Jan 17-05

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2005: January: Jan 17-05
Chunky sailing    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Chris Little

Mary Drew at Pasty Central on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:38 am:

Shipping season on Lake Superior takes a much needed break come this time of year, with all the snow, ice and winds hampering their passage. This shot of the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr., taken by Chris Little, shows plainly what necessitates the winter season lay-up taken by the freighters that traverse the waters of the Big Lake. Anyone who's been out on Lake Superior in the summer can tell you that the temperatures are always much cooler out in the open waters, so I can't even imagine how much colder it must be on one of these massive vessels this time of year!

By smf in troll land on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:41 am:

Brrrr! Wouldn't want to be out there now!

By Margaret, Amarillo TX on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:13 am:

Just a little icy this mornin'.

By Pam, Fruitport, mi on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:17 am:

Great Day!!! We finally got some snow back! More than an inch, fluffy, beautiful on all the trees and bushes... I love the insulation it gives to Mother Earth, my house and everything... I bet the skyviews are awesome on the big ship, sunrise and sunset colors must be magnificent!!!!! Have a fantastic day! Happy Martin Luther King Day! I have it off and am going xcountry skiig... lst time all winter!!!! at Lake Michigan along the shore... Peace to Everyone, Everywhere!!!!

By phillip peterson escanaba,mi on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:22 am:

Good Morning this picture looks how i feel right now next to my window -10 and its only 7 A.M. hey we might get to zero by noon

By Brent, the near-tundra that is UPstate NY on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:26 am:

Great frozen hornie toads! About 10" of snow to blow out this morning and wind chill tonight about 15 BELOW (5 degrees with a stiff breeze). About 3 face cord of wood left, bring it on.

By Raven/Downstate MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:28 am:

Brrr, snow. The number one, and only, reason I hesitate to make a move north to the UP. The white stuff we get down here is more than plenty enough for me. But I love the UP in its other season.

By Nancy, VA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:33 am:

GASP! What a huge "boat". What does that carry?
Cold here in VA, little scuffs of snow here and there. Nothing compared to what my daughter is walking through on her way to class. (MTU) How much is snow IS THERE! The office staff here loves it every morning when I open the cam.
Again the plea.... please send snow!

By ed/mi on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:36 am:

A great picture to start the day for us BOATNERDS. I did spend 2 seasons on freighters during lay-up season and this is a typical view. Thanks for being there daily for all of us Yoopers whether we are transplanted or not.

By Scott, MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:58 am:


The Walter J. McCarthy, JR. most often hauls western coal from Superior, WI to St. Clair, MI but also gets cargos of iron ore pellets.


By Carol, Illinois on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:58 am:

How long would a freighter like this lay-up? Weeks, months? Does the freighter stay in one place while it waits for better weather? How does the lay-up affect the chores for the crew? I don't supposed those aboard would have any way to go ashore while waiting.

By Nancy VA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:18 am:

Would that fill up a football field? Looks bigger.

By Dale B, Lansing MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:24 am:

In reference to the UP temps - I grew up on a farm in the thumb area of MI, born in 1965. We had some chilly winters, with at least a few days getting down into the twenty below zero range each winter. Temps that low in the mid-to-southern LP are rare these days. I spent five years at MTU (84-89), and what I remember most about the UP cold is being able to guestimate the temperature to within a few degrees by the different sounds the snow made when you walked on it. Temps in the teens (both above and below) were common (giving the usual crunch sound most folks know), twenty below wasn't all that unusual (getting into something of a squawk), and we usually had a couple of days that dipped into the thirty below range (quite a high pitched squeak). I lived in the Daniell Heights Apartments for a year (86-87 - in the last building just before the dirt parking lot, on the north side of the street, apt #8 as I recall), and the long walk to and from campus each day provided plenty of opportunity to hone the ability! Long undies, scarves, thick gloves, warm knit hats, and a heavy parka (which most of my friends nicknamed "Admiral Byrd") were definitely necessities!

By flyinlaterindacold on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:28 am:

Tough way to make a living....even in summer....
(Did anyone make it thru da Tech in 4 years?) LOL

By Taana on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:38 am:

Give me the snow anyday. I'm thankful that I don't have to deal with earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornados or tsunamis. Like people there UP here say, we only have two seasons. Shoveling and Swatting.
To FLYIN, my sister made it through Tech in four years with honors.

By The Urban Escapees,MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:43 am:

An awesome photo! Where was Chris standing when this was taken, on another vessel?
Nancy,VA - we have LOTS & LOTS of snow. John Dee's site should tell how many inches so far.
Good day all.

By Scott, MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:55 am:

Nancy, The McCarthy is far over a football field. More like three. She is 1000'x105'x56'

Carol, Lake Freighters generally layup in mid January and start moving again in mid to late March. While in lay-up its stays at the dock selected. (most are in Duluth/Superior, Stergeon Bay and Toledo) The crews go home for winter with one man left aboard who may or may not be part of the normal crew, called a shipkeeper, to make sure everything is okay. Over the course of the winter ship repair crews do various repairs and maintaince on the boat.

