You probably don't need to worry much about morse code. I heartell the bouys in the main channel on the Chesapeake blink in morse code, but that didn't prevent me from sailing down the bay
I sailed a bit on lake Michigan, and I suspect you won't hear a lot of chatter on the radio
, but it's definitly a good idea to get one. Just get a handheld marine VHF
and that will be plenty. You can call marinas
ahead if you plan on stopping in, if you'd like, but it's not even necessary... You may have the occasion to contact a passing ship to let them know your intentions, generally they'll contact you first (on Chanel 16) if they have any question about you... The main reason to have a VHF
is to call for help if you ever really need it, for that reason alone, it's good to have. Weather reports are also nice on the radio out on the water
, instead of relying on what you heard before you set out..
Stay in the bay (or cove, or whatever) and get the hang of things. You'll know when the time is right to venture out further...
Don't worry about reefing for your first few sails, just go on days with 10kts or less predicted wind... If it becomes to difficult, for any reason, just drop the sails and figure out your next move.
You'll be fine