Saturday, January 30, 2010

Full Moon Over the River

These outstanding pictures were taken on January 29, 2010 as the full moon was rising over the St. Marys River. My Facebook friend, Cathy, took them last night and graciously shared them with us.
The January full moon is called the Wolf Moon by Native American tradition and it is very fitting. The moon is the largest and brightest of the year. It is 30% brighter and 14% larger than any other full moon of the year. What a spectacular occurrence.
The July full moon is always wonderful as it comes up over Sugar Island and sends moonbeams across the river. But I'm sure this January moon is something to behold. I hope that maybe January 2011, I'll be there to see it. It will be January 19, 2011. Let's meet in the Sault!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prospects look good for 2010 Shipping Season

The shipping season for 2009 hit a level of ore shipments that was record-breaking but not in a good way. The tons of ore shipped was the same as that of 1938. That can't be good. You can read about it in this article from Superior Telegraph: Ore Shipments at Great Depression Levels.

But the good news in the article is that the 2010 shipping season is already looking up because steel mills are ramping up production and the mines in Minnesota are calling workers back from layoff.

That's great news for boat watchers on the St. Marys River this year. The shipping season is just drawing to a close this week. The Soo Locks will be closing on Jan. 15. From the pictures I'm seeing, it looks like ice is forming quickly. They've had some really cold mornings according to my parents.

There have been some great pictures from boatnerds on the Internet of boats in the ice. Today I posted two taken by Cathy K. near DeTour of the Lee A. Tregurtha, a boat with an illustrious history including service in WWII for which she received 2 battle stars. You can read a more detailed history at and put the name Lee A. Tregurtha in the search box.

Since being converted to an ore carrier, she has sailed the waters of the Great Lakes under several names. Lee A. Tregurtha became her name in 1989. Mrs.Dorothy Lee Anderson Tregurtha was the wife of Paul R. Tregurtha, the owner of Interlake Steamship Co. at that time.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter River Pictures

Cathy K. is a Facebook friend of mine. She takes great pictures of the St. Marys River and the boats. She has graciously allowed me to post these pictures so all of you can enjoy them. Cathy says that she takes to the pictures to show "how the ice and snow change everything about the boats they navigate, their lacy ice shirts and their ice clogged 'noses'. Great description Cathy. Thank you for sharing with us.

This is the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. She's a 1,000 footer owned by the American Steamship Company. You can read about her at Walter J. McCarthy Jr.

The Charles M. Beeghly is a 806 foot vessel owned by the Interlake Steamship Co. We frequently saw both ships this summer. But what a difference there is for these ice covered vessels.

The shipping season is drawing to a close and the Soo Locks will be shut down on January 15. But that means that spring is just a few months away. My grandson is talking about going to the Soo to see the first boat of the season. I can't say no to a request like that.