Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Everything is More Fun with Grandkids

This picture was taken yesterday at Birch Point near Brimley. I believe the boat is the Herbert C. Jackson. This picture will be on my computer throughout the long winter days when I'm waiting to get back to the Cabin.

Everything is more fun when it's done with grandchildren. That has been the story of my week. My son, his wife, and 4 children are spending the week with us. Our oldest daughter also joined us for 3 days before returning to North Carolina where she teaches biology in South Rowan High School.

This morning, we got up early and colored, played golf ball toss, flew kites, blew big bubbles, went out on the paddle boat and also went swimming all before 11 AM.

The weather was sunny and promised to be a warm day but since noon it clouded over and the temperature has been falling. The kids are now in long sleeves with sweatshirts- once they come out of the water. This afternoon there was water skiing and tubing. They get out of the water, warm up and then head back in.

Ship traffic has been very slow. Clelia II returned to the Soo this morning and is docked at the Carbide dock. We also saw the Pierson go down and the McCarthy going up.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Kurt Paul

The Kurt Paul came up the river over the weekend and is now docked on the Ontario side. I made a new 'friend' on Twitter and Facebook over the weekend and she sent me this picture taken from her side of the St. Marys River.

Th Kurt Paul is was built this year and is 469 foot cargo carrier. She is owned by a Germany company and is chartered to BBC Chartering. Her flag of registry is Antigua.

Thanks to iamkorrine for sending me the photo.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Happenings

We've been having an incredibly cool, wet summer here. Last night was a long night with several hours of thunder, lightening and rain. I'm used to that kind of storm down state but not here.

This is the James R. Barker going down the St. Marys River earlier in the week when we had some sunshine.
Friday-The Algolake with my Facebook friend as the captain. That is also our neighbors out on their waverunner.

Saturday -This is the Kurt Paul, a saltie from Germany that is now docked in Sault, Ontario. I don't think I have seen it before. It passed the cabin during the night so I was glad that I got to see it today.

While I was photographing the Kurt Paul, I snapped these pics of the waterfront. We've had a cloudy, rainy day here with several hard storms passing through.

We're expecting a 'boatload' of company starting tomorrow and Monday. It is going to be great fun. My oldest daughter, my second-born and his wife and four kids will all be arriving. I'm hoping for great weather and lots of boats in the river. Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rock Cut Picture & Painting

Last weekend I attended the 40th wedding anniversary party of some friends. I had been a bridesmaid in their wedding and it was one of the first trips that Tom, my future husband, had made to visit me here in the Sault.

At the party, I was reacquainted with Randy Krause who had also been a bridesmaid in the wedding. I had not seen her since the wedding. We found that we both lived on the St. Marys River not far from each other. Some things have changed in 40 years and we found that we are both on Facebook. When I got home, I sent a friend request which Randy accepted. Randy posted the picture I have above on Monday and gave me permission to share it with my blog friends. But she took it a step further and painted the picture in one day. She is selling the painting for $200 at the Sault Art Festival in a week. If it goes to the gallery, she said it will cost $300.

If you are interested in more information, just email me and I'll send you the contact info.

Point Counterpoint II Meets Canadian Progress

7:50 AM

Just as the Canadian Progress was ready to proceed up the river after having anchored here since yesterday afternoon, Point Counterpoint II came motoring down the river. I quickly research and found it was a 195 foot self-propelled barge that travels around the world presenting concerts by the American Wind Symphony Orchestra. The vessel is equipped with a hydraulic bandshell and an art gallery with pieces from around the world from locations the vessel has visited. Apparently she is making her last world tour.

The captain of the Canadian Progress was waiting for Point Counterpoint to pass before leaving the anchorage area. His comments were very entertaining. He said, "That is one ugly little thing. A sailor had too much time on his hands with spare parts." That was followed by someone from Point Counterpoint II explaining that they were a self-propelled vessel.

