Monday, August 19, 2013

Riding on the Diamond Belle - Part I

So after the slight distraction, it was time to get on the boat for the cruise.  I've been looking forward to this cruise for a while.  I figured that even if I didn't see any freighters, there would be some pretty good scenery from the boat.  It was a nice day to boot.
 We would be riding on the Diamond Belle which is operated by Diamond Jack cruises.  She started life as the Mackinac Islander and was operated as a Mackinac Island Ferry by the Arnold Line.  She was sold to a Chicago charter service in the 1980's and renamed the "Sir Richard".  She was bought by Diamond Jack and given her current name.
 She is mostly used as a charter boat by Diamond Jack.  She is still a pretty neat looking boat.
 The first deck is used as the catering and buffet area.  My company put out a pretty good spread and I was pleased.
 Just before we started to get underway.  This is sort of a shot of the pilothouse.
 This is a shot of the upper deck and this is where I spent most of the time.  Sadly, the event was not as well attended as I had hoped but it allowed me pretty much run of the boat.
 One of the first vessels I saw was the Spartan tug and barge.  I believe this barge is used to carry asphalt.
 The Detroit River Iron Works.  I'm not quite sure what they made here but based on the slip out in front, something tells me it had something to do with the shipbuilding industry.
 The cruise would sort of follow the path I took last year when I rode on the Diamond Queen.  Here is a shot of the MacArthur Bridge as we started to approach Belle Isle.  The breeze felt good and it wasn't too hot.
 A shot of our radar.  Now, you may ask why there is a Canadian Flag on the front of the ship.  Typically, a ship will fly a courtesy flag from the front, especially if it is riding along in their waters.  The flag you see on the rear is typically the country of registration.  In this case, the Stars and Stripes was flying from the stern.
 This building serves as a headquarters for the United Auto Workers Union.
 A nice shot of the Renaissance Center and Parke-Davis Complex.
 This building used to serve as the Lighthouse Depot.  It was from here that lighthouses were designed and supplies were stored for their maintenance.
 Now it serves as a Coast Guard facility.  Here is a shot of the Coast Guard tug/icebreaker/whatever else Bristol Bay.
 One of the nice things about taking a cruise like this is that I get an angle of things that I don't normally get.  In this case, I got a nice picture of the MacArthur Bridge.
 As you may recall, the MacArthur Bridge connects the mainland to Belle Isle.
 Looking down the Bridge.
 A couple of the passngers look over the railing.  I don't recall any of them saying, "I'm flying" though.
 Looking almost straight down.
 Coming out the other side.
 A shot of the Detroit Boat Club.  I may have heard some rumors that there is a group in the process of repairing it.  Even though the Boat Club is not using this building, I believe they are still one of the oldest in the country.
 I'm not sure what building this is.
 One of the more common sights on the river.
 The Whittier.  Originally this was constructed as an apartment hotel in 1927.  This was an apartment that had the services of a hotel.  During Prohibition, the hotel would serve the Purple Gang.  Many other famous people would pass through its doors.
 The building was occupied until 2001.  Recent plans have been to convert it to a senior high rise.
 Another view of the skyline.
 Another building that I'm not sure about.
 The view of the Manoogian Mansion from the Detroit River.  This is the mayoral residence.
 The Detroit Yacht Club.
 Another view of the Detroit skyline.
 A shot of the docks in front of the Yacht Club
 I'm not sure what this building is, but I think it is part of the water works.
 As is this building.  I'm pretty sure this building may have been designed by Albert Kahn.
One more shot of the Detroit skyline.

Continued in Part II.....

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