Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Liberty Readied to Sail

ISEA's Friendship sloop Liberty is being readied for her new port assignment in Charlevoix. Under a joint operating agreement with ISEA and Sea Ports Great Lakes Liberty will continue her role in teaching youth the values of team work and learning under sail. Sea Ports Great Lakes will provide onboard programs for families, students and adjudicated youth using Liberty as their sailing classroom. She will be berthed along the harbor wall in downtown Charlevoix where she will be very visible to the public.
"Having Liberty berthed in Charlevoix will create a new audience for Inland Seas and our mission of Great Lakes education and stewardship," said ISEA's exective director Tom Kelly. "We look forward to working with Sea Ports Great Lakes to make this happen."
For more information on Sea Ports Great Lakes click on

Second Week of Spring Schoolship

Underway in light air and fog patches, May 15, 2009
The second week of spring Schoolship Programs has quickly passed by. We had school classes from Lewiston, Bellaire (2), Reuther (Rochester -2), Smith (Dearborn), Platte River, Johannesburg, and Northwest (Jackson). Manitou also had a busy week with classes from Lewiston, Traverse City East, Gaylord St. Mary's, Reuther (Rochester), Traverse City Career Tech Center AgriScience, Smith (Dearborn), Central Lake, Lakeland, and Traverse City Central Grade School.

Aboard Inland Seas our trawl catches consisted of rock bass, round goby, native crayfish, a frog (first ever!), brook stickleback and a rainbow smelt. Trawl catches have been light despite seeing many fish in the water column on the sounder.

The surface water temperature averaged 43 degrees F this week, with bottom water 0 - 1 degree colder. The average secchi disk reading was 18 meters, with a range of 14 m to 20 m, although the disk was often visible sitting on the lake bottom, so these values are conservative.

The zooplankton community consists mainly of calanoid and cyclopoid copepods, many with egg sacs and lots of red lipid visible in their bodies.

Bringing the trawl aboard, 5-15-09 pm.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Smooth Sailing for First Week of 2009 Schoolship

ISEA's Schoolship Program began its 2009 season on Friday May 1st with Silver Lake Elementary. The following week we hosted Lake Leelanau St. Mary's, Suttons Bay 8th Grade (2 classes), Silver Lake (2nd class), Kennedy 4th graders from Manistee and Sacred Heart 8th graders from Mt. Pleasant.

Water temperatures were in the low 40's, with the air temperatures ranging from 40 to 60 degrees. Tuesday was rainy in the morning but the rest of the week was mostly sunny, with a little fog thrown in for interest.

Fishing was fairly good for this time of year, with some nice yellow perch caught, in addition to some little rockbass, white sucker, round goby, brook stickleback, johnny darter and native crayfish.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Final Week of Rigging and Training - And 1st 2009 Schoolship

Crew practices abandon ship drill with life raft. Allen and Ben in the Rescue Boat

This was a very busy week for ISEA. The ship rigging was finished, the crew did additional training dockside and underway, and we did two "Wet Run" training trips for new instructors. We came home in pea soup fog on Thursday afternoon. And Friday morning we did our first Schoolship Program of 2009 for 5th grade girls from Silver Lake School (the boys come next week). We had a good breeze this morning, but man was it cold!
Christine showing off nice perch from our trawl catch, Instructor Wet Run.

Silver Lake 5th graders at the helm.