Sep 03-08

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2008: September: Sep 03-08
Waiting for your ship to come in    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tracie Kalliainen
Freighter arriving    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tracie Kalliainen
The bow    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tracie Kalliainen
Fun on deck    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tracie Kalliainen
Ready to sail    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Tracie Kalliainen

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 02:23 am:

If you've ever visited the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, you know the excitement of standing on the platform with the empty lock in front of you, waiting for a freighter to arrive and make the journey through the locks. Tracie Kalliainen reports in from the eastern end of the U.P. with the American Fortitude (formerly the Courtney Burton) going through the locks while it travels from Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes. Tracie has everything covered, from spotting the boat as it approaches the lock, then slides in, so close you can almost touch her bow. You can see all the workings and even the items put on board for the crews amusement during down times, like the basketball net spotted on the deck in picture number four. I sure hope the sailors don't overshoot the basket when they're out on the water, because they're never going to retrieve the ball from Big Lake.

As the boat continues through the locks you watch as it amazingly lowers with the water level and is finally ready to head on her way to other ports along the Great Lakes. And the whole process takes less than 10 minutes to complete. That's pretty amazing when you think of it. I found a neat animated demonstration of how the locks work with a ship entering from the higher water level and progressing to the lower water level. You can view it here on the: U.S. Army Corp of Engineers webpage. Watch and learn. :->

By Smfwlk (Trollperson) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 04:32 am:

Thanks for the great pics! Have to make a trip there again soon.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 07:25 am:

That's awesome to watch. It looks to me like the water's getting higher, though, not lower.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 07:27 am:

Okay, I see the boat's getting lower on closer inspection, but it looks like the water is higher where it's getting ready to go. How deceiving this all can be.

By Serena Sturm (Serena) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 07:36 am:

Awesome pics!

Yesterday I received my Pasty calendar and I just want to let everyone know it's FANTASTIC!! Neil is a true artist with a camera. Thank you Neil!!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 07:48 am:

The Soo is an excellent vacation spot! Try to plan a visit if you have never been there!

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 08:19 am:

The eastern UP is an easy day trip from our place in Cheboygan, so we've made lots of visits over the years. At one time there was more ship traffic, and your chances of seeing ships go through the locks at any hour of the day was better.

But it's still a great place for us boat nerds to get a close look. A few years ago I went to Engineers Day, where they let us go inside the fence and onto that island, and look at all the locks, American and Canadian, and tour the various buildings.

By FJL (Langoman) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 08:30 am:

A positive report about the 2009 calendar. And probably without a preview of it's pictures before the purchase.....

By Brooke (Lovethekeweenaw) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 08:39 am:

We see the locks every year and love it, Taylor has to see the big boats. We have seen bikes and BBQ's on the boats too.

By dotti caldwell (Dotti) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 11:03 am:


By Serena Sturm (Serena) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 11:47 am:

Your absolutely right!! I didn't care what pics were in it I just wanted one.

By Michael Austin (Mjayeh) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 05:17 pm:

I have always enjoyed the Locks, thank you for sharing.

By John W (Jwahtola) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 06:11 pm:

We have apicture of the American Fortitude taken with the full moon just coming up. It was taken in September of 2006. It was a beautiful and rare site. Mrs. W

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 08:44 pm:

Been to the Locks twice, it is very exciting to see the big ships up close. It's a nice vacation to take. not to far away from home.

By Walter P McNew (Waltermcnew) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 08:46 pm:

going thru the locks is got to be one of the most boring things to do on the planet and there are a lot of boring things to do. been there done that

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 08:56 pm:

Sorry you feel that way, Mr. McNew. I thought it was exciting, but only my opinion.

By Therese (Therese) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 09:16 pm:

Mom and I went to the locks several years ago on a hot hot muggy Labor Day weekend. En route she mentioned that in the 1960s she and Dad had seen the Stewart Cort pass on its maiden voyage through Detroit. We were walking up to the park and saw a freighter entering a lock, and guess what? It was the Cort! Very thrilling for her.

Mom is now in a nursing home in Harbor Springs -- Bay Bluffs, one of the nicest and friendliest homes I've ever seen, with wonderful people -- following a couple of strokes this spring. There is a photo there of one of the old Great Lakes cruise ships, and she remembers going on the South America from Detroit to Mackinac Island, then on into Lk Michigan. This would be in the 1940s, before she was married and had all us kiddles. They would board Friday after work, sail all night, tour the island on Saturday, sail down the west coast Sat night then back in time to work Monday morning.

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 - 10:34 pm:

I sailed on the NORTH AMERICAN in '59. Got hired on in Detroit. The NORTH AMERICAN's usual weekly trip was from Chicago to Buffalo, NY. With stops at Mackinaw Island, Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, OH, Detroit again, Sarnia, Ontario, for refueling, Parry Sound in Georgian Bay, Mackinaw Island again, and back to Chicago. Sometimes we'd go up to Sault Ste. Marie, then back to Mackinaw Island. The SOUTH AMERICAN's usual trips were from Chicago to Duluth, MN with stops at Mackinaw Island, the Soo, Munising, Houghton, Ashland, WI (?) and Duluth. Sometimes she would stop in Escanaba, also. But both ships had been all over the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway.

By 4WDGreg (4wdgreg) on Tuesday, September 9, 2008 - 10:36 pm:

I like visiting the Soo. Seeing the big ships up close is awesome. Last time we were there, we took the boat ride through the locks and we loved that too. What a simple engineering concept it is, yet what an amazing creation the locks are. Before the first lock was built, all of the ships unloaded their cargo, and transported it down Portage St. and then loaded the cargo back onto a different ship where the cargo continued it's journey. What a great history the Soo has!

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