Tuesday, June 6, 2023

R2AK Idaho Team Dogsmile

The Race 2 Alaska (R2AK) 2023 started on June 5th at 5:00am. The first leg of this approximate 750-mile race starts from Port Townsend WA to Victoria BC (on Vancouver Island) is called the proving grounds, this approximate 35 miles San Juan Straits crossing is key to being in the race. If one does not finish this crossing in the allotted time, then one cannot continue on for the rest of the race ending in Ketchikan Alaska (the second leg... there on only two legs).

There are 43 teams in this year's race, well kind of as two did not start the race and one did not make it across the straights to Victoria. 40 teams made it to Victoria and the real good news is that team Dogsmile finished first. Our home Inland NW team from Bayview Idaho is doing amazing. They have a good chance of winning it.

Watch for updates in this article and visit Race 2 Alaska site at r2ak.com to track daily the racers progress. Videos coming soon.

In the 2024 R2AK myself and a friend (team FunToSAIL.com) will be racing aboard our Malbec18 sportboat.

Click on pics to enlarge

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Memorial Day

I thought it was only fitting I supply you with this article about honoring those that have fallen in war to keep us free. See Article Below!

And I personally would like to thank those who USA military family members have paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us free, not just in this country but also for the world. There is no greater love than to give your life for another!

May we all remember their sacrifices today and forever. Let us visit their graves, support gold star families, and help lift where we stand, in our communities. Let us always stand, put our hands over our hearts, and take off our hats for the national anthem. And let us remember to defend the US Constitution at all costs via voting for those who know and uphold it, and by getting involved in our local communities. To truly honor the fallen is to uphold that which they fought and died for.

And to add to this, today is to specifically day to remember our fallen US military members and no one else! See two events at the end of this page to attend to enhance us to remember.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Skipper Miles Moore

MEMORIAL ARTICLE by the Navy SEAL who killed Usama bin Laden

Don't wish me a happy Memorial Day

Don’t wish me a happy Memorial Day. There is nothing happy about the loss of the brave men and women of our armed forces who died in combat defending America. Memorial Day is not a celebration.

Memorial Day is a time for reflection, pause, remembrance and thanksgiving for patriots who gave up their own lives to protect the lives and freedom of us all – including the freedom of generations long gone and generations yet unborn. We owe the fallen a debt so enormous that it can never be repaid.

Memorial Day is a time to honor the lives of those who would rather die than take a knee when our national anthem is played. But they will fight and die for the rights of those who kneel.

This holiday is a time to think of young lives cut short, of wives and husbands turned into widows and widowers, of children growing up without a father or mother, of parents burying their children.

Memorial Day is a time to think of might have beens that never were. Of brave Americans who put their country before themselves. Without these heroes, America would not be America.

Unfortunately, for many Americans this solemn holiday might as well be called Summer Day – marking the unofficial start of the season of barbecues, days at the beach, time spent on baseball fields and golf courses, hiking and enjoying the great the outdoors. All those things are great – we all appreciate them and they are some of the best things in life.

But Memorial Day is not Summer Day. Nor was the holiday created as a way to promote sales of cars, furniture or clothes.

Another Memorial Day brings with it a whole lot more than the start of summer. Since last Memorial Day, grass is now growing above the final resting places of many young men and women whose lives were taken too soon while defending our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other far-off places many Americans have rarely heard of.

When Army Sgt. La David Johnson, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright were killed last October in an ISIS ambush in Niger, many Americans asked: We have troops in Niger? These unknown soldiers lost their lives protecting you – every one of you reading these words.   

Think about this: Millions of high-school seniors are walking across auditorium stages this season, receiving their diplomas. Most will go on to college or jobs, but some will choose a career of military service, joining the second generation of American warriors fighting in the Global War on Terror – a war that began with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that took the lives of almost 3,000 people in our homeland.

Most of these new recruits – who were not even born or who were just infants when the 9/11 attacks took place – will make it home just fine. But some will not. I pray that I am wrong, but the sad truth is that the number of American war dead on Memorial Day in 2019 will be higher than it is on this Memorial Day.  

