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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Upon Special Request - - Joan Swain

Only upon special request from a concerned member am I alerting a few of you to NEW items left after Saturday's well attended docking and capsize workshops at Kensington.  I'm not listing items here, but some seemed to be of value.  They are now with a few remaining, formerly left items, once again placed in the Dockmaster's Dockbox.   Unless you're donating these items to be auctioned off end of season - perhaps a new fund raising option for a much desired keelboat - you may want to recheck your gear and scamper over to Kent Lake if you're missing anything.  Any further notices can be made by anyone, as I'm d-o-n-e with lost/found for the season. 

Interlake Maintenance Workshops - - Don Sharpe

The Interlake Maintenance workshops are scheduled for the first and third Saturday of the summer months, except for holiday weekends. This class is a requirement for level 1 certification. If you're taking the level 1 classes this year, be sure not to miss it!


Next one will be this Saturday, September 3, if there is sufficient demand, even though it is a holiday weekend. 


Already rated? Even if you've had the class before, you might want to take it again to refresh your knowledge of centerboard nomenclature, rigging, history and trivia.

Test Instructors needed - - JoAnne McClure

It has come to my attention that we may need additional test instructors to accommodate students' need for getting rated. If you have 3 years experience teaching and would like to become a test instructor, please contact me. The more people available for testing, the more opportunities students have to get that all-important rating.

Getting from The 'Eye of the Needle' back to JBM - - Richard Jagers

As some of you know, ASI has 2 keel boats up in the North Channel, and someone needs to bring them back in late summer. I was one of the volunteers who offered to help bring one back. I may require a visit to the psycho ward… please make it a dry padded cell… but I survived. So here is the story of our adventure from The Eye of the Needle, in Iroquois Bay, Ontario Canada (near 46°06'22" North 81°38'26"  West) toSt Clair Shores,Michigan.


We decided to explore McGregor bay, and on our way we found out that the Coast Guard had issued bad weather warnings, along with tornado watches and warnings for the area we were currently in. So we picked a cove on the map, looked up the details and figured out how to get there.


Voyager III will be returning Monday 8-29 as they are still fighting the weather and last known to be watching waves crashing over the break wall in Port Sanilac, MI.


In McGregor Bay we went thru several narrow passages, not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced, including the “Blasted Cut” but we found the Eye of the Needle. A small cove tucked about 10 miles inland, surrounded by 50 to 70 ft high walls. It was a great hiding place with cliffs to jump off and woods to explore. All the details of the McGregor trip would be a complete story, so maybe you will hear it later. The important thing was that the boat and crew were both safe, even though we could hear the wind howling on all sides and at times it sounded like a tornado.


We left the Eye at 0701 on Thursday heading for Tobermory via Killarney. A long day ahead. As we crossed the bay towards Killarney, I hailed Voyager III  on the radio, and to my surprise they answered. We hadn’t heard from them for several days and wondered where and how they spent the bad weather days. With all the bad weather they had stayed in Killarney for 2 days. Ask them about their experience and how the marina was so concerned about all the boats and possible winds down the channel. Five minutes of watching a mink swim and walk on shore has to beat 2 days stuck in Killarney!


We went into Killarney to fuel up at noon.  For all you travelers avoid the fuel dock in Killarney, we got ripped off. It appears as if they charged us for fuel, but never put any in. We were busy trying to get the boat ready, and really didn’t pay attention. We noticed once we were underway that the fuel gage was exactly where it was when we pulled in! So we had to pay for fuel again when we arrived in Tobermory. Voyager III was on it’s way and had left earlier that morning. They expected to arrive at Tobermory at 1600. We left Killarney at 1400 on our way, dinghy on the deck, provisions, water, etc. The big trip ahead!


On our way Tony asked if we wanted to turn to starboard and go right toPort Huron, we decided against it. We hailed Voyager and heard that they were checking out a few more coves and Flower Pot, which we decided to skip. We arrived in Tobermory around 1930, and as usual our jib wouldn’t furl in… so I went on the deck to take care of it. More challenging and a lot less space to squeeze in with the dingy on the deck, everyone should be thankful I didn’t cut it down and leave it behind! I also know why it is jamming, and some ideas how to fix it! So hopefully the jamming/fraying line mystery is solved.