It sounded to me that Point Counterpoint II wasn't getting any respect from the 730 foot lake freighter.

Apparently, even in the world of lake freighters there is a pecking order of respect!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cruise Ships & River Traffic

Clelia II, I wrote about this ship in a previous post. Sounds like a great trip.

Grand Mariner, a vessel of the American Canadian Caribbean Line cruises the Great Lakes during the summer. Their schedule shows some very interesting trips. The itinerary looks interesting but pricey.

Today's pictures were taken by Bill K., the faithful reader and commenter. Bill enjoys boat watching from the Soo and is great at keeping us updated when I'm away.

Yesterday we were home all day working in the yard. I think weeds grow faster and taller here in the north. I was working on the seawall we have that is made of rocks. It was full of weeds at least two feet tall. Luckily, the roots don't grow deep which makes them easy to pull. However, the sheer number of them is overwhelming.

Yesterday's ships that I saw were:
H. Lee White
John J. Boland
Cason J. Calloway
American Integrity
Indiana Harbor
Gordon C. Leitch
Presque Isle
Paul R. Tregurtha

Monday, July 20, 2009

Beautiful Picture & Today's Traffic

One of my Facebook friends posted the above beautiful picture today. She said, "I heard this boat coming this morning, it was so pretty that I jumped out of bed, went to the rock cut and caught these pictures. Notice the fog following this boat. It was weird. I think I'll paint this picture today."

I can't wait to see the painting. Randy is south of here located near Barbeau. Randy, thanks for letting me share this with my readers.

Today was a fairly quiet day for boat traffic.

Edwin H. Gott

American Century
Canadian Coast Guard Kelso
James R. Barker
Federal Miramichi

We are getting ready for our grandkids who are coming on Sunday. I found butterfly nets for $1 at Parkers Hardware in the Sault. I also need to get some kites and also I'm trying to think of some ideas for other activities while they are here. They are ages 6 - 10, and like to be very active. They will have swimming and the water, but I want to be prepared just in case the weather is cool. I think there is a good chance it will be cool.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Summer is coming back

We saw the Anglian Lady locking through on Friday. She later was down bound just after dark past our place. Nice looking tug.

The Charles M. Beeghly is tied at the Carbide dock in the Soo. I don't know why they are there but she remains there tonight.

Today has been rather busy on the river by today's standards. It seemed busy but the list is short. We saw these ships:
Montrealais & John B. Aird were going up
Walter J. McCarthy Jr.
Canadian Prospector
Canadian Transport
Samuel Risley were all going down & the Burns Harbor is out front right now and looking great all lit up.

We're looking forward to summer weather this week. The forecast looks good. We've got grandkids coming next Sunday. They are in Curtis this week with their parents and their other grandparents. They spend the time on Manistique Lake-fishing and skiing.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tree Causes Some Excitement

In the early morning we heard about a tree that was floating near the shipping channel out front of our house. Several ships passed by which seemed to be looking for the tree. The Lake Guardian, an US Environmental Protection Agency vessel, the Katmai Bay, a US Coast Guard vessel and the Kiyi, a research vessel from the Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor all were in the area. I never heard that the tree was recovered.

Also downbound today was:
Charles M. Beeghly
Adam E. Cornelius

Walter J. McCarthy Jr.
Canadian Prospector
Burns Harbor

It was cool here all day and began raining around 6 PM. This week has been below normal temps and the forecast for the next few days seems to be more of the same. Great weather for working outdoors. Tom got by garden rototilled tonight and it is doing well.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Clelia II

Would you want to take a cruise throughout the Great Lakes? I think it would be a beautiful trip but I had never considered doing that before. There is a cruise ship passing our place right now. The Clelia II is traveling from Toronto to Duluth. I included a link to the Great Lakes Cruising website and also the price list. That will blow you away. The prices are much higher than a Carribean cruise. I wonder where most of the passengers come from?

