The Denis Sullivan Schooner (Barry's photo)

The Denis Sullivan Schooner (Barry's photo)

I called my friend Jan today.  We’re trying to arrange a trip to a tea house in Houghton next Friday.  Along with another friend, Joanne, we’ve been planning this trip for a year or two now.  It seems we can never arrange a day when we’re all available.  It looks like this Friday might hopefully work.

Jan said, “You’ll never believe what I did yesterday!”  I was all ears, but never expected her next sentence at all.  “I was sailing on a ship from Keweenaw to Huron Bay.”

Jan was one of the passengers on the three-masted schooner that Barry and I waited for yesterday for two hours in the rain!  As promised, here is the photo of the Denis Sullivan ship.  The expedition was offered in conjunction with Michigan Technological University and the Keweenaw Land Trust. Participants, as the flyer announced, were challenged to work aboard the traditionally rigged Great Lakes Schooner while exploring important links between land and water conservation.

Jan said she stood near the operations and watched the crew work with great interest.  She marveled how they made precise nautical adjustments with such skill.  It sounded like it was a fantastic experience.  Her story sounded so fun and intriguing I almost wished I was on board ship rather than wandering along the shore of Lightfoot Bay for two hours peering for the sails on the horizon.  Which we never saw.  Barry eventually photographed the ship from Witz Marina near 6 p.m. when I was cozily at home writing yesterday’s blog.

Here are two websites for interested readers:  http://voyage.pierwisconsin.org/ds/schooner.php shows a virtual tour of the ship and answers the intriguing questions A) Who was Denis Sullivan?  B) Why did they build a schooner and, most important,  C) What is a schooner?

http://www.discoveryworld.org/denisSullivan.php tells interested folks how they can become a part of day, multi-day or semester-long voyages on this ship.  It says:   The S/V Denis Sullivan is a modern educational sailing vessel with two 180 hp diesel engines, a scientific laboratory, two computer workstations and a modern communication and navigation equipment. She maintains single bunks in co-ed areas, shared toilets (heads) and showers, and limited storage. The vessel can carry up to 21 participants overnight and 50 passengers on day sails. She is complemented by a professional crew of ten.

Circles in the sand

Circles in the sand

While Jan was sailing in Lake Superior, feeling the wind and rain on her cheeks, I was wandering around with my camera admiring the many beautiful images and natural art on the shore. 

Sand and water art

Sand and water art

I loved the way this reddish branch lay planted in the sand, sideways, dangling over the rhythmic rush of the waves.  See its reflection?  If you look closely you can even see glistening raindrops.  And this pollen-stained indention of the pond also looked so intriguing.

Inland pollen bay

Inland pollen bay

And a gift for the land from the magnificent bald eagle.  He (or she) dropped a tail feather onto this beautiful shoreland, perhaps to honor the sand and waves, the commitment of the Keweenaw Land Trust members, the memories of children who once built sand castles here, the cold June rain, the frozen snowy winters or…maybe the tail feather simply was ready to fall from sky to earth and rest gently between the green beach grasses.

Beautiful eagle feather

Beautiful eagle feather

Finally, some of you may have noticed I changed the header photo.  The red berries are gone!  Time for another view.  A wider more expansive view, at least for now.  (P.S.  today’s outdoor adventure involved taking a walk along the road in the rain. It’s been raining for days now, it seems.  And it’s cold.  In the 50’s.  Since when did the 50’s become cold?  My mind kept trying to convince me how miserable it was…until finding those wild ripe strawberries.  If it wasn’t for Part 2 of the sailing ships the title of the blog would have been:  Eating Wild Strawberries in the Rain.)

Ripples in an inland pond

Ripples in an inland pond

Advertisements