the ASI Burgee - Tuesday March 9, 2010

the Second Reef – News and Information for and about ASI’s Level 2 Sailors - - Jack Townsend

Has spring sprung? It sure seemed like it last Sunday, what a great day, sunny and warm, a day to be outside enjoying the fresh air. Marilyn and I decided to do just that, we stopped at Holden’s to pick up a couple of subs then over to Kent Lake’s east boat launch. We thought we would have lunch by the water and check the lake out. The water was close to 3 feet below normal levels, there were no rippling waves, just a layer of ice with a topping of soft white snow. There were no boats tugging at their painters, impatiently waiting for their sailors to come aboard and slip off into the wind. There was just a father and his two young children, a girl and a boy. We watched them jump off  “J” dock onto the ice, and walk over to the islands. We could see a few solitary ice fishermen, a couple of abandoned bales of straw, and lots of geese flying overhead. We saw no sails, just winter coats, hats, and mittens. Spring has not quite sprung, but it must close by. And yes, the subs were good.


Spring may not have sprung yet but the sailing season has officially started. It started last Tuesday night at 1800 hours. Twenty-two sailors, charts and plotters in hand sailed into room 153 at Wayne State University’s Oakland Center. The evening started with students greeting their fellow sailors, some of whom they had not seen since last year’s boat take outs. As everyone settled in, Bill Lane hoisted the first mainsail of the 2010 season when he reached down and pushed the enter key on the computer keypad and the Level 2 Shore School presentation lit up the overhead screen – and we were off and sailing. For the next 3 ½ hours the students learned all about charts, dead reckoning, deviation, longitude interpolators, how to plot a course, and label a DR. Good times and fair winds.


But the classroom is not the only place showing some activity. Like a hibernating bear, ASI, is slowly awakening. The boat captains are preparing their checklists, making plans to remove the boat covers, tracking down equipment, and planning the spring work lists for all those L2 work volunteers. The first “official” workdays on the boats are scheduled to begin on April 10th but there will most likely be several “unofficial” days before the 10th. It takes a lot of work and many volunteers to get the boats ready.  


So dig those old work jeans and sweatshirts out the back of the closet because the call will be going out soon to come down to Jefferson Beach Marina. We need your help. The 2010 season is upon us and it is going to be a great season for Overture, Interlude, and all the Great Lakes Sailors of ASI. See you in a few weeks and remember, for a while, winter coats, hats and mittens may still be the fashion.


FYI, here are the current Great Lakes Water Levels – inches above (+) or below (-) datum


March 5, 2010 –  Lake Erie; +18      Lake St. Clair; 0      Lake Michigan-Huron; +5

ASI Seminar for new and returning Level 1 Instructors  JoAnne McClure

Instructor training is free to all ASI Sail Pass holders who volunteer as Level 1 Instructors.


New and experienced instructors are encouraged to attend in order to keep their instruction in line with the curriculum. Prerequisite: Level 1 rating for one year.


Questions about being an instructor should be directed to JoAnne McClure,  

248-345-2403 or 248-348-3603.



 -Shore School @ Oakland Center * On Water Class @ Kent Lake
-Wed. 04/21/10 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm Sat. 05/15/10 9 am – noon
-Wed. 04/28/10 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm or as arranged at shore class.

*room number will be posted at the door.

ASI to offer North Channel Cruising Workshops in 2010


What's a cruising workshop?

A week of cruising Lake Huron's North Channel in one of ASI's 30 foot keelboats, Manitou or Voyager III.


Who can sign up as crew? 

 Almost any adult member of ASI. No, it's not necessary to be 'rated', even for level 1.


What will I be expected to do as one of the crew? 

 As much - or as little - as you wish. The cruising workshops offer an opportunity to members to inexpensively experience the North Channel. You'll get a taste of what it's like to live aboard a cruising sailboat, and to learn some of the skills necessary for sailing and 'gunkholing' there. You'll have a chance to help out navigating and trimming the sails. Yes, you'll be on the helm, too.   


Who's in charge?

 One of ASI's Level 4 sailors will skipper the boat, with another keelboat sailor as first mate.


Where will the workshop start and end?

 Your crew will drive from here to Little Current (on Manitoulin Island). There you will board the boat, and live aboard for a week Then you and your crew will return to Little Current and drive home. 


What are the dates?

Week(s) in July and August, TBD


What is included in the workshop cost?  

 The workshop cost is your share of the cost of chartering for one week. The crew generally shares all other costs; transportation to and from Little Current, provisions, dockage, fuel, pumpouts, etc. 


What's the North Channel like?

Because it is very remote, it is relatively uncrowded. The water is clear and you'll be able to swim (but it is chilly!). Hundreds of small islands provide numerous quiet, secluded anchorages. Once you've been to the North Channel, you'll want to come back!


If you are interested in participating in a North Channel workshop please email or call the ASI Sail Secretary. 


To participate you must have a current ASI membership.  The cost for the workshop has been $300 and a crew of 3 workshop participants is expected.  Traditionally the Captain of the workshop will review the list to select a crew.  Space is limited so participation is not a sure thing.

Only 52 days to boat put-in! Think spring! 

