Jan 15-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: January: Jan 15-08
Kaye E. Barker    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Wolverine/Michipicoten    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Charles W. Beeghly    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Herbert C. Jackson    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 04:07 am:

Calling all Boat Nerds...today's pictures will be the last Lake Superior pictures of the season until March. Today is the scheduled day for the closing of the Soo Locks and thanks to Rod Burdick, we get to enjoy a series of shots he took of some heavy, end of the season traffic at Marquette's Upper Harbor. The first two shots, by themselves, you'd just figure these boats were passing by. But a look at the other pictures and you can see them backed up while waiting to load. Rod said that taconite is what they're hauling and because of the cold temperatures, it has to be loaded directly from ore cars, rather than the bins on the ore dock. The reason for that is because when it's cold, the taconite tends to "freeze" if left in the bins. This method of loading the boats is a much slower process, thus the back-up of boats waiting their turn. I wonder if this could be a record for the largest number of freighters spotted at one time?

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 05:09 am:

Now this really DOES make me homesick--my beloved freighters in
my hometown harbor. Such a thing of beauty!

By Theresa R. Brunk (Trb0013) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 06:26 am:

Being from the Soo, boat pictures are always a welcoming sight, and they make me homesick too. Spoke last night with my son who still lives there and he swears he is getting a snow blower this year with his income tax refund. The recent thaw left lots of ice and he is seeing his folly of not shoveling enough away from his parking area.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 06:46 am:

I may be wrong, but instead of "bins" they're called pockets. Just a rememberance of Daddy and Grandpa punching ore in the old days.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:19 am:

Those boats are a sight to behold. Thanks for sharing.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:25 am:

Great pics of Great Lake freighters! I could watch these boats all day long! There is an interesting story at Duluth Shipping News about the Walter J. McCarthy hitting something as she was backing into her winter berth, possibly taking on water.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:35 am:

Thanks again for the great lakes freighter pictures..You are correct the "Soo Locks" close for the season today. there will still be some shipping activity on the lower lakes for another month or so..here is some of todays info from the BOATNERD site this morning.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:37 am:

The Coast Guard reports that the McCarthy is sitting on the bottom, approximately two feet lower than normal, and is secured to the dock.

By Heikki (Heikki) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:43 am:

If these ore boats are loading at Marquette, they are loading pelletized iron ore from the Tilden and Empire mines in Palmer, MI, as opposed to taconite. I became aware of this distinction several years ago after misnaming (for years) these ore pellets as taconite. I think the major ore bodies at the two mines are magnetite and hematite. Taconite is mostly mined, processed, and shipped from the Mesabi range in MN. I'm sure Capt. Paul or Dr. Nat can verify this. If not, I stand corrected.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:50 am:

But, as the Duluth stations report, the hole was patched and the McCarthy is not taking on water. Appearently, it flooded the engineering room pretty good while crewmembers were still inside. All the crewmembers were evacuated safely and without injury.

It is said that the McCarthy is using the Hallet Dock #8 to dock which hasn't been used for a winter layup in recent memory. It would seem that no one checked for underwater obstructions before allowing the McCarthy to dock........

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 07:55 am:

I once heard in a documentary that the depth of Lake Superior is about the length of a freighter. It's hard to imagine when you see one way out of the lake that it is only that deep.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 08:44 am:

Here are the stats on Lake Superior.


By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 08:46 am:

...and stats on the length of freighters on the Great Lakes.

By Cindy Pihlaja Russell (Gone2long) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 08:47 am:

Ooops...forgot to add the site. Duh!


By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:05 am:

I love seeing the older type of lake freighter, with the pilothouse up in the bow. But I love 'em all.

By Bob Gilreath (Bobg) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:05 am:

My brother-in-law is on the Jackson. He called me from the Dock the day these pics were shot. He said that there were 3 Interlake boats in town.

His previous boat was the Kaye E Barker in the first Shot.

He called sunday from Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin where the boat went into winter layup.

By dotti caldwell (Dotti) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:14 am:

Thanks again for the freighter shots. I enjoy Rod's photos on the boatnerd site. His and Lee Rowe's shots make the Marquette Harbor a must see for this boatnerd one day! Yes the Soo closes today. Last year I stayed up til the wee hours to watch the beauty Edward Ryerson lock down and close out the shipping season. It was wonderful. Janie T. I could watch em all day too! I am fascinated by them!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:26 am:

Dotti..I am just amazed at how graceful they seem to move, as huge as they are!

