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LGB Update

Posted by Gary Pickering on January 17, 2013 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I want to remind you about your Lets Go Boating website and bring you up to speed on some things that you can expect this year.

WATER LEVELS GREAT LAKES

All boaters should be concerned about water levels in the Great Lakes. Those of us on Georgian Bay have already seen evidence of low water levels. Not only does this affect us as boaters, it also has a serious negative impact on the environment. Check out Restore Our Water Website at www.restoreourwater.com

There is a draft letter to Prime Minister Harper which I urge you to sign as well as a petition.

The information and accompanying pictures are shocking and boaters throughout the Great Lakes should be alarmed and be taking action. Contact your MP and MPP.

CLOSURE OF THUNDER BAY COAST GUARD DISPATCH OFFICE

For Boaters in Georgian Bay this has significant safety implications. Visit their site for more information. If we don’t do anything, it will close in July of 2014. With water levels in the Great Lakes going down, we need a reliable Coast Guard!!!

http://sosthunderbaycoastguardradio.shawwebspace.ca/

SPONSORS FOR LETS GO BOATING

We need more corporate involvement to keep our Boating website afloat. I am looking for some support from Marina people so I can have more contests and provide some prize incentives for participants.

There is currently a Poll being conducted to identify this year’s Favourite Marina on Georgian Bay. Last Year’s winner, South Bay Cove, was very successful in encouraging their customers to visit the Lets Go Boating website. There were over 2000 votes cast. Marina Managers are encouraged to engage their customers and involve them in this process

Individuals can show support for Lets Go Boating by clicking on the DONATE button on the website. Even $5 will help. I also need to remind everyone to help recruit more members for the website. The goal is for this website to become the “GO TO” boating site and to provide boaters a forum to share concerns, photos, videos etc.

Also I want to encourage Facebook Users to “LIKE” the Lets Go Boating Facebook Page.

Water Levels

Posted by Gary Pickering on January 6, 2013 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

August 25th, 2012

WAUBAUSHENE, ONT. — From The Globe and Mail

Published Saturday, Aug. 25 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

Last updated Friday, Aug. 24 2012, 11:17 PM EDT

Jim Thomas has given up on using the 15-foot sailboats he keeps propped against the dock behind his cottage. In the 12 years since he and his wife, Pat, bought a bungalow on the edge of Georgian Bay, they’ve watched their shoreline slowly recede, creating a grassy patch behind their home and making it impossible to launch the crafts without damaging them.

Researchers analyze Great Lakes

Mr. Thomas, 77, says he’s willing to roll with the punches of a rapidly changing environment. When the wind is blowing in his favour, he can navigate into the bay in a grey rubber dingy he keeps by the dock. Other times, he drives to nearby Midland, where another boat is stored in deeper water.

Still, with water levels in Georgian Bay nearly 60 centimetres below the historic average, many of his neighbours are rallying against a trend they say is damaging coastal wetlands and destroying their property values. Some have advocated an engineered solution to the problem, such as inflatable rubber weirs to displace water, or installing fish-friendly “speed bumps” in the St. Clair River, downstream of Lake Huron.

But the perennial challenge of managing the Great Lakes is that it’s largely a zero-sum game: more water for the vast middle lakes of Michigan and Huron means less for Superior, Erie or Ontario.

“You only have so much water to go around, so if you take it from here, it comes out of there,” says Ted Yuzyk, who works with the International Joint Commission, a body set up by the Canadian and U.S. governments to monitor trans-boundary environmental agreements.

Mr. Yuzyk was the Canadian co-chairman for an IJC-commissioned study of water levels in the lakes. Released in March, the study advocates close monitoring of the lakes and more provisions for incremental tweaks. But because it stays away from any dramatic changes to raise the water level in Lake Huron, many residents and environmental groups see it as a “do-nothing” approach to a problem that required rapid action.

“There is a do-nothing crowd [who disagree with the study],” Mr. Yuzyk acknowledges. “But there’s also a crowd that says don’t screw up – anything more than you’ve already done.”