On Memorial Day, I salute my brothers and sisters-in-arms who have served beside me in War on Terror. My heart especially goes out to the families of those who did not return home. In fact, I think about all those who served and those who have given their lives fighting for America from our county’s earliest days in the Revolutionary War. They all have my gratitude.

We think we are strong, but in war any of us can be turned into just a memory in an instant. And war seems to have been the universal experience of just about every society on the planet at one time or another, for as long as there have been human societies.

How do we stop the wars resulting in such tragic waste of lives? How do we stop the number of American war dead and war dead in other nations from growing? I wish I knew the answer. But battle lines are being drawn and redrawn, and wars and terrorist attacks just keep going on and on. Weapons are getting bigger. Bombs are becoming smarter and more lives are being lost every day all over the world, leading to more death, more anger and more war.

Some are so loyal to their cause that they strap bombs on their bodies or fly passenger jets into buildings. They conduct beheadings. They set prisoners on fire. How do we find common ground with them? Do we even try to find common ground, or do we finally take the gloves off and start landing punches intended to take our enemy out for good?

I’ve been on over 400 Army combat missions and have seen more war than most Americans. More than I care to remember, but cannot forget. There is never a shortage of war. War spreads faster than fire and like fire it leaves destruction in its wake.

It hurts my heart as an American every time I see another service member’s body being brought home draped in an American flag. But it hurts my heart as a human being with every act of war we are all unleashing against each other around the world.

This Memorial Day, I urge all Americans to remember all the fallen sailors, soldiers, airmen, Marines and Coast Guard members who have so bravely served our country, as well as their families.

And I urge all Americans to join me in the hope and prayer that somehow, someday people around the world will focus more on our similarities than our differences and that we will move closer to a time when war is just a memory – part of our past but not our future.

Robert O'Neill is a Fox News contributor and ex-Navy SEAL best known as “the man who killed Usama bin Laden.” O'Neill joined the Navy in 1996 and deployed as a SEAL more than a dozen times, participating in more than 400 combat missions across four different theaters of war.

Hello everyone! I hope you all will find a Memorial Day ceremony in your area and go to it to honor our fallen Heroes. I know I will as I have family that have served and one son who is serving now in the Navy. We need to make this day more than a day to buy things and barbecue, etc. It should be a day of reverence.

Here below are two events in my area that honor our fallen Heroes.

Plus after noted events is an amazing article by the Navy Seal who killed Usama bin Laden. A very inspiring article by an American hero who teaches how to truly observe Memorial Day.


Kootenai County Memorial Day events:

• 9 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 889 Memorial Day ceremony — McEuen Park, 420 E. Front St., Coeur d'Alene

• 9:30 a.m. Hayden Veterans Commission and U.S. Submarine Veterans Inc. wreath laying on Hayden Lake — Honeysuckle Beach, 2369 E. Honeysuckle Ave., Hayden

• 11 a.m. Marine Corps League Detachment 966 Memorial Day ceremony — Coeur d'Alene Memorial Gardens, 7315 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene

• 11 a.m. American Legion Post 143 Memorial Day ceremony — Evergreen Cemetery, 2834 N. Spokane St., Post Falls

• 11 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 889 Memorial Day ceremony — Forest Cemetery, 1001 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene

• 11 a.m. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3603 Memorial Day ceremony — Pleasant View Cemetery, 1298 S. Goldfinch Road, Post Falls

• 11 a.m. Hayden Veterans Commission Memorial Day ceremony — McIntire Family Park, 8930 N. Government Way, Hayden

• Noon, American Legion Post 154 and the city of Rathdrum Memorial Day ceremony — Pinegrove Cemetery, 6693 W. Highway 53, Rathdrum

• Noon, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1473 Memorial Day ceremony — Greenwood Cemetery, 400 10th Ave., Spirit Lake

Monday, May 8, 2023

2023 Life Jacket Changes

New Life Jacket Labels and Icons – What do they Mean?

Have you seen the new labeling on Life Jackets? Around 2022 Life Jacket manufacture's started producing Life Jackets with the new labeling (established April 17, 2019. See US Coast Guard notice). Large and small retailers are just now starting to carry these new labeled life jackets as they wanted to sell out their stock of older life jackets with the old Type I-V labeling (still legal). The new labeling is an effort to make selecting the right life jacket for you and your intended on-water activity, easier. This new labeling process is also referred to as life jacket label harmonization, which is an effort to make them more universally understood and accepted, especially in Canada and Europe (means you can use your USA life jackets there). The goal was to simplify the labels with less writing and more icons.

