Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from Inland Seas

A Christmas Scene Out My Window....

Sanding Canoe #7 in the Boat Shop, earlier this month. Work will resume on the canoe in January.

Best wishes for a Merry and Hopeful Christmas, -- Tom Kelly

Saturday, December 20, 2008

FLOW Showing Sunday to Benefit ISEA

The Bay Theatre in Suttons Bay will show the movie Flow on Sunday December 21 at 2pm. A portion of the proceeds will be given to ISEA to further our work of education and stewardship of the Great Lake's waters. For more information go to:

Irena Salina’s award-winning documentary investigation into what experts label the most important political and environmental issue of the 21st Century – The World Water Crisis. This cautionary documentary is determined to stir things up. Water, the quintessence of life, sustains every creature on Earth. The time has come when we can no longer take this precious resource for granted. Unless we effect global change, impoverished nations could be wiped from the planet. Roused by a thirst for survival, people around the world are fighting for their birthright.

Showtime: Sunday, Dec. 21 - 2:00 pm

After the film, Q & A with Jim Olson, environmental attorney and Holly Wren Spaulding, film contributor and water activist.

FLOW is being underwritten by Leelanau Cheese Co., Tamarack Craftsmen Gallery, Bill Rastetter & Cary Weed, and The Bay Theatre. A portion of proceeds will benefit the Inland Seas Education Association. Advance Tickets at Bahle’s and Brilliant Books (Suttons Bay) and Higher Grounds (Traverse City).

"Flow makes the case against the privatization of water, which is happening in gazillions of impoverished communities around the world, not to mention North American backyards."- Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Winter Activity in the Boat Shop

Remy working on the Whaler.

Planking completed!

The Boat Shop is an active part of ISEA all year around. SB students have just completed planking canoe #7, and fairing and epoxy coating will be next. Capt. Champt is beginning a refit of our 13' Boston Whaler which we use as a utility/rescue boat. And we have just received funding that will enable us to put a new insulated roof on the shop. A great Christmas gift!
Stop in and lend a hand, or just come by to see what's new.

View from the office window. Today the cove is beginning to ice over.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Gift Ideas!

Looking for a great Christmas gift? Visit the Great Lakes Store at the Inland Seas Education Centeer in Suttons Bay for lots of great looking jackets, sweatshirts, t-shirts, hats and other ISEA logo gear. We also have books, art prints, and stocking stuffers for any budget.

Need a gift for the person who has everything? How about a gift to Inland Seas in their honor. We can supply you with a nice certificate to put under the tree letting the receiver know that your gift will be helping ISEA Protect the Great Lakes Though Education. Give the office a call or use our secure on-line donation form: . If you really want to make a splash this Christmas, you can sponsor a class aboard the Schoolship this spring with our Adopt-a-Class program. Call ISEA's Development Director Steve Cruzen for details (231-271-3077).

You may also want to give a gift to ISEA's Schoolship Inland Seas. Here are some items on her wish list: (2) laptop computers for student use, oil skins (foul weather gear) in medium and large sizes, new case for the Life Sling, photovoltaic panels to capture the sun's energy, Automatic Idenfitifcation System (AIS - Type B), updated Garmin chart card for Lake Michigan, and inflatable crew harnesses. Give Capt. Tom a call if you are interested in helping with any of the above. Thanks to all sea-going elves.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Instructor Training Class to Begin in January

Learning about Great Lakes zooplankton.

The "Wet Run" Instructor Training Cruise


Come join us in our 2009 volunteer instructor training classes! Become an Inland Seas volunteer instructor & help us provide students with an exciting science & sailing adventure. Not sure if you want to become a volunteer? Come to the introductory session on January 6th to learn more about us. No experience required! Already an instructor? Come back for a review & an update on Inland Seas programs.

Training classes for volunteers will take place on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Glenn Loomis Elementary School (1009 S. Oak Street, at the intersection of Oak and 13th Street) unless otherwise noted. If Traverse City Schools are closed due to weather, no class will be held that evening. Classes will include an introductory presentation and hands-on activities led by ISEA staff and experienced volunteer instructors.

