Apr 09-15

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2015: April: Apr 09-15
Skiing with freighters    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Jim Solko
Three in the distance    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Brenda Leigh
Zoomed in    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Brenda Leigh

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 11:11 am:

Today's first photo is not something you see every day on the shores of Lake Superior, snow skiing with three freighters in the background. Jim Solko snapped this shot of his wife, Brenda Leigh as they were skiing on what Brenda calls good "Copper Country crust", which is an expression for very hard, frozen snow. She said the ice out there on the Big Lake is still in good shape and is keeping everything completely iced in. The three freighters in the photos were at a standstill this past Saturday, awaiting help from the USCG Cutters.

Brenda snapped the two photos of the boats "stuck" in the ice and reported to me that in the Whitefish Bay area on Monday, there were 10 freighters stuck in the ice, with four cutters already there and a fifth one on the way to try to get these boats moving again.

In a report on Monday by Mark Gill, director of vessel traffic services for the US Coast Guard, he said that,

"Eight of the ships will continue further up Lake Superior, while two are planned to travel downbound and through the Soo Locks.

Gill likened Lake Superior to a bathtub, where Whitefish Bay would act as the drain where much of the loose ice flows. The last couple of days we've had a strong westerly wind, which acts like tipping the bathtub, so we have a clog.

It's problematic, but nowhere in comparison to what we were dealing with last year, he said.

The Coast Guard has asked shippers to delay initial voyages this season by a week, a request that most companies complied with, Gill said.
Gill anticipated the Coast Guard will cease icebreaking by April 30th."

Spring on the shores of Lake Superior, can be quite brutal!
Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 11:51 am:

Looking like it's going to be slow moving for a while. Hope better days are soon in coming.

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 12:04 pm:

Has to be so frustrating for all involved.
I agree with Janie, hoping for better days.

By Duane P. (Islandman43) on Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 01:56 pm:

Pretty tough going for the freighters this time of the year. Yesterday I read that one of them had a hole punched in it by the ice. I can't remember which one it was though. I wonder if the shipping companies would be so eager to ship goods while there was still ice on the lake if they had to do their own icebreaking.

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 04:51 pm:

This story made both NPR, which had an interview with Mark Gill, and the national news on TV (probably NBC; my mom, who told me, watches that).

In the NPR interview, Mr. Gill said that in places the ice was "pick-up truck size" chunks and very thick (and sharp, as the one freighter found out).

By Donna (Donna) on Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 09:11 pm:

I LOVE the adventures I get to go on, thanks to folks
posting these incredible memories! Thank you to
everyone involved!

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Friday, April 10, 2015 - 12:29 pm:

Congratulation Capt. Berger for your first key to Marquette.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, April 10, 2015 - 10:47 pm:

Nice going, Brenda :-)

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