Queen of the lakes

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!
DSC_6355_aI 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….
DSC_6414_aA few minutes later a Canadian freighter came into view, and doubled our viewing pleasure.
DSC_6430_aWe’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
DSC_6515_a

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5 thoughts on “Queen of the lakes

  1. It’s hard to believe how large those Lakers are that are over 1000 ft long. On my recent bike tour around Lakes Erie and Ontario, we saw a retired Laker on the Cleveland waterfront, now a museum. It was unbelievably huge, but “only” 618 ft long. I could not imagine one 50% longer, but here you’ve got a good photo of one. We did pass a Laker when we crossed from Whitefish Point back to the Soo Locks in 2010, but it was one of the “small” ones.

  2. I can’t imagine a better pleasure for Ross and Ryan than what you are doing as a family. Blessings to all of you! Love your writings, Doug. I can hear you speak as I read. It’s a pleasure knowing you!

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