Sunday, June 27, 2010

First Swim of the Season

Two of my grandchildren are here for a special time with Grandpa & Grandma. Yesterday the sun finally picked out from the clouds and it warmed up quickly. It wasn't long before they were politely asking if there was any chance of being able to go into the water. I told them it would probably be very cold but they were welcome to try.

I went out to test the temperature of the water with them and it was very warm. The water remains shallow for quite a ways out and it was lovely.

They were having great fun in the water when they discovered that it was fun to cover themselves with mud and then run out and rinse off. I have pictures of their dad doing the same thing thirty years ago. Fun never gets old!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Engineer's Day at the Locks.

What news from the Soo do you think made the newspaper in Chicago today? It wasn't the Asian Carp story this time. No, it was the story of Engineer's Day at the Locks. The Chicago Tribune ran a story about our big event.

There were many boats that passed during the day. We saw the following but missed several because of the rain.

Phillip R. Clarke
Joseph Thompson
Charles M. Beeghley
Sam Laud
Edwin H. Gott
Peter R. Cresswell

The mayflies have appeared on our screens this morning. I'll have to check the dates from previous years because this seems a bit early for the hatch.

The rain has caused our 'beach' out front to be soggy and the water level is up from last month.

Today is promised to be warm and sunny. I have two young grandchildren staying with us. They are 6 & 8 years old and they're looking forward to going in the water when it warms up. Today might be that day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rainy Morning

It is a very wet morning here this morning. It started raining around midnight and has continued all night. But no severe weather here. The rain is badly needed after a very dry spring so we're enjoying the sound of the rain on the roof.

Yesterday was a busy day of boat traffic. This morning has had a number of boats too . This is the list of boats that I saw on Saturday.

Indiana Harbor
Steward J. Cort
Arthur M. Anderson
J W Shelley
Lee A. Tregurtha
Edgar B. Speer
Mohawk -tug

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Salute from the Algolake

The Algolake

I took this picture yesterday as the Algolake passed by.

The Algolake is a 730 foot self-unloading bulk carrier that regularly passes by here. But she has a unique distinction. The Algolake has her own Facebook page. I really have enjoyed Facebook as a way to keep connected with family and friends but now I can get an inside look at life on a Great Lakes freighter as well. It is easy to access the page by searching for 'M.v. Algolake' on Facebook.

The pictures posted by the Algolake crew are amazing. There are pictures and videos to view.

Yesterday as I saw that the Algolake was rounding the north end of Neebish Island, I sent them a message on Facebook telling them that they were going to be passing us. They sent back a message that they would be looking for me. So when they passed we both took pictures of each other.

The highlight was that they sounded a salute-one long and two short-for me. There was another vessel coming down and I thought they were saluting the Kaminisqua but Brian on the Algolake sent a message that the salute was for me.

I will be watching for the Algolake's return voyage. What great fun to interact with the people who are working those great boats.

These are the pictures the Algolake took of our cabin from the boat. I'm the person in the red shirt on the shore. The white boat on the right is the Kaminisqua which was heading down bound at the time.

Our place is the little red cabin on the left.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Low Water Problems

The news media is reporting that the Great Lakes' water level is dangerously low. I can attest to that just by looking out front at the St. Marys River. As I was taking the picture of the Atlantic Huron this morning, I noticed how far out the edge of the river is. This close-up picture shows just how bad it is.

This flower bed is actually a sea wall that was build in the 1950's to keep the water from washing out the yard. In the 70's the water was up to the sea wall again but it hasn't been since then.
This quote is from

"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported this month that in April, the biggest of the Great Lakes lost about three centimeters during a time when spring runoff usually swells the lake by as much as eight centimeters.

The Corps said that was only the fourth time Lake Superior declined in April in the past 110 years and was the lowest level since 1907. The levels are also low in lakes Huron, Michigan, Erie and Ontario -- as much as 25 centimeters lower in some places."

This low water level has great implications for Great Lakes shipping. How has the low water level affected you or what have you noticed? Thanks for sharing, Brenda

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Time When the Living is Easy

Today is a perfect summer day on the St. Marys River. The temperature is in the mid-70's with an easy breeze off the water. The humidity is low and the morning clouds have moved on and left us with a few fluffy cumulus clouds. Here are a some pictures from the last few days. The picture above and below is the Pineglen as it passes by the Sugar Island ferry. We had dinner at Clyde's and pulled over to eat and watch boats. We were rewarded with the Pineglen. Clyde's won't be on our agenda very many times this summer. Both Tom & I are working hard to shed some pounds and although Clyde's food is delicious, I can't imagine how much fat and calories it contains.

Yesterday morning as we sat sipping our coffee and enjoying the sun as it made diamonds on the water, a young deer came down the beach. She was looking for a passage further along but seemed confused what to do about our neighbor's dock. That gave us plenty of time to enjoy watching her (or him). She finally waded into the water and went out around the dock. With the low water, she hardly got wet.

Today we have had lots of boats going by. Two times a 1,000 footer was overtaken by a smaller boat that was moving faster. I caught one with the camera. This is the American Integrity with the Sam Laud coming around her on the left. They are heading down the river. Earlier a similar overtaking occured with the Paul R. Tregurtha and the Robert S. Pierson.

We are still busy trying to get the yard and flower gardens back in shape. The weeds always have a head start on us. It would really help if we could arrive around the first of May but so far our schedule hasn't allowed that. Does anyone have any suggestions of plants that will come up on their own and be big enough to keep the weeds down? The hostas work great in the shade but I haven't got anything in the sunny areas that seems to so the trick. I would appreciate any suggestions.