Sep 16-11

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2011: September: Sep 16-11
Full steam ahead    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh
Passing lane    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh
A pass completed    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh
Wind and water power    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Brenda Leigh

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 07:59 am:

Brenda Leigh recently spent some time at a cabin on the shores of Lake Superior, near Sault Ste. Marie. She was treated to the daily passing by of numerous freighters, a few of which were even passing the other ones. That's what is taking place in the first three photos. Brenda said when they're coming from both directions, there are times that they look like they'll collide, but of course it's just an optical illusion, since they really have plenty of room between them at all times.

In case you're wondering about the windmills across the Lake, Brenda tells me that they are part of a very large wind farm, in fact the largest in Canada. It is located on a point of land west of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, called Gros Cap and serves electricity for 20,000 homes. To some it may be an eyesore, to others it's conserving energy, by creating electricity using the power of the wind. Brenda made a good point, when she told me that she doesn't mind them, because when you think about it, our fore fathers used many wind power structures to serve them in the past. No one thought much of it then, as electricity was such a grand convenience, after having done everything in the dark or by oil lamps. There's some food for thought.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:03 am:

Great shots, Brenda!! You can't go wrong with Lake Superior and freighters!!

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:04 am:

Reminds me of the Detroit hydroplane races.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:11 am:

Superior pictures today! Just the lift I needed!

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:18 am:

Awesome photos, Brenda!!

Out in west Texas around the San Angelo/Big Spring area, there are literally hundreds of wind generators scattered across the plains and mesas. In the Glasscock Field, there are numerous generators in amongst the oil wells still producing; a real glimpse of the old and the new in energy resources.....

By Yahoo in Flatland (Yahooinflatland) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:22 am:

Can anyone explain what that structure is on the ship in the last picture?
Nice pics.

By Donna (Donna) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:26 am:

WAY cool Brenda!!! AWESOME!!

I got to meet Brenda and her husband Jim this summer....they are such stellar folks!!! Thank you Pasty for that connection!

By Donna (Donna) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:29 am:

PS.....the Leanin' Tree ad on here....I order cards from there all the 20, get 10 free...and they are the most beautiful cards. I prefer the art of Josephine Wall....but there are some incredible artists out there......

Just an FYI.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:39 am:

Capt, while flying over Texas on my way to El Paso, you can see those things all over the place. It's really cool, looking at it from the air.

Donna, thanks for the info. I'm going to check that out!!

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:40 am:

Donna, I have been buying Leaning Tree Christmas cards for 15 years. They are beautiful and so many choices!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:48 am:

I'm excited!!! I just found it. I'm going to be spending some time on that site. I can tell already. Thank you so much, Donna!!

By Mel, MN (Mehollop) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:48 am:

Yahoo - those are the cranes used to load/unload cargo. You don't see them on the Lakers - only on the Salties (ocean going ships). Lakers tend to be utilized for shipping large quantities of loose cargo (grain, coal, taconite pellets) and therefore make use of the 250' self-unloading booms. Salties carry more variety of cargo - often containers, windmill parts (the windmills in the other photos may have come in on a very similar ship) and other sundries. They use the cranes to move cargo on the ship, and to get it back off the ship.

A good rule of thumb is that if you see a ship with cranes, it's not from around here. :)

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:51 am:

Same here Janie/Donna; the Dr. and I have been purchasing Leanin' Tree Christmas cards for years. And here's my "did you know" for the day. In Boulder, Colorado there is the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art from the same folks that create the cards. The Dr. and I have never visited, but it is something on our list the next time we visit Denver for GSA.

By S.Urho (Sturho) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:54 am:

Does everyone know that the windmills must be "backed" by "hot generators" which are run off natural gas and kick-in when the wind drops?

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 09:05 am:

These pictures are great and can be duplicated all around the great lakes now. We have the same windmills across the Detroit River outside of Amherstburg, Ont. I photo the ships passing each other from the shore here in Michigan on Lake Erie and also catch the towers in the background on a clear day. I do hope they do save communities money to offset the view and "wooshing" sound they make while rotating.

By Helen Marie Chamberlain (Helen) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 09:19 am:

Brenda, fantastic pics. I will be in the Sault area the beginning of next week! Love Leanin' Tree cards, also! A great weekend to all.

By Rodger Kershner (Rodger) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 09:34 am:

Backup of wind generation isn't literally done that way. Wind generators are backed up by all of the generators in the region. For Michigan that means 16 states and Manitoba. When the whole region needs more power in a hurry, the natural gas turbines are fired up to provide the shortfall. The idea of a one for one backup is a misleading argument used by opponents of wind power.

By Marsha, Genesee/Aura (Marsha) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 09:41 am:

I think the wind turbines are beautiful, but I don't live next to one! Didn't know they had to be backed by hot generators. I saw them being shipped by train through Genesee County this summer and that was an amazing sight! Traincar after traincar with HUGE parts, blades, etc. They looked so much bigger closeup!

By JoAnne Stefanac (Davejostef) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 09:42 am:

We have those same windmills in the eastern parts of Washington state. Every time we go that way, we see more of them. Must work! And, of course, the first time I ever saw those was at the Altamont Pass area in California. It's an amazing site there!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 09:45 am:

S.Urho, glad you brought that to the forefront! So it's not all "nature's" work. Our forefathers' windmills were much more attractive and they weren't clustered up by the hundreds. There are oodles of these unsightly contraptions in Calif. (my unsolicited 2 cents worth);-)

By Kathyrn Laughlin (Kathyl) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 10:48 am:

Getting back to the ships, I notice there were 3 different types: the "old-style" laker (the gray one, with the pilothouse in front and sleeker lines), the newer style laker (red, big pilothouse in back, more square) and the saltie in the last photo. I have to confess I enjoyed seeing the old-style laker pass the new one.