By shawn (Twoyoopers) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:29 am:

There were 5 freigters in the harbor last week, then four when Rod got these shots a couple days ago. Created some wonderful photo ops. Saw Rod and others snappin away- Hi Rod!

By Jared Tormala (Jaredt) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:31 am:

I worked on both of the Interlake boats shown here. I worked on the Kaye in 2006 and the Jackson in 2007. It's a pretty cool job, I hope to go back to the Jackson again.

Bobg: Who is your brother in law?

By Jared Tormala (Jaredt) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:32 am:

Oops, I should've said I worked on two fo the three. Forgot the Beeghly was up there too.

By shawn (Twoyoopers) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:34 am:

I might add that the ships, even though backed up in the harbor the past week, are there for much less time now with the automation of the chutes.

By Brenda Leigh (Brownmoose) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:40 am:

Great photos Rod!! It certainly does take one home. I grew up watching those freighters sail the St. Marys River. My father worked at the Corp of Engineers. We always enjoyed going to the locks to view them locking through. I still return to the park or drive the riverfront watching for them when I return home. It was an easy trip today. :)

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:45 am:

What is it about these beauties that fascinate us so. They're muscle plus majesty that fascinate us. They seem to stimulate our inner feelings of wanderlust and adventure. How fortunate are those who have the opportunity to watch in person.You have made my day.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 10:28 am:

As a 19 year old I left the safe shores in Hubbell and sailed on my first of 3 freighters and got to sail on all 5 great lakes and pull into to load or unload in 44 ports, from Toronto, Cleveland, Rogers City, Chicago, Duluth. A person can't buy those memories for a million dollars.

By Bob Gilreath (Bobg) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 10:48 am:

Jared, Bill Giddens..

speaking of multiple boat shots, here is one from
our lot on the St Mary's river at Detour a couple summers ago:


By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 11:07 am:

The Lakers are one of my sons favorite things on the lakes, and Detour is an excellent spot to see them.

By Michael Du Long (Mikie) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 11:09 am:

Bob, My brother in law Ray DuTemple from Hubbell sailed on the Jackson and was the cook on the boat. He retired some time ago and passed away a little while later. Been on the ship many times visiting him while it was in Detroit.

By Tim Holland (Tholland) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 12:46 pm:

I never tire of visiting the Soo Locks and just sit there for hours watching these machines glide through. If you are a boat nerd, I highly recommend touring the Valley Camp freighter moored in the Soo. Great museum and a rare opportunity to go through an actual "laker." They also have a great exhibit of the Edmund Fitzgerald with actual lifeboats from that wreck that washed up on shore.

By Donald Kilpela (Commodore) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 01:03 pm:

Kraig Funkey just signed off the Jackson. Welcome home, Kraig. He is also one of the owners of the Keweenaw Star, the excursion and dinner boat that sails the Keweenaw Waterway each summer.

Kyle Eberhard (Jack and Sue's oldest son) just signed off the Roger Blough. Kyle will graduate from the Maritime Academy in Traverse City next May as a 3rd Mate with a BA in Business.

I am so jealous of these two. I would give me right arm to make a round trip on the Blough.

By Kristin von Grew (Von) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 01:52 pm:

I was on my honeymoon in the UP in October 2003, and we stayed in this wonderful cabin in Detour - it was right on the waterway. It was amazing to watch the boats - one night we stood outside, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and it seemed that the lights from the silent ships blended with the stars in the sky. I had a freighter not 25 feet away, gliding silently by, and the constellation Orion looking huge and close enough to touch. It was truly awe-inspiring!!! Thanks for reminding me!!

By Kristin von Grew (Von) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 01:55 pm:

PS - I agree with Tholland - the Valley Camp is very impressive. I was really surprised to see the amount of buckling the plates in the hold of the ship had done - it was like walking on a giant iron waffle. Some areas of the ship were dark and off limits, which added a shiver and a touch of mystery to the experience.

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 03:37 pm:

As I always said; working and living on board the freighters is not as glamorous as it may seem. Depending on you're position it can be very hard and dirty work with the deck crew working outside most of the time you're constantly battling the elements. It's certainly a lot more enjoyable watching them pass by.

By sharon gregorich (Sharong) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 03:54 pm:

Tim, Im with you at watching the freighters at the Soo Locks. I live in the Soo and see the freighters every day from my home and never tire of seeing them. My son works on the Valley Camp in the summer and gives tours of the ship.

By Marianne Y (Marianne) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 04:04 pm:

I love all of the laker pictures today; they are awesome! Thank you for sharing them with us today, Rod and Mary. And, thank you for highlighting that today is the closing of the Soo Locks for the season, which otherwise would have been lost in the shuffle with the election stuff!

