Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Wounded Bridge

I was hoping to go catch the Kaye Barker as she worked her way through the Rouge, so I decided to head down Jefferson Avenue.  I also wanted to catch a picture of the Bridge since I hadn't done so since the collision with the Herbert C. Jackson.
On May 12, 2013, an intoxicated bridge tender closed the bridge in front of the Herbet C. Jackson.  The Jackson received minor damage that was later patched up...the bridge, not so much.  I'm pretty sure they are going to repair the bridge but it is a question of repair or replacement at this point.  I haven't heard what's happened to the operator though....I hope it's a long prison sentence though.

A Bonus Chinook

As I was heading back to the car, I heard the distinctive sound of a helicopter.  So I had to swap out lenses to catch it.
 Turns out it was a Chinook.  It seems like I've been seeing this helicopter a fair amount lately.  I think she comes out of Selfridge.
 Still, she's a pretty cool looking helicopter.
And she moves on.  I had a brief chance to catch her later but I wasn't ready with my lenses.

Michipicoten Passes Belle Isle

Kaye Barker was the bonus boat.  It was the Michipicoten that I was interested in.  I love her name and I think she's a pretty cool looking boat to boot.
 Here she makes her way down Lake St. Clair.  As you can see it was a pretty hazy day, but I think that makes for cool boat pictures.
 She starts to come into view.  I love the lines of the older ships.
 She comes more into view.
 Slowly she makes her turn for the Detroit River.  This gives an opportunity for a decent headshot.
 And then she presents the three quarters view as she approaches closer.
 Giving an opportunity for a shot of her pilothouse.
 And a closer shot of her pilothouse.
 And then she starts to pass by.
 Giving a nice glimpse of her profile.  I think she has a lovely profile.
 I kind of liked the way the sky looked...although I think I may have overdone the post-processing.
 And she passes by.
 Heading past the trees.
One more shot through the trees.  This also gives you another glimpse of Belle Isle.

A Thursday Morning at Belle Isle

So I took Thursday and Friday off because I was planning on going up to Engineer's Day.  Things didn't quite work out the way I had hoped, so I ended up waffling on whether I was going to go or not.  As I was taking these pictures, I was not planning on going and was just going to spend the day along either the Detroit or St. Clair Rivers since it was a fairly busy day for shipping.  Well it turned out that I ended up heading up to Engineer's Day but still I was in Detroit, so.....
 The view of the Detroit skyline from Belle Isle.  I've taken plenty pictures of this vantage but the water seemed a little calmer than normal, so you can see some of the reflections of the buildings in it.  I didn't like the way the picture came out of the camera, so I did a little bit of post processing to it.  I hope I didn't over-process.
 And a shot of the MacArthur Bridge.
 The Nancy Brown Peace Carillon.  I really liked the way the reflection looked in the water.
 The Belle Isle Conservatory building.  I was liking how the sun was hitting it.
 Since I was going back to the rocky beach, I decided to take a few pictures of the Livingstone Memorial Tower.
 This is becoming one of my favorite lighthouses.  It is the only lighthouse made of marble and one of two lighthouses that is dedicated to someone.
 He was President of the Lake Carrier's association and brought about many safety items to Great Lakes Shipping.
 A Coast Guard boat doing it's Coast Guard thing.
 A closer shot of the tower.
 Shots as I was heading back from the beach.
 I kind of like how this shot turned out.
 A shot of the field leading to the rocky beach.
 Because I can't get enough shots of the tower.
 One more with the field in front.
And a last shot before I moved on.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Michigan Exposures Hits the Road to Engineer's Day

Today was Engineer's Day at the Soo Locks.  This is where they let you across the MacArthur and Poe Locks and you can get a lot closer to the ships than you normally can get.  This is the second time I've attended and I'll have to say it was cooler than last year.  There was much more activity at the Locks (even though I did see my favorite ship last year).
This is a view of the Gott that I would be able to get normally.  You don't realize just how big these ships are until you are looking up at one.

More pictures to follow when I get home.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kaye E. Barker Passes Belle Isle

I took today and tomorrow off because I thought I was going to be heading up to Engineer's Day at the Soo. As I was taking these pictures, I didn't think I was going to head up.  Well, I'm posting this from Mackinaw City right now.   But enough about that....first here's Kaye E. Barker.
 It seems like she is becoming a frequent visitor to this blog.  Ever since I caught a picture of her after she got her new engines, she's been on here a few times.
 She is a beautiful boat at any rate.  I wish she were still a steamer but new engines gives her a longer life I think.
 One nice thing about my new lens is that I have a better shot of getting my full beam shots.
 One more for good measure.
 And she starts to head downriver.  I think she was heading to the Rouge River and I was thinking of catching her there.
 A shot of her stack.
 Another shot of her pilothouse.
And a last shot before she moved out of view.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Aircraft Carriers of the Great Lakes

I like to use my own picture for this blog but sometimes I run across a subject where it would be difficult to do so.  The Naval Institute's Naval History Magazine was once again the inspiration for this article.  Since it has something to do with my favorite topics - the Great Lakes, ships and planes, I had to do a posting.  And based on the name of one of the ships I just had to do a post.  All of the pictures used in this post come from the Naval Historical Center.

