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HomeEvent Highlights - 2015

2015 Event Highlights
Monthly Program:  Trips of the Past Year
Dec. 21
We don't have to go far to have a splendid day on the water in our boats.  But it's a treat to go farther afield, whether in person or vicariously.  This year club members shared stories of trips to Cumberland Island, GA, southeastern Alaska, the Lofoten Islands in Norway, Voyageurs National Park, and Yellowstone National Park.
Monthly Program:  Coast Guard
Nov. 16
Judy Julian, former Search and Rescue trainer in the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, presented this program on how the SAR system works, and what we can do to stay out of trouble and increase the likelihood of being found if we do need help.
Mississippi River Plastic Pickup
Nov. 1, 7
Peggy O'Neal organized a couple of weekend trash pickup paddles on the Mississippi River.  We collected as much trash as we could paddling from Hidden Falls to Harriet Island, emptied our bags, and then filled up again going north.  We came up with "swarm" and "leapfrog" strategies, and hope to do more of this next year.  Joan, Sharell, Mike W, Fred, Bernie, and Tony S joined in.  Photos are here.
 Monthly Program:  Group Decision Making in Paddling
Oct. 19
Decisions have to be made when we're paddling.  Peggy O'Neal took up the baton from Lisa Dau and led a program on group decision making.  Club members shared past experience on different approaches.  Agreeing in advance on how the group will make decisions can make a trip easier as well as safer.  
Duluth Harbor Day Trips
Oct. 17 - 18
Peggy O'Neal and Fred Linehan led a pair of day trips in Duluth.  Sharell, David D, Bernie, Larry S, Lisa, and Tony S joined in on Saturday to launch from under the Blatnik Bridge and paddle up the St. Louis River past Clough Island and back.  On Sunday, Peggy, Fred, Sharell and Bernie launched from Minnesota Point and paddled out under the lift bridge and north along the city's waterfront.  Photos here.
Fall Rendezvous
Oct. 10 - 11
The Fall Rendezvous was attended by 4 recent members of ISK and one old timer, and they were joined by a local kayaker.  The group paddled along the Minnesota side of Lake Pepin, exploring the Lake City waterfront and Marina.  Lunch was on the sandbar by the Sportsman’s Club.  A southwest wind at their backs helped the return to camp.

North Shore Jaunt
October 10 - 11
Michelle and Jeff Forseth organized and led a trip to the North Shore, camping at Gooseberry Falls.  Saturday's paddle was Gooseberry Falls north.  Building winds resulted in the trip being cut short at Little Two Harbors.  Sunday's paddle launched from Silver Bay, paddled to Palisade Head and returned.  Photos here.
Paddle the St. Croix River
October 4
Lisa Dau led this lovely fall trip on the St. Croix, joined by Peggy, Bernie, Peter L, Kevin J, Mike W and Sharell.  The group launched from Boomsite and paddled up to the historic Arcola Bridge, where Lisa managed to find herself a new bowling ball. No trains crossed the bridge this year while the group was there, for which Mike W. is being held accountable.
Where Water Meets Land 2
Sept. 25 - 27
This class offered by Jeff and Michelle Forseth builds on the skills learned in Where Water Meets Land Level 1, Strokes and Maneuvers Applied, and Rescues by taking them to a more active environment.  The group camped in Little Sand Bay  on the edge of the Apostle Islands and did day paddles in the area, looking for what the lake had to offer.
Monthly Program:  VHF Radios
Sept. 21
Michelle Forseth and Peggy O'Neal led a discussion of why we use VHF radios and things to consider when selecting one.  We practiced Mayday, Pan Pan, and Securite calls.  Meredith brought a radio with DSC capabilities and we discussed the benefits of broadcasting your position with an emergency call.  More information is here and here.
Winona Day Trips
Sept. 19 - 20
Peggy O'Neal and Katie Katzner led two day paddles in on the Mississippi River.  The group stayed at a campground in Winona, MN, a historic river town that is well worth spending more time exploring.  On Saturday, Peggy, Katie and Terry K paddled up the sloughs.  Sue G joined in on Sunday to explore the mysterious Paddlefish and Turtle Islands, then head out into the main river channel for a while.
Shoshone Lake Yellowstone National Park
Sept. 16 - 26
Dana Dickson organized this kayaking trip to Yellowstone Park.  He and Lisa D kayaked past the West Thumb Geyser Field on Yellowstone Lake, then paddled from Lewis Lake to spend 4 days on Shoshone Lake.  The weather was excellent, with a high pressure system stalled over the park. One day included a hike from Bluff Top to the undeveloped Shoshone Geyser Field.
Bayfield Day Trips
Sept. 12-13
Bernie Graham and Peggy O'Neal led a pair of day trips in the Bayfield area, based out of Little Sand Bay's campground.  On Saturday, Peter and Gail R, Nick H, Lisa and Stephanie J launched from Meyers Beach, paddled the mainland sea caves and out to Eagle, then back to the beach.  On Sunday, a smaller group paddled from Friendly Valley south to Houghton Point and back, including a side trip up the Sioux River.
BCU 3 Star and 3 Star + Skills
Sept. 5 - 7
Jeff and Michelle Forseth once again coordinated bringing BCU Level 5 Coach John Carmody to Bayfield to offer a 3 day BCU 3 Star and 3 Star Plus training weekend.  Joan Kline, Peter Lindell, Patrice Brousard, Mary Linville, and  Meredith Cummings earned their 3 star awards.
Annual Picnic
August 29
Lynette Woida organized another splendid picnic with the help of Joan Kline.  Fred Linehan wrangled another splendid rodeo, and even brought a couple of stand up paddle boards for people to try.  Good food, good company, and good fun, though we're always aware that picnic time means that the summer is starting to wind down.
Strokes & Maneuvers Applied
August 22
Taught by Jeff Forseth and Peggy O'Neal, this class challenges students to apply skills they've learned in a "practice" context to more real world scenarios.  
Minnetonka Tours
August 13, 16
Sam Grubisich led a pair of day trips on Lake Minnetonka.  They launched from Surfside Park on Cook's Bay and paddled thru Emerald Lake, the West Arm, Crystal Bay, under Coffee Bridge, into Smith Bay, around Hunting Point, thru the Narrows, past Spray Island, thru Zimmerman's Pass, and back to the beach.  Lots to do on our biggest local lake!
Voyageurs Trip
August 2 - 5
Connie V and Becky H organized a four day trip in Voyageurs National Park.  Joined by Stace L., Sam R., and Terri K., they launched from the Ash River Visitors Center and base camped on Kubel Island on Namakan Lake for 3 nights.  Side trips to explore the history of the area included stops at Kettle Falls Hotel, I. W. Stevens Pine Cove Resort, and Hoist Bay.
 Rescues & More
July 25
Peggy O'Neal and Michelle and Jeff Forseth led this one day rescues class on Lake Calhoun.  Participants worked on tuning up T rescues, towing, swimmer rescues, and more.  Photos are here.
 Where Water Meets Land 1
July 3 - 5
Jeff and Michelle Forseth offered this three day introductory class to rock gardening and a combination of journeys and skills development based out of Grand Marais, MN.  It's a fun way to build confidence where the water seems to be more active.
Strokes and Maneuvers Refinement
June 27, July 11
Two Strokes and Maneuvers Refinement classes were offered this year, one taught by Jeff and Michelle Forseth and one by Jeff Forseth and  Katie Katzner.  The classes focus developing on ease and effectiveness in forward, backwards and sideways strokes as well as turning.

