September 30, 2011

Lake Michigan Today

Today's forecast for Lake Michigan in my area:

"Northwest gales to 40 kt becoming north. Slight chance of showers. Waves 12 to 16 feet."

Kt stands for knots. One knot is about 1.15 mph so we've got gusting today up around 46 mph! Ever since I arrived in Evanston over a year ago I've been wanting to see one of these monster 15 foot waves I hear about every once in a while. When I walked right down to the sandy shore, the stature of the breakers had diminished enough so that they might just make it over the top of a seagull...

...but when I got to Regenstein and assumed one of my usual posts atop the large seawall that borders the music building's parking lot, the situation changed.

I'm estimating that the wall's height above the water level is about 10 feet. On a day like today when waves are rolling into shore, they hit the seawall and rebound back toward the center of the lake. When these east-bound waves encounter the barrage of oncoming west-bound waves it can create a veritable explosion of water. There were waves I saw today whose combined energy shot plumes of heavy gray water straight up into the air and peaked above my eye level from on top of the sea wall. I'm 5' 7" so if the sea wall is indeed about 10 feet above surface level...that's a pretty monster wave!

It's pretty dang hard to time photos properly in order to capture moments like that (especially when there is a delay between the time you push the button and the time the shutter on my camera), so I missed the biggest explosions, but here's a medium size one to give you some idea of what I saw this morning...

One brief news update before I sign off: Ein Heldenleben went great yesterday!

1 comment:

  1. Great!!! Glad you are having more successes! I love you!!