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Shipwreck researchers share how technology aided unexpected discovery of schooner in Lake Michigan

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Shipwreck researchersWhen staff of the Michigan Shipwreck Research Associates came across a two-masted schooner last June miles off the coast of Grand Haven, the discovery was a surprise.

They hadn’t been looking for what is now thought to be the 1868-built St. Peter, but another, much larger ship named the Andaste.

Valerie van Heest, an MSRA director, recalled the June discovery and the moment an image of the smaller schooner appeared on the ship's side-scan sonar.  more...



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Effort at Lake Superior beach aims to help Wisconsin's rarest bird

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If you build it, or at least keep dogs and gulls away, they will come.

That’s the hope along a swath of Lake Superior shoreline in Douglas County this summer under a federally funded program to restore piping plovers, Wisconsin’s rarest bird.

The St. Louis River Alliance is organizing the effort under a five-year, $250,000 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The diminutive shorebird is seen on occasion passing through the Twin Ports, but no confirmed plover nesting has occurred here in more than 25 years.  more...



Animals  Environment  Other  

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Water levels expected to rise in Georgian Bay

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PARRY SOUND – The International Joint Commission (IJC) now has a report on the future management of the Great Lakes water levels to consider.
The commission’s study board presented its final report of a five-year study looking at management of the outflow of water from Lake Superior and the water levels in the Great Lakes.
The proposal the board made is to replace the a 1977A plan with a new Lake Superior Regulation Plan 2012 that changes how power dams and gates, in both the U.S. and Canada, are managed to control water levels in the Great Lakes.  more...


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2012 SOUTHERN TOUR

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Being a Midwestern One Design Sailmaker, there are stretches in the schedule that require massive amounts of time away from home.  This year was no different....Seven big events & counting!

It all started for me back in late January and a trip down to Jacksonville from my new home in Mason, Ohio.  All weather missed and I had Jeff Eiber riding shotgun as he was going to continue on from Jacksonville to Ft. Lauderdale for vacation.  In tow was the Thistle.  We were to stage our double deck rig with Paul Abdullah and head to San Diego for the Thistle Midwinters.

After a few days of business, Paul and I embark on the coast to coast trip.  We've done this trip a time or two and frankly, neither of us really mind the 36 hour trip.  We have similar tastes in music, talk radio and can generally entertain each other to the point of monotony!  more...



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8th at Princess Sofia - Sally Barkow

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We just finished up a week in Palma de Mallorca, where we were competing in the Princess Sofia Reagtta. There were 18 teams in the event and we were seeded into two groups. We were in the A group and sailed a solid opening round to place second, tied for first, in our group and a guaranteed spot in the quarterfinals. But up first was the gold round for the top six teams to determine seeding in the quarterfinals.  more...


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100 Days to go! Chicago Mac Race

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As the smell of bottom paint permeates the boat yard and we put away our bunny ears and Easter baskets, we can’t help to think that in 100 days we will be shoving off to embark on the 104th Running of our annual classic, affectionately referred to as ‘the Mac’. I wanted to provide a quick overview of what we have in store for you this year.

Registrations continue to arrive and the RFI queue has some very interesting boats requesting to participate. As we hit the 300 registered boat mark and close in on the entry deadline, you will not want to be left behind, as we have a great race planned for 2012. If you haven't submitted your RFI, please do so as soon as you can. If you have received an invitation but haven't accepted it yet, again, please take quick action to ensure your spot at the start line.  more...


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Taking a Penalty in Match Racing IV (MR04)

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As promised this next instalment about penalties in Match Racing is taking one around the pin-end of the finish.

The rules prescribe that you are not allowed to taken penalty within the zone. But that is only for the zone of a rounding mark! The pin-end of the finish is not a rounding mark, it is a passing mark. Therefore penalties are allowed in that zone.

The big advantage of taking your penalty around that mark is that you can finish directly after having completed your penalty - even with little boat speed - by bearing away to the line. It is one manoeuvre that - if you've done your training - has been done a hundred times before.  more...


Sailing  

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Oakcliff Grows Better Sailors

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“Oakcliff looks like something that I have been wanting to attend my whole sailing life. I just hadn’t found it until now.” So wrote one applicant to the Acorn Program at Oakcliff Sailing Center, a non-profit sailing center in Oyster Bay, NY. He has yet to attend this summer’s program, but his comment is indicative of a gap in the growth path of American sailors.

