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

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