January 6: Introduction to ISEA and our Great Lakes Schoolship/Center Programs
Come learn more about ISEA and our Schoolship/Center Programs! This session will include an overview of our volunteer instructor training, an introduction to our various programs, and the responsibilities of volunteer instructors. You will also learn how to effectively promote Inland Seas. It is a great time to meet the ISEA staff and other volunteers that teach aboard the Schoolship and in the Center.

January 13: The Great Lakes & Global Freshwater
This session is designed to introduce you to the Great Lakes. We will explore topics including the formation of the Great Lakes watershed, physical and chemical characteristics of the lakes, and the food web. We will also discuss current issues affecting the Great Lakes such as lake levels, fisheries, contaminants, and invasive species, as well as Global Freshwater issues.

January 20: Sample Collections and Weather
What is a Van Dorn bottle and who was Fr. Secchi? In this session, you will learn how students collect samples of water, plankton, benthos, and fish aboard the Schoolship. You will also learn how to teach the weather station, by measuring wind speed and direction, visibility, cloud types, air and water temperatures, and water clarity.

January 27: Water Chemistry
What is the physical and chemical make-up of Grand Traverse Bay and how are organisms affected? In this session, you will learn how to teach the water chemistry station by measuring dissolved oxygen and pH, and discussing the thermal structure of the lake.

February 3: Benthos
What type of sediment is found at the bottom of Grand Traverse Bay and what lives there? In this session, you will learn how to identify sediment types and how to separate and identify bottom-dwelling (benthic) organisms. You will also learn about the role of these benthic organisms as nutrient recyclers in the bay.

February 10: Inland Seas Education Center & Wetland (Special time and location: Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay from 3-5p.m.)
The Inland Seas Education Association offers several exciting programs in addition to the Schoolship. At this session, you will learn about the ISEA Boat Shop, the invasive species exhibits at the Inland Seas Education Center, and the newly created Wetland on the waterfront in Suttons Bay. You will also learn effective methods to teach this material to different audiences.

February 17: Plankton
Plankton are microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) that float freely in the water column and play a vital role in the food web of Grand Traverse Bay. During this session, you will learn how to identify live zooplankton using our micro-video system and how to teach the plankton station aboard the Schoolship.

February 24: Fishes
In this session, you will be introduced to the life history, ecology, and economic importance of Grand Traverse Bay fishes. You will learn to teach the fish station aboard the Schoolship by identifying live fishes, discussing factors affecting fisheries in the Great Lakes, and learning some fun new fish facts.

March 3: Stewardship
What makes up the Great Lakes watershed and what can you do to help protect it? In this session, you will learn how to identify a watershed, explain what organisms make up the Great Lakes food web, and identify organisms with high contaminant levels. You will learn what stewardship means and how you can inspire students to become stewards of the Great Lakes.

March 10: Safety and Seamanship
This session will focus on ship safety and emergency procedures. You will also learn to teach the seamanship station by discussing the physics of sailing, navigation, steering, and maritime history.

March 17: Teaching Strategies
In this session, you will explore a variety of teaching strategies to help you relay all your new Great Lakes knowledge to students aboard the Schoolship. Understand why our hands-on approach is successful and learn effective ways to ask questions, motivate students, and create a positive learning environment. Here we will also discuss effective strategies for our research-oriented summer programs, as well as our center-based programs.

March 24: Review
We will tailor this week’s program to the material you would most like to review. All 6 Schoolship learning stations will be set up so you may practice with the equipment and ask questions of staff and experienced volunteers. This is also a great time to catch up on information you may have missed in an earlier session.

All-Day Inland Seas Training Program
April 7, 2009; 9:00a.m. – 5:00p.m.
If you were unable to attend the volunteer training classes this winter, ISEA will be hosting an intensive all-day training class to prepare you for teaching on the ship, in the center, and at the Wetland. It will be held at the Inland Seas Education Center. Please register for this class in advance.

April 30, 2009(8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.) aboard the schooner Inland Seas

Finally, come sail aboard the schooner Inland Seas to see how the Schoolship program actually works! This will be a typical Schoolship program, but YOU and other new volunteers will become our Schoolship students for the day. You will assist in collecting samples, weighing the anchor, and raising the sails. You will rotate through the Schoolship learning stations as a student and see first-hand how you will use the material from the volunteer training classes when it is your turn to teach aboard the Schoolship. Please register for this program ahead of time by calling (231) 271-3077. Meet at the Inland Seas dock in Suttons Bay at 8:30 a.m. or 1:15 p.m.