By S.Urho (Sturho) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 10:54 am:

On the point of Wind Power: Just because they exist doesn't mean they work the way you think they do. My wife and I were married in 1979 (the year John Paul was elected as the Catholic Pope) and Life magazine ran an articile on this important event. They also ran articles on "alternative energy" stating that Wind, Solar and Green-Houses (built into the earth) were just inches away from being viable. It has been over 30 years and they are still "just inches away from being vialble!" If you want to see windmills in their full ugliness, drive up Indiana I-65 toward Gary and you will see an amazing display of an idea gone bad. There are so many windmills in this area they are eerie to behold. A few windmills, ok, but the display near I-65 is way over board. The main question to ask is, given how much money is spent to design, prep, install, maintain and run a windmill, do they provide electricity on a 24/7 by 365 day cycle at a rate lower than other forms (Natural Gas, Coal, or better yet, Nuclear)? No, they do not.

By Paul H. Meier (Paul) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 12:09 pm:

We have many wind farms down here in Illinois with more planned. Most are put up by foreign companies, and while it takes allot of labor to put them up, the construction gangs are roadies and only boost the local economy for a few months, the permanent work force to maintain them is very small. Once the towers are up, the admission that they never produce as much power as claimed comes out. They can only operate within a range of wind speeds. Too little they don't run, too much wind and they feather and stop. Often when it is hot down here the winds are calm and the turbines stand motionless while the coal and nuclear plants run at full capacity. Now that we have the wind farms, the power companies are asking for rate increases to cover the costs of transmission lines and switch gear they are forced to put in to receive the power from the farms, power they are required by federal law to purchase. My local power cooperative offers "Green Power" at a 15% higher rate over dirty power. Another federally mandated side effect we may soon see is the loosening of frequency controls to accommodate wind power. This means we may not get exactly 60 hertz which will produce errors in anything with electronic timing. Here in the corn belt, the towers pretty well limit crop dusting which means higher costs in crop production. This is not free power, there are lots of costs we aren't told about.
Wind power does contribute and it is cleaner, but it has to backed up by coal, gas, or nuclear plants. While the wind farms are running, the other plants have to be kept running on idle. You can't just turn a steam plant on and off at the will of the wisp.

By Yahoo in Flatland (Yahooinflatland) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 12:33 pm:

Thanks Mel for the explanation about Salties.
Never personally seen one on the Great Lakes before.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 12:48 pm:

Not to spoil the fun banter over wind generators, but I'm wondering if this topic shouldn't be moved over to the Politics and Religion, Ketchup or Gravy page..... J

By Peter Ouillette (Peterouillette) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 01:33 pm:

For the past four years I've made at least a brief stop in the Soo to watch the boats go by for a bit. Won't get there this year, though, so thanks for the dose of lakers at the Soo!

Wouldn't mind having a retirement cottage on the St. Mary's River.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 02:16 pm:

I wish I knew how to post a picture right here, but my husband took a really neat picture from their campsite at the Soo while on their Lake Superior Circle Trip. His Low Rider is in the picture with a Classic style freighter passing by, just before dark.

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 02:33 pm:

Great pictures. I love the Great Lakes Region.

By Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 03:07 pm:

When you are posting your message, insert a "backslash" then image{filename}. When you preview, it will give you a message stating "Your Image Here". Hitting post message brings you to a screen where you can select your photo to post.

Or, you could just send me the photo and I'll post it!! ;-)

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 04:58 pm:

I suppose you're right, Capt. Paul, politics has a great deal to do with the 'intrusion' of those w-m in the second and fourth photo, which should only show us the splendor of the Lake traffic, but it's such a shame that these man-made contraptions (there's that word again) do tend to intrude in beautiful shots of the ships. (albeit from the Can. side) Remembering that a former northeastern state U.S. Senator was 'gungho' for spreading them all over our countryside, but being an anti-nuclear-fossilfuel lawmaker, he didn't want the windmills in his scenic 'backyard'.

By Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 05:30 pm:

JanieT asked me to post this photo for her. She mentioned it in her post up above...

Bob's ride

Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 05:49 pm:

Thank You Mary! When I looked at that picture, in larger size, I realize it's a 1000 footer. Still a awesome ship.

By Jeff Kalember (Jeffkal) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 06:28 pm:

I, personally, think the windmills are beautiful. Makes my heart feel good we're harnessing a clean energy source. Can we use it ALL the time 24/7? no. but it sure helps cut the dirty coal.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 07:59 pm:

YAHOOOOO, got my blood work back today and I am very proud to say my cholesterol is 197 and the other ones, HDL and LDL are good, too. The dr. is happy with that and so am I. (*_*)

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:01 pm:

No medication to get it that low, happy to say.

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:06 pm:

Nice picture, Janie!!!

By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 08:53 pm:

Nice photo JT, but you're such a tease. Only the tail-end of the Goldwing?

By Russell E. Emmons (Russemmons) on Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 02:07 am:

We are always treated to the Great Lakes ships a short ways from us where our road ends at the St. Clair River/Canadian border. Just happened to stop by there Friday the 16th and this "salty" passed by downbound. Thought with todays discussion some might like to see the "Chemtrans Mabuyhay" Monrovia!


By Alex "UP-Goldwinger" (Alex) on Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 06:03 am:

Nice shot Russ. I always enjoy the drive along M-29 to Port Huron. It is always a special treat to see one of the huge vessels coming down the river.

By mickill mouse (Ram4) on Saturday, September 17, 2011 - 02:09 pm:

Very nice picture Russell

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