What Was the Old USCG Life Jacket/PFD Approval System?

The Old USCG Approval System divided Life Jacket/PFDs into Types: I, II, III, IV (not a life jacket, a throwable ring or cushion), and V. The Intended Use (Paddling, Sailing, General Boating, etc.) was added to the label printed on the inside of the Life Jacket/PFD. All models approved were only certified for use in the United States, U.S. territories and U.S. vessels at sea.

Top 10 Features and Goals of the New US Coast Guard approved Life Jacket Labels are as follows...

1. Performance summary graphic

2. Activity appropriateness icons

3. Legal requirements specified

4. Reduce language barriers

5. More universal acceptance

6. Harmony with other countries

7. Approval status clearly noted

8. Third party testing verification

9. Manufacturer contact information

10. Care and cleaning instructions

In general, the intent of the new labels is to help users select and care for the appropriate life jacket for the activity in which they are participating. The labels have fewer words more easily understood icons.

What About the Old Labels and Life Jackets?

In 2014, the U.S. Coast Guard removed the “Type” codes from the Code of Federal Regulations. As you may recall, life jackets/personal flotation devices had been referred to as Type I, II, III, IV and V, each of which corresponded to a certain performance or designated use. Going forward, these devices will be referred to as either “throwable” or “wearable” and have a performance category indicated by an icon.

Old Label

New life jackets that are brought to the market feature these new labels. However, it will take many years for the older style labels to be completely phased out and you are likely to see both styles in stores, on boats and in use for many years to come. Any life jacket with the old-style label that is still serviceable and in overall good shape, as long as it’s Coast Guard approved, will continue to meet regulatory requirements. However, these old TYPE life jackets may not be legal in other countries.

Take the Time Understand the New Label

Selecting a proper life jacket and wearing it is the best thing a boater can do to ensure a safe and enjoyable day on the water. A hang tag with important information accompanies each new life jacket. If shopping in a store, be sure you leaf through this hang tag or ask a store associate if you have any questions (some of these associates may not know or understand the labeling). If shopping online, read the full product description and reviews to ensure you’re purchasing the right life jacket for you. Taking a safe boating or other marina course should educate you enough about these new life jackets.

New life jackets feature information in four main categories, usually in separate boxes. At the top of the label, usually toward the neck, is sizing information. The sizing usually specifies a user weight range and chest size range. Proper fit is one of the most important considerations when selecting a life jacket. Additional considerations are found elsewhere on the life jacket label. The placement and location of the information may vary; however, they must be on the life jacket.

What the Labels Tell You

 Performance, Buoyancy and Turning Information (does it float you face up or not, etc)

 Warnings, Intended Activity and Limitations of Use

 Manufacturer, Certification and Approval Information

 Care and Maintenance Instructions

Understanding the New Label and Icons...

LEVEL 50: Intended for active watersports like water skiing and wakeboarding, these minimize bulk and restriction. They may also be used by dinghy sailors. Regulatory changes will have to be made in the U.S. and Canada for these to be legal, so their introduction appears to be many years off. They provide around 11.2 lbs of buoyancy. It is less buoyant than a Type III, very minimal buoyancy. Better to go with a 70. 

LEVEL 70: Very similar to an old Type III Life Jacket used for inland waters. Inherently buoyant, close-fitting, and available in a variety of designs tailored to different types of boating. 15.5 to 22.5 lbs of buoyancy. In the future, there may be inflatable versions of Level 70 devices, but this would require a change in federal regulations.

LEVEL 100: These vests will have greater buoyancy for rougher waters. They may be either inherently buoyant or inflatable. Around 22.4 lbs of buoyancy.

LEVEL 150: These vests will be similar to our current offshore inflatable life jackets and may have integral harnesses. Intended for rough waters where rescue may not be immediate. Will also have inherently buoyant versions. Around 33.7 lbf of buoyancy.

LEVEL 275 (not shown in above diagram, shown below): These inflatable life jackets will be for extreme conditions, especially when the wearer might be carrying gear that adversely affects his/her buoyancy (like tools). They are generally intended for commercial users.

