Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Obituary - LEE JOHNSON


Lee Johnson died last Friday of cardiac and respiratory problems. A private memorial service was held Saturday for his immediate family.


Lee was a long-time member of AYH's sail program back in the eighties, and was instrumental in getting ASI off the ground twenty years ago. Lee is remembered for his tireless work at Kensington, heading up the maintenance team. As head of maintenance, he diligently kept the boats looking and sailing great.


As one of the first ASI board members, he inaugurated our current policy of acquiring a new Interlake every year. Thanks to Lee's early efforts, we have a fine Interlake fleet today.



Docking and Capsize Workshops August 21 - - JoAnne McClure


This Saturday, August 21, we will have our final docking and capsize workshops for the 2010 season. Docking practice begins at 9 am and continues until noon. A capsize demonstration will begin shortly after noon, followed by hands on practice for anyone who wants to try his/her hand at righting a capsized Interlake. No reservations are required for this workshop, but if you plan to participate in the capsize recovery, be sure to bring a towel and a complete change of clothing (or your bathing suit to wear for the exercise). Everyone is invited to participate in both activities, rated or not.

Questions? Contact JoAnne McClure (je-mcclure@earthlink.net) or 248 345 2403.

Evening sails at Kensington 

You know about Wet n' Wild Wednesdays at Kensington Metropark - Bob Dallos and John Johnston are on deck, to get you matched up with a crew, if you're rated - or with a skipper, if you're not. Then you'll get a little help from them at the outer dock when you're ready to take off, and return after your sail. 


And there's also Thundering Thursdays, same place, twenty four hours later, with Dave Amsdill and Don Caley to assist. 


Attendance on Thursdays is improving- but still too low a skipper/student ratio. Last Thursday, the weather was ok, but the light wind died around 8. We've got better winds scheduled for this Thursday!

'Hanging Ten' on an Interlake - - Richard Jagers

It was a windy gusty day and I decided to go to the lake for some fun. For the first time since passing the test I was actually a little apprehensive and decided to leave my favorite lady in her slip. She rebelled later, and made me work! That is a different story! So I guess the first lesson is be true to her, and she will reward you later. Along came a student and asked if I could take them out. I?d sailed with this person before and felt confident that we could handle the challenging conditions.



We set off for the west side, and on the way decided to practice some jibe maneuvers. The student was doing great, boat balance was key, but I really thought they had mastered a jibe in windy conditions. Then it happened! What started out to be a perfect jibe, from beam to beam, sail just past the center, in control, and suddenly the rail was in the water. Water was pouring in over the rail. I saw at least 3 inches of water over the top of the rail? Oh no! I?m going to get really wet! I?ve had one challenging experience with capsizing in the ocean, and didn?t really want to experience another! The reason I took the course was to avoid this experience at all cost! Kent lake is much calmer then the ocean, but how embarrassing would that be? Exactly one week after passing the test, it looked like I was going for a swim! That she wasn't happy and was going to show me her underside!


Instinctively I let the jib fly, jumped up on the high rail to Hang 10!  Fortunate for us the boat righted itself, and back to sailing we went. I then stepped back into the boat. Heroic as it seemed at the time, I also thought about how stupid that was! Hanging ten on the rail of a sailboat!? yes, I saved the boat and our egos, and we both will still sail, but here I was surfing on a sailboat! I can barely walk a curb without falling off! What was I thinking, or maybe that was it, I wasn't thinking. I thought about what would have happened if I'd fallen overboard! The poor student would be sailing all by themselves with a boat laden with water!


I don't think they realized the stupid 'Hang-ten' move I had just done! After the student took a few breaths, I asked if they wanted to bail or keep the helm. They decided to bail frantically, full buckets at a time! Suddenly in all the commotion the bailer decide it had enough, and literally 'bailed' overboard for a swim. So here I am sailing a crippled boat, student bailing buckets and bailer floating away. I say crippled, because the jib had come completely out of the blocks, so a heave-to was out of the question! All that water made the boat balance very challenging, and steerage was only a word in the dictionary. Another club member sailed by, and yelled out "That doesn't look like fun!' What next I thought? Oh yeah, drop the center board for stability! So I put the center board all the way down, headed closer into the wind, and then this terrible grinding noise. The student looked at me and said 'what's that? I said 'only the road!' 'Road?' they replied! "What are you talking about?" "Have you lost it? We are in the middle of a lake!!! There are no roads in a lake!' Obviously they didn't know about the Kent Lake road!  So here I am dragging on the road, no jib, crazy steerage and our bailer is floating away!


