Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Again...

So this is the ship that brought me down to Detroit tonight.  Last time I saw her was up at the Soo Locks and it's always cool to run across a ship I saw up there.
 I don't know what it is about the 1000 footers.  As they are sitting near Belle Isle or out on the lakes, they look so small.
 Sometimes you get a frame of reference in the form of another ship.
 But as they get closer, you realize that she is not just another ship.  She is another BIG ship.  For some reason, it reminds me of the opening scene in Star Wars, where you are first greeting by Princess Leia's blockade runner and then rumbling behind it is the Star Destroyer.
 If you're close enough, they seem to pass forever.
 But in this case, she is still far enough away that you don't get a full appreciation of her size.
 Occasionally, you get another hint at her mass by the sight of a crewman on the deck.  But not this time.
 I would imagine one of those anchors would trash my Neon.
 Nope, no hint of her size in this picture either as the bridge crew are obscurred.
 Somewhat of a hint as she takes nearly the whole frame at the widest possible angle on my camera.
 If you imagine the bridge as the size of a person, you get a hint here.
 Maybe a better hint here, as there are few stories on her pilothouse.
 Maybe the lifeboat will yield some clues as to her size.
 Or maybe as she passes downriver.
 You get a glimpse and see that she is at least five stories tall.  That's bigger than many buildings.
 Sadly, no crewmembers here either.
And she sails past the Ambassador Bridge.  So we say goodbye to the Walter J. McCarthy, Jr.  If nothing else, maybe the presence of 1000 footers can give people an idea of just how big the Lakes are.


tugster said...

i think it's the combination of 1000' real feet and not much freeboard that makes them look like they'll never stop. more out of the water would give the illusion of a shorter vessel, proportionally.

Mikoyan said...

They are certainly graceful looking long ships....