May 4, 2009

For more information about becoming a volunteer instructor, please contact our Education Director, Christine Crissman, at (231) 271-3077 or

In order to help us prepare materials for the volunteer instructor training program, please register ahead of time by calling (231) 271-3077. You can also register the first night of class (January 6, 2009). Bring a friend!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Sistership to Inland Seas Under Construction in Canada

The schooner Sojourner, originally built in Illinois, is being modified for ocean cargo work in Wheatly, Ontario. Check out the progress on the blog
-T. Kelly

Monday, November 24, 2008

Underwater Videos From Chris Doyal

Here are views into Grand Traverse Bay, courtesy of Chris Doyal. Check out the round gobies in the Tramp video and the growth of algae and mussels on the wrecks.

Recently Chris made a presentation at the Inland Seas Education Center and has helped us by cleaning our underwater camera lens. Thanks for all your good work, Chris.
Capt. Tom

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

View New Tall Ship Video (2 Minutes)

Our Sail Training (and Science) Ship! Sorry, not in the video.

This new video was produced by the Sail Training International organization as a youth recruiting tool.

So we don't have the leaping dolphin but we do have lots of dancing plankton.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

Bloody Red Shirmp found in Grand Traverse Bay

MDNR researchers have found the invasive shirmp Hemimysis anomala in East Bay near Elk Rapids. Christine Crissman obained a sample for us to observe and photograph. Stop in the Center to see these under the microscope. We will be looking for these near our dock in Suttons Bay also. They stay close to the rocks so we would not likely get them in our plankton net at our sampling stations. For more information on Hemimysis go to and click on the Hemimysis Fact Sheet.
Speaking of invasive species, Christine gave a great presentation on the effects of invasives in Grand Traverse Bay this past Tuesday. If you missed the seminar you can still see the slides at
See you at the the Dance Party Benefit for the TC Water Festival this Saturday evening (8pm) at Serenity Tea Room.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Friday Photos: Boat Shop and Dockside

Inland Seas in her "winter house".
Cutting beveled ends on the cedar strips.

Clamping the strips.

Canoe #7 nearly planked up.
-Capt. Tom

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Invasive Species to be Seminar Topic on Nov. 11

(NOAA Photo)
Suttons Bay , MI – The Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) will present a seminar that focuses on invasive species at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 11th, at the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay . The program, “The Effect of Aquatic Invasive Species in Grand Traverse Bay ” will be presented by Christine Crissman, ISEA’s Education Director and Chief Scientist.

Over the last few decades, the Grand Traverse Bay ecosystem has been severely affected by invasive species. Crissman will focus on the impacts the invasive zebra mussel and round goby have had on the food web and how these changes are impacting native species. She will also discuss the most recent species to invade the Great Lakes and their potential spread into Grand Traverse Bay .
The Inland Seas Education Association is a non-profit organization based in Suttons Bay , Michigan , dedicated to science education on the Great Lakes . Its shipboard and shore-side education programs are designed to inspire young people’s interest in science and to provide for the long-term stewardship of the Great Lakes .
For further information contact the Inland Seas Education Association at (231) 271-3077 or on the web at

Monday, November 3, 2008

Liberty Cover In Place for the Winter

The view from above while slushing the mast.

ISEA's Friendship sloop Liberty received her winter cover this Friday - Saturday at the Centre Pointe dock in Greilickville. Tom Kelly, Don Gorski and Dave Williams fitted the shrink-wrap cover. Prior to covering, the mast got a good coating of "slush", a mixture of pine tar, turpintine, and linseed oil that acts as a preservative.

The finished product, looking very sleek for a 1908 design sloop.

-Capt. Tom K.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Friendship Sloop Liberty Taken to Traverse City for Winter

Underway for Traverse City, October 24,2008

Don at the helm.

On a wet and chilly Friday afternoon, Don Gorski and Tom Kelly motored Liberty to her winter berth in Traverse City (Greilickville). The trip was uneventful except for the rain, which got heavier as the day progressed. On the weekend Don assembled the winter cover frame. We will put the cover on later this week, as soon as the weather improves.

