Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Last Ship of 2016

As I type this, it is already 2017.  I can only hope that 2017 is better than 2016.  For me personally, 2016 wasn't too bad of year.  I didn't do quite as much as I had hoped but I did get some new experiences.  I will sum those up in another post.
 There are many boatwatchers who do not like the John D. Leitch.  They think she is an ugly boat.  While I do not think she is one of the prettier boats, I don't think she's particularly ugly either.
 I will call her unique looking and given so many things that are cookie cutter, I'll take unique. 
 Anyway, she was heading up to Thunder Bay.  I'm not sure if that's for layup or she is going to pick up one final load of grain for somewhere.  I suspect it's for layup.
 She's another boat that I hope it's not her final layup but I think she had a few more years left in her.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a good 2017.

The Algoway Makes an Appearance

Next up is the ship that made me want to go shipwatching.
 I have a feeling that the Algoway is not much longer for this world.  Last few times I've seen her, she's looked pretty rough.  As I watched her pass by today, she was starting to sound pretty rough too.
 She started the morning in Lorain, Ohio.  I'm not sure what she delivered there but I managed to watch her on AIS and figured that I would be able to catch her around Marine City before it got too dark.
 She was heading up to Owen Sound which is basically across Lake Huron from Alpena on that peninsula in Canada.  I believe her AIS said that she was going for layup.
 I'm hoping that it's not her final layup but something tells me that depends on how soon some of Algoma's new builds get finished.
I'm pretty sure she has one more season left in her but that probably depends on how the trades are going.

Even a Little Planewatching

I was not expecting to catch a plane but there was one passing by.
It turns out that this was a Cessna 180 that was built in 1953.   The Cessna 180 had it's first flight in 1952 and is sometimes known as the Skywagon.  In total there were over 6,000 produced.  One of these was used by Geraldine Monk in order to fly around the world.  Currently that plane is on display at the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

The Algosea Moves On

The next ship was stopped when I got up there.
 When I arrived, the Algosea was waiting in the anchorage just north of Port Huron.  Almost right after the American Mariner passed by, she started to go.
 I think she was heading into Sarnia to dock.  I'm not sure if it was because she had cargo or was going up into layup.  Or perhaps she was picking up a load for somewhere else.
 At any rate, I kind of looked at catching her as a bonus since it was unexpected.
 And one of the reasons why I like to catch ships at Port Huron.
 Of course some of the other angles aren't bad either.
 And I really liked the way the clouds were leading in this picture.
she continues on.  It did turn out that she wasn't going too far way.  She ended up docking across from the scenic area in Port Huron.

The American Mariner Passes By

So the first moving ship I caught was the American Mariner.  She is owned by American Steamship.
 I believe she was heading down to Cleveland.  It seems like there are many ships trying to get their last loads of the season in.  If I remember correctly, the Welland Canal closes down today.  Not that it has an impact on ships that don't use it.  I think the Soo Locks close in two weeks.
 I think she may be delivering iron to the steel mill there but again I'm not sure.
 It wasn't too bad temperature wise today but the wind kind of made it a little nastier than it should have been.
 Anyway, there was just the right mix of sun and clouds.
 And I liked the way the clouds seemed to point at the ship.
 And she moves off to other pastures.
 I caught up with her again at Marine City.  There were a couple other ships I wanted to catch there and I wasn't sure if I would have enough light to get them later in the morning.
 And it was kind of nice with the sun setting.
 And the American Mariner approaches one of the following ships.
One more shot of the pair.

New Year's Eve Boatwatching

I decided to head over to Port Huron today.  It seems that I now have a tradition of trying to get my last ship of the year.  It looked like a pretty busy day on the river, so I figured it was a good day for boatwatching anyway.
First up is the ship that was docked over in Sarnia, the Algoma Hansa.  She's been on this blog before, so really no need to go into her history.

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Cessna Flies Over the Office

All afternoon I heard a plane flying over the office.  I got tired of not getting a picture so I decided to head out.
I'm not sure if this was the plane that was flying over all day but it was still a plane and therefore picture worthy.  It is a Cessna Skylane but I'm not sure who owns it.  I kind of like the coloring though.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Some Pictures of Milkweed

In between pictures of planes, I decided to get some pictures of milkweed.
 I don't really have much to say except that I was using my big lens to get this pictures.
I kind of like the way the depth of field worked out for these.  Super focused subject and super washed out background.
 Except that sometimes the light didn't cooperate with me.
 It was a little more difficult getting some of the angles I really wanted.
 Fortunately, the plants themselves were in all sorts of angles.
 But I still got some nice pictures out of it.
I hope you enjoyed.

More Long Distance Planewatching

So I had a little time at lunch again today and I decided to try my hand at some distance planewatching again.  I didn't see any planes that were passing through but the planes taking off from Metro were about at the right spot.  Sadly, I wasn't writing down the information as I was taking pictures, so I can't write about destinations.
 First up is a 737 from Delta.
 I believe this is an Airbus A320 or A319.
 I know that this is a Boeing 757.
 Another 737.
 This of course is the 747 on its way to Japan.
 Another Airbus.
A Southwest 737 heading for somewhere.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Long Distance Planewatching

After watching the crows for a bit, I decided to scan the skies for birds of a different sort.  The winds must have been right because the planes were taking off almost right over me (albeit at a few more thousand feet than I'm used to).
 First up was the Delta 747 that was flying to Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan.
 Next up was a Singapore International Airlines 777 flying to somewhere.  It didn't originate at Detroit Metro Airport, so I'm not sure where it was coming from or heading to.  It was still pretty neat to see.
 Next up is a Southwest 737 taking off from Metro Airport.  By the time they are flying over Ann Arbor, they are pretty high in the air.
 As I was about to head out, I saw that there was a 757 passing by.  Of course I had to take a picture of that.
Then there was an American Airlines Embrear 170 that was passing through.  Again, I'm not sure where it was heading.
The last plane was a Delta Airlines Airbus A320.

While I prefer the more up close and personal view from the airport, distance watching can be nice in a pinch.  Especially when the skies are as clear as they were at lunch.