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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ASI Office closure notice - - Lisa Drumm, Sail Secretary

Due to my son's upcoming surgery and recovery, the office will close at 10am on Tuesday, March 29 and will re-open at 8am on Wednesday, April 6.  Thank you for your understanding and patience.Best Regards,

Lisa Drumm

Sail Secretary

Phone: 248-393-4280

Office Hours:

8-10am, Mon-Fri

Level 3/4 Manager(s) wanted - - Joe Jaeger, Vice President



The Level 3/4 Manager is responsible for coordinating Level 3/4 operational activities.Specifically, these activities include:

  • Communications to Membership regarding L3/4 specific concerns
  • Hosting L3/4 specific meetings
  • Represent L3/4 membership at General Sail and Operations meetings
  • Lead Organizer for commissioning of L3/4 Keelboats
  • Lead Organizer for decommissioning of L3/4 Keelboats
  • Oversight for L3/4 Operational Activities 

This is a very important position for ASI.  While not directly responsible for all L3/4 activities, the L3/4 Manager is the primary liaison for the level and can be tremendously instrumental in all related efforts.  


You can volunteer to fulfill these commitments as an individual or as part of a team – i.e. co-managers.  In either case, your efforts will be greatly appreciated!  


Note that the Level 3/4 Manager is not responsible for organizing the North Channel timeshare lottery.  The Level 3/4 Manager is only responsible for coordinating this event with the North Channel Lottery Committee 


If you are a L3/4 member, please consider volunteering for this position.  The absence of an L3/4 Manager will be most consequential to you and your peers in L3/4. Contact Joe Jaeger for more details at

The Interlake 'put-in' schedule - - Don Caley

Next Saturday we'll begin prepping the Interlakes for launching at Kent Lake and Stony Creek. Here's the schedule for April:

  • April Saturdays - 2, 9, 16, Boat preparation at Crawford Farm
  • Saturday, April 23 - Transportation and installation of dock boxes and launch of the powerboat at Kensington Metropark
  • Saturday April 30 - Trailering and launch day!

Is this a rigid schedule? No! A lot depends on the kind of weather we get, and the turnout. But it's a general guide to what we need to get done; there are generally one or two Saturdays when it's too cold or wet to work at Crawford Farm. 


For this coming Saturday, the forecast is for chilly, cloudy but dry weather. But that can change, as you know. If you're planning on coming to Crawford Farm to help out this Saturday, let me know. That will help in determining more efficiently what tasks we want to tackle this Saturday.  Thanks!  

Ahoy Instructors and Instructor Wannabes! - - JoAnne McClure

Spring is here, and it's time for Level 1 Instructor Training! The workshops are designed to provide information for instructors, both experienced and new. If you've been thinking that you'd like to earn volunteer hours for sailing (what a novel idea??), this may be for you. Even if you're not sure you want to take out brand new sailors, you may want to teach Intro Class (how to rig, taught at the dock) or even shore school! It's fun and the best way to sharpen up your own skills.


The workshops will meet on Wednesday, April 20 & 27 at Wayne State Oakland Center on 12 Mile Rd, West of Farmington Rd. Time is 6:30 - 9:30 PM. If you plan to attend and do not have a copy of the Instructor's Handbook, please contact JoAnne McClure ( for an electronic copy.


Hope to see you there!   JoAnne


Photo shoot this Spring - - Craig Smith

All sailors of all levels, want to have some fun and help ASI get some great pictures and video’s for the website and other promotional ads?  


We are in the process of updating the website,, and we need some pictures and videos of us sailing and having fun. This spring we are planning a Photo Shoot on Lake St. Clair near Jefferson Beach Marina.  We will need sailors to skipper the 4 keelboats and 2 Interlakes and the power boat.  We will need camera crew and equipment. The JBM location will be the first photo event.  At a later date we will have a photo event at Kensington and then at Stony Creek. 


So, won’t you volunteer for this exciting adventure and who knows, maybe you will become a star on the ASI website.  You will certainly be a star in helping ASI. More information on date and time will available soon.  Please contact me soon so we can make plans, thanks.


Craig Smith 248-767-8871 cell


Move over, Windsong - - Joan Swain

Soon, Windsong will no longer be the newest boat in Kensington's slips. It's that time of year when we anticipate having a new Interlake to enjoy and care for.  And when she arrives all rigged and ready to go (with another huge thank you to Don DeRyckere for all that he does to prepare her for her debut), there'll be one thing missing:  a name! 


Is a nameless boat reliable?  Does it respond to your mastered helm control?  Will you be shunned by other sailors if you ignore tradition and  take out a nameless boat?  Who's to say, but let's not chance it.  Let's have another boat-name contest. 


Just a couple rules to keep in mind as you get your creative minds working:  

  • No proper names - for people, mascots, schools, etc.  
  • Contrary to last year,  I will not be posting the reasoning behind the submitted name.  While your thought-pattern may add appeal, and I'll post it if the winner has such,  this year let the name stand on its own during the voting process. 