Voyager was behind us and saw us driving in circles while trying to furl in the jib, I told them they should have come over and taken pictures. We fueled up, and I noticed that Manitou was still heeled over. Well I admit we were heeled over a lot that day, but at the dock, the boat should be standing upright. I pumped out the bilge and there was a lot of water that was pumped out. Where did it all come from? Well who knows, but we discovered that the stuffing bearing was dripping like mad, and later we ran out of water, so maybe the water tank which I filled in Killarney is leaking? Either way these are only a few of the items that will be part of the upcoming maintenance marathon on these boats, a good chance to get your volunteer hours if you are still short. We tightened the stuffing bearing, so it is much more reasonable, and set a schedule to run/check the bilge once we headed out.


We got the last two dock spots in Tobermory for the night. Wow what a tight spot, and Bliss a beautiful 70 ft sailboat was on one side we had to squeeze thru. I know the owner, so I wouldn’t want to have to explain if we scratched his boat! We tried backing in, but decided it was too risky. After we squeezed in forward we had to turn the boat around. Manitou carefully turned around… I couldn’t believe it. The space was really limited and I didn’t even think you could turn in that small area; boats on two sides, and shore on the third. Skip the yard stick - it wouldn’t fit in the space that was left.


Now it was Voyager’s turn… Captain Kathy did a fantastic job of bringing it in and starting the swing. Dock lines and a little muscle made the rest look easy, still scary, but a great docking job! Voyager decided it was time to put their dinghy on the deck. This always draws a crowd of spectators. Maybe someday I’ll put the video on the web. Dinner at the local restaurant with both crews was great with many stories to tell, including one about what to do while holding the anchor line and a big blow comes thru! I think the answer is cleat quick, pull in as necessary!


Around 0000 Friday, the winds had shifted and now were from the northwest, which would be great for sailing, but we had already decided on a later departure time. Most of the bad weather had blown thru and at 1230 Voyager headed towards Lake Huron. At 1300 Manitou headed out.  Sometime later Manitou passed Voyager, and we put out our sails and turned off the engine. I thought the “race” was on. After all Voyager is faster under sail, they have 4 L4’s on board, they have racers on board, so they should beat us to JBM by at least an hour!


Tony asked us what course would get us 5 miles west of Clark Point? We charted it out and told him, and set out in that direction. It was a straight shot with the current winds, tight to the wind, but not any tacking. The predicted wind shift should allow us to sail most of the way home. Voyager decided to hug the coast line, a decision that later I’m certain they would regret. All was good, nice sailing weather. Suddenly I looked over and saw Voyager tacking back out to deep water where we were at. I looked at the charts, and realized that they had seen the shallow areas on the chart and needed to change course. So much for taking the short cut!  I thought they would just come out to our course and follow us since our heading was working great. They kept going west, and we lost visual but stayed in radio contact. They reported their current course and speed, which showed they were heading towards the Michigan coast right away, instead of sailing down the Canadian coast.


Around 2030 the wind died, and I suggested we motor west out 5 miles and then no matter where the wind came from, we could sail a tack without worrying about the shallows. We kept the course we were on, instead of sailing out towards open water, using the motor. My shift was from 2100 to 0000 so I just took the helm and headed on the same course, with some bouncing as we were heading into the wind. The others slept. At 0020 I was on my way to some much needed sleep.


At 0220 I was awakened by the sound of the engine changing to idle. Tony ran into the V berth and started throwing stuff out, then he started for the stairs, I asked what was wrong? He replied “the anchor”. I thought maybe it had broken free and was dragging behind. I knew it was securely tied, but the line was light and maybe it had broken. I grabbed my rain jacket, my PFD, my tether, and my shoes and headed forward. The seas were like a roller coaster ride, and I could clearly see  Clark Point. The anchor had come off of the roller and was banging on the side of the boat. So Tony started trying to secure it, and I was running back to get tools to see if we could bend the holder back in place. Our boat in Barbados had a guard over the anchor, so it could not bounce out of the roller, these boats do not.


Actually I was rapidly crawling on the deck as there was no way to move easily on that wet bouncy deck. The deck was wet from all the spray, and with the dinghy on the deck there wasn’t much room to stand or maneuver. Any tight rope walkers in the club? We decided to just lash the anchor down, with some line from the dinghy, but then I discovered the one time I needed my knife it was clipped on my pants and I was still in my sleeping clothes which were now wet, so no knife that was good enough to cut the line. Tony had one, so we used his. Another trip back and forth on the deck was not what I wanted to do.  We got it all lashed down and secure, and started heading west so we could get by Clark Point safely.


