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Rhumb Line, Vol 2 Issue 7 -- New at
August 16, 2014

Rhumb Line

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 in a brief, easy-to-scan and concise manner. I value not only your interest but also your time.

July 2014    New at Great Lakes Sailing

1. Six new Port Reviews have been added.

2. "Cows On The Beach"

3. Ontario Power Generation's plan to dump nuclear waste into Lake Huron

1. New Ports

(a). Britt, ON is a short sail up the Magnetawan River which flows into the stunning Georgian Bay from Algonquin Park. Here, you can enjoy the quiet village of Britt Ontario on north side and one of Ontario's ghost towns on the other side - Byng Inlet. Click here to visit Britt, ON

(b). Caseville MI is located on the west side of Michigan's 'Thumb'. A lovely harbor to visit during the summer, Caseville is best known for hosting the largest Jimmy Buffet tribute festival in the entire United States. "Cheeseburger in Caseville" draws tens of thousands for the 10-day festival. Click here to visit Caseville, MI

(c). Pultneyville, NY is a small village located east of Rochester NY. Established in 1806, Europeans have traveled through this area for well over one hundred years previously. In 1687, the Governor of New France landed 1,600 soldiers of the Companie Franches de la Marine where Pultneyville now stands. From there, they marched south to attack and destroy Iroquois villages and crops. In 1814, Pultneyville was back on the front lines again as a British force landed there and seized provisions for their ships.

In the decades that followed, Pultneyville NY, despite its small size, became an important shipping port and local men served on cargo and whaling vessels that traveled the world. Click here to visit Pultneyville, NY

(d). Spanish, ON   "Que hablan espanol en Spanish Ontario?" Short answer? - No, they don't speak Spanish in Spanish Ontario. But that's not a reason to skip this lovely small town on the North Channel.

There are a number of intriguing explanations for the origin of the town name. One suggests that a Spanish woman had been captured by Indians far to the south in the Spanish-controlled Mississippi delta and brought north where she ended up living and raising a family. Another explanation is that a Spaniard from the lower Mississippi travelled or fled into this area. What certainly is uncontested is that the name Espaniel is a common surname among the local Ojibwe people and that, in 1980, two Spanish coins dating from 1742 were found at the mouth of the Sauble River, further south on the east coast of Lake Huron.

Spanish is a perfect stop-over to re-provision or just to relax as you cruise the fabulous North Channel. Click here to visit Spanish, ON

(e). Spragge ON, on the fabulous North Channel, is another of Ontario's ghost towns. Its harbour at the North Channel Yacht Club welcomes sailors from all over the Great Lakes as they cruise the world-famous North Channel. Click here to visit Spragge, ON

(f). Wheatley ON, at the western end of Lake Erie, is home to the largest fresh-water commercial fishing fleet in the world. In part because of nearby conservation areas and provincial park, Wheatley is one of the best bird-watching areas in Ontario. Click here to visit Wheatley, ON

2. "Cows On The Beach"

Cows On The Beach is the title of a doctoral dissertation that studied the effects of farm water run-off. [I have been unable to find the author's name to give appropriate recognition for his work.] Although a topic that rarely is at the centre of one's attention, the algae bloom in western Lake Erie this summer shows just how serious this threat can be. Waste from manure and herbicides all find their way into the Great Lakes.

As the events at Toledo showed us, this is not just a matter of inconvenience (odors, closed beaches, etc). It has very serious public health implications. A population of over a quarter of a million people found themselves suddenly without potable water - something we all take for granted.

This event illustrates clearly our dependence on a fine balance in our Great Lakes. It also points out the need for us to be aware of actions and decisions being taken that can have serious long-term consequences for our Lakes and for us.

An excellent information resource is GLIN - The Great Lakes Information Network. GLIN is a partnership that provides a central place online for people to find information relating to the Great Lakes. Quoting from their site, "GLIN offers a wealth of data and information about the region's environment, economy, tourism, education and more. Thanks to its strong network of state, provincial, federal and regional partner agencies and organizations, GLIN has become a necessary component of informed decisionmaking, and a trusted and reliable source of information for those who live, work or have an interest in the Great Lakes region." Click here to visit GLIN

3. Ontario Power Generation Proposal to Use Lake Huron As A Nuclear Waste Dump Site

It has never been my goal or desire to engage in the various political debates that can swirl around us. But, there are some things that simply cannot be ignored. I am writing this site and you are reading it because we have a love for these mighty lakes. We recognize that they are an incredible gift.

And now Ontario Power Generation (OPG), the stunningly mis-managed hydro utility of Ontario [read the Auditor General's Report October 2013 - just make sure you're sitting down and have a strong drink close at hand!] has hatched a plan to deal with their nuclear waste. OPG proposes to dump it in Lake Huron. And this could be underway by early 2015.

The arguments and points are too numerous to detail here but suffice it to say that burying 53 million gallons of radioactive waste in Lake Huron is beyond risky. Even OPG's own experts have testified that they cannot guarantee it won't leak but say it "is not likely to result in any significant residual adverse effects to human health or the environment". I think turning Lake Huron into a radioactive dump IS significant. This is the drinking water for 40,000,000 people. To put it at risk is lunacy.

So what can you do? For one thing you could write to your elected representatives: US Federal Congressional and Senate representative as well as your State representative and senator; your Canadian MP or provincial MPP. You could also check out this website which is a leading opposition voice for this hair-brained scheme. You can find it here.

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

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Fair winds and following seas.

Michael Leahy, Publisher

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