So start thinking, and submit names to me ( All names will be posted in a couple weeks, when voting begins via email.  A final voting option will be in person on launch day. Submit as many names as you can dream up.  Current Kensington boat names include: against, ahoy, chips, dancer, day, flyer, gee, mast, runner, second, song, therapy, transit.....and wind, wind, wind, wind.



Keelboat preparation for Spring Launch - - Jack Townsend

It’s that time of year again, after a long winter spring has finally sprung and now it is time to get the boats ready for the water. Throughout April we will be working on the boats, every Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Both Interlude and Overture will need to be cleaned, inspected, waxed, painted, and all systems tested by May 7th .before they can be handed over to instruction. The first L2 on the water class will be held on May 10th. We have a lot to do and the Maintenance Team needs your help to meet the deadline. 


This Saturday, April 2nd the Boat Captains, Assistant Boat Captains, and a few hardy volunteers will brave the not-so-spring-like weather and check the boats out, review their worklists and check on needed supplies. April 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th are typically our busiest Saturdays, weather permitting, so come on out and lend a hand to get your boats cleaned, polished, and ready to sail.


Jack Townsend

Asst. Maintenance Director

L2 Keelboats

Help get ASI on Local Cable TV - - Kate McRae, ASI President

With the start of sailing season approaching and classes beginning at the end of May we would like to spread the word about ASI. Consider contacting your locate cable station and ask them to run an ad. Tell the station you will send them a picture formatted in jpeg, 800x600 pixels.


Several members have been in contact with their local cable station already. so if you can help please contact Kate McRae, ASI president ( and let her know so we do not duplicate efforts to get the ad on television. Share the fun!

Hello Metroparks volunteers! - - Becky Gajewski, HCMA

We’ve had to make a small change to this year’s workday schedule – the workday that had been scheduled for Saturday, May 21st from 10-1 at Hudson Mills will now be held on Sunday, May 22nd from 1-4. Please note the time change! Everything else is the same. We will still meet in the Rapids View lot, and we will still be pulling garlic mustard.

Let me know if you have questions.


Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Open Timeshares for the North Channel!

You're a level 4 sailor? and you missed the February lottery meeting? You're in luck! 


There are still two open timeshares on Voyager for July 2 and July 9, and one open timeshare for Manitou on July 9. Interested? Contact Norm Schmidt for details. 

What are you going to learn this season? - - Michael Golden

Would you like to refine your sailing skills? Having another boat sailing nearby at your performance level is a great teacher. You don’t have to get competitive about racing to gain confidence in your ability on the helm.


The racing season opens with a class on safety, right of way rules, and go-fast techniques.   On the water practices give you a chance to brush up on boat handling with drills & starting exercises. You are assigned to a crew with an experienced person on board for the weekend, morning or afternoon sessions. Each crewmember gets to skipper if they wish. You learn how to put up the spinnaker at a dockside workshop. We gather under a tree or at a cafe after events to exchange ideas and make excuses!


New racers must attend the basic race seminar being held Thursday April 14, 7pm, at Busch’s Market, 37083 Six Mile Road, (East of Newburgh Road), Livonia, 48152. Classroom is upstairs. You will see what it is all about.  


The racing program is open to returning sailors at a charge of $25 for the season + 2 volunteer hours on L1 maintenance. Previously rated first time racers fee is $15. There is no racing fee for newly rated Level 1 members for this season. 


Calling all Station Leaders for Kensington Boat Launch - - Joan Swain

With the Level 1 boat launch scheduled for April 30th, we are hoping that most of last season's station leaders will be available and willing to guide the other members for duties at the farm, boat ramp, and finger docks.


Kate McRae has stepped forward this year to carry on what Marilyn Leece has finely tuned in seasons past to head and coordinate the process.  I, Joan Swain, have been challenged to replicate Jessica Hogg's calm, steady influence as assistant.   Most of the L1 Maintenance Team will also be on hand at key positions, but none of this will flow smoothly without station leaders.


Station leaders from last or past seasons, you know who you are.  Others who have worked on boat launch before and want to step up to a station leader position,  you are most welcome.   Please contact Kate or to let us know who we can count on.


Anatomy of a North Channel Cruise Y?



What do Niagara Falls, the Bruce Peninsula, Manitoulin Island, Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin's Door Peninsula have in common? They're all part of the Niagara Escarpment. It's a huge rocky semicircle centered on Michigan's lower peninsula. The Niagara escarpment is shown here in red.  


All of Michigan was covered by a mile-high glacier during the last ice age. For about 90,000 years, the weight of the glacier created a saucer-like depression centered on Michigan's lower peninsula. When the ice retreated about 13,000 years ago, that 'saucer' bounced back from the stresses of the glacier, leaving the rocky Niagara Escarpment to delineate the 'rim' of the saucer. 