I thought the adventure was over, so I went back to sleep. I’d had enough excitement for the day! Apparently I missed the roller coaster ride, as I later heard there were huge waves that would push the boat back, and looked like monsters as they rolled by. Tony said he must have spent 2 or 3 hours just making a few miles headway. He said he would get some forward motion, and a big wave would literally carry the boat back to where he started. This beating and bouncing went on for hours. I awoke several hours later when the sun started coming up, and pulled myself out of bed. I thought, it must be about time for my shift. Not knowing all we had just gone thru, I asked Tony how he was doing? He said I need a break! So at 0720 I took over and held the helm until 1300, and then handed it off. Later I heard how wild the ride had been, I’m glad I slept thru it!


There were a few more challenging events on this leg of the journey, but pale compared to the anchor, and wild ride we had just been thru! Which side do you allow a 700 ft freighter to pass you on??? Any side they want too! Just get out of the way! The final journey across Lake St Clair was rough, wet, and wild too, but by then we could see Miller tower so we were just heading for the dock! Manitou arrived at approximately 2300 on Saturday, completing the crossing in 33 hours. By the time we got her secure, and I dropped off the crew I was ready for sleep as it was now 0230… which I finally got a few hours of! The drive home was worse then the ride across the lake, but I made it.


It was a great trip, and a great learning experience. I’m certain you will hear stories as time goes on, and as I write them on the web site. So many stories, it may take years to write them out. How about doing 6.5 to 7 knots under sail! That was an exciting ride! I think I could have walked on the side of the boat!


In a few days, I’ll be posting pictures and video to 

'South Channel' Cruising - - Don Caley

The South Channel? OK, most people call it the Detroit River! There are lots of reasons for you qualified keelboat sailors to consider a 'South Channel Cruise' yet this year.


ASI's fees for chartering are low, and the keelboats are in great shape. The colors are going to be great, there's no long drive to get to the cruising grounds, the scenery along the Detroit and Windsor shorelines is interesting - even Zug Island and the mothballed BobLo boats - and at the south end of the river is Lake Erie, with lots of possibilities. 


Cruising Lake Erie is different than the North Channel in that you will be at marinas every night; there are very few anchoring opportunities. I consider it a more 'civilized' kind of cruise than gunkholing in the north channel! I mean that in a 'good' way!


For our August cruise we sailed Overture, our 28' O'Day. Thanks to Jack Townsend, Mike Perrin, Marilyn Leece, Claire Zepeda, and Dave Barbour Overture is a pleasure to sail. She was clean, well equipped, and spacious for our crew of four - Don Sharpe, Bob Moon, Don DeRyckere and me. 


Overture's economical diesel inboard took is to Colchester, on Lake Erie's north shore in exactly eight hours from JBM. The marina is ok for overnighting but does not have diesel fuel available. However the Colchester Bar and grille, in town, has excellent burgers!












Just twelve miles or so east is Leamington. Leamington has Lake Erie's prettiest marina, which has been completely rebuilt since last year's destructive wind storm went through and tore up the marina. It's an easy walk or bike ride into town to shop; don't miss the Lakeside Bakery for fresh pastries, coffee, and sandwiches. 


Point Pelee is nearby; tours are available. Also, Pelee Island with it's famous winery can be sailed to. We chose instead to stay at Leamington an extra day, and took the ferry ride over to the island. Pelee Island is a quiet, pleasant island that can be explored by tour bus or rental bikes. But don't miss the winery tour.












Also not to be missed is Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island. The Perry Monument is closed this season, but should reopen next year for visitors. The museum, however, is open and provides a comprehensive history of the famous battle of Lake Erie, in 1813.


Think of Put-in-Bay as Mackinac Island on steroids! The 'downtown' area bustles on

weekends with partying boaters, but by Monday things quiet down and the island can be explored by rental bike, moped or golf cart. There are many very good restaurants to choose from, but no opportunities to shop for groceries if you plan to eat aboard.  


Consider booking Overture, Interlude, Manitou or Voyager for a late-season 'south channel' cruise!

Ahoy ASI Members, Friends and Guests! - - Party hearty !

You are cordially invited to a “Home Made Sangria” party in celebration of the Level 3-4 transfer trip 2011


What’s the occasion? Avast me hearties!


A group of Sea Dogs from A.S.I. (American Sailing Institute) are returning from a cruise of the “North Channel”. They will be heavily laden with tall tales and rich pictures of their adventure. What better excuse for throwing a party?!



