Sometimes we just get lucky.
We headed east to DeTour Village to visit some new friends, and to see what we could see of freighters on their way to or from the Soo Locks.
As we stood on the marina’s breakwater, we heard three deep, long blasts of a ship’s horn, followed by two short blasts. Bingo!
The ship appeared around the corner. It. Kept. Coming.
Tiny Elvis whispered in my ear, “Whoa, that sucker’s huge!”
Yes indeed. Paul Tregurtha, the largest ship operating on the Great Lakes complex. All 1,013 feet of it. That’s about 100 feet less than the largest US aircraft carrier!
I inquired of marina staff about the whistle signal that had been blown. No one knew, but they said a retired captain of one large freighter lives in town on the channel, and they understand many ships salute him by blowing their horns.
Ross and Ryan enjoyed the view from a platform that extended into the channel….
A few minutes later a Canadian freighter came into view, and doubled our viewing pleasure.
We’re not sure what exactly happened with this second ship. It came past us and disappeared around the corner. In about half an hour, it came back, and right in front of us…in the channel between DeTour and Drummond Island…the ship turned around and slowly pulled up to the island loading dock for the large dolomite plant!
On the way out of town we stopped at a statue on a hillside that faces the channel. A large tree trunk has been carved into the form of a mariner with the label “The Passage Keeper.” This link should take you to a short newspaper article about the statue: http://www.stignacenews.com/news/2009-12-03/News/DeTour_Passage_Keeper_Statue_Has_Become_Community_.html