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community weblog - [ Watersports ]

“Sunken Treasure”: Documentary explores Great Lakes shipwrecks, promotes respectful diving

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A diver explores the wreck of the Eliza H. Strong vessel. Photo: Michael Lynch.With hundreds of shipwrecks scattered across the bottom of the Great Lakes, divers have access to an unrivaled underwater playground. The freshwater environment lends itself to preserving shipwrecks so well, some ships look ready to board.

Divers tempted to swipe an artifact for their mantle or crank a wheel and pretend to sail away could be fined or even imprisoned. A recent documentary aims to educate those with misguided intentions before it gets that far.

“Sunken Treasure: Preserving Michigan’s Shipwrecks” was recently released by the Michigan Underwater Preserve Council to foster respect of Great Lakes shipwrecks and preserve the fragile ecosystems that surround them.

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National Park Service program promotes paddling on Lake Erie, Cuyahoga River as a way to connect with nature

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Few paddlers think about testing the wide waters of Lake Erie or cruising the Cuyahoga River, but they are key elements of new initiatives by the National Park Service to connect Ohioans with nature. The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program developed by the NPS is working with hikers, bikers and paddlers, as well as local communities, parks, clubs and conservation groups to make it happen.  more...


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Surf’s Up On Lake Superior

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A surfer strides over ice covered rocks to reach the winter surf on Lake Superior. (Bob Tema)

Near a rocky bay about 15 miles up the shore of Lake Superior from Duluth, Erik Wilkie sat in his warm pickup truck, watching a half-dozen neoprene-clad figures bob up and down in the eight-foot, aquamarine swells.

“This is a hairy day. This is the biggest day we’ve had this year,” said Wilkie, who was so excited his words came in bursts. “So everybody’s elated. The danger factor is right up there as high as it can be, the adrenaline is pumping.”  more...



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Photos: Great Lakes surfing, Superior style

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SurferIt seems impossible, but on Lake Superior there's a thriving scene of about 50 surfers who brave the frigid water for waves they swear can compare to some of the best surfing in Hawaii or California. With nearly 10 mm of wetsuit between him and the cold, Eric Wilkie of Webster, Wis. grabs his surfboard from the top of his truck Monday, Feb. 11, 2013 at Stony Point in Duluth, Minn. "I'll be out there for an hour, hour and a half, or if I ride three big waves or have three big wipeouts. Whichever comes first," Wilkie said of his Monday surfing plans.  more...


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Ice Climbing in Pure Michigan

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By now, you probably know about a number of activities that can be done in Michigan during the wintertime – skiing, snowboarding, tubing, etc. Another lesser known activity to add to the list is ice climbing. With ice climbing being one of the activities featured in the Pure Michigan winter video series, we spoke with adventurer Lisa Nowak on what ice climbing in Michigan is all about.   more...


SNOW  Watersports  

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Proposed project could improve Lake Michigan shoreline

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Kenosha County could be part of state plans to improve the Lake Michigan shoreline for kayakers, canoeists and other water users.
 
The Lake Michigan Water Trail project includes hopes of adding camping grounds, bathroom facilities and places to launch water vessels along the shoreline, including on land in Kenosha and/or Pleasant Prairie.
 
Other improvements might include signs and maps so visitors know what amenities are available where.
 
Improvements will help draw tourism, said Jeff Prey, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources park system senior planner.
 
“Getting more people to the lake is an important activity for the state,” he said.  more...


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Long Term Review: Adanac Greenland Paddle

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About a year ago Jill Ellis from Adanac Paddles contacted me to see if I would be interested in testing a new p

Adanac Paddles Greenland Paddle

rototype Greenland paddle design she was working on. I quickly yes so when the paddle was ready I was invited to come and visit her woodworking shop in the booming city of Dover Centre, Ontario (population 11 people).

One of the things that I learned while visiting Adanac Paddles world headquarters was that every single paddle is custom made to order. When an order submitted, Jill contacts the buyer and asks for a variety of measurements including the arm span, elbow to wrist length, elbow to fingertip, as well as the diameter of your first finger and thumb when doing the "OK" symbol.  more...



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Paddling Instructor is dead. Long Live Paddling Headquarters

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I

Paddling Headquarters Logo

’m super excited to finally unveil Paddling Headquarters, the next step for Paddling Instructor.
 