  • N 42’25.813
  • W 83’40.157

For you Landlubbers the address is:

  • 63345 W. 8 mile road
  • South Lyon, MI 48178


  • Saturday, September 17th. 8:00 PM

What to bring? A dish to pass and a bottle of red wine (The wine is for the Sangria so it doesn’t need to be the good stuff) and lots of sailing pictures and stories.


What say you! A cat on board!?

There is a cat that insists on living here. Arrrg! If you have allergies to a cat please take any precautions necessary to enjoy the party.


Join us in the annual celebration for the 2011 ASI students earning their “Level 4”. This is ASI’s highest Level of achievement. Truly worthy of an evening of merry making, cheer and congratulations!


Your host, Loren McFadden

Cell, (248) 568-5960


Please RSVP at:

Attention, Interlude skippers! - - Jerry Brady

These items were pulled from Interlude this season. They were left there by those sailors that chartered Interlude, or their crewmembers. Are any of these yours?  

  1. Submersible handheld VHF radio.
  2. Black windbreaker
  3. Inflatable West Marine Type V PFD
  4. One pair black, plastic sunglasses, Italy Design.
  5. A shorty wet suit, the kind you use for boogie boarding.

Contact me for more information!

Dockmaster options - - Anne Ostroth

Since all members, rated or otherwise, are eligible to be a Dockmaster, keep in mind there is more flexibility than in years past to help your fellow members on weekends & holidays - and to engage interested non-members.    You have the option of committing to 2 hour shifts vs the long standing 4 hour shifts.


The shifts are from 9-11, 11-1, 1-3 and/or 3-5.   For those of you who want the more traditional 4 hours, all you need do is take two shifts - or three, or all four.   If you're planning on being at the Lake for another reason - i.e. Maintenance, sailing or just taking a breather from other obligations, think about slipping in 2 hours before or after to help others leave and approach the dock. 


Still keep me informed of your taking advantage of dockmastering.  Remember, all the information is in the Dockmaster notebook in the Dockmaster Box, but basically you'll be helping out those heading out or finishing a sail - on occasion making sea-worthy suggestions - reminding sailors to sign in & lock dockboxes or, as importantly,  being a PR person for those showing interest.   In any down time, you can check in with whatever latest electronic gadget you have, relax, read, or just enjoy the fact that you're helping the Club serve one of its functions.  My contact is


Thank you to those who have stepped forward this season, and an early thank you to those who still will. 

Here's information you need to get your rating - - JoAnne McClure

1. You have 2 seasons to do it, so if you took your class in 2010, you must get rated this year. The one exception to this is people who took the class in September. They must be rated by 2012. If you do not, you will have to re-enroll in the Level 1 class.


2. After you have completed all your classes (including the Maintenance Class), and can perform all the maneuvers on the water test form (practice, practice, practice), contact one of the Water Test Instructors:

  • Yasuo Fujita
  • Don Anderson
  • Sam Olive
  • Bob Frank
  • Bill Lane
  • Tom Sand
  • Mike Perrin
  • Marlin Ristenbatt

Make an appointment to take your test. Bring your water test form and get it signed when you have completed the test successfully.


3. Next, study your book and handouts for the written test. When you're ready to take it, contact one of the Written Test Instructors and make an appointment to take the test. BRING YOUR WATER TEST AND SAIL PASS WITH YOU TO THE WRITTEN TEST. Written Test Instructors are: 

  • David Pardy
  • Chris Lamb
  • Nancy Weiss
  • MaryJane Bacinski
  • JoAnne McCLure
  • Sam Olive
  • Trudy Morse 

If you don't pass you must wait 2 weeks before retaking the test and you should study more, this time.


4. Sail as much as you can so you can mentor another sailor! Good luck!

Sailing opportunities galore!

There are more organized opportunities for us all to sail our Interlakes and keelboats than ever before! Thanks to Dave Amsdill, Bob Dallos, Heidi Dzendzel, Vic Macks, David Ei, Harry Vanicelli and Dave Pardy, you'll have an easy time putting together a crew, whether you want to sail at Kensington, Stony Creek, or Lake St Clair.


The articles below fill in the details. Now, no excuses - let's GO SAILING!

Sail the Interlakes with Marlin Ristenbatt!

