Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back at 2015

As I said in my last post, it's hard to believe that another year has passed.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing a similar post for 2014.  Within a few hours, 2015 will be in the books and 2016 will be beginning.
 I was still doing basketball at the beginning of the year.  With the start of EMU's season, I was expecting them to make waves in the MAC.  It turns out that they didn't make waves in the MAC regular season but they almost made waves in the tournament.  Sadly, the tournament isn't set up for a Cinderella story and they didn't make enough waves.  With that said, they had another 20 win season.  As I am writing this post, I'm going to make a guess that they will have another 20 win season this year.
 The shipping season ended with another season of thick ice.  I was able to witness the efforts to try and free the Herbert C. Jackson from the ice.  It was pretty neat.
 I went to the Auto Show again.  I enjoyed it but you really need to get there fairly early so that you can get shots without people in them.
 It was a particularly nasty winter this year.  We ended up getting a ton of snow.  But I was able to wander a bit.  I got some nice shots of Marblehead.
 Of course I had to make the trek over to the western side of the state to catch lighthouses in the ice.
 The MAC tournament brought me to Cleveland again.
 I decided that I wanted to see something different this year.  yes, I know that I post several pictures of trains on this blog but I've never seen a street running train.  This particular one was in LaGrange, KY.
 Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to stop in Louisville as well.  I ended up discovering a new canal which means that I might need to find my way back to Louisville.
 Then on the next week, I decided to take a not so well planned trip to Washington DC to see the cherry blossoms.  I did manage to catch a few but I didn't see the bulk of them.
 It was my annual train trip to Chicago.  It was pretty cold though but I got some nice shots of Chicago in the fog.
 One of my trips to the Soo.
 I ended up heading to Muskegon to catch a ship entering the harbor.  I didn't realize it was so foggy but I like the pictures.
 This year found me in another new place.  Ever since I took pictures of the covered bridges in Michigan, I wanted to find a place where I could get more pictures of them.  One of those places was Parke County in Indiana.  It is about 50 miles west of Indianapolis.  I thought it was pretty neat but I wasn't sure of the authenticity of some of them.
 No year would be complete without Engineer's Day at the Soo.
 I found out that the Nickel Plate would be making a move across northern Ohio in order to get to her excursion places for the summer, so I decided to chase her.  I ended up finding some nice train watching places that I need to check out again.
 The Boatnerd cruise was pretty cool and we got pizza delivered by the Westcott.
 The Willow Run Air Show brought us a flying B-29 and this was pretty impressive.
 Of course I did football again.  Eastern's football season sucked to be honest.  They were 1 and 11 but they showed some improvement on offense.  However, defense regressed.
 I also went down to the Cleveland Air Show.  I was able to get a bifecta for a picture.
 While I was researching covered bridges, I also found out that there was a large number of them in Ashtabula County in Ohio.  I decided to head over there and I managed to catch the Blough as she entered Conneaut.
 A recent catch of the Sykes entering Grand Haven.
And the year kind of ended with what will become the annual chasing of the Pere Marquette.  There again, I found some different places for pictures.

Despite not making any major trips, I would say that I ended up doing alot of travelling this year.  I'm not sure what next year will bring but I suspect there is going to be a large train trip in my future.

My Last Ship of the Year

I can't believe it's been a year already.  I guess time flies when you are having fun.  My first ship of the year was the Cuyahoga which is a classic laker.  I suppose it's only appropriate that I end the year with one that isn't.
 The H. Lee White was heading down to Monroe.  I assume she is going there with a load of coal for the power plant but I'm not sure.
 So I found sort of a new spot on Belle Isle for taking pictures of ships.  It's not one of the better spots but I couldn't make it in time to catch her on the end of the island.
 She is one of a handful of "river" class boats and is designed with the Cuyahoga River in mind.  I think she's made a few trips down that River. 
I was going to stick around to catch another ship but she was about an hour and a half behind.  The weather was looking a little iffy not to mention that it was pretty cold as I was taking my pictures.  I think our weather gift has left us for now.
It was still pretty fun taking pictures.
I think the Welland Canal officially closed today and the Soo Locks will be closed in two weeks, so I need to get whatever boatwatching I want to get done soon.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Wolverine

I decided to get something for dinner from Kroger and I looked at the time.  I saw that the Wolverine would be passing, so I headed over to Gallup Park to catch it.
 I'm not sure what the structure to the right is for, I probably should have cropped it out.
But it was nice to get different shots of the Wolverine.

The Mighty Paul R. Tregurtha

This was the ship that actually dragged me up to Port Huron.
 Even though her normal run is to the power plant at St. Clair, it seems like I can never catch her.
 At 1013.5 feet, she is the largest freighter that currently travels on the Lakes.  This gives her the title of  "Queen of the Lakes".
 Like I said, she normally makes the run to the power plant with a load of coal.   She can carry 68,000 tons of it. 
 She makes her turn towards the channel.
 The headshot is probably my favorite.  It gives you an idea of just how huge these ships are.
 With another turn, she enters the St Clair River channel.
 It's amazing watching these giant ships maneuver the way they do.
 And this shot gives you an idea of her length.
 A shot for some clouds.
 A shot of her bow.
 Another almost beam shot.
 And her pilothouse.
I was actually thinking of chasing her down the river, but at this point getting up at 4:30 caught up to me.

The Kaministiqua Coming Off Lake Huron

It was getting brighter, so I was able to use somewhat normal settings for the next ship.
 Next up was the Kaministiqua.  I believe she was heading down from Thunder Bay, but I'm not 100% sure.
 I know that she was heading down to Windsor.  I presume she was heading to the grain elevator there.
 At any rate, she's a fairly nice looking vessel.
 She's framed pretty well by the Blue Water Bridge.
 I think the skies were looking kind of cool and fortunately any weather was staying away.  Although I could see hints of the bad weather from Monday.
 She passes by.
 A shot of her bow.
 And her pilothouse.
 Another shot of her pilothouse.
 And she continues down the river.
One more shot of her.