As my student continued to bail, and I got closer to irons, I was regaining steerage and some calm. They told me that their heart was racing, so was mine!! The key was to at least act calm and in control! My heart and my brain were racing, after all I'm the rated sailor? I should know what I?m doing? Don did say that, 'Now, I knew enough to be dangerous!'


So we fixed the jib, adjusted the center board, and suddenly I realized all would be well. We had wet feet, an experience and only bruised egos. Oh I forgot about our bailer! It was about 15 boat lengths away, I guess now would be the time to do a real MOB! My student was still a little shaken, so I headed back towards the bailer. Since the bailer only floats and never learned how to swim, we had to get real close. First pass 4 feet away! Go around again! It was great to have a boat that actually handled correctly. Second pass 2 feet away, gosh I wish someone would teach bailers how to swim! I should have just run him over! Still to far out of reach, so I grabbed the paddle and whacked him on the head and pulled him close. Guess if you sail with me and fall overboard plan on coming towards the boat or you too might get the paddle!


In all this excitement and lesson, I was happy that the student settled down and went back to sailing. Jibes were much closer: broad to broad, and less eventful. What lessons did we learn and laugh about? Hanging 10 on a sailboat is a really stupid idea!


Never hold the main sheet tight on a jibe, control is one thing, but hanging on or having it cleated is a disaster waiting to happen, especially in high winds. Let it flow freely under control. Freezing for even a few seconds and stopping the main from going out which in our case was most likely the root cause is just like cleating! If you start to tip, and you have no other answer let the main sheet all the way out or worse case let it fall out of your hands. Hang onto the tiller and head up! Someone suggested just let go of the tiller and the main! That must be like just throwing in the towel, giving up, and let the wind take you where it wants! Someplace in our training we learned about control, and always have control of the boat? theoretically letting go of everything works, but talking to some of you more experienced sailors the result could be another disaster. The boat could start sailing uncontrollable spiraling circles, and then you might be sent to the circus!


Leave a tail on your figure 8 (stopper) knots to keep them from coming undone under severe stress and flying out of the blocks.Try to shift your weight to the high side! Remember to hang onto something!


I totally understand why people have momentary loss of brain function and freeze, especially when water starts freely flowing over the side! Everyone should experience it at least once in their sailing life! Where is a boat mounted camera when you need it? Look for that next year as I have all the equipment.


I lost my mind too! For anyone in there right mind would never Hang 10 on a sailboat!

Time to move On! After this last experience I told several people I would sail one more day in Michigan this year, and then I would be done! Wet feet and bruised ego the reason? Several thought it was fear of students, or a bad experience? Well, students challenge me and experiences are part of the journey we call life, so why no more sailing? I might even be an instructor next year, so my reasons are elsewhere.


I'm off to Barbados! Yes, it is finally true! I?m going and I hope to sail, scuba, work, take pictures, blog and enjoy. I hope some of you can arrange to come down and visit, and if you can that would be a great time! Find out more, see pictures, blog, at http://barbados.livelovelaughtv.com

2011 Keelboat classes - - Bill Lane

Become a Level 2 Captain and sail the Level 2 O’Day 28 foot Keel boats Interlude and Overture on Lake St Clair


Learn the basics of: navigation and GPS, docking a keelboat, anchoring, keelboat sailing, radio operation, boat systems, rules of the road for power boats, and much more


  Prerequisites are:

  1. Declare sailing ability by submitting a sailing resume to head of Level 2 instruction.
  2. Be an ASI member and Level 1 Sail Pass holder with all volunteer hours up to date.
  3. Complete and present a certificate showing completion of US Power Squadron or US Coast Guard Auxiliary Safe Boating / Basic Seamanship course before the start of Level 2 classes. The class must have a navigation component. 

Sail longer and farther than ever before!


Contact Bill Lane, Level 2 head instructor, for details248-891-6125Email: wjl6355@gmail.com




Level 3/4 class for 2011


Level 2 sailors, it is not too early to be think of joining the level 3/4 class for 2011

Sail to interesting ports such as

  •       Thames River
  •       Port Huron/Sarnia
  •       Goderich
  •       Kincardine
  •       Port Elgin
  •       Harbor Beach
  •       Tobermory
  •       Killarney

Georgian Bay and the finest cruising area in North America.

