Saturday, August 28, 2021

And a Bonus Ship

 I was about ready to pack it in when the Speer passed but then I checked AIS and I saw that the next ship wasn't too far away.

The Algoma Strongfield is one of the straight deckers that Algoma Central uses.  These are most used for the grain trade.
A straight decker is a ship without the boom.  I believe they are specially loaded and unloaded.
If they carry other cargo, they can go to ports with hoppers but I think those are becoming few and far between.
I'm not sure where she was coming from.  I would guess that it was either Quebec City or Montreal.  Her last listed port was Port Colborne but that's the part of the Welland Canal that feeds into Lake Erie.
So I know she wasn't coming from there.
Anyway it was nice to see her.
But she's looking a little worse for wear.
One more shot with my normal camera.
And then I switched to my drone.  I didn't fly it out as far this time.  It seemed like she was coming on me faster.
I kind of like this shot.
The near beam shot.
The more or less beam shot.
She continues out to Lake Huron.
And one more shot.

I wanted to catch the Alpena but I realized it would be another couple hours before she would be passing.   It would almost be dark by then.  I may try to catch her tomorrow as she is docking in Detroit.

And Then There Was the Speer

 After trying to see if I could get pictures of Saginaw docking (I couldn't).  I headed up to Port Huron to catch the next ship.

The Speer was coming down from one of the ports on Lake Superior.  I'll say that it was Two Harbors because AIS lists Sault Ste Marie as her origin.  I know that's not true.
She was heading to Conneaut, Ohio where she would be delivering taconite.
Conneaut doesn't have a steel mill itself.  The taconite is transferred from Conneaut to Pittsburgh by train.
I guess that is better than hauling that much taconite from the iron mines in Minnesota.
It was still a pretty nice day.  It was a little cooler in Port Huron but mainly because the breeze.
The Speer has an unloader similar to the Blough and Cort.   Because of that it limits her usefulness.
There are only a couple of ports that use this system.
One of them is Conneaut.  Another is one of the ports near Gary (or in Gary).  And the third is Nanticoke.
A bow shot.
She turns for the channel.
The lighting was great.
One more shot with my regular camera.
And then I switched to my drone.
These things look massive from the ground, they look even more impressive from the air.
Sadly, they probably aren't going to build any more thousand footers on the Great Lakes.  With the coal plants closing and the steel mills going to a different process, there just isn't the need.
The other ones with normal self unloaders will adapt.
I have a feeling the Blough, Cort and Speer will face the breakers sooner than the other thousand footers.

The Saginaw Delivers Stone to Marine City

 I decided to go boatwatching today.  There was a nice variety of ships passing by (even if there were too few of them).  There was one that I was hoping to catch but I thought it might have been too far out.

The first one is a favorite of this author.
She's a nice looking boat even if she looks a little rough right now.
I'm not sure where the Saginaw was heading from but she was heading to Marine City.
Based on her destination she was carrying a load of stone.
I think that means she would have loaded at the Bruce Mines.  She couldn't have loaded at one of the American and delivered stone to an American port.
Anyway it was nice to catch her even if it was a fairly hot day.
Surprisingly, I didn't get much heat haze in my pictures but I don't think the water is as cold as it was earlier in the season.
One more picture with my regular camera.
I switched to my drone.  It was windy but it wasn't that windy.
I love the blue of this river.  It looks almost pure.
The Saginaw just passes by.
Almost a beam shot.
And the beam shot.
She was getting ready to go into her dock.  She kicks up some of the sediment on the bottom of the river.
One more shot.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Whereupon We Catch Five 757s

 So I decided to head over to the airport last night.  It was a pretty nice for it but it was a little on the hot and muggy side.  I knew that I was going to catch a couple 757s but I didn't think I would catch so many.  Anyway, pictures.

First up was an A319 coming in from Mexico City.  One of the things I like about the Airbus is that if you know how to fly one of them, you can pretty much fly anyone of them.  If I remember correctly, Airbus made sure the make the cockpits of each them look similar which cuts down on training costs.
A CRJ-200 coming from Alpena.  I read an article a couple days ago that said the days of the regional jet are numbered.  I suspect that the runs to smaller airports is not profitable or as profitable.
So it was the first of many 757s.
Interestingly enough, Boeing designed the 757 and 767 at roughly the same time.  There are many features that are common on both aircraft.  Because of that, you can transition from one to the other with little training.  It's really a shame that Boeing killed the 757 because they don't really have a competitor to Airbus in the longer range narrow body market (like Iceland).  I heard they were in the process of designing a 797 which will be similar to the 757.  I guess we'll see.  If recent Boeing projects are an indicator, it might be a while.
Anyway, this particular 757 was coming in from Sin City.  Interesting fact, you can play slot machines in the Las Vegas airport.
A CRJ-200 coming in from Lansing.  Apparently this is Delta's shortest route.  If there still was the DTW to Toledo route, that would be shorter by a few miles.
Another CRJ-200 but this one was coming in from Dayton.
A CRJ-900 coming in from Houston.  I have to believe this would be Delta's longest route served by a regional jet.
And it was another 757.
In this case the stretch 757-300.
It was arriving from San Francisco.
A CRJ-700 coming in from Midway Airport in Chicago.
And an A319 coming in from Dallas.
Then there was this A321 from San Diego.  I like to think of the A321 as the competition to the 757 but I think the 757 may be a little bigger.
A CRJ-200 from Appleton, Wisconsin.  Appleton, Wisconsin is where one of the Iwo Jima flag raisers came from.
And it was another 757.
In this case a 757-200.
It was coming in from Atlanta.
It was followed by another 757.
But a 757-300.
That was coming in from Los Angeles.
This was an A320.  I liked the clouds in the background.
It was coming in from Milwaukee.  There is a really good coffee place there.
And then I saw the three lights.
Those lights meant the last of the DC-9 family.  In this case a 717.  If McDonnell-Douglas had not merged with Boeing, this plane would have been called the MD-95.  It was coming in from O'Hare.
A CRJ-900 that was coming from Houston.
And another 717.
This particular one was coming in from Lambert Field.
Another favorite of mine.
If Bombardier had not been bought by Airbus, this would have been the BCS1.  Instead it is an A220.
A CRJ-200 coming in from Madison, Wisconsin.  Madison is the home of the Wisconsin Badgers.
A CRJ-700 coming in from Green Bay.  There is nothing of note in Green Bay.
And my last 757 of the night.
This was another 757-300.
It was arriving from the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, Seattle.
I wish this were an MD-11.
But a 767 is pretty cool.
This was Flight 505 from Memphis.
Flight 505 was the name of a Rolling Stones song.
And we end the night with a CRJ-700 from Des Moines, Iowa.