Though the general reaction from those we meet in our travels runs somewhere along the lines of:
"Sailing... in Illinois? WHERE?", or "People in the Midwest sail? HOW?", you may be surprised to find that there are way more landlocked sailors with cases of wanderlust than you'd ever imagine.
For those of us who are so woefully born as fish-out-of-water, we are left to improvise. In the St. Louis metro-east area where Joel and I reside, you have two options: the Mississippi River, or Carlyle Lake. If you fancy yourself a sailor, you choose Carlyle.
Carlyle Lake is the largest man-made lake in Illinois. Constructed by the Army Corps of Engineers and located in Clinton County, it consists of 26,000 acres of water and 11,000
acres of land. Though the majority of individuals in the region use it for fishing or jetting across in their powerboats, Carlyle has 4 marinas. In order to sail here, you need a boat with under a six foot draft... and even 6 is pushing it in some places.