...and only 25 days to the first day of Interlake prep at Crawford Farm! Be sure to put Saturday, April 3 on your calendar. Details to follow. 


It's also time to start getting ready for some big spring sailing classes! You can help by printing out some of the flyers, schedules and pamphlets now available on the ASI website, The one shown here has 'tear-offs' along the bottom, for those interested in getting more information.


Thanks, Heidi Dzendzel (for the designs} and Craig Smith for posting on the website.    

Interlake Racing - - Michael Golden

NEWLY RATED L1 grads get into the racing program at no charge for 2010.

The racing program is open to all rated members. First time racers, previously rated, are $15 for the first year. The season opens with a workshop on right-of-way rules, safety, and go-fast techniques. Guided practice on the water with drills and exercises gives you a chance to brush up and learn new boat handling techniques.
We rotate crews with an experienced person on board to assist you. The Saturday or Sunday races are scheduled in the morning or late afternoon. Each crewmember gets to skipper when they are ready. You may learn how to rig and put up the chute at a dockside spinnaker workshop. You will have the opportunity to join a team and sail with the same crew sometimes.
We gather at the dock or a cafe after on the water events to exchange ideas & make excuses! Fees: The racing program is open to returning rated sailors at a fee of $25 for the season + two additional volunteer hours on Interlake maintenance. No charge to new L1 rated 2009 graduates for their first year in racing. Sign up on the sail pass form and come to the Thursday, April 22 seminar. We don’t take new novice racers after that April seminar date. 

ON THE WATER EVENTS: Check the web site or the Burgee for the race schedule soon.

The Racing Program                     Stephen Poulos, Joe Jaeger, and Michael Golden

A note from Faye Baker

Dear Members of ASI


Being the wife of a sailor, I have learned more than I thought I would ever want , or need to know about boat operation, maintenance, crew hierarchy, sailing conditions and organizational meetings.


More importantly; however, I have learned to understand the true love that sailors have for their craft and for those who are fortunate enough to also share their experience.


So, since I can’t say it on a midnight cruise, allow me to express a heartfelt thank you for the lovely cards, get well messages and prayerful thoughts sent to me during my hospitalization and recovery. Your acts of kindness will sail with me forever.



Faye Baker


editorial note: Faye is the wife of Tom Baker; she's been recuperating from surgery over the past month.

Anatomy of a North Channel Cruise - Part 2    Don Caley



Where's the North Channel? Take a look at the map to the left. Way up at the very northernmost part of Lake Huron is 100-mile-long Manitoulin Island. The body of water between Manitoulin Island (the largest freshwater island in the world) and the Canadian mainland is called the North Channel. 


The entire 100 mile length of the North Channel is considered by many to be the most beautiful freshwater cruising ground in the world. There are literally hundreds of secluded anchorages, some better known and others beckoning to be discovered. 


To get there by boat, ASI sails north up the St Clair river to Port Huron/Sarnia. Then we sail north, either along the Canadian side by way of the Bruce Peninsula or along the Michigan side, then entering the west end of the channel. Destination is Little Current, on Manitoulin Island. Either way, it's a trip of almost 250 miles.


The two ASI keelboats that go north every summer for cruising workshops and chartering are Manitou, a 30' Catalina sloop, and Voyager III, a 30' S2 sloop. Both are well equipped with inboard diesel engines, fully equipped galleys and heads, GPS, dinghys, roller furling head sail, and all necessary sailing gear. Both boats sleep four comfortably; there's even room for five or six, depending on the crew. 

Who crews Manitou and Voyager on these 'transfer trips' to the North Channel? The 'level 3' graduates of the ASI spring keelboat courses on Lake St Clair. After successfully completing the trip from Lake St Clair to the North Channel, the participants are awarded the Level 4 rating. And just as importantly, ASI now has it's two flagship keelboats in the North Channel, all ready for two months of cruising workshops and chartering by ASI sailors.


In late August or early September, the 'transfer trip' is reversed, and the two boats are brought back to Lake St Clair for late-season sailing there.



ASI needs a little help from YOU!

Next month is critical for the upcoming Level 1 sailing classes. Since we do not advertise, but depend on word-of-mouth, it's not easy for wannabe sailors to learn about our organization, instruction and classes. the classes start in early May, and it is important that we 'get the word out' to the media, and fill our classes. 

How can you help? It's simple and fun! It involves contacting your local newspaper or other media outlet, and telling them about ASI. Encourage them to give us some coverage. This is the perfect 'we win - they win' situation because, in the spring, newspapers are LOOKING FOR stories about local outdoor activities in southeast Michigan. 


We've only got a month, though, to put together a plan and strategy for contacting the media. If you'd like to get involved, drop an email to . We'll provide the contacts - you do the legwork and get the work-hours you need!     

One more thing... 

The Burgee is back on a weekly schedule. It will be going out every Tuesday, now that spring is almost here... well, at least it's coming! Get your stuff to me by Sunday, and I can put it in the next Tuesday's edition. Or send your Burgee input, NOW, to

ASI • PO Box 210250 • Auburn Hills, Michigan 48321-0250
Subscribe | Unsubscribe | Send to a Friend | Preferences | Report Spam
Powered by MyNewsletterBuilder