The Shipping News

Edmund Fitzgerald Lifeboat #2

It rained overnight and looked like it would rain through the day. Our morning was slow. We didn’t launch until the afternoon. First stop was Clyde’s for lunch, a ’47 era burger stand. We sat in at the counter, because it is more social than sitting in your car. We exchanged pleasantries with a couple that was headed to Canada for the weekend. He had some Soo history, but all of their relatives that lived here have passed. It kind of reminded me of my family’s history in New England. When the kids all move away, eventually there is no one left.

The Valley Camp was next. This was to be our indoor activity, what with the rain, but the rain kind of tapered off and the sun started to peek through. The Valley Camp is a retired lake boat that has been turned into a floating museum. It is also what we called the old sleeping porch bed, because when two people were lying in it they tended to sink into a valley in its center. Thanks Jane!

The Valley Camp has developed a list that I did not remember. Down below, we read about the Eastland disaster. This 1915 Chicago catastrophe resulted in the greatest loss of life on the Great Lakes. Almost 900 people died, when on the over crowded Eastland, a tug’s whistle caused too many passengers to rush to one side and then caused the ship to capsize. I swear that the deck of the Valley Camp tilted even further beneath my feet as I read about the Eastland.

Then there was the Edmund Fitzgerald. Overheard bar cyclists commented that no one would have remembered this boat, if it hadn’t been for the song. There is some truth to this sentiment, but the Edmund was also the last big boat to go down. #2 lifeboat shows a significant hole in its hull. I remember seeing #1, but it is no longer on display. It was torn in two.

The Qing made a splash. It is probably the biggest yacht that Superior will see this year. I counted six red polo shirted deck hands at docking. I enjoyed looking down upon the 1% from the stern of the Valley Camp. We saw Pat and George down there too. In the evening, at his art opening, Charles pointed out that Qing was the last Chinese dynasty. Maybe this boat is carrying the new emperor?

The Qing

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