Nov 29-13

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2013: November: Nov 29-13
Pilot House view    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
On the deck    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
In the Pilot House    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
Wheelsman's post    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
Unloading tunnel walkway    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
Engine room    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
More engine room    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams
Dining room    ...scroll down to share comments
Photos by Danielle Adams

Mary Drew at Pasty Central (Mdrew) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:13 am:

Danielle Adams had a rare treat recently, when a friend brought her on board the James R. Barker for a tour of the boat, something only the sailors that work on the boat usually get to see. She brought her camera along, so she could share her tour with the rest of us "boatnerds", too.

Here's what Danielle had to say about her tour:

I got on the James R Barker here in Marquette for a tour. It was like a dream come true!! I feel very lucky that my friend was willing to pull some strings while he was off and get me on board for a while. He took me all over the boat, to the engine room, the different decks, showed me the guest room, different rooms where stuff is kept, what the lights and gauges meant on different things, took me through the unloading tunnel where I got to see gates being opened and coal going onto the belt and out the boom to the hopper, saw the life boat, walked around out on deck for a while and went back inside to the galley and areas where they eat and can get snacks, then he took me up to the wheelhouse and showed me some stuff up there. It was great; it really gives you a different perspective and a new respect for what these guys working out there do day in and day out, especially in this cold, windy weather. If I could get on for a trip, I'd so be game for it!
Danielle also gave me a short description of each photo, since I had no clue what I was looking at in them:
#1 is a view from the pilot house looking out over the deck where the cargo hatches are and you might be able to see some of the hatch covers off.
#2 is a view from out on deck of the boom unloading into the hopper.
#3 is up in the pilot house, a view from the windows looking back.
#4 is in the pilot house also, where the wheelsman help steer the boat.
#5 is the walkway down in the unloading your left and right are belts and a guy runs the gates to let the coal onto the belt, which takes it up the boom and unloads into the hopper.
#6 is the engine room; this boat has 4 big CAT diesel engines.
#7 is another part of the engines in the engine room.
#8 is a room off the galley where the guys sit and eat their meals after getting what they want off the menu.

Thanks for including us on your tour of the James R. Barker, Danielle!
Capt. Paul (Eclogite) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:35 am:

Oh my Danielle, what an opportunity indeed!! Thanks for giving everyone a real view of what it's like on one of these beasts......

By Eddyfitz (Eddyfitz) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 06:59 am:

Thanks for the nice tour. It has been "many moons
since I was aboard a freighter. You can bet that this was a tour that Danielle will remember forever. It is good that for the public there are museum ships simillar to this at a few ports on the Great Lakes where one can tour the interior.

A good Thanksgiving shopping day to all today.............

By Thomas Baird (Thomas) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 07:53 am:

Thank you 4 the tour of a Great Lakes ship.

By Janie T. (Bobbysgirl) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 07:59 am:

Thank You Danielle for taking us along on your tour, and be sure to tell your friend a thank you for me too! Great photographic tour! Danielle has great connections!

By Deb S. (Usedtobeayooper) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 08:12 am:

Danielle, those are great pictures!! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

By Mike Schneider (Upmike) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 08:39 am:

Thanks for Danielle! That must have been awesome!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 09:04 am:

Thanks, Danielle! I envy you ~ being able to tour that majestic ship!

By Karen Benton (Nerakthenice178) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 09:11 am:

Fantastic pics, Danielle! The Navy never allowed any photographs whenever I toured the ships, but I remember vividly and thanks for giving me the ability to compare and contrast. My prayers for God's love, strength and healing are with you, Deb and your families.

By dan belo (Djbelo) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 09:12 am:


By Just me (Jaby) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 09:33 am:

The pictures today are soooo interesting. I think we are all fascinated by the huge boats we see passing through our great lakes.

By Barbara Bouwkamp (Barbarab) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 09:35 am:

How lucky Danielle was to tour this boat!! Back in the early 70's Tom was riding his bike along the Portage Canal and happened to wave to a freighter going by....the pilot indicated he was pulling into the Lilly Pond and would give him a tour. Tom came home to get me; we drove on out and did get a tour. The freighter was the Morristown, and it was empty so was riding high; and I still remember climbing up the ladder to get onto the deck; seems like it was a thousand feet tall. We were given a tour of the captains quarters, everything.......and even got to eat something; I remember eating a cream puff but not tasting anything because all I could think was having to climb back down that ladder to get back down.
I will fly in anything, but ladders and heights do me hands were black from gripping that ladder so hard; knees knocking as I climbed back down.
Seems to me the captain needed to use a phone, and asked for a ride to McLains Park where there were phones. That was why he docked there. These were days without cell phones obviously.
I believe the Morristown was a sister ship to the Fitzgerald.