By Debra J. McCumber (Debwaugh) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 04:20 pm:

I don't know much about giant ships like these, but these sure are pretty pictures!

By Danielle L. Adams (Badkid) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 05:14 pm:

Thanks a ton Rod!! I love your pics.

The picture with all 3 (Jackson, Wolverine, and Michipicoten) was printed in the 4th's Daily Mining Gazette.

These boats are awesome. My uncle works on the Wilfred Sykes..one of the classic boats. I have had a big interest in these since I was a lil kid believe it or not. My parents used to take me down to the coal dock in the Dollar Bay area and we used to watch the boats load and unload...they blow me away to this day. I would sell my soul to the devil to get on one of these boats lol

Eh you people trust Wikipeida?? That is written by other people and can't be trusted to know if it is all trust. To get stats on frieghters why not go to www.boatnerd.com and check out the fleet pages .. or buy ..Know Your Ships ..that book gives you just about everything you want to know about the boat hehe. A new one is published yearly...for example.. Know Your Ships 2008 will be out sometime in late April.

And welcome home Kraig! I see you just about every August when I come on your boat lol

By Danielle L. Adams (Badkid) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 05:46 pm:

Btw ..there is a typo here....and a HUGE mistake on this boat..

On the picture of the "Charles M Beeghly" it says "Charles W Beeghly"...I knew that looked funny...someone messed up when that boat was painted/touched up!! Wonder if anyone from headquarters noticed that yet lol

By Danielle L. Adams (Badkid) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 05:57 pm:

I dunoo is it this picture or what but the one on boatnerd is fine. I think this pic of the Beeghly maybe when it got resized it makes it look funny I dunoo? But anyways the boats name is Charles M. Beeghly for everyone that knows boats.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 09:42 pm:

I finally got a chance to respond to the taconite and depth question from earlier. I posted an answer in the geology thread........

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Tuesday, January 15, 2008 - 11:25 pm:

As somewhat of a boatnerd junkie myself I love these pics!
Being fortunate to live only a few miles inland from the St. Clair River we see these ships frequently right at the end of our road.
I enjoy taking photos of them whatever chance I get. I have close up views of most of these pictured plus many others on my Pasty guest gallery album. "Sunsets, Ships & Scenes"! I posted a couple of mine of the "St. Clair" several days ago here on the Pasty Cam along with Neil Harri's aerial shots of it. Everyone seemed to like them but I don't think I should make a habit of doing that.

By dotti caldwell (Dotti) on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 08:32 am:

Russell why not? We love freighter photos! How lucky you are to be right there to see them for real! Thanks for sharing!

By Jared T (Jaredt) on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 09:51 am:

Its just the pic..The Beeghly still has "Charles M. Beeghly" painted on the side

By Danielle L. Adams (Badkid) on Wednesday, January 16, 2008 - 04:46 pm:

Ohhh Don!! Just to correct you. Kraig was on the James R Barker and they laid up a few days ago in Sturgeon Bay, WI...not the Jackson lol Though he said he was worked on the Jackson before. Good thing I know how to get in touch with him hehe. He's a really nice guy, I have talked with him before on some of the cruises he's given.

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 02:58 am:

Dotti: I would be more than happy to share ship photos we get here often, but I consider that this is a UP/Keweenaw website and the pics I get are from down here in "trolland". Also don't want to appear that I'm "upstaging" anyones featured post. Granted though certain subjects are universally interesting and pertain to Michigan, the Great Lakes overall plus even adjoining states!---and Ontario!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 08:00 am:

Here! Here!, Russ.

By B. McKamey (Bmckamey) on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 10:09 am:

Why can't I find the geology thread? Actually--don't answer that. How can I find the geology thread?

By B. McKamey (Bmckamey) on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 10:17 am:

Found it!

By Nate Gregorich (Grego1nj) on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 08:25 pm:

Hey Everyone! I was just refered here by my mother, Sharon. Yes, I do work aboard the S.S. Valley Camp. I am a tour guide, maintnance, and whatever else needs to be done on the decks, I am called to duty!

After growing up in the Soo, I am now living in Midland, MI. I miss the boats! Everytime i am home, i visit the locks, and yes, even in the middle of the winter. Thanks for adding these pictures. They are great!

God Bless!

By James Resh (Jresh) on Saturday, February 9, 2008 - 08:48 pm:

Where is "the geology thread" that Capt. Paul references from time
to time?

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