One of the favorite pastimes up here at the cabin is the monitoring of lake boat traffic. The ore boats are the main staple, but they are seasoned with salties or ocean going vessel. Every once in a while there is also a unique ship. Up bound the lake boats ride high, like the one pictured above. It is almost riding out of the water. On the flipside, especially this year what with the high lake levels, they show hardly any freeboard at all. Sunset is the magic hour here. Looking west, you can see lake to the horizon. The setting sun paints the sky red and makes everything else looks like its on fire.
Back in the day, we used to rely upon our so-called boat-nerds to help identify the passing vessels. They knew the ships so well that with their binoculars, they were always the first to call out their names. Some of these nerds would even go so far as to monitor the boat’s radio traffic, but now those communications are encrypted. Most of the old boat nerds have passed. Only one remains and she doesn’t come around much anymore. Fortunately, now we have an app for that. I still remember the summer when that app was introduced. She did it somewhat slyly, surreptitiously checking her iPhone and calling out names at impossible distances. She had fun while it lasted, but soon the cat was out of the bag.
Now even nearsighted me has that app. I’ve been using it to track the Niagara for the past couple of weeks. I saw it heading up and then I tracked it as it first headed west to Duluth and then as it worked its way back down. It passed the cabin today. I drove up to Point Iroquois, with the hope of seeing it under sail, but it was already in the channel and had set its sails before I got there. I almost missed it completely there. I then raced back to the cabin and was able to get the following picture of it as it passed down. Another sign of summer’s ending.
I still have fond memories of 3 generations of boat nerds sitting together on the beach, binoculars to eyes, and wondering if it would be grandpa, son, or granddaughter who would be the first to call out the boat’s name.
It’s all up to her now
I’m puzzled. Who was surreptitiously using MarineTraffic on an iPhone?
If it happened to have been me, which it well could have been, I wouldn’t have been surreptitious about it 😉