Friday, December 31, 2021

My first and last ship of 2021

 I think I've been a little remiss in doing my end of the year summaries for the past couple of years.  I can understand why I didn't do one for 2020 because it was such an awful year.  I figure that I should do one for 2021.

It's hard to believe that a year has already passed.  Unfortunately, this year hasn't been as exciting as years past.  With COVID, I really had no desire to travel anywhere that required an overnight stay.  Of course, that's not to say that I haven't traveled.  I managed to make it up to the Soo for Engineer's weekend.  I also ended up in Chicago twice this year.  But not staying overnight made for long trips.

When this year started, it seemed to have such promise.  I try to avoid politics on this blog but I did not like Trump and I was happy to see him get defeated.  I think he represents a poison in this country but I don't think he brought it in.  He certainly exploited it and it seems like that is the one thing that he is good with.  But he was gone and the new administration offered such promise.  That is until the reality of a close enough divided government where one side will not lift a finger for the other side (but they will take credit).

What really bought promise was the announcement that they had a vaccine and it was effective against COVID.  As soon as I could get it, I got it.  However, there are many in this country that didn't and that has allowed the virus to linger longer.  So for about two weeks, it seemed like we would make it out of this unscathed.

Because of the vaccine, I was able to go to football games again and shoot from the field but they had different rules this year.  I had to get a pass for each game.  I was able to go to a basketball game and shoot from the sidelines.  That made things fun.

I was also able to go to three air shows this year.  The Yankee Air Museum had a drive in show.  It was expensive but it was kind of nice.  I also watched the Cleveland Air Show from the roof of a parking structure.  That was kind of cool.  As a result, I was able to see the Snowbirds, Blue Angels and Thunderbirds.  I was able to see the Blue Angels because an air show somewhere else was canceled.

Since I pretty much stuck to activities where I didn't have to mix with people much, that meant quite a bit of plane and ship watching.  I'm okay with that but I would really like to return to having this blog be about something.  I might end up doing that next year.

Anyway, the Kaye Barker brought in the New Year for me.
The Captain Henry Jackman took the old year away.

So what are my plans for this year?  Well, I think I would like to look up more covered bridges in Ohio.  I feel like I've scratched the surface for the bridges in the Dayton area.  I think I need to get myself motivated to go for a walk every night.  I want to be able to continue doing what I like and I think to do that, I need to get some weight off.  Working at home for the past almost two years has not helped.   I would like to see if I can get to the Eisenhower Lock this year.  I've never been to it and I would like to see it.  If I remember correctly, it is the first lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway.  I'm not sure what else I would like to do.  I guess we will see what the year brings us.

So anyway, Happy New Year to all my readers.  I'm glad that you've stuck it out with me through the years.  Part of me feels like I've been in a rut for the past couple of years.  I think the surgery took alot out from me and I need to get it back.  So anyway, keep enjoying the blog and if you have any ideas, please comment.

Thank you.

My Last Ship of 2021

 It's hard to believe that the end of the year is upon us.  It seems like January 1st was just yesterday.  It's been an interesting ride so far.  It seemed like when the vaccine came out that we would finally be out from under COVID but it seems like we are worse off now than we were at the beginning of the year.  It seemed like things would get better politically and I'm not sure they are much better now than last year.  But much like Spring Training time, hope springs eternal.  Anyway, I was able to get down to catch my last ship of the year.

The ship in question was the Captain Henry Jackman.  The name is not new but the ship is.  She is the 10th ship of the 10 ship Equinox class.
She was ordered in 2010 and launched in December of 2020.  She was delivered to the lakes in April 2021.
She used the lessons from the other Equinox ships and has improved cargo capacity.  Her hatches are aluminum (which probably also adds capacity), 
She is 740 feet long and 78 feet wide.  She can carry almost 35,000 tons of cargo.
Given her configuration, she is built for the grain trade.
She passes the last ship as I switched to my drone.
Another shot with the Dorothy Ann/Pathfinder.
And then I was able to get a shot of the Jackman alone.  It was a pretty calm day, so my drone was flying pretty well.
I like the wake that she produces.
She continues by.
Couldn't quite get the beam shot, but this is pretty close.

One more shot as she continues on her way to Thunder Bay.  She should be there sometime tomorrow night.

A Surprise Visitor

 So I decided to head down to Belle Isle to catch a ship.  As I was taking pictures of that ship, I heard the rumble of a diesel engine behind me.  Since I was switching to my drone anyway, I turned the drone to catch it.

Turns out that the rumble was caused by the tug Dorothy Ann.  She was pushing her barge, the Pathfinder.
I wasn't expecting to see this one.  Since I was looking for upbound ships, plus the tugs have different colors on Marine Traffic, so I didn't notice that this one was coming down.
I was able to get a shot of the tug/barge passing the ship I was coming down for.
One more shot of her.  She was heading down to Toledo.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

And the Sykes Makes an Appearance

 It wasn't too long before I heard the whistle from the Sykes.  I knew that she was rounding the bend and that I would be seeing her soon.  She was quite whistle happy as she was leaving.

I wouldn't normally take a shot like this but I kind of liked it.  I probably could have sat in a different spot and got a clearer shot of the ship but I liked the spot where I was at.
One of the people watching her back out.  It was a little windy but not too windy for my drone.
A better shot of her stern.
And she clears the bend.
I decided to switch to my drone to get some overhead shots.
I like the new stack with the Cleveland Cliffs logo.
A nice shot of the expanse of beach.
I switch back to my regular camera.  I wanted some ground shots of her.
I really wanted a shot of her and the lighthouse.
And then I switched back to my drone.  Sadly, I was kind of shooting into the sun.
But one of the nice things about the drone is that I can fly it to get a better lighting spot.

The almost bow shot.
She about passes the lighthouses.  She was going about 2 knots, so I had plenty of chances.
I kind of like this shot.
She just about clears the piers.
One more shot with my drone.  This was getting close to my limit.
And then I switched back to my other camera.
I'll have to say the light was just about perfect for this.
She was making the turn to head north.
I think she was heading up to Duluth next.  I'm not sure where she is going after that.
The bow shot.
She makes the turn to leave.
A bit of smoke as she pours on the steam engine.
And just like that, she heads out.

Catching the Grand Haven Lighthouse

 So on Sunday I decided to head over to Grand Haven.  The Wilfred Sykes had gone in the night before and I figured I had a pretty good chance of catching her as she left.

I saw that she was moving, so I headed to the spot where I would get pictures of her.  I've found that the park across from the State Park is a better vantage point.  If for nothing else that there are rarely a ton of people there.
Sadly I was shooting into the sun for the lighthouse, so it looks a little dark.
The range light.
You can see a few people gathered on the pier.  It was a nice enough day, if a little chilly.

The Christmas Tree in St. Clair

 As I finished pictures of the Algoma Discovery, I decided to get a drone shot of the Christmas Tree in the park.

I thought it made for a pretty neat shot.

And the Algoma Discovery

 Actually, I caught this one between the Manitoulin shots.  As I was heading down M-29 to start heading home, I saw that this ship was in range.

I stopped at the park in St. Clair to get pictures of her.
I like this spot too.  you get some good views.
I just don't like the power lines in the background.
Oh well.  
I think she was heading up to Duluth or Superior.  She would be picking up grain there.
As I type this, she is heading to Hamilton.
That is where she will deliver her grain.
She's kind of a nice looking boat.
The beam shot.
She continues heading up.
I love the fact that I can see the wake.
One more shot.