Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Week of September 27 - Willow Hill & Kalkaska

Early Morning, Sept. 27, 2010

Bringing up the trawl, Sept. 28

Lucky Willow Hill Student

Kalkaska MS at end of voyage
This week we started Schoolship Programs with much better weather!  Willow Hill Elementary and Kalkaska Middle School sailed with us on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Many thanks to Global Marine Insurance, sponsor of the three Willow Hill class trips.  Click here for more class photos.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Gales Greet Groves High School

High winds faced the group from Groves High School, Birmingham, today.  Capt. Remy brought the ship in early after the winds topped 35 knots.  We have a visitor in Suttons Bay today also; a Canadian tug/barge has sought shelter here from the 9-14' seas on Lake Michigan.

A Soggy Day on Grand Traverse Bay for Willow Hill Elementary

The first of three Willow Hill Elementary School classes sailed with us yesterday.  With over 2 inches of rain, the students looked like drowned rats.  But they were great sports, and no one complained about the weather.   We started out as usual to set the trawl but we quickly came back to the dock after we heard thunder in the distance.  We continued the program in the Education Center until about 10:45 when the weather improved (moderate to light rain) to let us go out again. We sailed under mainsail and stays'l, with the deck awning in place to give us some protection fromt the rain.  Despite the tough weather, everyone was smiling at the end of the trip.  Thanks, Willow Hill, for being good foul weather shipmates. --Capt. Tom
Wet, but happy helmsmen! (and women)

Crewman Bob, just before raising the mainsail.

We made it!

Lakeshore HS Research Cruise - Sept. 22, 2010

A wonderful group of Lakeshore HS students (Stevensville, MI) sailed with us Wednesday on an all-day research cruise to Suttons Bay and Omena Bay. Water, zooplankton and fish samples were collected in each location and the data will be analyzed when the students return to class.  Thanks for the great day on the Schoolship.  -Capt. Tom
Looking for Zooplankton

Hauling up the anchor, Omena Bay

LSSU Great Lakes Ecology & Sustainability, Day Four

After breakfast at anchor, we motored out to the head of Old Mission harbor and did a trawl tow along the northeast shore. We did a limnology station and then headed out into East Bay to sample the "deep hole", at a depth of 608 feet.  Our dredge brought up a mud sample with amphipods, a Mysis, an oligichaete worm and a midge larve. We also sent down some foam cups which returned to the surface much reduced in size (from the water pressure).

Benthos from the Deep Hole.  Mysis is the large specimen near bottom of dish. 

Recording Shore Development Data
Lunch is served.  Thanks, Greg.

This is for Jerry Dennis.  Students with their copies of "The Living Great Lakes"
We sailed from Elk Rapids to Omena where we did more sampling.  Only 2ppm dissolved oxygen found in the bottom waters.  Then home to Suttons Bay with more shoreline analysis underway.  This was a great trip, and we are looking forward to sailing with LSSU again next season.  --Capt. Tom

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lake Superior State University - Great Lakes Ecology & Sustainability Class - Day 3

From Power Island we motored up to Bowers Harbor (with fire and abandon ship drills enroute) to do a fish trawl and limnology station.  The catch was 4 rock bass and 13 round goby.  From there we motored along the east shore of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay so the Shore Development and Phragmites groups could collect their data. We docked at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy briefly to explore the lower Boardman River using the stern boat. 

Boardman River in Traverse City

From Traverse City we sampled the lower West Arm (2 smallmouth bass, 16 rock bass, 22 roundy goby, 1 white sucker, secchi disc=13.5 meters) and sailed up the west side of the bay until 4;30 pm when we sailed off for Old Mission Harbor, arriving at 7 pm. 