The St. Clair River, which flows out of Lake Huron, has been dredged multiple times over the past 150 years to open it up for larger commercial vessels. But by scraping away at the bottom of the river, the projects increased the flow of water out of Huron and Michigan, dropping their height by an estimated seven to 14 centimetres compared with downstream Lake Erie.

After a dredging in the 1960s, officials said to install speed bumps or weirs to compensate for the change, but several years of heavy rains persuaded them the structures wouldn’t be necessary.

The largest part of the drop in the lakes’ water levels is attributed to climate change: shorter winters and dry, hot summers meant more water evaporating from the lakes than was going back in through precipitation.

A final effect, called the glacial isostatic adjustment, is slowly tilting the Great Lakes basin, causing water to be gradually displaced from the northeast to the southwest. The earth’s crust is still rebounding from the weight of the glaciers that carved out the Great Lakes thousands of years ago, and like a pillow that’s been compressed, the northeastern portion of the Great Lakes basin is gradually – and very slightly – rising. Because the southwestern section was not compressed as much, it’s rising more slowly.

Mr. Yuzyk points out that many residents along the shores of Lake Michigan are happy with water levels as they stand – and worry any increase could flood their area.

“Yes, we can raise water levels on Michigan and Huron. The issue is that it has different implications on the U.S. and Canadian side,” he said. “On the Canadian side it helps out. On the U.S. side, which is highly sandy beaches – and that’s very erodable – that would create problems for them. So even on one lake you have two groups that have totally different perspectives.”

Today, the drop in lake levels is creating a politically charged battleground, with environmental groups accusing the study’s authors of obscuring their findings and failing to consider a broad enough spectrum of alternatives. One local residents’ association says it plans to meet next month with Treasury Board President Tony Clement and other ministers to lobby for a plan to raise the water levels.

Mary Muter, who chairs the Sierra Club Ontario’s Great Lakes section, said she wants to see Lake Huron and Michigan levels increased gradually by 25 centimetres to make up for what’s been lost over the past 40 years.

She said the drop in water levels has already resulted in the destruction of wetlands in Georgian Bay, damaging plant and animal habitat. When she first started to work with researchers studying regional wetlands in the early 2000s, Ms. Muter said she and others had hoped the drop was part of a normal cycle.

“All Canadians should care about this. This is 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water supply, and if we are depleting it because of human activities, then we are drawing down a mainly finite resource,” she said.

There are two points of control on the Great Lakes: a set of gates and dams that regulates the flow out of Lake Superior, and another dam that controls the flow out of Lake Ontario. Bob Duncanson, director of the Georgian Bay Association, says he wants governments to consider more tools to regulate the lakes in between: Michigan and Huron (which are in fact two lobes of the same lake) and Erie.

“It’s a big issue, and we think it’s only going to get worse,” Mr. Duncanson said, adding that he wants scientists to “think outside the box” about possible solutions. “We have to believe that there are, in this day and age, bigger and better ideas than were looked at in the fifties and sixties,” he said.

“It’s certainly been a very politically charged issue, interestingly enough, on the Canadian side,” Mr. Yuzyk said. While the commission had low turnout at the public meetings it held this summer in the United States, people around Georgian Bay came out in the hundreds to voice their concerns about the report.

Pat Thomas says she doesn’t miss having the boats at the dock, but watching the water retreat behind their cottage is a disappointment.

“It’s really disconcerting,” she says, gazing at the water from the end of the couple’s weed-choked dock. “Each year it seems to get lower.”

Urgent

Posted by Gary Pickering on December 5, 2012 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Greetings!

 

Another good day to contact your MP (listing attached)! Do not let this issue ice over during the winter months. Your safety on the water is being put at risk by your Government. Tell them you are opposed to the closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio!

Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing will be raising the issue of the closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio in the House of Commons today (December 5th) during Adjournment Proceedings. This will take place between 6:30 and 7:00 pm EST and is televised on C-PAC.