Throwable Life Rings and other lifesaving throwable flotation devices are no longer called Type IV (4) Throwables but now are simply called "Throwables."

All these Life Jacket rating levels indicate Performance, Buoyancy and Turning Information – The thing you’ll notice is a bold-faced number. It could be 50, 70, 100, 150, or 275. These are measurements of gravitational force, which in the case of a life jacket is essentially buoyancy. Simply put, the higher the number, the greater the floatation. For the time being, most all of the life jackets on the market today in the United States are Level 70 life jackets.

Let’s go over an example.

Level 70 Label Decoding - The bold 70 means it’s a Level 70 life jacket which provides performance similar to the Type III life jackets previously available. Life jackets that are rated lower than 70 are not U.S. Coast Guard approved. This is a metric measurement in Newtons (70N is roughly 15 lbs. of floatation). Newtons are used so that it’s consistent with European and Canadian standards.

Also, on a Level 70 life jacket label, you’ll see a dock and an extended hand with some slightly wavy lines indicating fairly calm water. This means this life jacket is suitable for near shore use in relatively protected water where rescue is likely to be near at hand. You’ll note that the higher the number on these icons, the farther away the dock and background is, and the bigger the waves are in the icon.

The curved arrow indicates the turning ability of the life jacket. Turning ability is whether or not a life jacket is capable or designed to turn an unconscious person face up, unassisted. A Level 70 life jacket will not turn a person right side up, that’s what the curved arrow with a slash through it indicates. If there is no slash, it will turn most wearers face up. The higher the level number the more turning ability.

The next thing you’ll notice are warnings and exclusions. In this example, this life jacket is suitable for general boating. However, there are icons with activities and a slash through it. These symbols indicate this life jacket is not suitable for towed sports such as skiing and tubing, nor is it for personal watercraft operation or whitewater paddle sports. The exclamation mark in a triangle indicates a warning/alert/problem/issue. 

Some jurisdictions may have regulations about what device design is required.

Manufacturer and Certification Information

In the United States and on navigable waterways, a Coast Guard approved life jacket, properly fitted for the intended wearer must be aboard for each occupant. Therefore, knowing your life jacket is approved by the Coast Guard to meet carriage requirements is important. You’ll find this information, as well as testing approval numbers and manufacturer information in this section of the label.

Care and Maintenance Instructions

A life jacket should be viewed as an investment. You should care for it like you would anything else aboard that depends on proper function, with the exception this one could save your life! Your label and manual that came with your life jacket will have general cleaning and care instructions. These icons inform you to hand wash only, and to not use bleach, dry-cleaners, irons, or dryers in your care routine.

Life Jackets - Some Things to Know

 There must be at least one life jacket for each person aboard
 Life jackets must be properly sized for each person aboard
 Children under a certain age are required to wear their life jacket (typically under 13 – see state requirements)
 Participants engaged in certain water sports are required to wear a life jacket (typically skiing and personal watercraft operation – see state or counties regional requirements)
 Life jackets must be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard in order to meet requirements
 These life jackets must be readily accessible and not in an out-of-reach location or in original packaging if easily accessible.
 Any boat 16’ and longer (except canoes and kayaks) must carry a throwable PFD
 Throwable devices must be immediately available for use such as in the cockpit or near the helm
 An inflatable life jacket must be properly armed with an unused gas cylinder
 Inflatable life jackets are authorized for use on recreational boats by a person at least 16 years of age (not authorized for commercial use).
 Whistle/Sounding Device on a Life Jacket is not required in the United States navigable waterways but are of course highly recommended. Adding a small light and/or strobe light to a Life Jacket is also recommended.

Learn more about Life Jackets and other boating safety information at the US Coast Guard website... https://uscgboating.org/

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Sprague Lake, Adam and Lincoln Counties, Washington

Sprague Lake, Adams County (1,841 acres)

Sprague Lake is the largest lake in at 1,841 acres. This lake is in Adams & Lincoln Counties with 1 public launch and one resort launch in Adams County and 1 resort launch in Lincoln County. Some people think this lake is in Spokane County, which it is not. This large lake is two miles west of the town of Sprague, along the south side of I-90. It was called Big Lake in some old surveys and until 1950 was known as Colville Lake, Changed to Sprague Lake in the 1970's. This is a windy lake with winds typically coming from the west and at times can exceed 20 knots. This is a fantastic sailing lake due to the consistent winds and open water, and great for Ice sailing as well. Due to the consistent winds on this lake it's not so good of course for water skiing, not to forget that his lakes shoreline and some places there are rocks, lots of rocks. This a fishing or sailing only lake! Not good lake for anything else due to algae develops in July when it gets hot and there are leaches in the lake as well, so not good for swimming, waterskiing, or tubing. Harper Island which is a bird sanctuary is on the S.W. end of the lake. This is a very popular fishing lake for walleye, largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, channel catfish, perch, bluegill, and rainbow trout. Access is southwest through the town of Sprague. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has one public boat launch on the southwest end of the lake, and there are two a private boat launches in association with two resorts with day use fees on the southeast and northeast end of the lake. Fishing: Black Crappie, Bluegill, Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Spiny Ray, Walleye, Yellow Perch. Lake Dimensions & Coordinates: 1,841 acres; Maximum depth estimated at 65 ft; elevation 1878 ft; Coordinates T20/21N R37/38E. Longitude 118d 1m 4s -to- 118d .6m 10s west. Latitude 47d 14m 15s -to- 47d 17m 28s N. Info: City of Sprague info at this link http://www.sprague-wa.us . 

-- Pic Coming Soon --
1. WDFW Southwest Public Boat Launch
This launch site has a single lane paved boat launch with a single dock (dock is not normally in place due the lake seemingly always to shallow to have it in place), toilet, lots of room for parking. The water depth at this site is shallow of only 2-3 ft at low water times of the year, which is most of the year. Large gravel parking lot and public accessible restroom. There is a tree that overhangs the launch site so those launching sailboats will need to step mast in the water if the mast is too tall. 
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking area for vehicles and boats. Paved accessible parking next to restroom and boat launch; PATHS/TRAILS... One paved path to and from restroom from upper parking area. No paved path to launch; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES…  One accessible restroom with accessible parking next to it; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments.  DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… One dock that may or may not be in place due to the lakes typical shallow water level. More than not the dock is not in place creating a significant barrier to persons using mobility devices to access the water. One paved launch of 3 to 5% grade into shallow water with two accessible parking spaces next to it. The launch pavement transitions from blacktop to long vertical concrete slats; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices to directly access the water; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... None. There are two camping/RV resorts on this lake; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: There is a tree overhanging the launch that can interfere with masts of sailboats and super rocky shoreline, with some submerged rocks just under the surface of the water; Terrain: Level to 3 to 7 % grades. Shoreline is very rocky and sandy/muddy. Pavement next to restroom and at launch area; H2O/Water: Water on this lake is never really clear and in late summer is murky with algae. Not ideal for swimming. Water temperature in the summer can be around 70-90 degrees; Environmental Conditions: Little to no currents. Water can become stagnant. High winds are common in this area; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within town of Sprague.

2. Four Seasons Resort
Four Seasons Resort is located on the west end of the lake on the north shore. This is a well-developed and old resort with tent and RV campsites, nice restroom, store, several docks, and a single gravel/muddy boat launch suited for light weight boats. The resort also rents fishing boats. This is not a state park supported by a large budget from our hard-earned tax dollars. Its rustic and old, so do not expect some Richy fancy resort. These nice old resorts need your support. 509-257-2332. I feel 4 Seasons is best used for sailing due to the depth you can launch into and quick access to the windier part of the lake. Directions: From Spokane on I-90 W. take 245 and from there you follow the signs to the resorts, etc. The town of Sprague is really run down for example you will turn on B street to get to 1st. street yet 1st street is marked incorrectly as B Street. So going to the resorts and landings you follow B street to B Street.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking;  PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS…  Well maintained and fully accessible to wheelchairs; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments.  DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Two docks, one of which one could access with a wheelchair (not ADA compliant); DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... Tent and RV camping with full hookups; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual; Terrain: Level to 3% grade. Large grassy areas and gravel roads and walkways; H2O/Water: Water on this lake is never really clear and in late summer is murky with algae. Water temperature in the summer can be around 70 degrees; Environmental Conditions: Little to no currents. Water can become stagnant. High wind and hit are common in this area; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within town of Sprague.