Oak Island Trip
June 18 - 21
Trip leaders Dan Morrison and Tim Manning organized this 3 night/4 day trip to the Oak Island group campsite in the Apostle Islands.  Herb, Clarence, Dan H, Colin M. and Dennis V N joined the group.  They stopped by Raspberry Island Lighthouse for one of the first tours of the season.  A bit of rain on Day 2 was handled with ease.  Trip report is here.

Ocean Camp Alaska
June 13 - 20
Jeff Forseth and Ryan Rushton co-led a trip to Southeast Alaska’s rugged Yakobi Island for a week of training and journeying in the Alaskan wilderness.  Michelle and Jeff organized awesome meals.  Fred, Bernie, Sharell, Mike W, Becky H, Katie, and Aaron made up the rest of the gang.  Read more in this shared shared write up, and check out photos here.
Kayak Garage Sale
June 6
Dan O'Neal was the big winner this year's Garage Sale, going home with Jeff Forseth's NDK Explorer. Plus, as seen in the picture, he won the coveted Michael Jackson Memorial Sea Kayaking Glove, which recognizes the event's biggest spender. If you weren't there in 2015, you should be crying bitter tears and clearing your calendar for 2016.
Full Moon Paddles
June 20
Fran Lesicko organized a series of Full Moon paddles over the summer.  We had a chance to see the Srawberry Moon, a Blue Moon, the Sturgeon Moon, and the Harvest Moon, which came along with an eclipse in September.
Long Boats in Current
May 30 - 31
ISK club members had a chance to work with Ryan Rushton on a fun and challenging course that introduces and improves sea kayak handling in currents. The class was held on the Menominee River in Wisconsin.  Sue G, Bernie, Becky, Aaron, Katie, Aras, Fred, and Tony W joined in.  Bernie's trip report is here
Qajaq Camp - Qaannamik Tammaarsimaarneq
May 29
This 3 day event held on Lake Independence started as a collaboration among Christopher Crowhurst and Lynette and Mike Woida.  Cindy,  Pete K and Renee were soon involved.  Many others assisted and mentored.  Participants had opportunities to explore numerous aspects of qajaq culture, including qajaq building, Innuit games and rope gymnastics, hunting techniques, rolls, and more.  Read more here.
Spring Rendezvous
May 23 - 25
Club members gathered at Little Sand Bay over Memorial Day weekend for two days of paddling on Lake Superior.  There were three options for group paddles each day, including the mainland sea caves, Sand Island, and Long Island.  The group campsite and a pot luck Saturday night gave people a chance to socialize and make new friends.  Photos: Joyce Day 1 and Day 2, Mike W Day 1 and Day 2.
Monthly Program:  Buying a Kayak
May 18
Sam Grubisich drew on his many years as a kayaker and his retail experience helping people select their first boat to provide an overview of boat design, features, and trade offs. 
ACA Intro to Kayaking
May 16
Michelle Forseth and Tony Schmitz again taught this intro class on Shady Oak Lake.  This is a great class for club members just starting out, and it's a great class for friends and family who we want to get started with a sound paddling foundation.
The Elusive Wildflower Trip
May 10
This year it happened.  Linda Pascoe led this trip looking for spring wildflowers and nesting birds on the St. Croix River.  Joyce, Deb and David S, Dana, and Tom O joined in. Joyce's photos are here.

