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Riding the great lakes on the thousand footers
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Riding the great lakes on the thousand footers

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In 2003 while working at the U.S. Coast Guard office in Toledo, myself and another Warrant Officer (Bernie Tufts) rode two of the Great Lakes thousand foot ore carriers to observe the operating …

In 2003 while working at the U.S. Coast Guard office in Toledo, myself and another Warrant Officer (Bernie Tufts) rode two of the Great Lakes thousand foot ore carriers to observe the operating procedures. This is a slideshow of that eight day trip.

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  • 1. In July 2003 myself, Timothy J. Spears U.S. Coast Guard AUX and Chief Warrant Officer Bernie Tufts U.S. Coast Guard, rode two of Oglebay Norton’s Thousand foot vessels to observe operating procedures on the Great Lakes. We rode the Oglebay Norton from St. Clair, MI. to Superior, WI. We then rode the Columbia Star from Superior, WI. back down to Detroit, MI. For myself it was a journey back in time. I sailed on the lake freighters for Oglebay Norton from 1973 to 1978. The thousand footers had not yet been built. This is a slide show of that eight day trip.Turn on your speakers and sit back, Enjoy the show.
  • 2. Riding The Great Lakes On The Thousand Footers The Oglebay Norton up bound on a gray day on Lake Huron Right click your mouse for controls Photos and slide show created by Timothy J. Spears U.S. Coast Guard AUX Music performed by “Secret Garden”
  • 3. The bridge on board the Oglebay Norton
  • 4. A view up the deck to the forward end
  • 5. The view from forward to aft over the cargo hatch covers
  • 6. The bridge sits high behind the cargo unloading boom
  • 7. Looking up at the bridge from the main spar deck, The after cabin is about five stories tall
  • 8. A crew member changes a light bulb in the navigation lights high above the vessel
  • 9. Sailing into the twilight after the sun sets, darkness comes quickly after sundown on the water
  • 10. The lighthouse at Whitefish Point on Lake Superior
  • 11. Another lake freighter heading down bound on Lake Superior
  • 12. The down bound freighter is loaded heavy with iron ore.
  • 13. Chief Warrant Officer Tufts from the U.S. Coast Guard enjoys the fresh air on the wing of the bridge while observing operating procedures on board
  • 14. The Columbia Star approaches the Soo locks at Sault Ste Marie, MI
  • 15. The captain gracefully guides the huge freighter into the lock
  • 16. Once the ship is in the lock the gates close behind it before lowering the vessel down to the level of the lower St. Mary's river
  • 17. The lower gates close after the ship pulls out of the lock to get ready for the next down bound ship
  • 18. The powerful diesel engines churn up a lot of water behind the ship while underway
  • 19. An Osprey has built a nest on top of a navigation aid in the St. Mary’s river
  • 20. A beaver lodge in a small creek along side the river at rock cut in the St. Mary's River
  • 21. A typical sunset in July on Lake Huron
  • 22. Sunset from the deck of the Columbia Star on Lake Superior, It’s July but the air temperature is 43 degrees and the water temperature is 39 degrees
  • 23. The hot sun sinks into Lake Superior, but it never warms the water
  • 24. Once the sun reaches the water it disappears quickly
  • 25. Almost gone
  • 26. The sky looks like fire after sunset on Lake Superior, Absolute Tranquility!
  • 27. A few minutes after sunset the moon rises over the Keweenaw Peninsula on the shore of Lake Superior
  • 28. The moon lights up the huge lake like a giant street light
  • 29. THE END