Thursday, June 18, 2015

The American Courage Enters a Foggy Muskegon

So it was the moment I was waiting for.  I was alerted by the sound of the fog horn as the American Courage started to make her way towards the channel opening.  It's actually kind of cool to hear a ship as it comes in on a foggy day.  I guess it's even cooler if there is a little ice mixed in.
 I believe a ship is required to sound the fog horn every minute (or so) during fog like this.  So you basically have some degree of silence followed by the blast of a fog horn.  If your surroundings are quiet enough, eventually that quiet will be broken by the sound of the ship's engines.  Once you hear the engines, it wont be long before you actually see the ship.
 My only concern was the ship being told that it was too foggy.  I would have hated to travel all that way to come home without pictures.
 More of the ship starts to appear as it gets closer.
 Soon it sort of resembles a ghost ship.
 Which I guess is fine, since it was almost a ghost lighthouse.
 The water was almost smooth enough for me.
 This is probably my favorite of the bunch.
 A shot of her pilothouse.
 And her bow as it starts to continue on.
 One of the things I like about catching a ship in a place like this is that you get a good idea of just how massive they are.  I mean, the deck is the equivalent of two or three stories, the pilothouse is typically another four to five stories, so in essence, you are looking at a six to eight story building.  It's hard not to feel dwarfed by that.
 Another shot I was thinking of using for Flag Day.
 Another angle of the pilothouse.
 She starts to enter Muskegon Lake.
 And passes a few fishing boats.
 These buoys were being stored at the other end of the pier.
 One of the things I like about taking pictures of ships in Michigan is that occasionally you will get a scene like this.  The heron started to take off as the ship passed.  I believe this is the smaller end of Lake Muskegon.
 A clearer shot of her.
 And one more for good measure.
 I then found a spot where I could get some pictures of her in her dock.  I believe these two men had to go out and pull lines or something.
 "We must move faster".
 She started to unload her cargo.  Apparently, she had a split load for Muskegon and Grand Haven.  Normally, it would take her a couple of hours to unload the split load.  If she weren't having problems with her unloader, I could have gotten her as she was leaving Muskegon and then entering Grand Haven.  Since I didn't want to be heading home too late, I ended up leaving before she left Muskegon.
Her cargo was starting to flow a little better but something tells me it wasn't flowing enough.

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