World War II was the coming of age for the Aircraft Carrier.  Part of that was out of necessity on the part of the United States since the Japanese did a pretty good job on the US Battleship Fleet at Pearl Harbor and part of that was because of the effectiveness of the airplane in modern warfare.

The US entered World War II with 7 Aircraft Carriers and by the end of the war would have several times that.  It's one thing to build ships, it's another thing to train the men that would eventually fly off those ships.  So the US built some ships which would serve that purpose and that's where we come in.
This is probably one of my favorite pictures from World War II is this picture.  This was taken near the end of the war and shows a handfull of aircraft carriers and was entitled "Murderer's Row" (named after the famed Yankees lineup of the 20's).  So a nation that started with 7 Carriers would have almost that many in one spot.
 The first of these training carriers would start out life as the Seeandbee and was built by the American Shipbuilding Company of Wyandotte, Michigan in 1913.  She was a steam powered side wheeled excursion ship of the Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Company (C & B get it).  It would go between Cleveland and Buffalo until 1939 when the Great Depression caused the liquidation of the company.
 In March of 1942, the Navy purchased the steamer and started to convert her into an aircraft carrier.  She was designated as IX-64.  IX is the designation used by the Navy for ships that aren't otherwise classified.  She was named the Wolverine because she would operate mostly in Lake Michigan and Michigan was known as the Wolverine State.  She was commissioned on August 12, 1942 (exactly several years before my birthday).
 She was fitted with a 550 foot long deck constructed with douglas fir and began her job as an advanced trainer in January of 1943.  She would operate out of Naval Air Station Glenview (in Illinois) and served to train carrier pilots and landing signal operators.  She and her sister (the Sable covered next) were not proper carriers by any stretch.  Neither had a hangar deck or flight elevators.  So if a plane crashed, training would end for the day.   Also, because of wind over deck (the speed of the wind over the deck) minimums for some of our advanced planes were higher than some of the prevailing winds on Lake Michigan, training would be halted for days at a time.  But they still got the job done.
 Once the war was over, so was her mission.  The Wolverine was decomissioned on November 7, 1945 and removed from the Naval Registry in November 28 of the same year.  Two years later she was scrapped.
 As I mentioned, the Wolverine had a sister ship.  She started out the war as the Greater Buffalo and was built by the American Shipbuilding Company at Lorain, Ohio in 1924.  Like the Wolverine, she was also a sidewheeled excursion steamer and she was part of the Detroit and Cleveland Company but she was used to move passengers from Detroit to Cleveland.  She served in this role from her construction until 1942.
 On August 7, 1942, she was acquired by the US Navy and renamed the USS Sable and designated as IX-81.  Unlike the Wolverine, she was built with a steel deck.  She began operations in May of 1943.  She is famous because it was on her decks that future President George H.W. Bush would learn to fly off carrier decks.
Together the Wolverine and Sable would train 17,820 pilots and there would be 116,000 landings on their decks.  The Sable was decomissioned and stricken from the Naval Register on the same days as the Wolverine.  She would be scrapped in 1948.

There were an estimated 135 to 500 aircraft lost during training.

Both ships represented one of many contributions that the Great Lakes Region made to the War Effort in World War II.  It's kind of a shame that they were scrapped after the war though.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

River Walk Days

As I said, there was also the River Walk Days.  I'm not sure when they started but I think they continue through Monday with the Fireworks.  I guess it's a way to increase awareness of the River Walk and the other things that Detroit has to offer.
 You could take tours of the Bristol Bay but I was in kind of a hurry, so I didn't do that.  She is a fairly nice looking vessel.
 A shot of the Ren Cen from in front of her.  Like I said, I'm liking my new lens because I love the long exagerrated building shots.
 A shot of part of the Detroit skyline from near the Hart Plaza.  I didn't really wander around there either.
 The Detroit Fireboat was tied up.  They weren't offering tours of her but you could get fairly close.
 She's a pretty nice looking vessel.  It's a shame she wasn't in the races because I'd imagine she would have smoked the other contestants.
 A closeup of her pilothouse.
 I kind of liked this picture of her stack with the flag flying in the breeze.
 Her pilot.
 The seal of the Detroit Fire Department.
 Another shot of the flag flying past the logo.
 The Bristol Bay's stern.
 The Bristol Bay's flag flying in the breeze.
 A shot of her stack and the Coast Guard logo.
 Looking up at her pilothouse.  It was kind of neat that she had her flags flying.
 One more shot before moving on.
 They had some artwork displayed along the way.  I kind of liked this one.
 And this one.
 I thought this statue was pretty cool.  I just wanted a picture of the Ren Cen in the background for a sense of place.
 A closeup.
 One of the flowers along the way.
 Along with another.
 And another.
 There was a sand sculpture set up as well.  I thought it was pretty cool and I was amazed at the details.
You can't really tell from this picture but there are rides set up.  They also had a pretty large stage set up as well.  It looked like it would be fun if you are into that sort of thing.