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Rhumb Line, Vol 2 Issue 9 -- New at
October 19, 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.

September 2014    New at Great Lakes Sailing

1. New Ports

2. Shipwreck Discovery

3. Real-time Wind & Weather Reports

4. Winterizing Checklist

5. Water - by the numbers

6. Advertizing

7. Toronto Boat Show

1. New Ports

(a) Southampton ON is a gem along the Lake Huron coastline. At the Bruce County museum, walk the decks of a replica of HMS Hunter, a Royal Navy brig that fought on the Great Lakes in the War of 1812 or watch a perfect sunset as the sun sinks below the horizon to the haunting notes of the town piper. Click here to visit Southampton, ON

(b) Mackinac Island MI is a 4 sq mi/10 km2 island that is a mecca for long-distance racing crews and a major tourist destination. Finish line for the Chicago-Mackinac and Port Huron Mackinac races, cruising sailors can also enjoy a vehicle-free community, the historic Fort Mackinac and the second-oldest US national park (and for those with a sweet tooth, its world-famous fudge). Click here to visit Mackinac Island, MI

(c) Manitowoc WI is home to one of the largest maritime museums on the Great Lakes - the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Its crown jewel is the completely refurbished submarine USS Cobia. Spend a night on this decorated WWII veteran and experience first-hand a taste of life on a combat submarine. Click here to visit Manitowoc, WI

2. Shipwreck Discovery

The wreck of a 253 ft/77 metre British-built steamship that sank off Lake Ontario’s western New York shore after colliding with another vessel nearly 90 years ago was found this month. The wreck of the Nisbet Grammer is lying in more than 490 ft/150 metres of water, 7nm off Somerset NY. (Somerset is 7 nm east of Olcott, NY). The ship was carrying grain from Buffalo to Montreal when it collided with the steamship Dalwarnic on May 31, 1926. She sank in less than 15 minutes, but all hands were saved.

The Nisbet Grammer was launched from a shipyard in England in 1926. She was known as a “canaller,” a type of steamship used to carry grain, coal and other products through the Welland Canal to ports on both Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

She was reported to be the largest steel steamer to have sunk in Lake Ontario.

3. Real-Time Wind and Weather Reports

A site that would appeal to sailors is Sailflow. There is both a free and subscription service. Clicking on a weather reporting site will bring up a range of information including the vital wind direction and wind speed numbers.

4. Winterizing Checklist

Unfortunately, this is the time of year when thoughts must turn to winterizing your boat. BoatUS is a large and well-respected boater organization in the United States (Canadians can also become members.)

Among the many services it offers its members is a comprehensive boat insurance program. It necessarily follows that they handle lots of claims. Analyzing these claims has led to BoatUS to compile a winterization checklist designed to minimize potential problems for your boat over the winter. It can be found on our page for Free Resources

5. Water - by the numbers

In a previous issue, I recounted how Ontario Power Generation – Ontario's electrical operator, plans to dump 200,000 cubic meters of nuclear waste into Lake Huron. While thinking about the impact of this bizarre scheme (conjures up images of Dr. Strangelove and the all-to-real Chernobyl or Fukushima), I considered some stats about water and the Great Lakes. Thought I would share them with you.

20%: the percentage of the world's fresh water that lies in the Great Lakes
5 ft/1.5 m: the depth that the waters of the Great Lakes would cover North America
1 ft/.3 m: the depth that the waters of Lake Superior alone would cover North and South America
40 million: the number of people who rely on the Great Lakes for drinking water
700 million+: the number of people around the world who live without safe water
2.5 billion: the number of people around the world who have no access to clean bathroom facilities
700,000+: the number of children who die every year of diseases associated with unsafe water
$4.00: the average amount in increased productivity returned for every $1 invested in water and sanitation
40 billion: the total number of working hours every year lost because people must engage in collecting water, according to WaterAid International

Water is precious. No business or government corporation should have the right to arbitrarily decide to put this vital resource to such a risk as Ontario Hydro is trying to do. Their estimates are just that – estimates (or guesses). Ask the Japanese of Fukushima how they feel now about the bland official assurances that 'everything will be alright'.

Write to your State and Federal senators and congressmen/women or to your Provincial MPP and Federal MP. Tell them in no uncertain terms what you think of this plan that is based on hubris, hope and guesstimates.

6. Advertizing

Any web site or service like ours is typically stuffed full of banner ads, promotions and other displays that get in the way of the content you came to use. On the other hand, there are realities and expenses in running a site like this with tens of thousands of people accessing it.

What I decided to do was to identify the few businesses and organizations that very definitely serve the interests and needs of boaters and then work with them. This group includes The Nautical Mind – probably the best marine bookstore you will ever find, West Marinethe superstore for boaters, BoatUS – one of the largest boater organizations in the United States and Kanetix – the largest insurance 'marketplace' in Canada, providing travel insurance quotes to both Canadians and Americans.

These organizations all have well-earned reputations for excellence. I have been a customer and can speak from first-hand experience. Over the coming days and weeks, you will see some ads from these firms appearing on pages in the site. They offer real value to boaters. Shopping via their links helps us manage the costs of operating the site. I feel comfortable having their presence on the site and I hope you do as well.

7. Toronto Boat Show

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. Once again, I have been asked to speak at the show on the topic of cruising on the Great Lakes. My speaker's schedule has not been finalized yet but I will let you know as soon as I find out. Would love to see you there.

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 favor and "pay it forward."

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Fair winds and following seas.

Michael Leahy, Publisher

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