By Mark, Lapeer on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:09 am:

Actually the temps out on the water should be a little warmer in the winter than the inland areas. Water holds its temperature longer than air does. This is why the water freezes from the land out. More water = more change resistance. Also this is why the mighty superior is so cold in the summer.

By Kevin K. Lodi, CA. on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:19 am:

Very cool picture of the bridge right now, sun is trying to shine through the snow haze.

By Nancy, VA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:21 am:

It's a science lesson today. Thanks. My MTU dad grad would explain all those tempature and ship size information but him being an engineer there would be TOO MUCH DETAIL!
And "Urban" what is LOTS AND LOTS???

By ert, GA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:39 am:

"one man left aboard" one of those huge ships! What a lonely, lonely job!

By Cindy in Iowa on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:45 am:

Good Morning,
I have been watching the ships come through the Dulth harbour on their web cam, they are becoming few and far between. If you check the shipping schedule, it tells you that most are now coming in for winter "lay-up." That doesn't sound like a bad idea!
Take care and stay warm,

By Scott, MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:51 am:

Ert, They do have contact with others. They work with the various contractors hired to do repairs on the boat. The difference is the contracted repair workers go home at the end of the day and the shipkeeper stays there. Plus the boat is tied up so they can leave for awhile. The biggest problem for them is no running water on the boat in lay-up. All the pipes and plumbing are blown out so they won't freeze and burst. They get their water via big jugs.

By Janie in Iowa on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:53 am:

Cindy in Iowa: I too enjoy the Duluth harbor webcam! but being there in person is even greater! If you have never been to Duluth...plan a trip there! Hop on I-35 and go! Saulte Ste Marie, Mi. is a great spot too! Love those pics of Lake Superior and those lakers Thankyou!! :)

By JoAnne Stefanac, Washington state on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:30 am:

Could someone please post the web address for that Duluth Harbor webcam? Would love to check it out! Thanks.

By CET, Michigan on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:48 am:

Here is the address for the Duluth Harbor webcam.

By Lorelei on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:56 am:

Dale B~
It is so funny that you say you can tell the temp by the way your boots sound when walking in the snow. I was just explaining that to my son over the weekend and he thought I was nuts. I will have him read your entry today to prove my sanity. Thanks!

Hey everyone, get ready for Heikinpaiva at FU this weekend! Hope the weather warms up.

By CIndy in Iowa on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 12:02 pm:

Hi Joanne,
The web site is www.lsmma.com. It belongs to the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association. Click on the web cam, (mine is bookmarked to lead me there instantly) and hit the enlarge. The shipping schedule is there also and will open in a seperate window when clicked. It is fun to see what is coming in and out.

Now to prove that I have absolutely no life (!!!!!), I like to watch the ships come into the harbor and then see them go in even further on the Duluth Aquarium web cam. That web site is

Now if you are really a computer nerd, you see the ships come in off the lake from this web site, which is from the Allete Power Company in Duluth. This web site is

The way I view this--is from Allete to see them coming off the lake. Then the Duluth harbor to see the ships coming through the harbor. And lastly, I watch on the Aquarium web cam to see them in the harbor.

I am sitting here laughing to myself that I am actually writing this down pubically, and admitting my "Lake Superior Addiction." I believe I need to go do something productive now--dishes, laundry, etc...

Take care and have a good day.
PS--you can tell when the ships are going to be on the lake, by checking the shipping schedule the day before.

By Cindy in Iowa on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 12:05 pm:

Hi again,
I forget to tell everyone to give the Duluth Aquarium web cam some time to load. I live in the middle of a corn field here in Iowa and all I have is dial-up. But, I have used faster connections and it still takes some time to load.

By lmr in hancock on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 12:35 pm:

Nancy, As of Saturday we had 124 inches of snow at the airport. Over the weekend, we got about 10 to 12 more inches. Very fine grained stuff and heavy to shovel.

By JW, Indiana on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 01:00 pm:

I did make it through Tech in 4 years. However, looking at all these great views, I miss it already and wish I was back for my 5th. I am in grad school at a place that doesn't get anywhere close to as much snow... at least we did get some beautiful fluff this morning.

Can't wait for my Winter Carnival trip!

By jh, Mi thumb on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 01:12 pm:

Cindy, thank you for the Duluth web cam info. I will add that to my favorites list.

By Nancy , VA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 01:45 pm:

LMR- Thanks for the snow report. can you spare a few inches? The snow boards are rusting. :(

By yooper at university of north dakota on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 01:48 pm:

Once again another lovely temperature here in grand forks....34 below **without wind chill**, have a good day everyone. and if you notice on the wheel house of the mccarthy, where the boom cables attach, youll notice its painted blue, that signifies the mccarthy's dedication to hauling coal...