3. Sprague Lake Resort
This resort with launch is located on the northeast end of the lake http://www.spraguelakeresort.com / 509-257-2864). Has cabins, tent, and RV sites, restrooms, and docks. Has very primitive with mud/dirt/gravel launch. This is not a state park supported by a large budget from our hard-earned tax dollars. Its rustic and old, so do not expect some Richy fancy resort. These nice old resorts need your support. Directions: From Spokane on I-90 W. take 245 and from there you follow the signs to the resorts, etc. The town of Sprague is really run down for example you will turn on B street to get to 1st. street yet 1st street is marked incorrectly as B Street. So going to the resorts and landings you follow B street to B Street.
ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel parking;  PATHS/TRAILS... None; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES…  One well maintained restroom but not accessible to wheelchairs; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments.  DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… Two docks, not wheelchair accessible. One gravel rock launch of about 3% grade into shallow water; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... Tent and full hookup RV campsites; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Nothing unusual; Terrain: Level to 3% grade. Very rocky and sandy; H2O/Water: Water on this lake is never really clear and in late summer is murky with algae. Water temperature in the summer can be around 70 degrees; Environmental Conditions: Little to no currents. Water can become stagnant. High wind and hit are common in this area; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas within town of Sprague.

Click on map to enlarge or to print

Click on map to enlarge

Both pictures of 4 Seasons Resort on the northwest end of the lake, next to HWY 90.

Make a comment below or ask a question!

Monday, March 27, 2023

Ice Sailing March 2023

See Videos below

When you think of Ice Sailing one might think of those fast sail sleds on ice blades, however my wife and I sailed my Hobie Mirage Tandem Island (TI) not on the ice but in the water among the broken ice. I love the time of year when the ice breaks up enough to create channels and areas to boat in with the ice still present. I wanted to have fun among the ice before it melted. Interesting to note when we launched our TI we had to push the boat through the ice, but after a couple hours of sailing when we got back near and at the launch there was not much ice left (lots of ice still out in the lake). My wife jokes that I am such a kid about playing out on the water, flying kites, etc. Boating among the ice really brings me a lot of joy.

On a safety note, always make sure you have your PFD/Life Jacket on, dress in layers, and use a boat that is stable (will not capsize). Make sure to have your boats required safety gear on board. The most dangerous time to boat is when the water is cold.

Here are some videos and pic of our ice adventure...

- - Not much ice left - -

Make a comment...

Sunday, March 26, 2023

Fourth of July Lake, Adams/Lincoln Counties, Washington

Fourth of July Lake ( 110 acres)
Fourth of July Lake in Adam and Lincoln Counties Washington (access road is in Lincoln County) is a long and narrow desert lake set in a canyon with steep basalt cliffs and steep slopes around it. The primitive launch is gravel/rocky with a short road that goes from the launch to a gravel parking area. The launch is on the northeast end of the lake. There are no facilities at this site and camping or overnight parking is not allowed. This is cattle country so watch your step for those wonderful cow pies. This is a winter lake, open only during the winter. Gate to the lake opens the Friday after Thanksgiving weekend and closes in March (no exact date). Because its open in the winter of course its covered in ice most of this time, thus an ice fishing lake. If you hike right off the south end of the lake going south for about a mile you will come upon the very unknown Alkali Lake that is about half the size of Fourth of July Lake. No idea if the lake has fish in it but is a great place to bird watch. There are railroad tracks on the south side of this lake. There is another Alkali Lake, which is very popular for fishing in Grant County, south of Banks Lake in eastern WA. Fishing: Black Crappie, Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Spiny Ray, Yellow Perch. Lake Dimensions & Coordinates: 110 acres; Maximum depth estimated at 45 ft; elevation 1895 ft; Coordinates T20N R38E Sec 1, 11, 12. & T21N R38E Sec 35, 36. Longitude 117d 57m 59s -to- 117d 58m 57s west. Latitude 47d 14m 45s -to- 47d 16m 8s N. Center of lake coordinates is: 47.25243, -117.975721 Directions: Take exit 245 off of HWY 95 and turn south on HWY 23 about a mile and a half and on your right you will see a gravel road. The access sign sits way off the main road, so this access road is easy to miss. Take this gravel road about a mile to lake. NOTICE: As noted this lake is a winter fishery only so the gate to the lake is locked in warm season. Gate is open Friday after Thanksgiving weekend and closed in late March. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) manages the fishing on this lake and leases the land from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

