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A Great Lakes sight

October 5, 2009 - Steve Murch
Of the many marvels associated with the Great Lakes (five marvels all by themselves), the big vessels used to haul are among the most impressive. Whether you call them boats or ships, and those around the Great Lakes call them boats, they really are engineering feats. Forget the physics portion explaining their buoyancy for a moment, the fact this multi-ton boats are able to haul many more tons and not just go under is amazing.

I've always been fascinated with the big boats (not to the extent the boat nerd or any of those who follow them religiously) and often find myself driving past the bay to see if one might be coming or going in the bay. When I attended community college in Traverse City, my suite mate – who is still a friend nearly 30 years later – was in the maritime academy. When I attended Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie I would go downtown occasionally to watch boats pass through the Soo Locks (another Great Lakes marvel).

On Monday, the Mississagi was in the Thunder Bay River unloading, egad, more salt for this winter. We get those reminders from time to time of winter from shortly after the snow leaves the area until just before the winter arrives. When I saw just above the tree line that the salt was coming off the conveyor, I had to take a quick trip over to see the boat in the river. I wasn't the only person there were probably a dozen or so other people walking around near the boat, taking a look.

There are people who just don't get the fascination with the boats, and to I just don't get not finding them fascinating. Just like planes, I can't understand how people don't find how these contraptions interesting. Maybe we just take too many things for granted. Not me I enjoy things like that.


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