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Rhumb Line -- News from Great Lakes Sailing.com
August 28, 2020
a course that keeps a constant bearing
The Rhumb Line for Great Lakes Sailing is clear: to provide a comprehensive listing of ports around the Great Lakes basin and articles that cover a broad range of topics of interest to sailors.
The purpose of Rhumb Line is to keep you up-to-date with new additions to Great Lakes Sailing and articles of interest in a brief, easy-to-scan and concise manner. I value not only your interest but also your time.
1. The Store
1. The Store
Great Lakes Sailing’s marine store is fully open and has been successfully processing orders. As we frequently use the United States Postal Service, some delays have been experienced but overall, the shipping process has worked well.
We are adding new products regularly. We have been able to source from major suppliers who carry or manufacture quality, name brand products. We price competitively compared to bricks & mortar stores and we are open 24/7.
The store can be accessed directly from the website. Just look over to the top of the navigation bar on the left of the screen until you see the button Store and click on it. You will be taken directly into the store.You can also access it here at The Store I hope you will drop and check us out.
2.Where There Is No Doctor
One of the best books for dealing with medical emergencies is Where There Is No Doctor. Written by a doctor, this was originally designed for aid workers and local people living in isolated rural communities in under-developed countries.
It is an outstanding practical guide to have on board - you don't have to be in Africa to be in a situation where you are totally on your own or have someone else totally dependent on you. The section on First Aid is excellent. It is available as a pdf and can be found on www.great-lakes-sailing.com here - Resources
Its excellent companion volume is titled Where There Is No Dentist. It is also available as a pdf and can be found in the Resources
3. Updated Port Review
Fifty Point Conservation Area is located at the west end of Lake Ontario, between Burlington Bay 8 nm to the west and Port Dalhousie 16 nm east. It is probably the finest harbour between Hamilton and the Niagara River
The conservation area is a 197 acre/80 ha park with beaches, camping areas and a large, well-maintained marina. Owned by the Hamilton Conservation Authority, this is a very popular place to visit. For the longest time, services have been minimal.
However, as development has spread, new services have cropped up and the port review has been updated to reflect this.
This update was made possible by a reader of the website who took the time to jot a few notes and send them to me. It is simply not possible for me to stay on top of all changes that take place in each port. Major features and services do not change much but small things can and do – a pub changes its name, a restaurant closes or a new attraction opens.
If you live in or near one of these ports, perhaps you could take a few minutes and send me a note about any changes that you have noticed. I will ensure that each contributor gets full credit if they so wish.
I am also looking for other ways to recognize readers who help make the information on the site more accurate and up-to-day. I am certainly open to suggestions!
4. Interesting Great Lakes News Items
There are news items about every aspect of the Great Lakes being published every day and every month. Here are a few of the items that made the news in the past month or so.
a) Lake Water Temps
Lake Ontario broke a record this July for hottest surface water temperature ever recorded on the lake since 1995.
Lake Ontario isn’t alone. All five of the Great Lakes’ surface water temperatures are still above their 1995-2020 averages as of Aug. 21, according to NOAA Great Lakes CoastWatch.
The surface water
temperature of Lake Ontario continues to remain above average, having hit 73.81°F (23.23°C) on Aug. 20.
Ever encounter sharp mussel shells underwater when you swim or sand that is becoming whiter from crushed shells or bad-smelling masses of algae washing up on the shore – these changes are features of the “nearshore shunt”. Ontario scientists are leaders in identifying and explaining this phenomenon.
Zebra and quagga mussels are invasive species that now dominate Great Lakes nearshore ecosystems. They blanket the bottom of the lakes in vast numbers across much of the Great Lakes. Zebra and quagga mussels are filter feeders that have clarified water in the nearshore areas of the Great Lakes. The increased clarity and filtering traps phosphorus coming into the lakes in the nearshore environments, preventing it from getting into deeper waters as much as it had before the mussel invasion.
The mussels created the divide we see today between nearshore and offshore areas of the Great Lakes — the nearshore areas struggle with excessive blooms of algae, while in the offshore areas there aren’t enough nutrients to support thriving fisheries.
The significance of the nearshore-offshore divide also varies from lake to lake. Lake Erie is the only lake where there are no concerns about low offshore productivity — the focus remains on cutting back on phosphorus to stop alga blooms.
Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, on the other hand, are dealing with the most damage to their fish populations from these low nutrient levels. In these lakes, the fisheries have noticed a decline in the prey fish populations — enough to impact how much predator fish they can stock in the lakes.
“Lake Huron was the earliest lake to show these kinds of trends and changes in the fish community and Lake Michigan is following that path,” said Robert Hecky, a scientist with the International Joint Commission’s Scientific Advisory Board.
Lake Superior’s data suggests that declining nutrients in the offshore could be a problem, but the issue is not as bad as in the other two lakes.
6) More Nautical Terminology
And to end on a more lighthearted note, here are some traditional sailing terms and where they originated.
After: an adjective meaning toward the stern. From the 16th century anglo-saxon word aefter. Often incorrectly contracted to aft.
Aft: an adverb meaning toward the stern. From the 15th century anglo-saxon word aeft.
Ahoy: a traditional hailing call, probably from the 13th century. Once a dreaded Viking battle cry and still used by Venetian gondoliers when approaching a blind corner on a canal.
Arrive: A sea term you say? Actually, yes. Came from the 16th century French who took it from the Latin word arripare meaning ‘to land’ or ‘to come ashore’.
Arse: Nautical, not physical!!. An old 17th century term for the fall-side of a block. Likely stemming from the Greek term orsa meaning ‘tail’
Avast: An order to ‘hold up’ or ‘stop’ an action such as hauling. Likely comes from the 17th century Dutch bou’vest or Portuguese abasta meaning ‘enough’.
Thanks for reading Rhumb Line. Your opinions, thoughts and comments do matter. If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me here at Rhumb Line or at Great Lakes Sailing.
If you like this newsletter, please do a friend and me a big favour and "pay it forward." If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe. You will find a subscribe button on most pages of the site.
In the meantime, I wish each and every one of you good health and everything that I would wish for myself and those I love.
Fair winds and following seas.
Michael Leahy, Publisher
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