ACCESSIBILITY: PARKING... Gravel and dirt parking area near launch; PATHS/TRAILS... None. Any primitive trails around the lake are sandy and rocky; RESTROOMS/FACILITIES… None; SENSORY... No sensory tactile markers for those with visual and other impairments. DOCKS/LAUNCHES/PLATFORMS… No dock, One muddy/rocky primitive launch; DIRECT WATER ACCESS… No access for wheeled mobility devices; TRANSFER SYSTEMS... None; CAMPING... Not allowed; O.T.H.E.R… Oddities/Barriers: Very rocky, sand, and mud; Terrain: At launch level to about 5% grade descending into the water. Lots of sand, rocks, mud, and some cow dung at different areas around the lake; Environmental Conditions: Cold and windy in the winter and hot during the summer; Resources: Food, drinks, and gas at town of Sprague off of I90.
Click on map to enlarge or to print

Make a comment here about your experience at this lake or other questions...

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Snark Stories

I thought it would be fun to post some old stories of the Sea/Super Snark owners sense the Snark last year went out of production. Some nostalgia. The Sea Snark has been in production sense 1954. The longest production run of any sailboat in history and I might add the most sold of any sailboat in the world. Sadly, the pandemic/plandemic in the state of Michigan was the death of the boat, like with so many other products/businesses. It was particularly bad in blue states like Michigan that had excessive lock downs.

If you want a similar boat in line with the Sea/Super Snark or Sunfish click here to learn about the USA made Rocket. Click Here to learn more.

1960 Sea Snark with Kool cigarette sail logo

First Generation
When I was twelve I scraped together all the money I had made from yard work, doing piecework in my Dad's machine shop, and anything else I could scrounge and bought a sailboat--a Sea Snark, then in it's first incarnation (1960) and I've kept it ever since. My Dad taught me the basics, but soon was sailing solo. The original Snark had an unprotected hull made of expanded polystyrene ("Styrofoam") with a plastic sail and a very flimsy plywood rudder that lasted only two summers.  The plastic sail was soon replaced with a red and white nylon sail bought from the manufacturers. That's me on the far left, peeking around the sail, at age twelve.

Second Generation
I sailed it on Clark Lake in Michigan for most of my growing-up years.  The centerboard was lost and replaced with one made from marine plywood scrounged from the garage.  It didn't see much use during my college days until the summer of my Junior year.  I had my wife-to-be (then girl friend) up to visit.  We had sailed it to the far West end of the lake and practically becalmed when my Dad arrived in his Aztec and buzzed the house to let us know to pick him up in Napoleon.  Kathy was not pleased to meet her future father-in-law looking wind-blown and red-faced.  After we were married a few years Kathy sewed up the blue and yellow sail to replace the now-shredded red and white sail.

Third Generation
When I joined the staff of Campus Crusade in 1974 and moved to Florida, I took the Sea Snark with us.  We sailed it in Tampa bay and Daytona Beach.  Once while sailing peacefully across Tampa Bay a dugong surfaced and exhaled noisily right next to us, scaring us well into the next century.  We move to Indiana in 1976, then California in 1980 where we began to sail on Mission Bay in San Diego and Big Bear Lake in the San Bernardino mountains.  This picture shows me sailing with Josh at about age three.

Fourth Generation
I recently made a new sail from my old hang glider and we tried it out on Mission bay recently.  It was bordered with 1" webbing that was sewn into the boom/spar edges of the sail. Where they cross they were sewn together and a brass grommet inserted.  The stainless steel hinge bolt (between the boom and spar) runs through this grommet and anchors the sail.  The opposite ends of the webbing are anchored to the boom and spar with hose clamps.  Small holes melted every foot along the length of the edges allow nylon cable ties to fix the sail to the boom and spar leaving the aluminum entirely visible.

Here are some fun videos of fellow Snark sailors :)