The North Channel

Enter beautiful coves such as: Cover Portage Cove, Snug Harbour, Marianne cove, The Pool and Browning Cove


Learn advance navigation techniques and enhance your knowledge of GPS

  • Do off shore sailing work
  • Advanced anchoring
  • Boat provisioning
  • Crew organization
  • Sail to a destination overnight
  • Prerequisite are to have a Level 2 sail pass and work hours current, and to sail the Level 2 keel boats 8 times, 4 times as captain and 4 times as crew.

Contact Bill Lane for details 248-891-6125  or Email to wjl6355@gmail.co

ASI Racing - Notice of race - - Casilda de Benito

RACE:  Team Race

WHEN: Sunday, August 22 at 3:45 a.m.

WHERE: Kent LakeRace Committee (RC) TBD - arrives at 3:15 p.m.

DISCUSSION TOPIC: Light air sailing 

Canadian travelers, take note! - - Marilyn Alimpich

Here are two interesting items from last Sunday's Detroit Free Press travel section!  First is a website that gives time delays into the U.S. from Canada.  This might be particularly helpful for those returning from the North Channel.  It is updated hourly! 



Second item indicates produce we can bring back into the U.S. from Canada.  Generally, we can bring back Canadian produce, but not citrus fruits, corn, leeks, chives or green onions.  It appears this changes periodically.  This info can be found at 



Dock Masters Needed - - Anne Ostroth

Attention all rated sailors!   Dock Masters are needed at Kent Lake every Saturday, Sunday and holiday for the entire sailing season.


It’s a great way to get work hours, meet new people, and earn the appreciation of the level one instructors.  There are two shifts per day, AM (9 am -1 pm) and PM (1 pm – 5 pm).  If you would like to sign up for some shifts or have questions, email Anne.

Trading Post

Do you have a piece of sailing equipment to sell or trade? Are you looking for something nautical? Send your text and pictures to me and I'll post them here:



FOR SALE $125  Auto/manual inflatable PFD type 5 Model 38 AHAR with harness (color blue). Has been tested by orally inflating and leaving inflated for 24 hours. CO2 cartridge visually inspected and then tested by weight.  New bobbin dated May 2010



Includes the kit to convert from auto to manual only mode


Condition is excellent, although it is used, it has never been in the water and looks new. Can be inspected by contacting Richard Jagers

sail@livelovelaughtv.com or (248) 767-6203


Crew and skipper matchup

How does 'crew and skipper matchup' work? Maybe you've put together a cruise, taking one of our keelboats for a few days, or even a few hours. But you're in need of another crew member or two. Maybe you've got a North Channel charter and need another crew member. Or maybe you're interested in crewing, but don't have a 'skipper' to sign on with. And Interlake sailors too; perhaps you'd like to set up a sail with another ASI sailor. Newbie or old salt, here's a way to find a skipper or fill out a crew.


If you're a skipper in need of crew, send me the particulars of your sail; the date, other members, destination, etc. Or if you are looking to crew for somebody else, send me possible dates, places, times, etc. I'll post responses here, and you can get in touch with a potential crewmember, or potential skipper. Be sure to include phone number and email address. 


Let's see if we can match everybody up, to make sure we take full advantage of this upcoming sailing season!



  •  I'm a level II sailor and am available to practice sail with anybody at Level I or II as either skipper or crew and am generally available any weekday or weekend, any time.  ff interested, they can call me, Dave Pardy, on my cell at 248-506-2396
  • I am a Level 2, and I would be available to be crew in the evenings during the week, and Saturday/Sunday day.  Please contact me at 734-787-7903 or at amazinggrace359@yahoo.com
  • I am newly rated Level 1 sailor and I am looking to do some sailing this week.  I will be taking Wednesday off and would like to find someone to sail with.  I will be available from 9:00AM to 4:00PM.  If interested please call my cell 248-464-9069.  Ivan Roman
  • I'm available for practice sails most Tuesdays in August at Kensington from 10AM-early or mid afternoon.  Call Joan Swain at 248-644-7857 or  email jkswain36@att.net
  • Jennifer and Mithat (husband-wife pair) -- current Level 1 students looking for practice sail opportunities on Kent Lake anytime we can get them.  Now until Sept., we are both generally available almost anytime EXCEPT Mon & Wed daytime.  Please email or call if you’d be willing to take us out. Ward-batts@wayne.edu  248-930-1169
  • I'm busy Mon. and Wed. mornings but available most other days if someone needs a crew member for a keel boat. I recently got my L2 rating. Steve Wyborski
  • My name is Suzanne Moore. I am an experienced Flying Scot sailor (7 years; 5 as crew, 2 as skipper) who has recently joined ASI. I am interested in crewing for anyone who may need crew. If I don't have to complete classes before I could skipper (with an experienced member perhaps?) that would be great too. Reply to Suzanne.  My email address is sbenlouc@med.umich.edu
  • I am a level 1 member looking to crew to gain experience. Weekdays are best, some weekends available. Call Chris, 248-245-4433 or email me at chris@retrosoftware.net. Cheers! Best Regards,Christopher G. O'Reilly
  • We need a First Mate for a Sunday sail with my family… please call or email! Rick Cortright, 248-333-3300 cell:  248-722-3407 