CAW Local 2182 is continuing our fight-back efforts to keep Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio in service for the boaters on Lake Superior, St. Marys River, the North Channel, Northern Lake Huron, Georgian Bay and Lake Winnipeg. We strongly encourage all users of our service, especially those who have needed us in a distress, urgent or safety related situation, to write your MP, tell your story and provide your perspective on how this closure will impact your safety while boating on the Great Lakes.

Please visit our website:

http://sosthunderbaycoastguardradio.shawwebspace.ca/

or our Facebook page Save Thunder Bay Marine Communications & Traffic Services Centre:

https://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/316708365073074/

for updates on action that we are undertaking on behalf of the boaters in our area.

Let me know if you would like a stack of protest postcards to send in to the Minister and I will get them to you ASAP!

If you require further information, or just want to touch base over the winter, please do not hesitate to contact me!

73

Marcie Lavoie

CAW Local 2182, Shop Steward

Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio

[email protected]

807-767-5504

Marinas Gear up for Hurricane Sandy

Posted by Gary Pickering on October 30, 2012 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Parkbridge Marina Staff including Bayport Yachting Centre and Wye Heritage Marina, both in Midland Ontario have taken steps to protect everyone's boats. Check out their Fcebook pages.

Suggestion for Boaters

Posted by Gary Pickering on October 4, 2012 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Recently, there was a fire at Bayport Yachting Centre in Midland Ontario. Two boats were destroyed but fortunately, no one was injured. It did, however, get Scott Cain, Manager at Bayport, thinking and he is now strongly recommending that boaters install smoke detectors on their boat. Even if they are not there, a fire caused by an electrical short would set it off thus alerting any neighbouring boaters who might be at the Marina. It is not unusual for boatersd to contact the marina office if they hear alarms of any kiond going off on an unoccupied boat and Marina staff always check it out. A good idea!!!!!

OPP Advisory for August 2012 Long Weekend

Posted by Gary Pickering on July 31, 2012 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

FROM/DE: Central Region Headquarters DATE: July 31, 2012

OPP OFFER LONG WEEKEND

PUBLIC SAFETY MESSAGE

(ORILLIA, ON) – With the approach of another long weekend and a forecast promising continued warm weather, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) is reminding the public to be cautious this upcoming weekend.

Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of people who have tragically died on area waterways. Boaters are reminded that the best place for a personal floatation device (PFD) is on you and not stored somewhere on your vessel. If you encounter a problem while on the water, you may only have seconds and that is not enough time to locate and properly get your PFD on.

Water enthusiasts of all ages are also being asked to wear a PFD if you are not a strong swimmer and to always check with local marine operators or businesses who can recommend a safe place to swim. Unknown waters have proven to be fatal if there is a strong undertow, hidden rocks and even submerged debris.

When leaving your motor vehicle, always make sure that it is locked and that any valuables such as cell phones, IPODS, GPS’s, wallets, purses and money are secured and out of the view of opportunistic thieves. Remember to always “Lock it or lose it”.

Beach goers are being reminded to never leave any valuables. Crime is preventable so please do your part in not becoming a victim.

Lastly, people of all ages are being reminded that persons offering illegal substances for sale should be avoided at all times. These individuals not only pose a threat to your personal health, but could compromise your life if you use or are found to be in possession of anything that they may offer for sale.

Chief Superintendent Bradley Blair of the OPP Central Region has said “our officers will again be on area highways, roadways, waterways, trails and in our communities doing a job that focuses on your safety and that of your families. Please help to make this long weekend one that is memorable for all the right reasons and one that is free from tragedy and poor choice selection.”

- 30 -

Contact: Sergeant Peter Leon

Central Region Media Relations Coordinator

Phone: (705) 329-7414

Don't Drink and Boat

Posted by Gary Pickering on July 24, 2012 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (0)

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Boating Courtesy Request

Posted by Gary Pickering on July 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)

I havea request from a fellow boater that all boaters be mindful of their wake when passing by Henrys Fish House at Sans Souci and the Gas Dock at Honey Harbour. Also remember that slower speeds do not necessarily mean a small wake. Look behind you from time to time and adjust your speed accordingly. Lets be considerate and safe boaters. Thanks.