They aren't having a very nice day for cruising because it is raining hard right now. I'm actually happy about the rain. Besides not having to water my garden, it gives me an day to work inside the cabin. We have been downstate for the past 5 days. We have our home near Grand Rapids for sale and we had an open house on Sunday. The open house hasn't brought any offers although we had 7 couples tour the house.

We are planning on being here until the end of the summer at least. I'm looking forward to it.

Now I hope I spend today working inside the cabin, but spending the day reading while it is raining outside sounds wonderful too.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Early Morning Fog and American Integrity

I awoke yesterday morning with a headache and I didn't even have to open my eyes to know that we were fogged in. I don't know why that happens but it frequently does. (The headaches from the fog, I mean). The fog hung on all the many webs that are outside every morning. But the fog quickly lifted and we had a beautiful day with the breeze coming off the river and making it perfect.

Last night was my two oldest grandkids last night here at the cabin. Today I'm taking them back down state to their parents. There will be more trips with more kids later this summer. But as a treat for the day we went to Clyde's for dinner. Clyde's in a drive-in restaurant right at the best boat watching spot around here.

We were watching the Sugar Island ferry and marveling about what life on an island must be like. The kids were amazed that the school bus crosses every day to pick up the students.

Just then a small Border Patrol boat was speeding up the river, probably ending the day and heading back to port. They suddenly stopped and turned around. We watched as they fished a huge log out of the river-it took two men to pull it in. For a minute, we thought we might be observing some act of international intrigue but I guess it was just a log.

The American Integrity made a beautiful sight coming up the river.

Jay, my 9 year old grandson, even got the captain to wave to him. But who could resist such an enthusiastic boat watcher.

It was a great close to a fun day to watch the American Integrity sail off into the sunset.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Training Young Boatnerds

We arrived back at our cabin on the St. Marys River yesterday afternoon. Two of my grandchildren came with my daughter and me. We began seeing boats right away. Traffic has been brisk, by today's standards, since we got there.

Madelynn is using the telescope to get a close-up look at the boats this morning. Last night we were returning from my parents in the Soo and we saw the Paul R. Tregurtha heading down the river and the supply boat was along side transferring supplies to the 1,000 footer. It is amazing to see because both are still moving while all the work is going on. The kids are learning to love boat watching too. Madelynn enters our sightings into my spreadsheet on the computer and even adds cute notes. Pretty good for a 10 year old.

Along with our fun, we have lots of yard work to get done because we were gone for a week. Everything grows fast and lush here. The short growing season along with the extra sunlight here because we are so far north makes for plants that rush to grow and mature. Here Jay is weeding the flower bed outside my backdoor and even the sidewalk needs weeding.

This is the Montrealais heading up the river. We have also seen the Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder, the Ojibway, Frontenac and Agawa Canyon.
Jay and I spend a wonderful hour sitting in the front yard this morning, watching the boats, reading and enjoying my fragrant trees-this rose and the mock orange in the next picture.

What a wonderful time in the Upper Peninsula when the flowers are in all their glory and the weather is delightfully cool and sunny.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Freighter traffic down

The published an article about the sorry state of the Great Lakes shipping industry and it talks about how the bad economy is played out on the Great Lakes.

Freighter business sinks in less than ship-shape time.

The article quotes Roger LeLievre, publisher of Know Your Ships and boat watching enthusiast.

The numbers coming from the Lake Carrier Association. The article states:

Freighter traffic on the Great Lakes is down about 40% this summer. There were 47 freighters plying the lakes last month compared with 75 during the same time last year, said Glen Nekvasil, vice president for corporate communications for the Lake Carriers Association.

The boat watchers know that this is true but it is still startling to see the 40 - 50 % reduction in freighter traffic.

Thanks to Bill K. for keeping us up-to-date on the boat traffic. It seems to have been a busy time. I hope to be returning to our cabin Monday or Tuesday.