Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Snapping Turtle

As I was heading home from work today, I saw this guy about to cross the road.  Since I don't think I've ever seen a snapping turtle this big before, I had to stop and take pictures.
 I don't think I've ever seen a snapping turtle this big before.  I didn't want to get too close to him, so I used one of my telephoto lenses.  I'm not sure how fast this guy can move, but I really didn't want to find out either.
 He was a big fellow though.  I think a snapper of this size can at least take a finger off but again, I really didn't want to find out.
 I would have liked him in a spot where I could take a better picture of him.
 One cool thing about snappers is that they start to get moss on them.
One more view of the turtle.

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Newly Painted Captain Henry Jackman

Next up is the Captain Henry Jackman.  I was not expecting to see her but I saw her on AIS and decided to stick around to catch her.
 She slowly works her way towards the channel.  Gives a nice quarter view as she makes her turns.
 The spot I use is in front of the range lights.  This gives me a chance to see a pretty long headshot.
 One of the reasons I was glad to see her was because she was sporting a new paint job.
 It is nice to see a ship with a new paint job.  It looks so much better but admittedly paint does not put money into Algoma's coffers.
 A shot of her with the Blue Water Bridge as a backdrop.
 Her almost straight on shot.
 I think she was heading towards Quebec City.  Not sure what she was delivering.
 I just love the blue of the water in this shot.
 She slowly passes by.
And a stern shot.  I'm glad that shipping traffic is starting to reach a degree of normalcy.  I don't think it will be completely normal until more ice on Lake Superior melts though.

The Mighty Paul R. Tregurtha

The ship I was mainly waiting for was the Paul R. Tregurtha.  I had a choice between catching her or the Algosteel.  I decided on the Tregurtha because I also wanted to see the Saltie Convention.
 At 1014 feet, she is the largest ship on the Lakes.  If you stood her upright, she would be taller the Renaissance Center.
 Despite her size, she is still dwarfed by the Blue Water Bridge.
 But that all depends on the view.
 I would hate to be in a fishing boat and seeing this view.
 This view might be a little better.
 But as she gets closer, she starts to dwarf the Bridge.  The current was moving pretty fast, so it seemed like she was taking it more careful.
 She starts to show her length.
 I think I've said it before, for some reason this reminds me of the opening scene of Star Wars.
 A shot of her pilothouse.
 And she passes by.
 The shot of her stern.  It is a nice view to go with the shot from the front.
 Another shot of her full length.
 And her massive bow.
 Another shot of her pilothouse.
And a closeup of her pilothouse.
And one more shot of her passing.  She was heading down to the Detroit Edison Plant in St. Clair to deliver coal.

The Huron Lightship

Just a picture of the Huron Lightship as I was waiting for the Paul R. Tregurtha appear.
The Huron was built in 1918 by the Consolidated Shipbuilding Company out of Morris Heights, New York.  She operated primarly near Port Huron in Southern Lake Huron.  In 1948, she was refitted for diesel power by Defoe Shipbuilding Company.  She was decomissioned in 1970 and replaced by a buoy.  Currently she is owned by Port Huron.

A Saltie Convention

Yesterday I decided to head up to Port Huron for a little boatwatching.  I saw that the Paul R. Tregurtha would be heading down.  I also saw a few other ships hanging out just outside of Port Huron.  Apparently they were waiting for the situation on Lake Superior to normalize before heading up.
 The first ship I saw as I was heading into town was the Apollon.  She is operated by Seastar Chartering Limited out of Athens, Greece.  She was born in 1996 as the Spring Laker but I'm not sure what company.  Based on her shape, I would have to say Federal Navigation since she looks like other ships I've seen from that company.
 A nearly 20 year old ship is ancient for salties.  And she shows signs of her age but she still doesn't look quite as rusty as some of the Algoma ships.
 If you look at the back, that's a Greek flag.  I don't think I've seen many of those in these parts.
 Next up is the slightly younger Orla which is run by Polsteam out of Poland.  She was built in 1999.
 Another shot of Apollon as she heads up the St. Clair River.
 I headed over to the beach near Fort Gratiot to try and get another shot of Orla.  She is heading out to join the Saltie Convention.
 There were at least 11 ships hanging out north of the Blue Water Bridge.  Like I said, I think they were waiting out the crazyness on Lake Superior.  Allegedly, it wont be until June that all of the ice is gone.  Based on Marine Traffic, it looks like stuff is getting closer to a state of normalcy though.
A shot of the Orla apporaching the saltie convention.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Wolf Lake Fishery

The most direct route from South Haven to Kalamazoo is to take M-43.  That takes you past the Wolf Lake Fishery.  Since I had a little time, I stopped there to get a couple of pictures.
 The Fishery was established in 1927 and is used to restock the Lakes with game fish.  This is a group of salmon fry.
 A stuffed falcon.
 A stuffed pike.
 A sturgeon.  This is one of the fish that they spawn from here as well.  For a while, they were getting close to being extinct, I think they are making a comeback.
 This is some sort of trout.
 A wooden sturgeon.
 One of the neat things about this place is that they have a stocking pond where you can feed the fish.  These are rainbow trout, I believe.
 I love the silouette.
 Something lurks beneath the waves.
 A pretty big one.
 A stand of trees just outside the building.
Looking up at the trees.  If you get a chance, you should go here.  It's not too far outside of Kalamazoo.