This helps to explain the awesome beauty of the area; the high cliffs along the northern shore of Manitoulin Island and the craggy, pink granite outcroppings that dot the channel and the southern shore of the Canadian mainland. These cliffs along the southern shore of the North Channel are among the earth's newest; the myriad islands of pink granite 'pillows' in the channel are among the earth's oldest.  


The best examples of these 'young' rocks are along the Georgian Bay side of the Bruce Peninsula, and the cliffs on the north shore of Manitoulin Island, notably the entrance to Gore Bay and Kagawong. The 'old' rocks, of course, form the myriad North Channel islands such as the Benjamins, Croker, and Covered Portage, to name a few.



Always Avoid the Lee Shore - right? 

In one of Patrick O'Brian's books, Stephen Maturin asks Captain Aubrey, 'How far off a lee shore do you have to be, to be safe?' and  Jack answers 'Oh, about one hundred miles!'. And for those square-rigged frigates that couldn't sail to windward, that's good advice!


But is it? Sailing our Interlakes on Kent Lake, the 'lee shore' surrounds us, doesn't it? How is it to be avoided, in a storm? And should we try to avoid the closest shore, under all circumstances?  What do YOU think? See below!

John Pomann, with some questions about lee shores...

...there is no substitute for situational awareness, and every circumstance is unique.  Of course, if I were on a large body of water (such as Lake Michigan) on an Interlake, I'd still prefer to be blown to a lee-shore rather than out-to-sea.


I'd like to better understand why [we] teach "dropping anchor and riding out the storm on any lake" on an Interlake is safer than: attempting to safely beach it on a nearby freindly-looking lee-shore (with sails down right away, using paddles) to wait-out the storm beached on-shore.  Maybe this is a Kent-Lake-specific circumstance?  


An adversarial laywer might argue that you are trying to protect the saftey of your boats over the safety of the crew... When I look purely from a risk-management perspective: there is no need for the ASI to expose itself to the risks of having any "Level-1 Test Question," such that answering it "correctly" may be hazardous to sailors with the least amount of experience, especially those, "foolish enough to find themselves in a storm on any lake." 


As you know: the questions ...pose[d] on the ASI exams are discoverable, and certainly affect the the real-world teaching of saftey under your chain of education.  As a new ASI student, with outside experience in risk-management considerations, test-taking, and test-writing, I offer my service to you and the ASI, to further vet your Level-1 test questions in order to minimize (real or percieved) unnecessary risk to the ASI.

JoAnne McClure responds...

We teach people who are foolish enough to find themselves in a storm on the lake (because they didn't keep an eye to the sky), to drop sail and, if possible, drop anchor. If anchoring is not possible, then one will eventually be blown down wind, and may be on a lee shore, but that is always a problem.

Tom Langelier writes about the hazards of lee shores...

 Even on small lakes like Lake St. Clair, lee shores can be dangerous. On one of the rendezvous of Sailing Singles, the Commodore of the club had a life threatening experience with a lee shore. He was sailing in strong winds from Windsor to the Thames River on a close reach. Nearing the Thames, he decided to start his motor and head up to drop his sails before turning into the river mouth. As sometimes happens when you’ve been bouncing around for hours, his engine wouldn’t start. By the time he gave up on the engine, he didn’t have enough room on his lee side to tack out of there.


He then tried to anchor but couldn’t let out enough rode to hold without going aground. When he did go aground on Stony Point the water was shallow enough that the waves were breaking quite high, driving his boat solidly aground before anyone could pull him off. He and his crew were lifted off by the Canadian Coast Guard in a helicopter, itself a risky operation.


There was no loss of life, but his beautiful wooden boat was a total loss. Modern sailboats, of course, point much better than the old square riggers did, but with high winds and/or waves sailboats, especially bathtub shaped hulls like those on our boats, cannot tack nearly as well as they do in calmer waters.


I was told one story of a crew that left Rattlesnake Cove in strong winds to tack the twenty miles south to Tobermory, but five hours later they were very little closer to Tobermory. Fortunately, they had enough sea room to sail east to Club Island and spend the night there.

Even in a modern sailboat, sailors should respect for lee shores, or perhaps learn the hard way. One of the things I learned from racing is that when you round a mark, and it looks like you can just barely sail close enough to the wind to make the next mark, you can’t. 

One more thing...       


It's the FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY of our sailing program! In March of 1961, several members of AYH (ASI's parent organization) got together to form a 'pilot' sailing instruction program. They borrowed a couple of small sailing dinghies and started teaching sailing at Kent Lake. It was enormously popular, and about a hundred 'wannabes' became sailors that year. Then, thirty years later, we split off to become ASI. Happy anniversary, all!


The ASI Burgee is back on a weekly schedule. The next one will be next Tuesday, April 5. Please send your Burgee input to by Sunday for inclusion in that Burgee. 

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