Thursday, August 31, 2017


The weekend of Thunder Over Michigan is almost here. 
 Yesterday as I was looking at Facebook, I saw that the Yankee Air Force had announced the arrival of the Blue Angels.  After work, I decided to head over there to see what kind of pictures I could get.  It's not too bad considering it is facing the other way.
 A Piper Archer preparing to take off.
 A better shot of Number 7 Blue Angel.
 A Beechcraft King Air coming in.
 Another angle of that plane.
 Number One looking out at the place where it will be performing on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
A Dassault Falcon coming in for a landing.

I decided to take tomorrow off.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do but if I'm still in town, I might try to catch the Blue Angels while they practice.

Some Sunflowers

A little bit further down the road were some sunflowers.
 It wasn't quite a field of them like other places but it is still nice to get some pictures of them.
 I kind of liked the silo in the background.
 I kind of like the blurred background.  On of the advantages of using the telephoto.

Another sunflower.

A Couple of Farm Animals

After catching the ships, I ended up going for a little ride.
 We rode past a horse farm.
And they had a goat.

Sprucing Up With the Spruceglen

So the last ship from Sunday is another one belonging to Canada Steamship Lines.
 I think the Spruceglen is another ship that isn't long for this world.
 If I remember correctly, the Pineglen and Atlantic Erie were scrapped and they are about the same age.
 Granted, it's not as sad as losing a classic laker but it is still sad to lose a ship that you grow familiar with.
 The boat in front is much further ahead than she appears.
 Passing Windmill Point.
 This is probably my favorite angle for a ship.

And one more shot before moving on.

A Little Coastie Love

On the other side of the island there were some boat races going on.  I think it is the Gold Cup Races but I'm not 100% sure.
 That of course meant that there was a little more boat traffic than usual which probably also meant that the Coast Guard was busier than usual.
 I have the greatest respect for the Coast Guard.  They have to go out in conditions that should keep many folks at home (but don't).
 It seems like they don't get the respect they deserve.
But of course, everybody remembers them when they need them.

Hopefully For More Years

It is no secret that I'm a lover of the classic laker.  The classic laker is a ship that is unique to the Great Lakes (I think).
 I have no idea why the classic lakers have the pilothouse in the front.  It doesn't make it any easier to steer in some of the windy rivers.  Maybe it helps with seeing some of the obstacles in those rivers.
 But it is a look that sets the lakers apart from their ocean going counterparts and the newer ships that appear on the lakes.
 With many of them built in the 40's and 50's, their number is certain to dwindle over the next 10 to 20 years.  Especially since many of them are worked pretty hard.
 The Mississagi originally started life in 1943 as the George Sloan out of the Great Lakes Engineering Works in Rouge, MI.  The fact that she is still sailing is a testimony to two things.  One, she was built fairly solidly.  Two, freshwater is not nearly as harsh on ships as saltwater.
Given her looks at times, I always wonder if she is going to be setting her date with the torches in the near future.  I hope not because she is one of the nicer looking lakers.

Another Frequent Visitor

So I decided to go out boatwatching on Sunday.  There was another ship that I feel like is living on borrowed time.
 This one isn't it though.
 The Algosea is a fairly frequent visitor to this blog.  She's not as frequent as some but not too bad.
 That is mainly because she is normally in Sarnia and will make trips up to the Soo or to Nanticoke.
 This of course, gives me a few opportunities to catch her.
I don't mind because I think she's a fairly nice looking ship.

Just Some Shots of the Livingstone Lighthouse

I also went back to Belle Isle on Sunday.  In between shots of the ships on Saturday and Sunday, I decided to get some shots of the Livingstone Lighthouse.
 It seems like they are letting grass in this area of Belle Isle grow a little more than usual.  That makes it a little more difficult to walk around, but it's not too bad.
 It does make it look a little more like prairie land.
 Combining that with the lighthouse makes for a good picture.  I think.
 I liked the way the path looked because of the curve effect.
 I think I really like this picture.
But I like this one a little more.

A Rare Visitor

The next ship was following fairly closely behind the Frontenac, so I decided to stick around to catch her.
 Next up is the Pacific Huron.  She is one of many salties that visits the Great Lakes but I'm not sure that she visits the Great Lakes as many as some of the other ships.
 Last time I saw her was in 2011 in roughly the same spot.
 She was built in 2010 as the Seven Islands.  She was given her current name in the same year.  She is owned by Freese Shipping out of Stade, Germany.  Like many foreign ships, she is flagged in a different country.  In this case, Antigua and Barbuda which is in the Caribean.
 As I was taking this picture, she was on her way to Montreal but I'm not sure what she was carrying.  If I had to venture a guess, it was grain.  While she is in Montreal, she will likely pick up another load to carry overseas.
And one more shot of her.

An Old Friend

With the Algorail in layup and likely to be scrapped at the end of the season, the Algoway making runs and probably destined for the scrap heap, the Algosteel making runs and probably destined for the scrap heap, and the CSL Tadoussac in layup.  There is likely only going to be two classic Canadian Lakers left.  There is the John Leitch and I'm pretty positive she has a couple years left anyway.  While she is not a classic laker, she is configured like one.
 The Frontenac is the other ship which dragged me out to go boatwatching.  I was hoping to catch her further up the St. Clair River but I barely caught her as she made her way down past Algonac.  That was the same situation with the Algoma Strongfield.
 After catching both ships at Algonac, I decided that I wanted better pictures and Belle Isle provides that opportunity.
 Although with the lake levels where they are, there aren't too many places on what used to be the Rocky Beach where I have good vantage points.  But I did manage to find one.  The island was a little busier than normal as the boat races were going on.  One of these years, I'll have to wander over there to catch them.
 Anyway, I was out seeking the Frontenac.  I think she was also headed to Quebec City but again I'm not sure what she was carrying.
 At any rate, it was nice to catch her.
 A shot of her pilothouse.
 A shot of the Canadian flag flapping proudly in the breeze.
The top flag is the house flag for Canada Steamship Lines.  Below that is a flag of the 150th Anniversary of the founding of Canada.  The next flag over is the Stars and Stripes and I'm not sure what's below that.