Sunday, April 1, 2012

Steel Ships and Spring

Waiting to leave after some winter R and R

Back in February
Over several weeks in March the acrid smell of bunker fuel and the wail of ship horns signaled the start of another shipping season. Two weeks ago as I paddled to the Mo Bridge from Sunset Park, several ships were smoking steam, soot and moaning…sounds from some auxiliary machinery running down in the bowls of the steel hulls, warming up the habitable spaces, generators running, testing gear and such.

There is a local ordinance that a ship can only produce heavy smoke for 7 minutes each hour, I think left over from the coal and heavy fuel that seldom happens although you can detect the unusual smell of burning oil once in a while as the boats fire up.  Most are diesel powered and a few still have steam turbines, but many have steam boilers for heating the populated spaces.

Anderson and Callaway
The Arthur Anderson was spiting steam, the prop wasn’t turning, but it was twitching…every few seconds moving an inch, so as I was doing a little photography I took care to not get too close.

The steam turbine powered Wilfred Sykes 
During the following two weeks, most of the fleet left…

I watched 6 leave on a drizzly Friday evening,
several more over the weekend. Currently about 6 ships are still in port.

Sharing water with the Big Boys

Now that the ICE has melted, I'll probably do some canoeing on the few local creeks...It is just simpler to get out on the water after work, I don't need the drysuit as I'm a few feet from shore and the water is only waist deep.  I guess, without the ICE to play's just COLD water to me, to kayak now, means wearing a drysuit with many layers and feeling stiff and clumsy while paddling...I'll just let Lake Michigan and Green Bay warm some while I go creeking in a canoe and continue work on the Trap Skiff when I'm not Outisde.

Two Weeks ago I hung the Sheer Plank on the Trap Skiff, so the planking is finished.  So the hull is whole, but the boat is probably only a third complete. 
Trap Skiff...hull done!

1 comment:

  1. What's the status of your NTS? No posts or photos in a long time. Please share...