Never a Dull Moment
Before a broach, there are signs: the wild yaw, the unusual heel, the raised and accelerated voices from the cockpit. During ours, on Monday morning, Kari and I are in the coffinlike aft cabin trying to sleep. For my part, old memories die hard, so I'm still wearing my inflatable life vest (the manual model; I don't want it to pop till I'm out of the boat.). By this time, we're dead downwind with 20 knots of breeze in the chute, and we're hearing cheers of "Thirteen!" from the guys watching the speedo. That being well over the boat's theoretical hull speed, and with our helmsman threading a needle downwind, aerobically working the helm to avoid a spinout or a jibe, the guys on deck have called everyone aft, even those of us sleeping below. By now, the lake around us is manifestly crowded, each boat racing inside the islands of northern Lake Michigan and setting up for the half-mile-wide channel through Gray's Reef.