After a COVID delay, the schooner Inland Seas will once again leave her port in Suttons Bay, MI to sail throughout the Great Lakes. Beginning July 1, the 77′ ship will start a journey to deliver programming in three of the five Great Lakes, entering Lake Superior for the first time.
Ports of call along the 2021 journey include Charlevoix, Hessel, Trenton, Detroit, Houghton, Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, and Mackinaw City. Stephanie Rustem, ISEA Office Manager/Programs Coordinator, shared, “We’re excited to be partnering with organizations in the Upper Peninsula this year. ISEA has been around for 32 years and this is our first time going there.” Summer camps, community and environmental groups, three universities, and a variety of youth organizations have partnered with ISEA for day and multi-day programs. Deck tours will be available in Trenton and Detroit. The ship is scheduled to be back at her home port on August 14, ending a 46-day tour.
Inland Seas Education Association (ISEA), the nonprofit who runs the schooner, suspended travel to other ports during COVID. “Before the pandemic hit, our 2020 sailing schedule was full, including another trip to Detroit,” shared Executive Director, Fred Sitkins. The schooner made a debut in Detroit in 2019. Fortunately for ISEA, partnering organizations throughout the lakes were in agreement to transfer their programs to 2021.
It takes a team to carry out a trip like this. “The logistics for our summer schedule are extensive. I’m very proud of the ISEA staff. How they work together and with our partners to provide the best experience possible for all involved,” commented Fred Sitkins. The organization’s volunteer base is also instrumental in making this feat possible. Volunteer crew help transit and sail the ship while volunteer instructors assist in carrying out some of the programming.