A Clark Lake Fourth

Luminaries lining the shores of Clark Lake.  Photo: Jill Bentley

Luminaries lining the shores of Clark Lake. Photo: Jill Bentley

The Independence Day evening started with a glow–luminaries lining much of the shoreline.  That was followed by traditional fireworks launched by individuals around the lake.  And there was plenty of activity out on the lake.

The luminary project is the hard work and effort of the Clark Lake Raft-O-Rama committee.  The team spent countless hours building the luminary kits.  They then distributed them to homes around the lake, for a small donation.  There has been lots of well-deserved praise for the Raft-O-Rama’s great work!

Boat Count Sneak Preview

Bill Tuttle (standing), Jim Tuttle (with hoodie) and Jim Bretes (also seated)

Bill Tuttle (standing), Jim Tuttle (with hoodie) and Jim Bretes (also seated)

The annual Clark Lake Count took place today, July 4th.  If you saw a raft slowly circling the shoreline with five guys equipped with clipboards, pointing at docks, you probably saw the counting crew under the reassuring command of Bill Tuttle, who has championed this cause since Bowser Eagy’s passing in the mid 1980’s.

Not all the results are tabulated yet, but there is an interesting statistic that jumps right out at you, given the activity scheduled for this Sunday at Clark Lake.  A preliminary subtotal shows 34 Hobie Cats at the lake.  That beats last year’s total of 24.   Once the data are compiled the 34 Hobies could grow in number.

It looks like good weather for Sunday and the Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta.  Please check out the details on the main page of this website.

The boat count this morning started at 6 am.  The count is traditionally taken on July 4th with the presumption that all boats that are going in the water for the season are moored at docks or the immediate shoreline, by this date.   And at 6 am, the vast majority of boats are not in use, promoting a more accurate count.  Today’s weather offered a special challenge.  It was not only chilly (in the low 50’s), but foggy, especially in the cove on the east side of Eagle Point.  But the determination of the crew that the count should be accurate  ensures that the results will show statistically reliable numbers.   Once the compilation as taken place, look for a posting on this website under News and Events and also under Vital Statistics/Boat Count.


Despite the early hour, there were a number of people with coffee mugs in hand on the their docks, probably wondering what that raft with five guys was up to!

Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta Only Hours Away!

Hobies are popping up over the lake.  Are they out for a  pleasure cruise or perhaps are they thinking about the trophies to be won on Sunday, July 6th?   For details, see the main page of this website!

Celebrating a Clark Lake 4th of July

RoR gang

The team in action!

Every 4th of July a growing number of luminaries line the Clark Lake shoreline.  It’s an amazing sight to see the glow at dusk as the night’s activities get underway.  The Raft-O-Rama puts the luminaries together and make them available  for a donation–$15 for the whole package in a Clark Lake tote bag or $10 for the you-assemble version.

The team is reporting heavy demand this year as they go door-to-door around the lake.  If they missed you when they stopped by your place, please email your request to clarklakespirit@gmail.com.

Last Night’s Storm

Clark Lake water is usually crystal clear, but not so much this morning.  The storm churned up the bottom--still evident by late morning.

Clark Lake water is usually crystal clear, but not so much this morning. The storm churned up the bottom–still evident by late morning.

Nature’s big show started about 2 am, accompanied by lots of lightning, thunder, rain and wind.  About three-quarters of an inch of rain fell around Clark Lake.  Other than a few branches down, there doesn’t appear to be evidence of damage.  The temperature dropped to 69 degrees overnight and by noon was back up to 77 degrees.  Water temp cooled to 73 degrees.

Perhaps this kind of weather is over for now, and that will clear the way for a great holiday weekend.  This Independence holiday includes the Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta on Sunday.  Over the last few days several Hobies have been spotted on the lake, out for a practice run.  And Hobies that haven’t seen the water for a while are coming out of storage.  Some are being revived–being pieced together–to once again to go into action and compete for Fleet 58 glory.  Check out details on the event on the main page of this website.

Jefferson Road Construction

Jefferson and Hyde Rd signThe long awaited work on Jefferson Road will begin Monday, July 7th.  The first stage of this project will be to replace two drain culverts between US-127 and Hyde Road.  Most people will avoid the area by using an alternate route, such as Reed Road.

Spirit Trail Blessing

photo 2(2)The Clark Lake Community Church is extending an invitation to join them for a blessing of the Spirit Trail this Sunday morning (June 29) at 10 am.  This is the 5th year that the church has offered this outdoor service at the Community Center in the County Park at the east end of the lake.

Is There Passion for Fleet 58? Check This Out!

Terri Pease Huffman was an avid member of Fleet 58 during the period that  Clark Lake had more Hobie Cats than any other inland lake in the country.  She is passionate about Fleet 58–and plans to sail again on July 6th.  Here’s the Fleet 58 story by Terri Pease Huffman:

Clark Lake Fleet 58 was renown throughout the Hobie Cat Division 10 sailing crowd during our heydays. We knew how to deal with the winds on any lake because the voodoo winds at Clark Lake challenged us each Sunday morning. July 6, 2014 we are again gathering to celebrate our history and our FLEET.

