May 22-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: May: May 22-08
The Alder's in town    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul Roberts
Docked across the way    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Paul Roberts

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 07:22 am:

The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Alder, at 225 feet long, with a 46 foot beam, is definitely one of the larger ships to sail under the Portage Lift Bridge and it does so twice a year as it switches out the buoys in Lake Superior and along the Portage Canal. The job this ship performs each fall, removing them and then in the Spring putting them back in place, is something we seldom think about, but appreciate when it comes time to navigate the waters in your boat.

Paul Roberts was able to capture the Alder while it was docked in Houghton and the crew of 50 were resting for the next round of tending buoys. After setting the navigational aids along the Portage Canal, it's next port of call sends them to Marquette, Munising and Big Bay, with the final destination being Duluth, MN, the Alder's home port. Once there, she'll be pulled out of the water for a 10 week face-lift, so to speak. The crew will be cleaning and painting the hull, getting her ready for the fall when she'll sail back under the Bridge again, ready to take the 3,500 lb. buoys out of the water for the winter months.

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 07:28 am:

I knew they were "put out" and brought back in, I didn't realize the poundage.

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 07:39 am:

I once saw the Coast Guard cutter "Alder" far out between Copper and Eagle Harbors and could only make out a possible hull number of 618 on the bow. My e-mail to the ship was considerately answered and confirmed they'd been in the area at the time. That made my day!

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 07:50 am:

Speaking of putting your boat in the water, there was a story on our local news that people have been selling their boats due to the high price of gasoline. It wasn't only the cost of fueling the boat but also the cost of fueling the vehicle that towed the boat and trailer to the lake.

On the other hand, I have seen a sign "$0/gallon" at a shop selling kayaks & canoes.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 07:57 am:

Everything's looking fine UP there. Will be seeing it sometime tomorrow as we're heading out in the morning. You guys have a great weekend.

By D. Clark (Dcclark) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 09:28 am:


My officemate regularly wears a shirt with a picture of a bicycle, and "Infinity mpg" written on it.

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 09:28 am:

We can hear the boats going through at work when they sound their horns. They are fun to watch.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 10:17 am:

Great nautical pictures today, good way to start a Michigan weekend.....At $4.00 per gallon I will be taking 4 grandkids to view a museum and freighters in Port Huron this weekend..My understanding here is the Coast Guard will only place the bouyies on the Trenton Chanel @ wyandotte-Trenton if Edison will take at least 5 loads of coal during the shipping season..Most coal shipments are made now days in unit trains from down south and Wyoming low sulfer coal.
Have a safe Memorial Day weekend!!!!!

By Dunerat (Dunerat) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 11:09 am:

This will be my 16th year on Lake Michigan near Muskegon, and I have never seen so few boats on the water in the spring. Usually the day the ice is off Muskegon Lake and they can use the ramps, dozens of fishing boats are out. At night, you see their lights strung out into the lake past the breakwater, reminding me of the line in the David Crosby song The Lee Shore: "flung like jewels upon the sea".

Although it's been a chilly spring with water temperatures still only a little above 40 degrees, I'm surprised at how few boats are out, particularly because a round trip from the ramp out to the big lake and back might be 5 or 6 miles at the most. But I suppose if you tack on the cost of towing to the ramp, like Kathryn mentioned, maybe people are waiting for better weather before they spend the money on the fuel.

By Musicteacher (Musicteacher) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 01:56 pm:

This morning in Calumet, Michigan:


By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 03:23 pm:

$4.35 per gallon this AM Romulus MI near Metro airport per todays noon news! Some experts predicting $12 to $16 per gallon by years end, most though figure $5 to $6 by Labor Day ! !

By Dan Severs (Seversda) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 03:37 pm:

Where Alder is docked in the first picture looks like the same spot the destroyer was docked back in the early 80's. I can't remember if that ship fit under the bridge or not.

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 03:45 pm:

If I remember correctly the destroyer had to turn around and go out the upper entry (west)

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Thursday, May 22, 2008 - 06:02 pm:

Have a great time in the UP, Deb and Mr. Deb. Sounds as if the
weather is expected to be better this weekend than it was last
weekend. We were watching snowflakes fall while at coffee hour
after the service at Faith Lutheran this past Sunday. Watching the
snow fall while eating ice cream sundaes....

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions