Nov 16-09

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2009: November: Nov 16-09
Manitowoc    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
James R. Barker    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick
Michipicoten    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Rod Burdick

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 06:31 am:

To go along with yesterday’s Shoebox Memory freighter scene, here are three current photos from Rod Burdick. We start off with a shot of the Manitowoc departing Marquette Harbor. Rod added that there were gale warnings the day she was headed out. You can see there were already small white caps forming on Superior.

The second photo is the 1000 footer, James R. Barker as it was making its way back out onto the Big Lake, after unloading a cargo of coal in Marquette. Rod's last picture is the bow of the Michipicoten as it was docked at the ore dock, again in Marquette Harbor.

There are many boat watchers out there and I think we all somewhat romanticize the life of a sailor on these boats, but when it comes to November and December shipping on the Great Lakes, the dangers increase with the changes in the weather. Let's keep these folks in our thoughts and prayers for the remainder of the 2009 shipping season.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 07:11 am:

Love boat pics!

By allen philley (Allen) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 07:41 am:

Wonderful Lake boats. I can appreciate the 1000 footers such as the James R. Barker (Wow), but it is nice to see the older ones such as the Michipicoten (they are beautiful). I wonder which style the Captains prefer? Can someone here tell us the oldest on the lakes?

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 07:46 am:

I am really enjoying the ore frieghters theme this week! Bob and I do barge watching when we visit the Mississippi Port of Guttenburg Ia., but they just don't quite equal the excitement of these "lakers"!

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 07:47 am:

On our way back to Toronto from visiting with my dad and my
mother-in-law, we were fortunate to see two freighters--one just
going under us on the Blue Water Bridge, the other down river.
We weren't able to see the names on either, but it sure was a thrill
to see on our early morning crossing (about 7:30).

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 07:58 am:

I really like the pictures of the freighters. Reminds me of going thru the Soo Locks to see them.

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 07:58 am:

Wonderful boat pictures! Living for 30 years one block from the St. Clair River, busiest waterway in the world I've been told, saw these liners everyday; many everyday and from all over the world. Miss being so close to them, so these pictures were super to see this morning. Thank you!

By Richard J. (Dick_fl) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 08:10 am:

You can find the answer to the oldest lake boat and many other interesting facts at Here for example - "The oldest lake freighter type boat is the E.M. Ford(built 1898). She is, however, in long term layup. The oldest operating lake boat is the Southdown Challenger (built 1906)" -

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 08:57 am:

The second ship sure is long. I bet Neil could probably land his plane on that bad-boy. (That is if he didn't over-shoot it because he was on his laptop.) :)

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 09:33 am:

Alex, standing end to end the BARKER is 300' longer than the GM RenCen building in Detroit.

By Anna Roehrich (Updreamer) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 09:34 am:

We drive up to Duluth to see the freighters come in whenever we can. There's nothing like being that close to something that big. They are truely fascinating.

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 10:09 am:

Kosk in Toronto...the Blue Water Area is the exact area I was talking about. I remember scooching alongside these liners with a 15ft. fiberglass boat with a 70hp Johnson motor and looking up at them was a sight to behold. They are humungous!

By Sean Finnegan (Sean) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 10:34 am:

To put the size of the James R. Barker in perspective, the USS Ronald Reagan is 1092 feet long, the Empire State Building 1,250 feet tall.

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 10:35 am:

yes, these boats are huge, but when the get out in the middle of Lake Superior they look tiny. The big lake makes everything look small.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 12:04 pm:

The big 1000 footer's make economic and engineering sense. That is progress. But I have always preferred the classic lines of boats like the MICHIPICOTEN. I guess that goes back to watching the boats off Eagle River in the '50's. There were times that one could see a dozen of them out on the Lake. But that was a time when we (the US) were the greatest industrial power in the world and the iron mines and steel mills were going full bore. The boats were smaller and more numerous. A big modern boat replaces maybe 4 - 6 older boats - along with their crew. Less iron is being mined and there are fewer steel mills. Now hours may pass before one boat is in sight.
Mines have a finite life - that is a given. But making our own steel is a choice. We seem •••• bent on destroying the industries that made us great.
Nice pictures of the boats, let's hope they will always be on the Lake.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 02:24 pm:

My favourite style of Lake boats are the ones that look like the Michipicoten.

By Mike (Upboundeh) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 05:35 pm:

There is just something about watching these big boats move across Lake Superior, into the ore docks and getting loaded and then off again. If anyone knows of a way to get a ride on one let me know, I think that would be awesome!

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 06:04 pm:

Mike on the site they have raffles usually in the spring for a few trips on different freighters. Other than that you would have to be a company official or one of their relatives.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 06:06 pm: has a few raffles in the spring and that would be the only way to get a trip on a great lakes freighter.

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 06:15 pm:

Janie T -- we went through Guttenberg, Ia. last month. The views from the highway north and south of town are among the very best of the Mississippi on its entire length and we have been from Baton Rouge to Lake Itasca this summer.

By Mike (Upboundeh) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 06:32 pm:

Thank You Eddyfitz! I will try that.

By osceola brulla (Sonofbrulla) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 06:45 pm:

SUPERIOR PICS ROD of the ships and the big cold water of lake SUPERIOR not long we all will be freezing a

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 08:23 pm:

I still think the prettiest boat on the lakes is the E.L. Ryerson. I sailed aboard her in 1963. 733 ft. at the waterline. Has anyone seen the Oasis of the Seas cruiseliner? Was built in Turku, Finland and just got to Port Everglades, FL the other day. 1181 ft, 154 ft beam, draws 30 ft of water. 213 ft height above the water, 16 decks. Only cleared a Baltic Sea bridge by 12 inches! Can carry 5400 passengers and a crew of 2100. There are many pages about her on Google. The Finns are in the process of building another just like her to be launched next year. Voi kauhea!!

By Daveofmohawk (Daveofmohawk) on Monday, November 16, 2009 - 09:19 pm:

The only thing saving the remaining great lakes freighters is the "Jones Act", which in part says that a foreign flagged ship can not sail from an American port to another American port. There are some who would like to see the Jones Act repelled; if this ever happens you won't see another American flagged freighter on the lakes. That's why whenever you see a Canadian freighter loading at an American port you know that they are not headed for another U.S. port. The same goes the other way around.

Powered by:  
Join Today!
Each day the Pasty Cam has 2 areas to post messages: 
  • Cam Notes - comments related to today's picture and discussion
  • What'sUP - other topics, conversation and announcements
  • *** Please use the appropriate forum ***
    Here's a list of messages posted in the past 24 hours
    See our guest photo gallery for more great views from the U.P.

    Add a Message

    A user/password combination is now required to post messages to Cam Notes. Registration is free. Click here to register or maintain your I.D.

    Home | Pasty Cam | Contest | Order Now | Bridge Cam | Past-E-Mail | GP Hall of Fame | Making Pasties | Questions