By kay Moore (Mskatie) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 09:45 am:

AWESOME....SCARY....IMPRESSIVE....Thanks a million Danielle! Can't image the sense of power and authority of one who pilots something this big and powerful!!! How I wish I could sit down with "Eddyfritz" and listen to his stories of his experiences. Again....AWESOME!

By Danielle L. Adams (Badkid) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 10:03 am:

Thanks everyone!!

Mike, I was in heaven lol It was really fascinating to see how
things work and hey I even got dirty walking around in the
unloading tunnel! This is an experience I will never forget!

By Shirley Waggoner (Shirlohio) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 10:53 am:

LOL! Funny you should add that, Danielle, 'cause when I saw that picture I was thinking "That looks kinda wet and greasy".;}

By Ray Laakaniemi (Rlaakan) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 11:31 am:

Love it! only on Pasty Cam. Thanks to all.

By Charlotte, Mishawaka, IN (Charlotte61) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:14 pm:

Thanks, Danielle, for sharing. I loved seeing the pictures.

By Danielle L. Adams (Badkid) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:14 pm:

The deck was wet and icy in spots and the unloading tunnel is
very dirty! Not a good idea to walk around these boats with
street shoes on as I found out lol

By kosk in Toronto (Koskintoronto) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 12:23 pm:

Danielle: That was such a treat for you and consequently for the
rest of us on Pasty Cam. My uncle Ollie worked on the lakers, and
once when his boat docked in Detroit, my father and I were allowed
to climb on board. I was ten then, back in the day. More than half
a century ago! It was so much fun. We were shown all over, and
Cookie, the chef, even gave me some goodies to eat. Edie Fitz is
right, Danielle will not forget this adventure and it's clear that
Barbara didn't forget hers.

By D. A. (Midwested) on Friday, November 29, 2013 - 02:15 pm:

Awesome pictures Danielle. Being aboard one of
these is a privilege. Sailing aboard one is a true
honor. These pictures bring back one particularly
fond memory of a time long ago when I had such an

The company I work for installs passenger
elevators and on ships too. In 1979, one elevator
was having trouble, they thought due to
vibrations, on the brand new Canadian Enterprise
(now called Algoma Enterprise). So, on her maiden
voyage from St. Catherines, Canada, I set sail
with them to diagnose the problem. It turned into
a several day voyage. I asked the First Officer
what created the greatest vibration. His response
was when they switched from full forward to full
reverse. He then said they’d be glad to do it just
for me.

They were also trying to fix the steering gear as
well so we were in the middle of Lake Ontario,
doing figure eights as I called up to the bridge
to basically gave the order to have them “slam it
into reverse”. The elevator control room was
essentially bolted to the bulkhead of the engines.
In all my days I have never experienced vibrations
like that. It made my teeth hurt just standing
there. It was unbelievable.

Anyway, the accommodations were great and the food
was excellent. If I remember correctly, they
served a full meal every 6 hours. I even got to go
through all the locks in the Welland Canal and got
off just before Lake Erie. What a treat but I
forgot my camera.

By Grant DuBridge (Grant650) on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 12:37 am:

Aren't those engines just huge generators?

By D. A. (Midwested) on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 01:26 am:


On some ships that is true. Diesel engines operate
most efficiently in a narrow speed range. So it's
best to keep the RPM of the engines constant. But
to vary the speed of the ship, something has to
vary. It can be done by changing the speed of the
propeller by driving it with an electric motor.
The electricity comes from running an electric
generator from the diesel engine. Until more
recent developments in solid state electronics
this was not very cost effective.

A more conventional method used when many of this
class boat was manufactured was to use what's
called a variable pitch propeller. Different power
methods were used, some electric and some
hydraulic. Either way, the thrust of the propeller
was changed, not by changing the rotational speed
but instead by changing the angle of the propeller
blade. You can even cause the thrust to reverse
direction but the speed of the diesel engine
remains constant. The James Barker actually had a
gear box that accomplished the speed reversal but
did have a variable pitch prop.

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