Gull Lake has settled for it's winter nap...at least until the ice forms. While waiting for the ice to set up here, the Gull Lake Ice Yacht Club has been active since early December with weekend trips to the not-too-far Houghton Lake where the ice came early and got thick enough to sail on. There is an excellent GoPro video of their December 7th adventure available either on their Facebook page or on YouTube (Houghton Lake Ice Sailing, Dec 7 2014_video one). Lots of ice, just a little snow!
For those who prefer warmer indoor activities, here are a couple of educational suggestions for 2015. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a shout. There is also more information on the next page.
Kalamazoo Public Schools, Kalamazoo Community Education is offering "America's Boating Course" on Wednesday evenings, March 4th - April 1st. The course is designed for new and experienced boaters, sail, power, and PWC. It will be taught by members of the Kalamazoo Sail and Power Squadron of the US Power Squadrons.
Another course offered on the same dates will be "Boating Safety for Youth". For ages 12 and up. Completion of this course will qualify students for the Boating Safety certificate now required by state law for persons born after December 31st, 1978 for PWC operation.
For the racing members, North Sails, North U will offer a "Racing Tactics" seminar for 2015. This course is an intense one day seminar with a knowledgeable instructor able to address the Sunfish sailor or the America Cup crew. Many were on AC teams! Closest seminars are in Detroit at North Star Sailing Club on February 28th.
For all of us that use Gull Lake, an issue that came up late in the summer is the appearance of an invasive lake week called "Starry Stonewort". The DEQ issued a notice in August as an "Aquatic Invasive Species of the Week" flyer that this weed was making an appearance in local lakes. The Gull Lake Quality Organization Fall 2014 newsletter announced that this weed had been found in August around the GLCC docks. In November, while looking things over after boats and docks had been removed, Roddy Turner noticed what he suspected was stonewort near the mast gin pole at the seawall. He conferred with DEQ and confirmed that it was Starry Stonewort. Stand by for more information while we make inquiries as to what to do from this point forward. We suspect this weed was brought in at our launch area by a visiting boat since it was reported. Awareness is the first step!!!
The ice rink is being assembled, platform tennis and euchre are under way, and a new chef in the house, your Club is staying busy! Keep watching for GLCC weekly updates on winter activities at your Club!
- Tom Lechota, Commodore