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Rhumb Line, Vol 2 Issue 10 -- New at
November 18, 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.

October 2014    New at Great Lakes Sailing

1. New Ports

2. Southampton ON and the Bruce County Museum

3. NOAA's 'Digital Coast'

4. TV program on Great Lakes Fishery

5. Rochester, NY Waterfront Redevelopment

6. Toronto Boat Show - Speaking Schedule

7. US Brig Niagara in Put-In-Bay, OH

1. New Ports

(a) Belleville ON offers big city amenities along with small town friendliness and a pleasant mix of the historic and modern. Settled by United Empire Loyalists in the late 1700's, Belleville is a thriving community and home to an excellent yacht harbour. It is a picturesque stopping point for Great Lakes sailors and a favourite with fishermen who pursue walleye, pike and bass. Click here to visit Belleville, ON

(b) The Bustard Islands, ON are a remote, virtually uninhabited island group in northern Georgian Bay. First surveyed by Lt. Henry Bayfield, they are likely named after a large, ungainly game bird in Britain. They are a popular anchorage for cruising sailors who delight in their remote and wild beauty. Click here to visit Bustard Islands, ON

(c) Leamington ON - the Tomato Capital of Canada could also claim a dubious fame from the hundreds of shipwrecks off her harbour. A visiting sailor will certainly enjoy the ErieQuest Marine Heritage Museum and all of its stories and lore. Click here to visit Leamington, ON

2. Southampton and the Bruce County Museum

In the port review of Southampton, ON, I mentioned the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre. Recently, I had an opportunity to visit the museum with a friend of mine. It is a small but top-notch museum and their "Captivating Coastline" was every bit as interesting as we hoped. In 2001, following a particularly strong storm, part of Southampton's beach was carved away to reveal the ruins of a very old ship. Subsequent analysis determined that this was the final resting place of the 130 ton, 10 gun Royal Navy brig HMS Hunter. She fought in the War if 1812, including the Battle of Lake Erie where she was captured by the American fleet.

Today, you can walk her reconstructed deck and get a whiff of what life may have been like on this small warship. There is lots more to see in this museum and its certainly worth the visit if you pass through. Click here for more information on Southampton, ON

3. Digital Coast & Lake Level Viewer

Ever wonder what your shoreline might look like if the lake level rose 3 feet or dropped 2 feet? The US govenment agency National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently launched a web tool that predicts what the Great Lakes shorelines looks like under different water levels. Unfortunately, it only works for US coastlines.

Here, you can find the The Lake Level Viewer. It shows different water levels of the Great Lakes. The Digital Coast is a NOAA-sponsored website that helps communities address coastal issues and has become one of the most-used resources in the coastal management community. Using NOAA’s Lake Level Viewer website, a users select a lake to view, zoom in on the specific area of interest and change the water level within six feet above or below the average level to see the receding or growing shorelines.

Viewers can also overlay economic and demographic information on the map to see potential impacts the water levels could have on people and businesses. Users can select landmark photos to better visualize water level impacts. Lighthouses, bridges and popular beaches can be portrayed with high and low water levels.

Its quite a tool and very directly shows the impact of water level changes on communities. It doesn't take a lot of imagination then to consider the economic and social costs of changes to these mighty but fragile lakes.

4. TV program on Great Lakes Fishery

The health of Great Lakes fish species is as important to recreational sailors as it is to commercial fishermen. The Nature Conservancy and Detroit Public Television have collaborated on television series about the Great Lakes. The current episode is about the Great Lakes fishery and it can be viewed online here.

The Great Lakes was once home to as many as 150 species of fish in this the largest freshwater system on Earth. Today, some of those species are gone forever while the populations of others are greatly reduced. Native Great Lakes fish populations face serious threats from aquatic invasive species, degraded habitat, pollution and obstructions that block fish passage. The program discusses the challenges and solutions facing Great Lakes fish species.

5. Rochester, NY Waterfront Redevelopment

The city of Rochester NY has recently decided to invest 100 million dollars to develop their waterfront. Its an ambitious, 10-year project but one that cities like Chicago, Hammond and Waukegan can readily identify with. They and other communities have invested massively in their waterfronts – and with good reason. After all, we recreational sailors represent approximately US$19 billion with US$9.9 billion spent on trips alone. We can only look forward to what Rochester develops. Lets hope thy are successful. You can check out Rochester harbour here.

6. Toronto Boat Show - Speaking Schedule

The Toronto Boat Show is one of the largest boat shows on the Great Lakes. This winter, the show will be held Jan 10-18, 2015. As I mentioned last month, I have been asked to speak at the show on the topic of cruising on the Great Lakes. My speaker's schedule has been finalized. It is as follows:

Sat, Jan 10th @ 12:30pm (Salon 107)
Mon. Jan 12th @ 3:30pm (Salon 107)
Thurs. Jan 15th @ 6pm (Presentation Theatre)
Sun. Jan 18th @ 10:30am (Salon 107)

Would love to see you there.

7. US Brig Niagara in Put-In-Bay, OH

For those who love naval history, a treat awaits visitors to Put-In-Bay, OH If you want a glimpse of maritime history won’t have to travel far as the U.S. Brig Niagara will remain in port in Put-in-Bay OH for the next 5 years.

USS Niagara was the warship to which Oliver Hazard Perry transferred his flag after his ship USS Lawrence was severely damaged in the naval engagement “Battle of Lake Erie” (Sept 1813).

Representatives from the Flagship Niagara League recently announced a five-year port agreement with the Put-In-Bay Chamber of Commerce. The Flagship Niagara League is a non-profit educational organization of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission responsible for the ownership and operation of the U.S. Brig Niagara and its homeport, Erie Maritime Museum.

The present Niagara is the third reconstruction of the original vessel. She was launched in Erie in 1988, the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie. Niagara sails the Great Lakes, preserving and interpreting the story of the Battle of Lake Erie, and acting as an ambassador in her capacity as the flagship of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Most recently, the Niagara participated in the 200th anniversary Battle of Lake Erie reenactment in late August and early September 2013.

For more information on Put-In-Bay, you can check it out 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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