Kyle in cockpit of SV Zeke E Boy
Family guests on Zeke E Boy
Kara + Elaina in cockpit

Making Memories for a lifetime

Back at the dock, marina life is really awesome.  People enjoy this lifestyle in many different ways.  One friend gets up first thing in the morning and walks the dock without shoes or shirt, jumps in his dinghy with a cooler of beer, cracks a cold one and motors around, sipping and wishing a good morning to all he encounters.  I only hope I can live my best life as I age like this friend.

sv zeke e boy floating
fuel filter

All Work – No Play

The boat always needs upgrades.  I replaced fuel lines and upgraded fuel filters.  Regular maintenance items on all the systems keeps me on my toes.  SV Zeke E Boy takes care of us on the water but we work to keep her safe and cared for.  Many say boating is 50% working on the boat and 50% using it … some say it’s more like 80/20, Kara included!

Memorable Trips

Kyle enjoying a beer at Ludington Bay patio

Our first big trip last year, we crossed Lake Michigan to Chicago and spent a few days moored in downtown Chicago at Monroe Harbor.  The trip was amazing!  We had beautiful warm weather and enjoyed the big city life – great food, amazing skyline and a safe passage.  We definitely want to try that again!

Later in the season, we “harbor hopped” up the sunset coast to Ludington and really enjoyed the places we stayed at.  Let’s do that again (but without the disembarking failure, please)

Life Happens

Late in the season, we lost some family members and a friend had a serious health struggle.  Life is precious and loss is always hard and impacts us all in different ways.  Navigating life is sorta like navigating a boat; you can prepare and plan but the future is unknown.  Facing a challenge together is a blessing regardless of how things go.  We need each other for encouragement and support.  Thank you for helping us along the way, and sharing in our journey!

sunrise on Lake Michigan

Tell us what you think

We hope in your own life’s adventures you can remember and reflect on the good, bad and ugly.  That these help make you better.  2023 sailing season was awesome, but it’s soon time to start the 2024 season!  What do you think of our sailing adventures? We’d love to hear from you!

– Kyle from Zeke Life

Live like Zeke
You’re such a good boy!

Kyle looking at Chicago sunset from SV Zeke E Boy

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