The signature offering at Oakcliff is the student program, called the Acorn Program for students age 15-18, and the Sapling Program for students age 18-30. For the younger students, it is an intensive three-week residential program. The students spend mornings in the classroom learning about rigging, sailmaking, navigation, composite repair and a variety of other nautical topics.   more...



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U.S. Brig Niagara returns to Erie after monthlong dry-docking in Cleveland

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The U.S. Brig Niagara returned to Erie late Tuesday after a monthlong dry-docking at Cleveland's Great Lakes Towing Co. to repair rotted wooden framing.

"It was very smooth, calm and perfect,'' Niagara Capt. Wesley Heerssen said of the vessel's nearly 11-hour sail from Cleveland.The ship, with Heerssen and a crew of 22, departed Cleveland on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The Niagara pulled into its berth behind the Erie Maritime Museum on Tuesday just before midnight.

"I don't anticipate any unforeseen problems for a few years,'' Heerssen said.

Repairs at the Cleveland shipyard involved replacing three 10- to 12-foot-long frames.  more...



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Testing the winds

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Among the many forms of renewable energy being studied and developed, wind is seen by many to be the least expensive and easiest to harness. In theory, at least.But when you start proposing construction of giant wind turbines, whether in scenic rural settings or offshore along the ocean coasts or Great Lakes shoreline, you encounter strong objections. Concerns are raised over noise, the impact on property values, beautiful vistas being spoiled, harm to wildlife and other issues.  more...


Wind  

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Michigan, Ohio officials to tackle Lake Erie algae threat to fish, tourism

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TRAVERSE CITY -- Officials in Michigan and Ohio agreed last week to cooperate more closely to find solutions to massive algae blooms in Lake Erie, a deadly threat to fish and a turn-off for tourists.

Delegations from both states, including their top environmental protection officials, said Wednesday that they will push harder for reductions in phosphorus discharges from farms, waste-treatment plants and other sources while sharing ideas and supporting research. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency pledged technical and financial assistance.  more...



Environment  Other  

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Minnesota's eagle population making a comeback

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ELK RIVER, Minn. (AP) — The National Park Service said bald eagles continue to make a modest comeback in Minnesota, aided by a warm winter and a thriving food supply.

Last month, an unofficial aerial count along the Mississippi River by wildlife officials revealed at least 36 active nests in the 72-mile stretch from Elk River to Hastings. That compares to 28 last year and 30 in 2010, said Bill Route, an eagle project manager for the Park Service.

"The eagle population is increasing and highly productive" in the area, said Route, who cautioned that aerial counting isn't an exact science. more...



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Workshop to focus on underwater archaeology

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Before the Lake Erie coastline had cities, it had ships that transported people and goods -- including many vessels that sank to the lake's floor.

Although this portion of Ohio history is of sight for many, Lake Erie's maritime past is still attainable.

The Maritime Archaeological Survey Team, or MAST, is a nonprofit group of volunteers who study and document Lake Erie shipwrecks.

Made up of scuba divers and land-based researchers, the group has a membership of more than 250 who research the ships and preserve the information for others.  more...



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As boating season approaches, some marinas in Michigan report shortage of skilled workers

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There is a shortage of skilled workers in Michigan to make repairs on boats and other watercraft as the state's boating season approaches, according to some marinas and industry observers.

John Ropp, president of Michigan Boating Industry Association, said there is anecdotal evidence that marinas and boat repair shops are having problems filling jobs. Observers say the shortage is due in part to new technology on boats and in engines, The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/HMmZ99 ) reported Tuesday.

"It's something I hear from members from many different parts of the state," Ropp said. "I don't think it's reached a critical stage."  more...



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Shallow harbors are sinking Great Lakes tourism

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A $200-million backlog in unfunded Great Lakes dredging and maintenance projects has left many Great Lakes harbors so shallow, they create safety hazards and hurt Michigan's tourism industry.

Lack of regular maintenance could leave recreational boaters in search of a safe harbor or unable to get boats across a sand-filled harbor entrance.

Even if boaters aren't in peril, they tend to avoid shallow harbors where the depth is uncertain, causing serious financial losses to local businesses and the state's tourism industry in general, tourism officials say. more...



Environment  

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