Logan and the "Living Great Lakes"

Remy and Tyler light the anchor lanterns
Class continues into the evening
Moonrise over Old Mission

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lake Superior State University - Great Lakes Ecology & Sustainability Class

From Friday Sept. 17 to Monday Sept. 20, we hosted the LSSU Biology Department's class "Ecology & Sustainability".  Eight students and two faculty members sailed with the ISEA crew to Northport, Power Island, Traverse City, Old Mission, Elk Rapids and back to Suttons Bay.  Some highlights are below:
Boat Drill Practice.  LSSU faculty Ashley Moerke and Dennis Merkel are at lower and upper right, respectively.
Inland Seas at Northport, 9-18-10
Beach processes seminar at Petersen Park, Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan at Petersen Park

Bare Knuckle Farm, Northport

Ross and white sucker.  Other fishes caught at Northport were brook stickleback (4), rock bass (12), and round goby (11)

This is definately not the Love Boat!  Class is in session 12 hours/day.
At anchor, Power Island, Grand Traverse Bay

Dr. Merkel catches up on his reading

Friday, September 17, 2010

Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010

Inland Seas will be sailing for the next four days with students from Lake Superior State University. This is a Honors Biology class on the Sustainability of the Great Lakes.

You might see our red sails on the bay or on Lake Charlevoix this weekend, but you can visit with ISEA staff and volunteers at the Leland Heritage Festival on Saturday. We will have the ISEA Boat Shop represented with our strip canoes (one under construction) near the Museum and a Schoolship display in Fishtown. Hope you can join us there. 

Michigan Schooner Festival, Sept. 10-12

Despite a rainy Saturday, the Schooner Festival was a fun time for crews and visitors.  The Friday evening Parade of Sail had great weather and a big crowd ashore watching the boats pass in review.  On Saturday we did one Schoolship sail with a group of enthusiastic guests who didn't let the rain bother them.  In the afternoon we had 280 visitors aboard at dockside.

Coaster II
Sunday was a perfect day and we did one morning sail and another 282 people aboard dockside. 
Dennis Sullivan of Milwaukee
Most unusual vessel at the Schooner Festival!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Milwaukee to Suttons Bay, Sept. 8 - 9, 2010

The crew (Tom Kelly, Remy Champt, Allen Wolfe, Wayne Snyder, Ben Shaw & Michael Appert) traveled to Milwaukee by car last Tuesday.  It was blowing 35 when we arrived at the Pier Wisconsin Discovery World dock. We left Wednesday morning and followed the Wisconsin coast up to Sheboygan before heading accross the lake towards the Manitou Passage.  About midnight we were in mid-lake and getting tossed around quite a bit. I decided to head for Frankfort and get a few hours rest before traveling on. We arrived at Jacobson's Marina in Frankfort at 0230.  We got 3.5 hours of sleep, fueled the vessel, and got underway again at 0830.

Leaving Milwaukee's Discovery Center

The wind was still against us until we got north of North Manitou Island, but at least we could see the waves coming at us, which had decreased during the early morning.  Of course once we got into Grand Travese Bay the weather was wonderful.  We got home to Suttons Bay at 1815 on Thursday evening.

Sunset, Mid-Lake

Wayne at the Wheel

Thursday Morning: Ben, Remy & Michael

Friday, September 3, 2010

Inland Seas in Milwaukee

The students disembarked this morning after 4 days aboard.  The crew is heading home for the weekend by car and will return on Tuesday, with departure scheduled for Suttons Bay on Wednesday morning.  Glad we are not on the lake today (forecast is for waves of 11 - 16 feet).  --Capt. Tom Kelly

See the Fox News TV interview with Don Gorski and Emily Tyner at

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

On to Waukegan, Kenosha, and Milwaukee

Inland Seas, under the command of Remy Champt and crewed by AllenWolfe, Don Gorski, Dave Dykstra and Jeannie Inglehart, is heading for Waukegon, Kenosha and Milwaukee with a fleet of five other tall ships (Appledore IV & V, Dennis Sullivan, Bounty, and Roseway) with 70 students from a Kentucky Montessori middle school.  You might be able to pick up their track on one of several AIS tracking sites such as (click on  number 16 on the tracking map and zoom in on the Milwaukee area)

Final Day of Tall Ship Festival - Sunday August 29

Chicago Waterfront from the Willis Tower, 103 stories up

We did our final day of ship tours today, with over 1,000 people aboard. I also got some little baby sturgeon from the Fish and Wildlife Service to put in the Inland Seas Education Center's aquarium. Come and see them.  They are cute!
More photos soon.