2016 Chicago to Mackinac Sailing Race

Chicago to Mac Sailboats & Mackinac Bridge

Sailboats and Mackinac, photo by Alex Duncan

On July 23, 2016, over 350 sailboats will leave the Chicago Yacht club for the longest annual freshwater race in the world. 2016 marks the 108th annual Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac aka the Chicago to Mac. On their Race History page the CYC shares that:

Starting in 1898 with a mere five boats, The Mac has evolved into a world-class sporting event. After the first race in 1898, the Race to Mackinac was not held for five years until the second race in 1904. By 1906, the race had developed a healthy following and, in that year, the original Mackinac trophy was purchased. The race has seen occasional sustained violent weather in the blows of 1911, 1937 and 1970. After gale force winds took down most of the fleet in the Mac of 1911, the finish in the 1912 and 1913 races was changed to Harbor Springs on Little Traverse Bay instead of Mackinac Island. Race organizers felt the shorter distance was safer.

From 1914 until 1916 the Mac was back to its full distance until WWI. From 1917-1920 there were no Mac races due to the strains of the War, which took away yachtsmen and put many boats out of commission. Since 1921, the Race to Mackinac has run consecutively every year, remains the longest annual freshwater distance race, and is recognized as one of the most prestigious sailing races in the world.

Read on for lots more including an account of the first race. If you’re wondering when to catch a glimpse of them, Pyewacket set the monohull record in 2002 with a time of 23 hours, 30 minutes and 34 seconds. The race starts at noon on Saturday and usually takes between 40-60 hours to finish.

View Alex’s photo from 2011 background bigtacular and see more in his Pure Michigan slideshow.

More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Come Sail Away

Come Sail Away

Come Sail Away…, photo by Mike Millspaugh

What a gorgeous photo of a tall ship under sail off Grand Haven. I looked around for a while trying to figure out what ship this is until I remembered that I can just ask all of you. Let me know in the comments!

View Mike’s photo bigger, see more in his slideshow, and view more of his work on his website.

You know I can’t resist…

Pure Michigan’s Lake Effect Gallery

Holland, Mi  Sailboat City by Cyndie M

Holland, MI – Sailboat City, photo by Cyndie M

Over the weekend, Pure Michigan rolled out a new hashtag on Instagram, Twitter and Vine. You can click those links to check out #PureMichiganLakeEffect on each of the services or head over to the Pure Michigan Lake Effect Gallery to see how to share yours and what kind of summer fun people are up to in the Great Lakes State!

View Cyndie’s photo background big and see more in her slideshow.

Summer Solstice and a Strawberry Moon

Summer Solstice 2013 by Ken Scott

Summer Solstice … 2013, photo by Ken Scott

Today at 6:34 PM EDT, the summer solstice officially ushers in summer. EarthSky shares that the full Strawberry moon tonight for the solstice is the first full moon to fall on the summer solstice since June of 1967 and the Summer of Love.

Back in 2001, NASA’s Earth Science Picture of the Day (<–my favorite photo blog – subscribe!) shared the tale of Eratosthenes, the Solstice and the Size of the Earth:

Calculating the SolsticeIt was near the summer solstice of 240 BC that Eratosthenes, curator of the famed Library of Alexandria and renowned mathematician and geographer, performed his famous experiment in Egypt to calculate the diameter of the Earth. The bottom of a deep well in the city of Syene, Egypt (near the present day Aswan Dam and very near the Tropic of Cancer) was known to be illuminated by the sun directly at mid-day on the longest day of the year (the solstice). But on the same day, a vertical pole in Alexandria, some 800 km to the north, cast a distinct shadow. By measuring the shadow and applying the geometry of a sphere, Eratosthenes calculated the Earth’s diameter with remarkable accuracy. Sadly, the concept of a spherical Earth was lost from common thought for over a thousand years until Christopher Columbus and others proved the fact by sailing west to go east. The background reference image of Egypt and the Nile River is provided by the NASA MODIS instrument.

Sep 5, 2006 – Donald Etz notes: “From reading Jeffrey Burton Russell’s book, Inventing the Flat Earth (1991), I was persuaded that most educated Europeans of Columbus’ time believed the earth is round. The main debate seems to have been over its dimensions. Columbus ventured on his voyage because he believed the earth was much smaller than it is.” -ed

View Ken’s photo of the sunrise on the 2013 summer solstice bigger, see more in his Boat(s) slideshow, and definitely check out kenscottphotography.com to view and purchase his work.

More science on Michigan in Pictures.

 

 

Michigan Summer Resolution #23: Watch More Sunsets

Sunset on Grand Traverse Bay

Untitled, photo by Thomas DB

I was thinking the other evening that I need to watch more sunsets this summer. What Michigan summer resolution would you make?

Thomas caught this great photo of a young couple watching the sunset on Grand Traverse Bay. View it bigger and see more in his 6/1/16-6/3/16: Grand Traverse & Leelanau slideshow.

Inspiration Point, Arcadia

Inspiration Point Arcadia

Inspiration Point, Arcadia, photo by Swapnil

Pure Michigan relates that the Arcadia Overlook aka Inspiration Point is the highest point on Lake Michigan’s western shore. This TripAdvisor review says it all I think:

The view of Lake Michigan is perhaps the loveliest for the Eastern shore of the Lake. High above the Lake and even higher when you climb well-constructed stairs. Some people drive up every night to watch the sunset. We know of scores of marriage proposals that transpired there. Very near the C. S. Mott Nature Preserve, which we know as the blow-out and others call Old Baldy. On Highway M-22, one of the most beautiful roads in the Midwest. by all means, stop for awhile and watch the breakers (whitecaps) on a windy day.

View Swapnil’s photo bigger and see more in his Pure Michigan slideshow.

The Vortex: Roll cloud over Lake Michigan

Vortex Cloud

The Vortex, photo by Nick Nerbonne

My corner of Northern Michigan was all abuzz last weekend due to a relatively rare meteorological phenomenon known as a “roll cloud.” Wikipedia’s entry on Arcus clouds explains:

An arcus cloud is a low, horizontal cloud formation. Roll clouds and shelf clouds are the two types of arcus clouds. A shelf cloud is usually associated with the leading edge of thunderstorm outflow; roll clouds are usually formed by outflows of cold air from sea breezes or cold fronts in the absence of thunderstorms.

…A roll cloud is a low, horizontal, tube-shaped, and relatively rare type of arcus cloud. They differ from shelf clouds by being completely detached from other cloud features. Roll clouds usually appear to be “rolling” about a horizontal axis. They are a solitary wave called a soliton, which is a wave that has a single crest and moves without changing speed or shape.

View Nick’s photo background bigscroll through his pictures on Facebook, and watch this time-lapse of the cloud…