Sunday, March 29, 2009

Inland Seas Announces its 2009 Northern Michigan Sailing Season

A true Great Lakes sailing experience – focused on hands-on science, maritime history and culture of the region – awaits this summer aboard the schooner Inland Seas. Family sailing and science adventures are the centerpiece of a summer of hands-on activity aboard the 77-foot tall ship, which sails June 26 through September 5, 2009 on the freshwaters of Grand Traverse Bay.

Celebrating its 21st season on the Great Lakes, Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA) has already attracted nearly 80,000 participants to its award-winning science and sailing programs. Departing from the ISEA Center in Suttons Bay at 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. throughout the summer, these three-hour learning adventures are conducted by ISEA’s professional staff and its volunteer corps of over 200 professionally trained instructors.

During these trips, groups of up to 30 individuals – including families, children, parents, teenagers and grandparents, work together as scientists to collect samples of fish, aquatic insects, plants and water. They examine fish, bottom organisms, sediment and plants; view plankton through a micro-video system; take turns steering the ship; and even make weather reports to the National Weather Service. While the Inland Seas programs area educationally focused, they are structured to teach in a fun and entertaining way.

In addition to the nearly two dozen three-hour science and sailing trips for families, ISEA offers several specialty sailing adventures for both families and adults in 2009. These day-long or multi-day programs feature a history, geology and ecology sail to Power Island and an underwater exploration of shipwrecks and other underwater features in Grand Traverse Bay.

On July 23, Inland Seas passengers will explore the rich maritime heritage of the coastal villages of Suttons Bay, Omena and Peshawbestown during a dinner cruise from 5-8 p.m., with a guest faculty of local historians.

ISEA will once again conduct its Invasive Species Research Program for High School Students. These overnight programs for teenagers will be offered on June 29-30 and July 15-16. A Technology in Invasive Species Research Workshop for high schoolers is scheduled for July 27-28. This two-day sailing experience includes seminars by researchers and professionals, as well as the opportunity for students to build a Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) to take back to their school for classroom use.

On August 19, Inland Seas explores the Geology of Grand Traverse Bay where passengers will discover – both above and below the water – what gives the Bay its unique character. This sailing adventure includes lunch and a hike on Power Island.

The popular Astronomy Under Sail excursions, with astronomer Dick Cookman, are scheduled for the evenings of August 20 and 21, beginning at 9:00 p.m. Sailing eastward away from the shore, this adults-only adventure affords a clear view of the night sky and the constellations that have guided ships for centuries.

The Great Lakes Schoolship and the Inland Seas Education Association began in 1989 as the dream of Suttons Bay mariner and scientist, Tom Kelly. His vision was to develop a program that encourages young people and adults to sail the tall ships, while learning about the science and heritage of the Great Lakes.

The Inland Seas Education Association is a non-profit organization based in Suttons Bay, Michigan, dedicated to science education on the Great Lakes. Its shipboard and shore-side education programs are designed to inspire young people’s interest in science and to provide for the long-term stewardship of the Great Lakes. In 2001, ISEA was awarded the American Sail Training Association’s 2001 “Sea Education Program of the Year.”

For further information on program fees or to book a summer program, contact the Inland Seas Education Association at (231) 271-3077 or on the web at


Inland Seas Education Association
P.O. Box 218 – Suttons Bay, MI 49682

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