Gary

Request of Sailboaters

Posted by Gary Pickering on July 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

When you are tied up in a marina, please secure rigging lines in such a way that they do not clang against the mast in windy conditions. Thank you.

Important....Closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard

Posted by Gary Pickering on June 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

My name is Marcie Lavoie and I am the Shop Steward for Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 2182 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I represent the radio operators at Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio.

On May 17th, 2012 the Government announced sweeping reforms to the Marine Communications & Traffic Services program (Coast Guard Radio) including the closure of 10 Centres across Canada. One of the Centres slated for closure is located in Thunder Bay. The Government plans to shut down Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio on July 1st, 2014. The entire area of radio coverage provided by Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio will be transferred to Sarnia Coast Guard Radio. The Government does not plan to increase the staffing level at Sarnia Coast Guard Radio. This means that 2 radio operators will have the responsibility to listen for and respond to all calls for assistance from the Canadian waters of Lake Superior, St. Mary’s River, the North Channel, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and half of Lake Erie. Presently, for the most part, there are 5 radio operators (3 in Thunder Bay and 2 in Sarnia) on listening watch for this area. Furthermore, no operators from Thunder Bay are being transferred to Sarnia meaning that all of the local knowledge accumulated by the radio operators in Thunder Bay over the years will be lost.

CAW Local 2182 believes that the closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio puts mariner’s safety and the safety of the marine environment at risk. As such, we are asking for the support of all mariners and marine interests on the waters covered by Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio as we rally to get this decision reversed.

On behalf of CAW Local 2182, my husband and I will be travelling to your area over the next week (June 28 through July 4). We will be bringing with us an information brochure about the planned closure, a petition which will be presented to the House of Commons in September, and a simple pre-done post card for boaters to send addressed to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans telling him that as a boater lives will be at risk with the closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio.

We look forward to talking to the boaters in your area. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like further information.

Thanks,

Marcie Lavoie

CAW 2182 Shop Steward, Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio

[email protected]

(807) 767-5504 home

(807) 251-1431 cell

Important....Closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard

Posted by Gary Pickering on June 26, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

My name is Marcie Lavoie and I am the Shop Steward for Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Local 2182 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. I represent the radio operators at Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio.

On May 17th, 2012 the Government announced sweeping reforms to the Marine Communications & Traffic Services program (Coast Guard Radio) including the closure of 10 Centres across Canada. One of the Centres slated for closure is located in Thunder Bay. The Government plans to shut down Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio on July 1st, 2014. The entire area of radio coverage provided by Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio will be transferred to Sarnia Coast Guard Radio. The Government does not plan to increase the staffing level at Sarnia Coast Guard Radio. This means that 2 radio operators will have the responsibility to listen for and respond to all calls for assistance from the Canadian waters of Lake Superior, St. Mary’s River, the North Channel, Lake Huron, Georgian Bay, St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair, the Detroit River and half of Lake Erie. Presently, for the most part, there are 5 radio operators (3 in Thunder Bay and 2 in Sarnia) on listening watch for this area. Furthermore, no operators from Thunder Bay are being transferred to Sarnia meaning that all of the local knowledge accumulated by the radio operators in Thunder Bay over the years will be lost.

CAW Local 2182 believes that the closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio puts mariner’s safety and the safety of the marine environment at risk. As such, we are asking for the support of all mariners and marine interests on the waters covered by Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio as we rally to get this decision reversed.

On behalf of CAW Local 2182, my husband and I will be travelling to your area over the next week (June 28 through July 4). We will be bringing with us an information brochure about the planned closure, a petition which will be presented to the House of Commons in September, and a simple pre-done post card for boaters to send addressed to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans telling him that as a boater lives will be at risk with the closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio.

We look forward to talking to the boaters in your area. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or would like further information.

