Thursday, June 30, 2011

River Report

I found a new place for boatwatching in the Soo.  Last night we visited my aunt who lives in West Pier Apartments.  While we enjoying a cup of tea, we saw the Robert S. Pierson leaving the Locks.  It was a cold and windy night with whitecaps in the Locks approach.

View from West Pier Apartments of the Locks approach

Saturday, June 11, 2011

State of Michigan Conducts Spring Training in the St. Marys River

State of Michigan
May 2008 by Brenda Benedict
Duluth, Minnesota

This week we have been watching the State of Michigan make her way up and down the St. Marys River.  I investigated the college web site and found that the Great Lakes Maritime Academy is conducting a spring training cruise for their cadets to teach them navigation of the St. Marys River.

I first saw the vessel while visiting Duluth with my son.  The State of Michigan is a training vessel for Great Lakes Maritime Academy.

Great Lakes Maritime Academy is a division of Northwestern Michigan College located in Traverse City Michigan.  The Academy trains young men and women for a career 'on the water' as stated on their web site.

The cadets are now conducting a sea project that is required for graduation.  
You can follow the State of Michigan through a blog written by the cadets at State of Michigan blog.
Although there haven't been any posts this week, I imagine the cadets are busy learning how to navigate the river.  
 The following information was taken from their website. 

About the Great Lakes Maritime Academy: Located at Northwestern Michigan College’s Great Lakes Campus, the Academy educates and trains deck and engineering officers for the commercial shipping industry. Through a partnership with Ferris State University, cadets simultaneously earn their maritime credentials and a bachelor's degree in business administration. Post-graduation, cadets enjoy 100 percent employment.
Ship State of Michigan to return to TC
TRAVERSE CITY -- The T/S State of Michigan is expected to return to the Great Lakes Maritime Academy pier Friday morning, June 3, marking the midway point of the 2011 spring training cruise.

The ship left Traverse City on May 17 with a complement of 53 cadets and 10 faculty/ crewmembers onboard. It will remain in Traverse City through Monday in order to restock the vessel for the remaining three weeks of the cruise. The cruise will conclude on June 26. 

The annual spring training cruise is one of three sea projects every Maritime cadet must complete and is an integral part of the training provided to cadets in both the deck and engineering programs. The cadets will complete their remaining sea projects on U. S. flag commercial vessels.  The itinerary is designed so that all cadets in the Deck Officer program will be eligible to sit for their Great Lakes Pilotage Endorsement when they sit for their Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer's license prior to graduation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Busy Day on the St. Marys River

I stayed home all day today working in my flower beds.  The weeds always get a head start before we move up here for the summer, so I'm doing part of the beds every day.

A strong thunderstorm blew through about dinner time.  We didn't get hail here but down in DeTour there was hail.  The air is cool with low humidity tonight.  We'll be closing the windows tonight and it will be a great night for sleeping.
So being at home allowed me to watch the boats all day.  And it was a busy day.  I spotted 17 boats during the day and into the evening.  I know I don't see every boat that passes but even so 17 makes for a good day.

Here's the list of what I spotted so far today:

Lee A. Tregurtha
CSL Assiniboine
Kaye E. Barker
PML 9000
PML barge
Burns Harbor
American Spirit
Algoma Navigator
Canadian Olympic
Federal Power
Walter J. McCarty Jr.
Edwin H. Gott
American Integrity
Walter J. McCarty Jr.
Indiana Harbor
Grande Mariner

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Day for 1,000 footers

According to my  research there are 13 footers, or 1,000 foot, boats on the Great Lakes.  I got my information from Know Your Ships.  Know Your Ships is the bible for boat watchers.  I've been using it since I was a young girl watching the boats from the same spot I do now.  It was my grandparent's place when I was small.  A new edition is published every year with the latest information on the boats that sail the Great Lakes.

 It was a wonderful day for boat watching. We had temperatures in the low 60's with a dew point at 37.  I could work in the yard while watching the boats and enjoy both activities. 

There were six 1,000 foot boats that passed by today. This afternoon,  two vessels from the Interlake Steamship Co. passed out front.  The Mesabi Miner was up bound and the James R. Barker was down bound.  They sounded a salute of one long and two short blasts.  I recorded the second salute.  I hope you enjoy the pictures of the James R. Barker and the Mesabi Miner.

I also saw the following boats today:

Walter J. McCarty Jr.
Edwin H. Gott
Sedna Desgagnes
Burns Harbor
Indiana Harbor

Back at My Post

Canadian Enterprise heading down bound on June 1, 2011
 My husband and I arrived back at our cabin on the St. Marys River on Monday.  When we drove down the driveway we were greeted with the effects of a wind storm earlier in the spring.  We had received calls from the neighbors telling us that there were trees down but we weren't prepared for what we saw.  There was a tree across the driveway and several more in the yard including one on our neighbor's garage.

So our first few days at the cabin will be tree removal and clean-up.  But I've had some time for boat watching.  This morning, the Edwin H. Gott and the Walter J. McCarthy Jr. passed each other in view from my recliner while drinking my morning coffee.  That is the way summer is supposed to be.