Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Algorail Enters the Grand River

Grand Haven sits at the mouth of the Grand River.  At 252 miles long, the Grand River is the longest river in the state of Michigan.  Because of its length, the Native Americans used to call it the O-wash-ta-nong, which means far away water.  The river was important to the development of Michigan, lumber was harvested along its length and floated down the river.  The Algorail would only be going down part of that.
 Based on my rough calculations, I figured the Algorail would be arriving there at around 11:00 in the morning.  So I woke up in time to get over there around then.  And as I arrived at the State Park, I saw the Algorail hovering just over the horizon.   I figured it would make a nice shot.
 The Algorail stayed around the horizon but she was sort of in range of my longer lens.   I think there was a little bit of haze in the air, so the picture may be a little blurry.
 She moved along to the side a little more, but it gave me a nice profile shot between the lighthouse and the channel marker.
 Then she started to make the turn for her approach to the channel.  She was also starting to slow down at this point.  It's actually pretty amazing how maneuverable these ships can be.
 Having made her turn, she starts her approach to the channel.
 This shot kind of illustrates a point about the lighthouse/range light pair.  If you were to draw an imaginary line from them, you would notice that the ship is sort of in line with them.  Back in the day, this would have been important but I would imagine with GPS and stuff, it's not quite as important.
 The Algorail continues her approach and she gets larger against the horizon.
 There was a little bit of wind which made for some little waves.
 A little larger yet.
 She slowly approaches the channel entrance.
 And she starts to dwarf the Range Light.  I suspect if I had stayed in front of the range light, I could have gotten a pretty nice head shot but I wasn't interested in that.
 She slowly works he way in to the channel, even though it looks like she is slipping around the lighthouse.
 This was almost the shot I was looking for.
 A nice three quarters shot from a pretty close distance.
 This is also close to the shot I was looking for.
 This is the shot I was looking for, the ship entering the channel.  I just wish the fishing boat weren't in the way.
 I kind of wish the water were a little smoother, but then again, I did like the wave action over the pier.
 A shot of her pilothouse.
 About as close as I could get to a straight out shot in the channel.
 A shot of her pilothouse as it was straight out.
 Her name and logo.  This part looks like it was painted.
 This part, not so much.
 A friendly wave from one of the crewmen. 
 A shot of her stack.
 She continues down the Grand River (or is that up?).
 She ended up docking at Ferrysburg, not sure what she was carrying.  I think there was a better spot for a picture but I didn't want to go on a railroad bridge.
And one more shot of her before moving on.

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