Thanks,

Marcie Lavoie

CAW 2182 Shop Steward, Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio

[email protected]

(807) 767-5504 home

(807) 251-1431 cell

OPP Marine Advisory

Posted by Gary Pickering on June 22, 2012 at 8:45 PM Comments comments (0)

FROM/DE: SOUTHERN GEORGIAN BAY DETACHMENT DATE: June 14, 2012

OPP ISSUE SAFETY ADVISORY FOR THE UPCOMING RETURN OF THE SS KEEWATIN TO PORT MCNICOLL

(TAY TOWNSHIP, On)- Marine Officers of the Southern Georgian Bay Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) along with Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Coast Guard marine members wish to advise of the following.

The historic vessel SS Keewatin will be returning to the Port McNicoll slip while under tow on June 23, 2012. The entrance to the slip area is narrow and the SS Keewatin will be without power and is in excess of 100m in length. Due to the size of the ship and its limited manoeuvrability, the OPP in conjunction with the RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard will be issuing and enforcing a “No Go Zone” for public safety. The zone will include the slip and 100m of the water surface to the north east of the entrance to the slip. This area is also known to mariners by Latitude 44º 45.248’ north, Longitude 079º 47.738’ west. This “No Go Zone” will be in effect from 1:00PM June 23, 2012 to 4:00PM June 23, 2012.

There will be marine officers from the OPP, RCMP and Canadian Coast Guard on patrol in the “No Go Zone” area to ensure public safety for all waterway users.

There will be “Notice to Shipping” broadcasts prior to and on June 23, 2012 on VHF Marine Radio to advise mariners of this event.

Please visit the following link for information about the SS Keewatin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Keewatin

- 30 -

Contact: Provincial Constable David Hobson – Southern Georgian Bay OPP

Phone: Office- (705) 526-3761 Cell- (705) 733-5440

E-Mail: [email protected]

Webb: www.opp.ca

Provincial OPP Communications Dispatch: 1-888-310-1122

Visited Georgian Bay Madonna

Posted by Gary Pickering on June 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM Comments comments (0)

This past weekend, I visited the site of the Georgian Bay Madonna at McRae Lake near Bone Island on Georgian Bay. You can check out tis interesting story on te LGB Forum. Click Here

Bayport Staff receive Award for heroic Rescue

Posted by Gary Pickering on June 7, 2012 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Congratulations to Scott, Eric & Alison on receiving the Commissioner’s Citation for Lifesaving and the St. Johns Certificate, for the heroic saving of a Bay Port customer 2 years ago.

Glorious Weekend of Boating

Posted by Gary Pickering on May 22, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

This May 24 weekend was an absolutely delightful time to be boating on beautiful Georgian Bay. The weather co-operated and there were many boaters out there taking advantage of the sunshine and warm temperatures. There were even manywho went swimming, including myself. The water was, shall we say, "refreshing". Looking forward to a long hot summer!!!

Video on Georgian Bay

Posted by Gary Pickering on May 17, 2012 at 5:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Click here for a 25 minute video featuring Ken McDonald Director of Marine Operations Parkbridge Marinas

Cedar Springs Update

Posted by Gary Pickering on May 10, 2012 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (0)

The main dock at Beausoleil Island will be out of service for a few months because the ice severely damaged a large crib. Because Parks Canada does not have the eqjuipment to fix it, they have to go to tender so this will take additional time.

Powerboat Television

Posted by Gary Pickering on May 3, 2012 at 6:25 AM Comments comments (0)

On Tuesday, May 2, 2012 Powerboating Television producer Mike Gridley and Cameraman Aaron Wasylyk were on hand at Bayport Yachting Centre in Midland Ontario to shoot footage for a segment of PowerBoat Television. They kindly agreed to allow me to shoot some video of them at work while Ken Shiers, a Bayport technician, did the actual installation of underwater lights on a Bayliner 5788 Motoryacht.


Power Boat Televsion

Posted by Gary Pickering on May 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Powerboat Television was taping a segment on how to install underwater lighting on a 55 foor Bayliner Motoryacht. Pictures and photos tomorrow.

Power Boat Televsion

Posted by Gary Pickering on May 1, 2012 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Powerboat Television was taping a segment on how to install underwater lighting on a 55 foor Bayliner Motoryacht. Pictures and photos tomorrow.


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