The idea for the rebrand started a couple of months ago when I was looking back through the site archives and I realized that even though there is a lot of teaching resources and “how to teach” articles scattered throughout, the site is much bigger than that. I think the name; Paddling Headquarters is more about what this place really is. A spot for people to come and discover the crazy weird stuff out there related to the outdoor world.  more...


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Winds from Sandy make for good Chicago surfing

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Hundreds of miles from its turbulent center, superstorm Sandy's outer bands were violent enough to rip up near-record high waves Tuesday on Lake Michigan, sending a community of avid surfers in Chicago into the cold, churning waters despite warnings from city officials.

Wave heights out in the middle of the lake reached 20 feet, short of the 23-foot record set last year by a strong storm pushing down from Canada. The difference this time is the winds are from the edges of what had been a tropical storm, one vast enough to reach hundreds of miles inland.  more...



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Canoeing in the 1900’s was a Hot Bed of Sin

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Canoeing in Detroit 1907

I recently stumbled upon an article that was originally published in Collectors Weekly back in July. It looked at how back in the 1900-1920(ish) canoeing was viewed as a very sexy activity. If you were looking to get away from people for a little "private time", the canoe was the only way to do it.

"Adolescents took to the waters with the urgency of salmon fighting their way upstream, spawning a veritable canoe craze, particularly in places like Boston along the Charles River and at Belle Isle, near Detroit. While any canoe would do, companies such as Old Town, Kennebec, and White marketed “courting canoes” specifically designed for waterborne lovebirds." more...


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Classic wooden canoe enthusiasts gather at river’s edge on the AuSable

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Antique_Canoes_1_009.JPGIt was a quintessential fall day: cool and sunny with color in the trees, bold splashes of yellow and orange lining the banks of the AuSable River. What made it all the more colorful was company I was keeping and the canoes they paddled, each made of wood and rich in history.

Floating close by was Dave McDaniel in his early 1950s Peterborough canoe, its varnished wood ribs finished bright.

McDaniel, a rugged looking man, paddled solo sporting a broad-brimmed hat. He appeared relaxed as he negotiated the river’s obstacles.  more...



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Dive in and connect with nature

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In 18 hours you can drive from Milwaukee to Dallas. If you break a few speed limit laws, you can get from Toledo to Orlando. You can even drive from Detroit to Chicago three times—and still have a few hours to spare.

Or, you can stay close to home and swim in all five Great Lakes in one day. That is exactly what three friends and I did this summer.

I got the idea from a post in the Pure Michigan blog about two women who completed this challenge in May. I knew it was something I had to try.  more...



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Great Lakes drownings: 89 so far this year

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BEULAH — Jackie Kovacs went to Peterson Beach in Benzie County for swimming and sun, but she ended up barely surviving a nightmare of rip currents.

It's a story all too familiar in Lake Michigan coastal communities: Kovacs, a tourist from Lombard, Ill., watched in horror Aug. 5 as a menacing Lake Michigan rip current swept her 10-year-old granddaughter from the shoreline. Kovacs rushed into the water to rescue the child, and the current gripped her, too.

Kovacs and her granddaughter were rescued from their frightening ordeal, but Ohio tourist Kevin Patrick Schlake, 40, was not so lucky. Three hours later, he became one of 89 people to drown in the Great Lakes this year when he fell victim to the same merciless currents at Peterson Beach.  more...


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H2Onotes Now on Facebook!

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D1D Now Available on FacebookAll your favorite H2Onotes articles are now available on Facebook. Get all of your Great Lakes news, upcoming events and how to articles sent to your Facebook page automatically now by liking ( "LIKE") our New Facebook page. Like us HERE ... 

https://www.facebook.com/h2onotes


Environment  Events  Fishing  Other  Sailing  SNOW  Technology  Watersports  Wind  

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What’s SUP? Michigan state parks lure diverse users with Rec 101

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If you want to know if that latest fitness trend lives up to the hype, you can find out for free in Michigan’s state parks.

They’re offering more than just trail running.

Beginner kayaking, windsurfing, and even stand-up paddle boarding – what the Wall Street Journal recently referred to as the “fitness rage of the summer” – are just a few of the classes in Recreation 101. The program is designed to get people into state parks. Local outfitters volunteer their expertise and gear in beginner classes that also include archery, disc golf and orienteering.  more...



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