Marlin Ristenbatt is available for Practice Sails at Kent Lake on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Contact Marlin at 734-971-0687

Thundering Thursdays at Kent Lake - - Dave Amsdill

Please join us for open sailing, practice sails and guest sails on Thundering Thursdays 6 PM till dark. I will be keeping an email distribution list and will email a reminder and update of weather projections on Tuesday each week and will be accepting reservations via cell phone. Please email me ( to get on our distribution list and call me, Dave Amsdill, at 734-645-3806 to let me know your plans in order that we may do our best to get everyone out and sailing.


If you are a rated sailor and could be available for most or at least some Thursday nights please volunteer to join the Thundering Thursday team to provide practice sails to students, guest sails to prospective members and just get some sailing in. Please don’t worry that you’re not experienced or knowledgeable enough, we’ll learn together. It’s a great way to earn hours, empower new students, improve your skills and knowledge and give back to the club.


See you there, Dave Amsdill

Another connection for sailing! - - David Ei

I am now available for practice sails on every weekday evening except Tuesday. I’m available for practice sails at Kent lake most Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings. I can be reached at (734) 205-9151 (days) and (734-449-2404 (evenings)


David Ei

Tuesday Day Sails - - Dave Pardy

For those interested, David Pardy will be coordinating day sails at Kensington on Tuesdays. This is not meant to replace any other sails but meets the philosophy of 'the more sailing the better'.


Here is how it works: Send David a quick note saying you're interested at so he can add you to the email list. David will check the weather and send out a note to those interested probably by the Sunday before the Tuesday sail confirming the sail.


Those who can make it on the Tuesday, reply back to David that they will make it and whether they are rated or not. This should allow David to make sure that we have enough rated sailors for the number of students/guests.


We all meet at the lake at 10:30 and sail until about 1:00 or until people wear out. If weather looks good other days, David might add sails now and then and he'll email those on his list. We also need a few more rated sailors who can commit to be there most Tuesdays since David won't be able to make all of them. He'll also need help if we have a surplus of students/guests. If you can make most Tuesday, please let David know so he can plan.

Wet n' Wild Wednesdays at mid-season! - - Bob Dallos and John Johnston


What are Wet and Wild Wednesdays? It’s time for the old salts, new students and those in between, to get in some practice with our fleet of Interlakes before the end of the season. No need for setting up appointments, checking the web or trading voice messages, simply show up at the East boat launch at Kent Lake about 18:00 (6pm for the newbies). What could be easier?


There is one important rule: You must be ready for fun, skill sharpening, practice sailing, and of course meeting with other club members that also have a passion for sailing. We will be around to help ensure that all new sailors are teamed up with rated and experienced sailors. We will even help with the Dock Master and launch chores, if you’re nice to us. Then we all have fun and sail until dusk chases us off the lake. If by chance, we have more unrated or new members than we can pair with rated members,( yes, it has happened a few time in the last few years) bear with us and we will make every attempt to get everyone some tiller time.


For the rated and experienced members of the club, this is not only a great way to meet and welcome new member (and show off a bit) but also to help them gain confidence in their skills so they too can become rated and play it forward. Not only will you have a great time, you get a bonus in that you even earn some volunteer hours, and without you, there would not be WWW!



Looking forward to another great autumn of sailing,


See you at the dock, 

John Johnston and Bob Dallos

still more sailing opportunities! - - Vic  Macks

I've put together a list of rated sailors sailing daytime weekdays. You can initiate a sail by email/phone call to anyone on the list. For example, you can look ahead one to three days, check the weather, decide on a day, and call/email those on the list for crew. This could be on Interlakes or keelboats, depending on your rating and interest and the interests of those on the list. It's that simple. The list contains rated sailors interested in Kent, Stony Creek, or Lake St. Clair. The time share fee for keelboats would be split among the number aboard.


This will not conflict with what Dave Pardy is doing on Tuesdays at Kent (see above). It may complement his efforts with sailing on Kent on other weekdays.


Send me an email ( with the following:

  • Name and rating
  • email address and phone number(s)
  • likely days available
  • preferences (Kent, Stony Creek, Lake St. Clair)

I will email an updated list as often as there are changes, additions, etc. Remember, sails will be initiated by anyone on the list. All that's needed is you on the list.


Questions? Send an email or call me at 586-779-1782

A few more things...       

Question of the week: how can there be self-help 'groups'?


The next Burgee will be Tuesday, September 6. Please send your Burgee input to by Sunday for inclusion in that Burgee. But send pictures as attachments, please!

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