The opportunity for me to race one more time brings all kinds of reminiscent memories that I have carried since I began my sailing career in 1974. My favorite memory, which began my association with the fleet, was on a Monday when I had been out sailing on my 16-foot Hobie after waitressing all weekend at the Eagles Nest. John and Bev Avis were out sailing and pulled up to me and talked to me about joining them on Sunday morning to race. It was from that day forward I had to learn what a buoy was, what the course was, and let us not forget starboard and port. So Sister Sandy and I hit the course the next weekend and it was race-on after that.

We were newbies to the fleet for sure. There were the Avis’, Ambs’, Barnett’s, the Vermeulen’s, Passman’s, John’s, Fish family, Lyke’s, the Melling’s, Griffith’s, Dowd’s, Charlie Quiberman, Demming’s, Wedemyer’s, Phil Schindler, Stoney Green, Whitney’s, Szostek’s, Beffel’s, Negus’…..and many more. This crowd would join for our 3 races every Sunday morning after my Dad, Sam Pease, Myrt and Bowser Eagy, and others placed the marks strategically from one end of the lake to the other, chose a course and judged the finishes. At 18, I didn’t realize I was aligning myself with a group of people whom I would share my adult life with, long after sailing.

Icebreaker Regatta at Clark Lake

Icebreaker Regatta at Clark Lake

We, as a fleet, traveled up and down Lake Michigan racing in Division 10 sponsored regattas. Everyone knew when Fleet 58 had arrived because we brought the fun factor! We knew how to celebrate the wind, the friendship and the spirit of the race. There were many Division 10 regattas held at Clark Lake also. “Voodoo Winds” Regatta is what we named them. What a challenge that brought to those big shots that raced on Lake Michigan. What an experience to be at the starting line with 20 plus boats in each of the 18-foot A-B and 16-foot A-B fleets.

There were special events held throughout the year like the Icebreaker Regatta. We would start at the Lodge and break ice down to the county park. Just for the fun of it!

What happens in Vegas doesn't always stay there.  At the Women's National, Hobie spotted the Clark Lake group, was impressed, and promised to come to the next regatta at Clark Lake.  He was good to his word!

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay there. At the Women’s National, Hobie Alter spotted the Clark Lake group, was impressed, and promised to come to the next regatta at Clark Lake. He was good to his word!

Many of the men sailed in National events (wish I knew all the history…but I don’t), as did Judy Whitney, Sandy Pease Simon, Michele Ambs, Kathy Pease and I. Judy and I sailed on a 14-foot Hobie on Lake Tahoe which was the first Women’s National event. Our group, which included non-sailors like Darlene Malecki who attended all seven, for support of course, traveled throughout the United States once a year for seven National Regattas.

We are ready for the race on July 6 and the Clark Lake Spirit Foundation fundraiser following at the Pointe Bar and Grill. We look forward to the cheers from the shorelines. Thanks for the memories Clark Lake!!




Sailor or not, you’re invited to the Fleet 58 Reunion and Regatta on July 6th.

Not a sailor? Be part of the fun at the Caribbean Buffet at the waterfront deck at the Pointe Bar and Grill starting at noon. Tickets are $30 in advance, or $35 the day of, and there will be a cash bar.  Tickets available at Doyles.

To register your boat, click here.

Clark Lake’s Fourth of July Glow

RoR gang

The Raft-O-Rama Gang hard at work in the luminary factory

luminary factory

The luminary bags are ready to be delivered

The glow grows every 4th of July.  Luminaries line the shores of Clark Lake, lighted at dusk, to celebrate our nation’s independence–and a night of great fun ahead at Clark Lake.  The number of participants increases every year, and the Raft-O-Rama committee is helping making it happen.  Once again they are providing, for a small donation, luminaries for your use.  The luminaries are available two ways–in a reusable bag already assembled ($15) or the raw materials without the bag ($10).  Each kit contains 10 luminaries to place along your shoreline.  The committee won’t rest until everyone has a chance to participate.  They plan to visit lakefront homes between now and July 4th.  Or you can acquire yours at Doyles at the head-of-the-lake.

First Dip in Clark Lake

Taylor Tankoos first contact with the waters of Clark Lake

Taylor Tankoos first contact with the waters of Clark Lake

Some families at Clark Lake measure their time here in years; some, by the number of generations.  So it’s not surprising for a family that counts several generations here, certain family events that happen at Clark Lake take on special meaning.  One of those is when a baby, sometimes not more than a few weeks old, takes his or her first dip into the lake. For one family, that moment happened today.   Taylor Tankoos, daughter of Dan and Colleen, first felt the waters of Clark Lake this afternoon (air temp 77, water temp 76).  Taylor is part of the Rensch-Preece-Ligibel-Dandar–and now Tankoos– family.  No doubt she will become so enamored with swimming in Clark Lake that it will take all the effort of her parents to get her to come in and dry-off.

“First-dips” are usually well-documented.  Initially it was by use of the Brownie camera in grainy black and white, then graduating to 8mm color movies, followed by 35mm color slides.  Next came VHS–and now iPhone and Droid stills and videos–and even a live view for someone anywhere in the world via Facetime.

Getting kids in Clark Lake’s water early is a tradition.  Just by being here, some even attribute to it an  improvement to health.  For an interesting story along those lines, read the fascinating tale written by Carlotta Graziani, whose family built the original cottage on Kentucky Point–and whose improvement in well-being she attributed to Clark Lake.