Wednesday, June 19, 2013

St. Marys River on NBC Nightly News

NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams did a piece on the low water levels of the Great Lakes called Deep Impact on Tuesday, June 18, 2013. 

They interviewed Mark Barker of Interlake Steamship Company and had some footage of the Mesabi Miner.

The piece also mentioned the St. Marys River and how the water levels in the river control the amount of cargo a greighter can carry.

Interesting and worth listening to.

This photo shows the low water level of the St. Marys River.  The green grass was river bottom a few years back.  Now we mow it to keep it from filling in with scrub vegetation.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Roger Blough

Roger Blough 6-15-2013

Roger Blough showing through the fog on June 11, 2013
Both of the above pictures are of the same boat-the Roger Blough.  Both pictures were taken last week and they show the big changes we have been experiencing in our weather here on the St. Marys River.

 Three times in the past week the river has been shut down to shipping because of fog.  I was able to take the photo where just the front and the rear  of the Blough are showing.  When the river system is closed, boats must anchor and wait for the fog to lift.

The other picture was taken Saturday, June 15, 2013, as the Blough was heading up the river on a perfectly calm day. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Quiet Day for June 13, 2013

Mesabi Miner-1,000 footer

 Burns Harbor and American Spirit salute while passing
As always, our Canada geese enjoy boat watching!
My day started around 5:30 am.  The first thing in my morning routine is to look out at the river for boats and geese.  If there are geese, I make sure they aren't coming close to our yard.  They do come into our yard frequently.  I don't see them but I see evidence that they have been there.

Today there were no geese but the St. Clair was moving silently up the river.  Some boats are very noisy and I can hear their engines chugging for a while.  But the St. Clair was just gliding by as the sun came peeking up over Sugar Island.  It was a peaceful way to start my day.

My next step is then to start the coffee maker which I set up the night before.  I read today that research is showing that 1 - 3 cups of coffee daily will help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's.  I certainly am doing my part for my future mental health.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NY Times Writes About Great Lakes Water Levels

Philip R. Clarke
 The St. Marys River system closed at 1 am this morning because of fog and remained closed for most of the morning.  As a result, we had a steady parade of boats all afternoon.

American Century

This shows the variety of boats and it looks like the evening is going to continue to be busy.

The NY Times ran an article today detailing the difficulties for shipping in the Great Lakes because of the low water levels, Great Lakes Shipping Suffers.  The article talks about the Dorothy Anne and Pathfinder but tells how low water levels affect all shipping.

The following quote summarizes the article.  "
"The combination of low water and infrequent dredging is annoying to recreational boaters, but the biggest impact is economic: shippers, carriers and the industries that rely on the bulk materials like limestone, iron ore, coal and salt are hugely dependent on lake travel.
Lakers can move products at prices that beat rail or road by as much as $20 per ton of cargo, using much less fuel. Given those advantages and an improving economy, about 30 ships are being built this year to run cargo on the Great Lakes, according to Craig H. Middlebrook, the deputy administrator of the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation." 

What do you think the answer to the low water level problem in the Great Lakes?  As I sit here tonight watching the calm river flow by and listening to the quiet peace of a summer evening, there don't appear to be any problems.  But many of the problems are just under the surface of the water.  The low levels create havoc for shipping but what about the invasive species that have invaded our water ways

Fog Shrouds the St. Marys River

Roger Blough heading down near 9 Mile
The past two days have been foggy on the St. Marys River.  The fog did not reach past the river banks but certainly presented a challenge for both captains and boat watchers.

Detroit District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers posted this on Facebook this morning. 

Got fog? The St. Marys River has been closed to navigation since about 1 a.m. due to heavy fog which is showing no signs of lifting any time soon. Once it does, it will be a fairly busy day at the locks with the Kaye E. Barker, American Courage, Herbert C. Jackson, Emilie, waiting at anchor in the river and the Philip R. Clarke, American Spirit, Burns Harbor and American Century headed towards the river. In the photo, the Lee A. Tregurtha waits to continue to Detroit, just ahead of her hidden in the fog is the Joseph L. Block.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Life on the River for June 3, 2013

 It was a beautiful morning here even though the temperature was in the mid-40's.  A patchy frost was predicted but it never happened here.  However, tonight's forecast looks like we may be hit with frost.  I'm sure June 4 is a late date for frost.   According to Dave's Garden web site, our average last frost date is May 28 so I guess this isn't too far out of normal.

The boat traffic seemed slow today but I was able to get photos of some of them.  If the boat is going to the right in the picture, it is heading down stream.  Heading left-going up bound.   It takes them about an hour to get to the Locks from our place.
9:30 AM on June 3, 2013
Cason J. Callaway

Paul R. Tregurtha

Radcliffe R.  Latimer


Algoma Spirit at 4:45 PM on 6-3-13
Herbert C. Jackson 6-3-2013 at 5:30 pm

Joseph L. Block 6-3-13 at 6:30 pm

Lee A. Tregurtha at 9:00 PM 6-3-13

Edwin H. Gott at 9 pm on 6-3-13

The water level in the Rock Cut was a concern to the captains today. Early in the day it was about 4 inches below datum but rose throughout the day as the wind died down.  You can check the water level of the Rock Cut with this link-Rock Cut Water Level.  Scroll down the left side of the page to find Rock Cut and you will see several charts of data.  Very interesting.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Resolutions for this summer

Federal Kumano on the St. Marys River -6-1-2013
 We have returned to our cabin on the St. Marys River.  It is always an exciting time for us.  Our cabin sits empty from September to May.  Some years we have 'friends' that move in and make themselves at home.  But this year we haven't seen any mice, (so far) although they ate up all the D-Con I left for their parties.

I am making several resolutions for my blog this year.  First, I am going to label all my boat pictures so I can actually find a specific boat without having to look through many files.  That will be wonderful if I really can manage it.  Organization isn't my strong point and although I take many pictures, finding them afterward can be a challenge.  The file name doesn't even help because a wonderful boat picture may be found in Tom's Birthday file.  If I can't remember when I took a picture of a boat, then finding it is a matter of brute force-going through each file.  If you have any suggestions for picture organization, I would appreciate it.  I'm not even sure which picture storage program I should use-something in the cloud such as Dropbox or a program on my computer such as Windows Live Photo Gallery  or the software that came with my camera-View-NX2.  I have Carbonite that backs up all files daily.  What do you suggest?

My second resolution is to post frequently this summer.  What topics are you interested in hearing about?  I will write about life here on the St. Marys River and the boats that  pass by here.

The water level is slightly up from last fall.  This picture shows the extra lawn we have acquired because of the falling water level.