Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How Has the Current Storm Influenced Water Levels?

To find out, go to the NOAA Lake Michigan Water Level Displacement web page.  Note the difference between Chicago and the north shore of Lake Michigan, and then the less extreme but still significant level changes in Grand Traverse Bay and Green Bay. Click on the Animation Button to see the action over time.  Subtract 5 hours from GMT to get local (EDT) time. Graphics for the other Great Lakes are also available. Thanks, NOAA.  Very Cool.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Inland Seas Heads to Winter Berth in Traverse City

Today we motored Inland Seas to Greilickville (Traverse City) and the Center Point Building dock, our winter berth.  The crew consisted of captains Tom Kelly and Ben Hale, Bob Hagerman and guest crew Bill Pierce.  We were joined in Traverse City by former crew member Don Gorski, who helped us shift the boat from the Harbor West fuel dock to the winter berth.  We had a perfect day for the trip, with light wind and smooth seas.

We were greeted warmly at the Center Point Building by owner Dave Mathia, so that made us feel much better.  We greatly appreciate the hospitality of Dave Mathia and the Center Point folks who have provided our winter dockage for many years.  Thanks also to Dave Conrad of Bay Breeze Yacht Charters for his assistance this morning.  It is this type of community support that makes Inland Seas Education Association possible.

Bill Pierce at the the helm.  Note the winter cover frame in place. 

R-4 bell buoy off Lee Point with gull supervisor.
With best regards, Capt. Tom

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pathfinder First Graders Visit Inland Seas

Never-before seen teamwork at the bilge pump!

Happy Future Naval Architects
We hosted a group of Lynn Pavlov's first graders on Wednesday from Pathfinder School.  They came to learn about ship design and construction before setting out to build a cardboard boat in their classroom.  We showed them our strip cedar canoe, a sailing pram and the motor whaleboat before guiding them on a tour of the schooner.   Operating the big Edson bilge pump was a high point of the tour.  Thanks for visiting, and we look forward to sailing with you when you are 6th graders.  ---Capt. Tom K.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Final Windy Day of the 2012 Schoolship Season

With 30 students from Kalkaska Middle School, we headed into Suttons Bay for the final Schoolship trip of the season. The otter trawl yielded a diverse catch of fishes, including 5 brook stickleback, 18 rock bass, 7 round goby, 14 spottail shiner and 4 white sucker. Note that the round goby was not the dominate species caught.  This has been a trend this year, as some of the native species seem to be making a come-back. 

At the limnology station, students found the surface water temperature to be 60 deg F. The same temperature was found at the bottom, 64 feet deep.  Air temperature was 47 deg F. At least it was sunny.

When we anchored on the sampling station the wind was SW at 9 knots.  By the time we hove up the anchor the wind had increased to SSW 15 with higher gusts.  We set the main, fore and stays'l.  The wind inceased steadily to the low 20's with gusts to 25.  We lowered the fores'l which decreased the angle of heel and made the ride a lot better for science work.

Kalkaska MS students at the wheel.  ISEA Board President and Volunteer Instructor Larry Garber is on the left.

Lead Instructor Thom Yokum pauses for a moment after we have shortened sail to main & stays'l.
 When we landed back at Suttons Bay, we said good-bye to our Kalkaska students and their teacher.  We were a little sad that the season was over, but looking at the weather forecast we were glad that we had no more schools booked this year.  Time to think about down-rigging and putting the ship into winter lay-up.  This process will take several weeks.  We will be back in our usual winter berth at the Center Point dock in Traverse City later this month.

The students have departed, and the final group of Volunteer Instructors and the crew pose for last photo.

By Tuesday afternoon Capt. Ben and Bob Hagerman had remove all the sails.

The total student count for 2012 was 4,256.  The total since our founding in 1989 is now 94,690!  This number includes adult students and participating teachers.
--Capt. Tom

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ex-Navy Motor Whaleboat Donated to ISEA

ISEA recently received a 26' ex-Navy Motor Whaleboat #26MW6843 as a donation from Susan Brown of Williamsburg.  The boat was previously owned by Gordie Brown, who passed away this past spring.  The Brown's have been long-term members of ISEA, and Gordie was a Schoolship Volunteer Instructor in years past.

Our Motor Whaleboat after Arrival at ISEA

Yanmar 3-Cylinder Diesel (not original), but it Runs Fine.

Room for 20 or so.  Very Stout Construction.
We intend to restore the whaleboat to Navy colors and use the boat for educational tours of Suttons Bay and perhaps other ports in the area.  Because the boat is trailerable, there is also the posssiblility to do programs on inland waters such as Lake Leelanau and the Chain of Lakes.