On Water Navigation

May 3
Peggy O'Neal and Jeff and Michelle Forseth led an on water practice day for participants in the Inland and Coastal Waters Navigation classes.  It took 3 tries to locate a venue that worked, but participants managed to find challenges navigating the wilds of Lake Calhoun.


 Wilderness First Aid

May 24 - 26
What do you do if there's an injury or illness and EMS is not 10 minutes away?  How do you manage care for someone for an extended period of time?  Can you stay and play with an injury or is it time to go?  Tom O'Neal once again offered a 2 day Wilderness First Aid course to club members. 

Monthly Program:  Weather Safety
April 20
Kenny Blumenfeld is a weather research analyst with Hennepin County Emergency Management.  He returned to share his weather knowledge and some basic "survival forecasting" that he includes when teaching meteorology courses.

As If Challenge
April 19
This event helps us find out how prepared we are to respond to a variety of challenges that could come up on an extended day trip:  navigation, first aid, communications, towing, group dynamics and other topics.  Jeff and Michelle Forseth have organized this event since 2007.  Jeff, Michelle, and Peggy were this year's observers.  Nearly everyone gathered at the Forseth's home after the event for soup and a debrief.  Photos here.
Cold Water Immersion
April 18
Our cold water immersion event allows us to experience capsizing in cold water in a controlled and supportive environment. We also have an opportunity to practice rescues and test our gear in cold water, seeing what works and what we want to improve on.  Photos here.
Cumberland Island Adventure
March 30 - April 3
Jeff and Michelle Forseth led a trip to Cumberland Island, GA. Joined by Deb and David S, Fred, Mike W, Katie and Aaron, they paddled across the Intracoastal Waterway to reach Cumberland.  They spent a few days enjoying this beautiful barrier island with beaches, live oaks and Spanish moss, wild horses, dolphins, historic ruins, and even armadillos.  Photos here.


Annual Meeting

March 16
At the annual meeting we elected the new board of directors:  Katie Katzner (President), Fred Linehan (Treasurer), Jeff Forseth (On Water Education), Becky Hoye (Secretary), Aaron Katzner (On Land Education), Connie Vandergon (Trips).  Many thanks to Sharell Benson and Sam Grubisich, who stepped down after serving on the board for several years.


 Monthly Program: Cold Water

March 16
Tony Schmitz and Sam Grubisich provided dueling approaches for what seems like a simple question:  What are you going to wear today?  Ask 6 kayakers and you'll get 7 answers.  Safety and comfort factor into our choices, as well as cost.  And of course that innate fashion sense that sets kayakers apart from the rest of the crowd.  

Coastal Waters Navigation
March 17
Building on the skills taught in Inland Waters Navigation, the Coastal Waters Navigation class taught by Peggy O'Neal and Michelle and Jeff Forseth added tides, currents, and magnetic variation into the mix, providing real world planning exercises in a variety of places we might like to paddle one day.
Inland Waters Navigation
February 21
Jeff and Michelle Forseth and Peggy O'Neal split the navigation class taught in prior years into two separate classes.  Inland Waters Navigation is designed for kayakers whose main venues are inland lakes and rivers of the Midwest, which, among other things, is a charmed land of nearly zero magnetic variation. 
Monthly Program:  Boat Packing
February 15, 22


Sam Grubisich led this month's program about how to pack our boats.  How does all that gear fit?  What should be near you and what comes out of the hatch first?  How does weight play into the packing plan, and what about that thing I heard about iron and compasses?   
Annual Event Planning Party
February 8
The Event Planning Party is a chance for kayaking-deprived club members to gather, share some food, swap some gear, and talk and think about what we want to do in the coming year.  Dana Dickson helped us rent the Isaak Walton house again, which is always much appreciated.
American Red Cross CPR/First Aid
February 7
Taking advantage of having the Isaak Walton house for the day, Fred Linehan provided CPR and First Aid training to a class of twelve ISK members.   Infant CPR was a highlight of this year's class.  We have fun learning and practicing CPR and First Aid in the context of kayaking, but we never know when we will need to use these skills in real life.  Photos.