ISEA Cafes – 2019/2020

The ISEA Cafe is an informal monthly gathering of the ISEA community to stay in touch during the non-sailing season and to deepen our understanding of the Great Lakes. This year the cafe events will cover a range of topics regarding sailing and the Great Lakes. Mark your calendar for the following dates!

Location: Capt. Thomas M. Kelly Biological Station (100 Dame St, Suttons Bay, MI)


  • Great Lakes coffee mugNovember 20: Travelogue of 2019 Inland Seas & Utopia Summer Transits – Enjoy photos and stories of the transits from the 2019 season in four of the five Great Lakes. If you were on these transits and have any photos that you would like to show, email them to Juliana ( and we’ll include them in our slides.
  • December 18, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Invasive Species and Recent Changes in the Lake Michigan Food Web – Steve Pothoven, Research Fish Biologist at NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Muskegon will give a presentation and lead a discussion about recent changes in the Lake Michigan food web. If you have questions, please bring them! This is a great opportunity to get answers from a knowledgeable source to all of the questions that come up on the ship about the current state of Lake Michigan. We look forward to seeing you there!
  • January 15: Ship Culture, History, and the Way of the Ship – Captain Ben Hale and Mate Jack Messer will lead this cafe about all things ship-related. Beyond being a great way for everyone to learn more about ship culture, this is an opportunity for volunteers curious about crewing to meet Captain Ben and ask questions about what it is like to crew with ISEA prior to the start of training. If you know of someone who may be interested, bring them along!
  • February 12, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.: Discussion of “The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the Inland Seas” by Jerry Dennis – Join us to discuss this award winning book about a journey aboard The Malabar from Lake Michigan to Bar Harbor, Maine and what the author learned about the Great Lakes along the way. The author, Jerry Dennis, will be in attendance to answer questions and add to the discussion surrounding the book and the current state of the Great Lakes. You are welcome to join this cafe whether or not you have read the book!

You are welcome to bring other articles or news related to the Great Lakes that you want to discuss. Also, feel free to bring a snack and we will supply hot beverages. There is no cost to participate in the ISEA Cafe.

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