There's still time to charter a keelboat on Lake St Clair! - - Jon Buyle

Yes, the season is winding down! But timeshares continue to be accepted for the remainder of the 2010 season.  Here are a few reminders to make the process work best for all of us: 

  1. Please limit your calls to 9AM-9PM, unless it’s an emergency.  Feel free to email me anytime. 
  2. Use the ASI website to check on availability of keelboats before calling.  It is updated daily. You can also click on an entry in the calendar to obtain more details, such as the designated captain of a timeshare. That information can be useful for several reasons, such as checking with the previous captain on any problems he experienced with the boat, arranging a transition with the next captain, or notifying the next captain if you are going to be late. 
  3. When leaving voicemail requests, please speak slowly and clearly, especially when leaving numbers.  I often have to listen to a message several times to get all the information. 
  4. Be sure to notify the Boat Captain and Keelboat Scheduler if a boat needs immediate attention that could affect safety & future timeshares. 
  5. Remember that reservations are made on a first-come, first-serve basis and are not held or confirmed for you until secured with a credit card. 
  6. Make your reservations as far in advance as you can.  I will do my best to respond to last-minute requests, but cannot guarantee a response in less than 24 hours.  (I have a life too!) 
  7. Finally, Do NOT take a boat without clearing it with the Scheduler first, even though a boat appears to be available or your boat becomes disabled. There have been situations where a member who has reserved and paid for a timeshare arrives later and finds the boat gone. It may also be a safety risk for you and your passengers, as the boat may have been taken out of service or have special instructions that the Boat Captain has asked me to convey. 

For the new Level 2 Captains, remember that you cannot reserve a boat until you have passed all requirements, notified Lisa and paid for your upgrade.  Have a great summer and great sailing season!  Hope to see all of you out on the lake.


 Jon Buyle, Keelboat Scheduler  313-881-6393   jmb51@hotmail.com

10 AM Day sailors - Sailing Monday to Friday - - Vic Macks

JOIN THE FUN! Captain or crew with the 10 am Day Sailors one or more week days, Monday to Friday


For Lake St. Clair, must be level 2 or above for Overture and Interlude and Level 3/4 for Voyager and Manitou. For Kent and Stony Creek, must be Level 1 or above. Respond to Vic Macks at vicmacks3@gmail.com giving name, rate, preferred email address and phone, which week days, Monday through Friday, that you are typically available, and interest in sailing which lake.


Here's how it works: I will  send the recurrently updated  list to all participants. We would perhaps sail once or twice per week as you wish. We can look ahead 1 to 2 or 3 days, see what the weather is and choose the better day. Day time week days boats are least used and available on short notice. Any member of the 10 AM DAY SAILERS could email (or phone) others who are listed as typically available on a given day and get a member's commitment to sail. A Lake St. Clair sail, of course, means that the first commitment of a crew member is necessary (a phone call response might be quicker)  before the initiating captain books the time share with a call to Jon Buyle (which also may involve a delay waiting for a response from Jon). All crew who commit to sail a Lake St. Clair boat commit, of course, to share the time share fee.


When a member of the 10 AM DAY SAILERS expects to be away or otherwise unavailable for a period of time, they can inform me with an email. I will email an updated list as the need arises. That way, everyone is current on who's available for crew. For Lake St. Clair, we will stay on the U.S. side of the shipping channel, so an I-68 or Nexus isn't necessary, but adequate identification would be asked for on the U.S. side if stopped by Home Land Security or Coast Guard, which has happened. We will keep it simple, but can change the way we work if there are kinks in the plan. Questions?


See you on the dock, Vic

One more thing...


The ASI Burgee is back on an 'every Tuesday' schedule. The next one will be Tuesday, August 24. Please send your Burgee input to asidon@comcast.net by Sunday August 22.

ASI • PO Box 210250 • Auburn Hills, Michigan 48321-0250
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