Aug 18-06

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2006: August: Aug 18-06
Downbound    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Steve Haagen
In the locks    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Steve Haagen

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:02 am:

Sault Ste. Marie, MI, is the third oldest continuous settlement in the United States and also home to the Soo Locks, where the St. Mary's River connects Lake Superior with the other Great Lakes. The locks were built where the river drops twenty-one feet, from the level of Lake Superior to the level of the lower lakes, thus allowing shipping traffic easy access between the bodies of water. Today's photos from Steve Haagen give us the perspective of a down-bound ship, the Anja, making its way into the lock and then a view as the ship waits to head out after the lock water has leveled. If you've never experienced this in person, it's a "must see" adventure. The speed with which the water level in the lock either rises or falls, accommodating the shipping traffic heading through, is truly amazing! The next best thing to being there is keeping an eye on the cameras located at the locks: Soo Locks Webcam.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:11 am:

Nice pics, Steve!!

By Randall Ollila (Rwolli) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:17 am:

Morning All.
Nice pics Steve. Very curious to know what the little Submarine is for hanging off the stern of the ship. Maybe Cap't Paul can enlighten us. Enjoy the day everyone!

By Ray & Chris (Ray) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:38 am:

The "submarine" is a rescue device in the event of something very bad happening to the ship. It is not to be used underwater but designed for rough seas.

By Rowdy (Roudymi) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:40 am:

It's the new version of the old life boat.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:43 am:

Not my specialty Randall, but Ray is right!! It's a rescue pod designed for rough seas should something catastrophic happen to the ship.

By JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 07:58 am:

Have vacationed there, a wonderful time! We saw a lot of Lakers pass through the locks. The Canadian train ride and Whitefish Point museum are a "must see" when in the area.

By Randall Ollila (Rwolli) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 08:19 am:

Thanks for the response about the Submarine that isn't. So basically, it is a lifeboat that is almost unsinkable. 1st time I have seen anything like that. Thanks again Pasty Camers.

By Grace M Wetton (Gmw) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 08:26 am:

Went to the Soo twice, the locks a must see.
Todays pictures are just wonderful. Being there
is even better.

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 08:40 am:

Great to see pictures of the Soo Locks and I saw on the site that the viewing platform is now enclosed in plexi-glass by the people from Homeland Security..Pictures will now have to be taken from ground level to get a good outcome.
While at the Soo I recommend a trip down the street and a few hours aboard the great lakes freighter museum ship SS VALLEY CAMP..
Have a good weekend..

By Richard L. Barclay (Notroll) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 09:14 am:

Dropping the lifeboat off the stern is better, too, if a ship is listing badly to one side half the lifeboats hanging from davits are high and dry and can't be launched and the other half are on the downside with the hull looming overhead. Bad news, and rough seas and darkness would only make it worse.

By Ms. Katie (Mskatie) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 09:57 am:

I can stand there and watch for hours! Neat place and neat photos Steve. Thank you.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 10:09 am:

Ed Chaput sent me an email today reminding me of a photo from the archives, with himself and the Edmund Fitzgerald going through the Soo Locks back in 1958.

Ed back in 1958
Thanks for sharing Ed!

JanieT (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 10:13 am:

A shoebox picture just perfect for today's conversation, Thankyou for adding it!

By Cotton (Cotton) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 10:25 am:

Looking at those pictures makes me wonder how many times my Dad traveled through those locks in his 30 year career of sailing. Rick & I took a ride through the locks when we were there one time.I could sit by those locks for hours watching the boats go by. It is very interesting seeing how the water levels go up & down. You're level with the ground & a little later you're looking up for the ground & vice versa.It was pretty neat! Nice picture Ed!

By Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 11:40 am:

Ed...I have forgotten the name of the ugly, rusting, hulk of a huge ore-boat (I think you know the name)...that was on Escanaba's beautiful waterfront.....has left!!!!...Hoorah!!!...It was such an eyesore for the city....our city-council finally said the "majic word"......he moved it in the middle of the night.....the whole town is happy about that!!!....did anyone ever tell you you look like Art???

