Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
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Monday, March 22, 2010
Boat watching' begins early
SHIPPING SEASON: Sault locks open ahead of schedule
Posted By LINDA RICHARDSON, THE SAULT STAR
Posted 4 days ago
There was no way Brenda Benedict, a self-confessed "boat nerd,'' was going to miss the annual rite of spring that signals the opening of the shipping season.
The Grand Rapids, Mich., area resident was among more than 30 people gathered at the Soo Locks early Sunday morning to watch the first vessel lock through the canal system.
But this year, thanks to a decision by the U.S. Corps of Engineers to open the system four days earlier than usual, Benedict, who was in town to celebrate her mother's 80th birthday, was able to be there.
The early opening was in response to a request from shipping companies to replenish low coal and iron ore inventories.
Although the air was "very cold'' at 7 a.m., for Benedict, who also had her four grandchildren with her, "it was a beautiful morning.''
The Lee A. Tregurtha, an 826-foot self-unloader, which had arrived Saturday night, was tied up at the pier east of the Poe Lock waiting for the 7 a.m. opening.
At 7:05 a.m., the freighter sounded its whistle and began the process of locking upbound to continue its voyage along the St. Mary's River and across Lake Superior to Two Harbors, Minn.
And from what the Michigan Sault United States Coast Guard sector was saying Sunday morning, the Tregurtha shouldn't have any problems reaching its destination.
Ice in the waterways above the locks is melting plate ice that is no hindrance to navigation, a spokesman said.
Whitefish Bay is "almost open,'' vessel traffic management specialist Ken Curry said.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Spring arrived this weekend and one of the best parts of Spring is the beginning of the shipping season. We were able to be in the Soo for the big event. Saturday evening we went down to the Carbide dock to witness the ship which was going to open the Locks-the Lee A. Tregurtha. She arrived just as the sun was setting on a beautiful day. It was cool and windy but just right for boatwatching. She tied up to the pier just outside the Locks for the welcome by city officials.
My son and his family were in town with me. This picture is 3 generations of boat watchers.
Here's the Lee A. Tregurtha as she approaches the Locks.
I met a fellow boat watcher watching the first boat.
Sunday morning we arrived at the Locks Park at 6:50 AM. The temperature was 16 degrees but veteran boat watchers told us we were lucky there wasn't snow and ice like there is some years. We lined the steps of the observation deck because the windows were frost covered. Here my grandchildren are trying to keep warm.
The sun was coming up in the east when the Lee A. Tregurtha sounded her whistle, revved her engines and slowly slid into the Locks.
It was really worth the long drive (to me, of course I didn't do the driving). I would like to see more of a celebration next year. Linda Hoath of the Sault Convention and Visitors Bureau is looking for ideas to make this day more special in the future. So if you have any ideas, let me know and I'll pass them on.
I received these photos from a fellow boatwatcher this morning. They are beautiful. This note was with the pictures:
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Next Sunday, March 21, at 7 AM. the Locks will officially open. Due to a previously scheduled trip to the Sault, I will be there. I just hope there is a boat ready to enter the Locks so we can celebrate the return of boatwatching-one of the most fun hobbies. It really doesn't require any work and is very relaxing.
I hope to see some of you boatnerds at the opening. Let me know if you are coming.