By bob on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 02:30 pm:

I don't want to even think about what it would be like to be on this guy when the wind starts howling.

By Rob, Milw.,WI. on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:17 pm:

Does anyone know what is in the building just off camera to the right in the "BRIDGE CAM"?

By Rice lake Alison on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:19 pm:

When and where was this picture taken??

By Yooper in AZ on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 03:36 pm:

Rob, Milw.,WI.

Are you referring to the
Ramada Inn, Hancock, MI - map or one of the other buildings on the property?

By lmr in hancock on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:02 pm:

The building next to the bridge is the old Power House which is now our Smart Zone. Companies starting out or other high tech companies are in the building. Many of the employees are former Tech students or co-op students. Making a better place to live with good jobs. The old hospital is also a part of the Smart Zone. They get funding from the gov. to help get companies to start up.

By Rob, Milw.,WI. on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:20 pm:

From the map "Yupper" sent it does look like the Ramada Inn. It looks like two buildings, a small one and a bigger one. Are they part of the same building, or is one of them the Power House/Safe Zone, or something else? If it isn't the Power House/Safe Zone where is it? Is it off camera or on camera? Thanks for resonding.

By Rob,Milw.,WI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:21 pm:

Sorry I spelled "Yooper" wrong.

By K, MI in OH on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 04:23 pm:

Is that just snow and ice on the side or is there a picture on it (or both)?

By Down State Dave on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 05:09 pm:

K,MI in OH, That is an ice sculpture on the side of the boat ------------ sculpted by Mother Nature! Gives it a neat appearance though, doesn't it!

By Kim near Lansing..... on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 05:37 pm:

I'm cold just looking at the picture!!!

By Michael Austin, Holt MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 06:11 pm:

Great picture Chris, thank you for sharing. The temp's this morning took me back to my "chosen frozen" days of living in Northern Minnesota and North Dakota.

By Sarah, Central WI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 07:04 pm:

Now that looks cold!

By Carol, Illinois on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:53 pm:

Scott, thank you for the information on the freighter's lay-up. It is so interesting to learn of lifesytles different than our own. It is why I visit Pasty.com every day

By lmr in hancock on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 08:57 pm:

The building on the Houghton side is the Power House. The building on the Hancock side is the Ramada Inn. Many cars and snowmobiles in the parking lot.

By finland decent on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 09:33 pm:

B-E-A-U-TI-FULL! i tell ya i tell ya its beautiful what a lovely sight to look at just brightens the day. i would absolutly love to be sight seeing in the u.p. right now!!!!

By ed/mi on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:16 pm:

For the shipping industry, it was a great year. "It was because I recorded 3,800 ships sighted," said Rev. Vanderlinden, 75, of Marysville. "The year before it was 2,900." This is the amount of ships that traveled down the St. Clair River in 2004. So anyone want to see large ships can sure view them in the Port Huron area.

By ert, GA on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:20 pm:

Scott, MI -- Thanks for the explanation about the shipkeeper. At least he has some contact w/ people, but can you imagine being the ONLY person on there at night? Creepy! And water in big jugs? I bet he doesn't have any hot showers rigged up!

I think I like solitude until I try to imagine that kind of existence...........

By J.R.Mann,Range Towns, MI on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 10:30 pm:


By molson in twin cities on Monday, January 17, 2005 - 11:00 pm:

I miss seeing these lake freighters passing by Eagle Habor. sitting on the bedrock watching them go back and forth all day long. I wish to here the fog horn that the EH light house ounce had again,it would send off her blast and the get the echo of a friehgter passing as if they were talking. Seeing lake frieghters also reminds me of seeing the Fritzgerald at Sault Ste Marie locks One month before she sank. Lake Superior is beautiful no matter where you are on or by her but beware she has a temper

By Russ E. St. Clair county MI on Tuesday, January 18, 2005 - 01:33 am:

Ed/mi: You are right.--- We are fortunate the road we live on dead ends at the St. Clair River just a few miles away. Just south of our road between St. Clair and Marine City is a small park right on the river. We go there often to see the ships passing and to see the Geese, Ducks, Gulls, Eagles etc. also. I'm getting "hooked" on this boatnerd thing and have started getting photos of the ships, some which are in my guest photo album. We often see the "Tregurthas" and others swing out onto the river and dock at the huge Edison plant. Today while there the river was mostly open with all sizes of ice chunks floating down and we saw only a huge barge pushed by a big tug upbound on the Canadian side. There were HUNDREDS of ducks of various species, dozens of Gulls, several Swans, and Geese out on the river!
The cold was so brutal the focus adjust on my scope wouldn't move! (below 10f)

By Sherri, God's Country on Wednesday, January 19, 2005 - 09:26 pm:

Great picture. I visit pasty.com daily to see the picture.
Also if you are interested in a group, for chats and information on the the U.P. check out:

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