There is a great deal of work to be done on the whaleboat this winter, so if you would like to help, or if you are a Navy veteran with an interest in this project, please contact Chuck Dickerson, ISEA's Boat Shop Lead Instructor, at 231-271-3977.  We will need about $5,000 to complete the restortation and we are seeking donations to help with this.  Check out the Wish List by clicking here.
--Capt. Tom

News from the Schoolship

This is our final week of Schoolship Programs for the 2012 season (our 24th).  On Monday we hosted North Central Academy (Mancelona) and Prevail Academy (Mt. Clemens).  Both of these schools were provided with full tuition scholarships with funds granted to ISEA from the Herbert and Grace Dow Foundation.  The Edmund & Virginia Ball Foundation provided matching scholarships to these and 22 other classes this fall.  The matching scholarships allow us to keep school fees low (about 1/3 of the actual cost).

Clouds and sun created a beautiful light on the hills of Suttons Bay

Ben brings the trawl aboard

Kalkaska Middle School brought three classes this week, and a forth was scheduled this Friday (today) but it was moved to Monday Oct. 9 due to gale winds being forecast for today.  The Oct. 9 class with Kalkaska will be our final program of the year.

Nancy leads the Fish Station

North Central students at the wheel
Education Coordinator Emily Shaw teaching the Benthos Station
It has been a great year, with 4,000 students and trips to Escanaba, Beaver Island, St. Ignace, Sault Ste. Marie, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Traverse City and Frankfort.
---Capt. Tom

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Asian Carp Seminar Coming to Suttons Bay

Suttons Bay, MI – On Tuesday, October 9th, The Inland Seas Education Association’s will present Mark Breederland of Michigan Sea Grant in Traverse City, Michigan. Mr. Breederland will provide an update on the potential for invasion of Asian Carp in our Great Lakes.

The threat of Asian Carp to the Great Lakes has gained a great deal of media attention in recent years. Advances in monitoring techniques have allowed researchers to detect Asian Carp using species specific DNA. This talk will highlight the findings of recent detection work, including Lake Erie, discuss different views regarding the ability of Asian Carp to become established in the Great Lakes and their tributaries, and will review state and federal actions to mitigate future threats of introduction.

You will also be able to see the new Asian Carp Exhibit at the Inland Seas Education Center and test your knowledge of Asian carp biology. This exhibit was funded by a grant from the Grand Travere Band of Ottawa

The seminar will be held at the Inland Seas Education Center in Suttons Bay on Tuesday October 9th at 7pm. This event is free and open to the public. For information call 231-271-3077.

Freshwater Summit in Traverse City, October 26

The Freshwater Summit will be held on Friday, Oct. 26 from 9 a.m-4 p.m. at the Hagerty Center, 715 E. Front St. in Traverse City.

Preregistering is strongly encouraged, as the Summit usually sells out. Walk-ins cannot be guaranteed.
The registration deadline for the fifth annual Freshwater Summit is Tuesday, Oct. 16. Click here to register online. The cost is $30, which includes lunch.

If you cannot register online and want to pay by credit card, call Denise Baker at 231~935~1514 ext. 4. If you prefer to pay by check, mail a check payable to the Watershed Center, postmarked by Oct. 15, to 13272 S. West Bay Shore Dr., Traverse City, 49684.

This year’s theme is Our Changing Great Lakes. Highlights include:

•Dave Ulrich, Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative~Change the Great Lakes for the Better

•Ralph Bednarz, Michigan DEQ~Lakes Assessment Survey•Guy Meadows, Ph.D., Great Lakes Research Center~Secrets Beneath Lake Huron

•Dr. Dave Hyndman, MSU~Grand Traverse Bay Watershed Climate Change

•Matt Herbert, The Nature Conservancy and Randy Claramunt, MDNR~Restoring Critical Fish Spawning Reefs

You’ll also learn about Boardman River dam removals, inland lake fish shelters, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, clean boating and more!

You can download a complete agenda soon. Agendas will also be distributed at the Summit. Please note that agenda may be subject to change.

If your lake association is a member of the Network of Lake Associations, you can send two representatives free, but you must register all names by October 16 with Denise Baker at dbaker@gtbay.org.

If your organization or business would like to have a booth, please contact Denise Baker at dbaker@gtbay.org by October 16. Non-profit booths are $50, and business booths are $200. You must pay an additional $30 for lunch for each person staffing your booth.

The Freshwater Summit is generously sponsored by AMEC, Cambria Suites and Great Lakes Environmental Center.

The Freshwater Summit is co-hosted by the Watershed Center, NMC Water Studies Institute, Michigan Sea Grant, The Nature Conservancy, Conservation Resource Alliance, Grand Traverse Conservation District, Inland Seas Education Association, Network of Lake Associations, Rotary Water Committee and Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council.