Winter cover frame in place. Inland Seas is in the background.

Friday, October 24, 2008

ISEA'S New Development Director Featured in Traverse City Record Eagle

On Monday, October 22, 2008, the Traverse City Record Eagle published an article about ISEA's new Development Director, Steve Cruzen. Steve began work at ISEA on Sept. 22. He is working to improve public support of ISEA programs through major gifts and planned giving. He can be reached at (231) 271-3077 or at

We are glad to have Steve as part of the Inland Seas team! -Capt. Tom Kelly

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Environmental Stewards Adult Students Learn About Lakes and Streams

Christine Crissman, ISEA's Education Director, spent the day the MSU-Extension's Environmental Stewards class, teaching them about lakes and streams. The afternoon was spent at (and in) Suttons Bay Creek near the Waterwheel Park.

Inland Seas Wrapped Up for the Winter

Inland Seas is now at her winter berth at the Centre Pointe building in Traverse City (Greilickville), protected with a ventilated shrink-wrap cover. Electric mixers will keep the ice away from the hull. The crew is working on final winterizing of the engine and water systems. Tomorrow Capt. Remy leaves for Woods Hole to join the schooner Dennis Sullivan (with our mate Allen Wolfe already aboard) for the voyage to Florida.

Monday, October 20, 2008

October 17 - Inland Seas Sails to Winter Berth

Sunrise at the Education Center
Leaving Suttons Bay
Rigging fenders at our winter berth
The view from four floors up.
MHA's Mark Thompson with Arcturos and Mary J

Last Friday the crew (Tom Kelly, Remy Champt, Jan Hale, Bob Hagerman) motored Inland Seas to Traverse City for winter storage. After filling the fuel tanks and pumping out the holding tanks we berthed her alongside the wall at Centre Pointe. Thanks to Dave Mathia and Centre Pointe for the complementary winter dockage.

We were in good company there, with the MHA's Herreshoff H-28 ketch and the Mary J behind us and their newly aquired cutter Champion in front. Champion will be hauled out and Liberty will take her place on the wall for the winter. -Capt. Tom K.
(click on the photos for larger versions)

ISEA Education Director Featured in Great Lakes Newsletter

Christine Crissman, ISEA's Education Director, is the featured writer this week in the on-line newsletter Great Lakes Town Hall. Today's article is about the Schoolship Program, then Tuesday, the importance of getting children outside, Wednesday, the impact of invasive species, Thursday, the botulism outbreaks, and a wrap-up on Friday. To read Christine's thoughts on these topics go to:

Nice work, Christine! -Capt. Tom

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lay-Up Work Continues on Liberty & Inland Seas

Capt. Don Gorski, Pete Bently and Dick Babcock help to de-rig Liberty. Not shown (busy carrying sails into the building) is Pete Jones.

Capt. Remy Champt cleaning up the spars prior to refinishing.

Bob Hagerman working on the lazy board.

The crew's inter sanctum...the spar shed shop.

24 Hours at Inland Seas

In case you missed the photo exhibit "24 Hours at Inland Seas" this summer, the entire display is now being shown on the large video screen at the Inland Seas Education Center. These photographs were taken in a 24 hour period by Scott Thompkins' photography students this past June. Here are a couple examples from the exhibit:

Photographers: Top - Heather McKitrick, Middle- Zoe Allen-Wickler, Bottom- Clayton Queen

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Lay-Up Work Continues Aboard Inland Seas

Spars ready for refinishing in the Hamm Outdoor Classroom

Jan, Remy and Bob with the winter cover frame.

In the past few days the crew has painted the deck with non-skid paint and touched up the cap rails, masts, and other areas. Today they put the winter cover frame in place.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Youth in Action in the ISEA Boat Shop

The ISEA Boat Shop is a busy place these days, with the crew working on refinishing projects for the schooner, and Boat Shop instructors Chuck Dickerson and Mike Cherry leading six students from Suttons Bay Middle and High Schools in construction of our 6th Abenaki canoe.

Top and Middle: Fitting cedar strips to the moulds and clamping with a custom jig. Bottom: View from above showing a completed canoe hanging from the shop overhead.