Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Random Stuff from the River

Well maybe not so random.  It is stuff that you would expect to see along the river.
 A seagull in flight.  I kind of like the way his wing is curved upward a little bit.  Almost reminds me of the wings of a 787.
 There was a little ice in the Detroit River today.
 The Eye of Saruon.  Or at least that is what it reminds me of.
 I'm not sure what kind of bird this is, but I like it. 
And one of them in flight.

My Last Ship of the Year

Well it turns out that my last ship of the year would be the American Courage.  It seems like just yesterday I was taking pictures of the Peter Cresswell as she laid up in Sarnia on New Year's Day.  Again, I'll have to say that time flies when you're having fun.
 I can think of worse ships to catch for the last of the year.  The American Courage has appeared on this blog in the past, so I will spare you the boring details.
 Like I said in my last post, I was going to let the Speer be my last ship of the year but I saw the American Courage as she was heading into Lake St. Clair, so I decided to chase her up the St. Clair River.  I finally caught her at St. Clair.  The light was just about perfect and made for nice reflections in the water.
 But I didn't have much time to catch her, so I watched as she moved out of view.
 But I couldn't pass up on one more shot from St. Clair.
 Next I caught her in Marysville.  This time I decided to use my longer telephoto to get some closeup shots of her.
 You can see a man on her bow.  I presume he is looking for nasty spots.
 Given that the temperature was in the low twenties and there was already a wind, I can't imagine what 10 knots of added wind would feel like.  Now this is a display of courage.
 Back to her pilothouse.  I'm not normally a fan of the rear mounted pilothouses but I don't think this one looks too bad.
 You can see some of the crew in there and it gives you an idea of her size.
 Another shot of the pilothouse.
 And her stacks.  Each shipping company has a unique design on their stacks.  It helps in identification.
 The Stars and Stripes flying proudly.
 And she moves out of view again.
 Then I headed into Port Huron proper and stopped at my usual spot there.  I kind of like the views here.  The back is relatively unobstructed.
 The water wasn't quite as smoothe here though, so I didn't get much of a reflection.
 And then I headed up to the Blue Water Bridge.  I was catching some of the wind off Lake Huron, so it felt much colder here.  It also didn't help that the sun was going down.
 But that didn't stop me from getting pictures.
 She works her way past the lightship.
 And makes her turn to leave the channel.  This is probably one of the better places to get a headshot.
 Although I like the slightly off center shot a little better.
 A picture of her with the Blue Water Bridge.
 A little bluish tint to give you an idea of just how cold it was.
 Another shot under the Bridge.
And she heads off into the New Year.  And with that, I would like to wish all of my readers a Happy New Year.  May your 2014 be better than your 2013.

What I Thought Was Going to be my Last Ship of the Year

After taking pictures of the Bristol Bay, I headed to end of our newest State Park that a couple friends call the Rocky Beach.  I am sure it has an official name but I like that name so that is the name I will use for it.
 Once again, it was the icy beach instead of the Rocky Beach.  I didn't head further on Belle Isle towards the lighthouse though.  It was too cold.  In fact, I was about ready to call the Bristol Bay my last ship of the year.  If you look closely, you can see the Edgar Speer.
 The Edgar Speer has appeared on this blog but since she doesn't pass Detroit all that often (or so it seems), she doesn't appear much on here.  I am sure I've gone through her history at one point.  In fact, I have gone over her history before.
 Even though she doesn't look like it, she is a self unloader.  She has a system that is similar to the Cort and the Blough.  Because of that, she can only call on a few ports in the Great Lakes.
 Could you imagine being in a pleasure craft and looking up to see this bearing down on you?
 It's not like it isn't 1000 feet long or anything like that.
 As you can see, she's got a pretty good buildup of ice.  The ice started forming on the Lakes around mid-December or so and it has gummed up the works a bit.  The Coast Guard and various other groups have been breaking up ice on Lake Superior and around there.
 You can see little bits of ice around here too but it's not that bad.  Despite that, she was poking along at 8 knots or so.
 A shot of her pilothouse and unloader as she passes.
 She slowly works her way past the Coast Guard station.
 Then I decided to head over to Milliken State Park to get some closeup shots of her.
 I really liked the patterns that ice formed on her bow.
 If you look closely, you can see a person standing watch near the boat.  I know how cold I felt, I can only imagine how he felt with the added wind from the movement of the ship.
 A shot of her pilothouse.  Alot of people don't like the looks of these ships but I do.  I think they look pretty neat.
 At least you can still see her name.
 Another shot of her pilothouse.
 And another shot of her bow.
 A closer shot of her unloader.
 Another of her pilothouse.
 Pulled away a bit.
And the Stars and Stripes flapping away proudly in the breeze.  She is heading to Conneaut, Ohio to drop off iron ore I presume.  I have to believe that she only has a couple more trips before she lays up for the winter.

New Year's Eve Day With the Bristol Bay

It was a nice enough looking day today that I decided to get my last ship of the year.  It was pretty cold though.
 As I was working my way around Belle Isle towards the Rocky Beach, I managed to pass the Bristol Bay as she was heading towards Lake St Clair and beyond.  I decided to stop and take a picture of her.
 Well a couple pictures of her.  I figured I needed some pictures of her as the Coast Guard doesn't get enough love on this blog.  This particular boat is a ice breaker/harbor tug/buoy tender.  I would imagine she was making her way somewhere to help with the ice.  It seems like the ice has come to the Lakes earlier than in recent years.  It is making shipping in December more unpleasant.
 I would have stuck with one ship and one tugboat, but I saw another ship heading into Lake St. Clair as I was taking pictures of what I thought was going to be my last ship of the year.  So I decided to head up to Marine City and points beyond to get a shot of her.  As I was in St. Clair, the Bristol Bay had caught up with me.  The lighting was a little better for me, I think.
 She's kind of a nice looking little boat.  Not as nice looking as some of the older Coast Guard vessels, but it will do.
 She cuts a nice profile.
 A shot of her stack.
 And her ribbons.
And she moves up further on the St. Clair River.  It seems that she ended up at the Coast Guard Station in Port Huron.