By Margaret, Amarillo TX (Margaret) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 11:46 am:

savoir-faire: poise

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 11:47 am:

Mary Lou, from the Boatnerd site::The L.E. Block remained in Escanaba under the ownership of Basic Marine until she was purchased for scrap June 29, 2006 by International Marine Salvage of Port Colborne, ON. In the early hours of July 9, 2006, the L.E. Block left Escanaba under tow of Gaelic Tugboat Company's tug Shannon bound for Port Colborne. The "dead ship" tow passed downbound the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and Detroit River on July 9 assisted by Shannon's fleetmate Carolyn Hoey on the stern. The Shannon and her tow arrived at Port Colborne on July 10 with the L.E. Block secured at its final destination slip with the assistance of Nadro tugs Vac and Seahound.

and thanks for the compliment..

By dotti caldwell (Dotti) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 12:02 pm:

Thanks for the pics! I smiled as soon as I opened it today. I spend hours from my desktop watching ships going thru the SOO locks! Am learning all about the freighters. Great Fun. Want to go visit one day!!!!

By Ken, Kalamazoo, MI (Kenkazoo) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 12:18 pm:

If anyone gets a chance, the last Friday in June each year is Engineer's Day at the Soo Locks. The authorities open the gate and allow anyone who wants to through the fence and you can cross the locks and wander thru the buildings and watch the boats up close and personal. We did that this past June and it was quite an experience with a 1000-ft. ore boat towering 20-30 ft. above you as it is raised to the level of Lake Superior. They also had the gate-lifter barge "Paul Bunyan" there for tours. Quite a piece of machinery.

By Mary Lou Curtin (Marylou) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 12:41 pm:

Ed thank you for the details on the "Block".....It is sad to see any ship make it's final voyage....I think ship-mates do love their ships. Gary served on the USS IOWA BB61 (Navigation) and I know he loved "her", dearly....but it is good that the Block left downtown Escanaba...she was docked right in front of our new library in all her "rusted" glory......Art never changes.....

By Mr. Bill (Mrbill) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 03:08 pm:

When Canadian National was going to scrap the 365' icebreaker (quadra-shafted) Q.S.M.V.Abbe from Pictu, P.E.I. in '82, the Chicago Yacht club bought her for $100,000 and sailed her to Chicago, where she is permanently moored as a Club ship on the downtown Chicago skylight.

Even at those days fuel prices, it took $100,000 worth of No 2 bunker to pilot her down some 1100 miles.

A most memorable experience.

By Greta Armata (Gretania) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 06:50 pm:

Love the Soo Locks! I've been on the locks tour several times and got my son hooked on it as well. Always one of my fav things to do in the Soo, besides going across the International Bridge. Love looking down through the mesh road.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 11:47 pm:

Many years ago when I visited the Soo, we took a little boat that toured and went thru both locks. It was such fun! Does anyone know if such a thing still exists?

By Ken ja Mimi from da UP (Kenjamimi) on Friday, August 18, 2006 - 11:58 pm:

Eddyfitz, you must remember seeing the LE Block during your many trips. I remember the Block boats, I sailed the EL Ryerson for a short time for Inland Steel in the spring of '63. I was sad to see the Block gone from Escanaba. I took a few pictures of her the day before she left. Was hoping that fellow in Marquette could've put her up there at the old ore dock as part of their condos. Would've been pretty all painted up again. Did you see her go downriver?

By john mich (Johnofmi) on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 04:31 am:

Ken, You will probably be happy to know that the EL Ryerson has been taken out of retirement and is once again hauling ore. Here are a few recent pictures of her at the Soo.

By Bob Jewell, Farmington Hills (Rjewell) on Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 03:28 pm:

They still have boat tours that go through the locks. They even offer dinner cruises now. They are located right next to the SS Valley Camp.

By eugenia r. thompson (Ert) on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 - 03:31 pm:

Oh, thanks for the info., Bob. I am so glad. I will add that to my loonnnggg list of things to do when we finally get up to the UP.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Tuesday, February 15, 2022 - 06:36 pm:

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