Around the circle this week: August 6, 2021

ByDavid M. Conte

Aug 6, 2021

The new kid: Captain Henry Jackman is kind of new to the Great Lakes this year as Algoma Central Corporation’s newest Equinox-class gearless dry bulk carrier cruises the waters. the Jackman loaded its first cargo of grain in July at Thunder Bay (see here) and set a record for the size of grain cargo loaded at the Port of Thunder Bay – 31,100 metric tonnes – on its maiden voyage. Western Canada red spring wheat, grown in southwestern Manitoba, is destined for international markets. According to Jeff DeRosario, Algoma’s commercial vice president, the ship’s namesake, Captain Henry Jackman, immigrated from the United Kingdom to Huron County, Ontario, and in 1851 left the family farm for a living of sailor on the Great Lakes. . He became a legendary schooner captain, owning a handful of ships and obtained his inland steamboat captain’s license when the age of sailing was transitioning to that of steam in the 1870s. Thunder Bay posted a video showing the Jackman being loaded.


The waters do not rise: With drier-than-average weather and water supply conditions, Lake Superior’s water levels have declined and are approaching the long-term seasonal average, according to the International Lake Superior Board of Control. After several years of near record and record water levels, the lake shrank in July rather than rising as usual. Water levels in Lake Superior fell 0.4 inches, while on average in July, they increased by 2 inches. This means the lake starts in August 1.2 inches above its long-term average (1918 – 2020) and 9.1 inches below the same time last year. The lake typically tapers off in August, but the board’s general forecast for that year says: Depending on weather and water conditions over the next month, Lake Superior may shrink by up to 5 cm. (2 in.) Or can rise up to about 10 cm. (3.9 inches) in August.


Time out for a day: The Lake Superior Railroad Museum at The Depot in Duluth will be on a different track this weekend until next weekend to host his annual tour of Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy (the Green Train) . Today through Sunday and next weekend (August 13-15), only Day Out with Thomas event ticket holders and museum members will be able to visit the museum. To ensure all trains are running smoothly, the Railway Controller, Sir Topham Hatt, will be on hand to supervise all activities. Train rides with Thomas and Percy are included in admission. Then stay for two different magic shows, two live music stages, an incredible maze, festival food, and the All Things Thomas gift shop. All activities (except the gift shop) are outside. This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, a volunteer-run organization that has been voted by USA Today as “America’s BEST Transportation Museum.” On Monday August 9, a special family demand event will be for people with family members with autism. This “sensory trip with Thomas” on the North Shore Scenic Railroad begins at 9 am with a welcome from Duluth Mayor Emily Larson. The day leaves out the bells, whistles and loud music, with an orderly progression of events, a quiet space and participation limits. Autism Speaks Minnesota, which worked with the railroads to set up the first Sensory Friendly Day, offers special training to all volunteers and staff. Tickets are free for the family member on the Spectrum and their parent or guardian.


The real point: In our Wednesday events newsletter, details on the annual “Point a La Pointe” swim were not correct. The official name this year is “Point to La Pointe – 2021 Cliff Swim” (or just 5K Cliff Swim on the T-shirt logos!) And the course has changed. According to the organizers of Recreation and Fitness Resources and the Bayfield Rec Center, “This 3 mile triangular loop coastal course is suitable for die-hard competitors as well as regular water enthusiasts. Le Point à La Pointe – 2021 Cliff Swim offers a unique opportunity for spectators to view the swim from the scenic Brownstone Trail, within walking distance of the start of the race. above Lake Superior. Also available from the cliffs at Wild Rice Retreat. ” The event starts around 7.20am on Saturday, departing from Reiten beach (seen in this photo).


Remember the Morrell: Three modern Great Lakes wrecks are particularly terrifying: the Edmond Fitzgerald, November 10, 1975, on Lake Superior; the Carl D. Bradley, November 18, 1958, on Lake Michigan; and the Daniel J. Morrell, November 29, 1966, on Lake Huron. Contrary to Fitz, along with the 29 crew members lost, there were survivors on the other wrecks – two of the 35 on the Bradley and one of the 29 on the Morrell. Now, a soon-to-be-opened exhibit at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, Michigan shines a light on the memory of the Morrell and his crew. It features artifacts from the sole survivor of the wreck, Dennis Hale, including the life jacket he wore that night and Dave Trotter, the wreck hunter who rediscovered the Morrell in 1979. “We all wanted to draw attention to this team,” says museum director Bruce Lynn. “It has really been a goal. The exhibition presents photos, videos, a musical and sound backdrop. Its story follows the service of the Morrell and a sister ship, Edward Y. Townsend, both in the same storm. This continues on to Dennis, who died in 2015 (“Dennis has been so much in history for so long,” Bruce notes “) and the stories of the crew who did not survive with a scrolling video of their photos and pictures. their backgrounds. “They were hunters, they were fishermen, they read classic literature, they were veterans, they were survivors of other wrecks,” says Bruce. Their stories are the culmination of more than three years of research by the Morrell Research group, led by maritime author John DeBeck. Dennis’ widow Barb Hale wanted to keep the men’s memorabilia alive, John says, and he suggested donating items to a museum instead of selling them to individuals. After meeting about half a dozen potential museums, Barb chose the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, John adds. John wrote a huge book on the wreck, The Daniel J. Morrell – Lost, but no longer forgotten, published in 2020 with speculation about the causes of the ship’s disappearance as well as photos and stories of the crew. (This old photo shows the crew playing cards in the tool or dunnage room, according to John). John also worked with the museum on the exhibition project. “We wanted to find a photo of each man for the exhibition – much like they did for the FitzgeraldJohn says, referring to another major exhibit in the museum. “This genre has gotten a lot bigger than we expected. … Now we know 28 other men, not just Dennis. For another exhibit in the exhibit, John enlisted his staff at the Green Bay Motorcycle and Model Railroad Museum to build an exact replica of the model. Morrell, using a basic model donated by Dennis’ daughter, Cindi. “Over 400 person-hours of work, much of it donated, went into creating the model and its showcase,” says John. This weekend, the family of some Morrell Crew members will get a special preview of the new exhibit, which opens to the public on Monday. John and some of the crew’s family will also attend a Sunday ceremony at the Great Lakes Lore Museum in Rogers City, Michigan, where the 29 men from the Morrell will be posthumously inducted into the Sailors Hall of Fame. This is a closed event, but the exhibition is also open to the public on Monday.


And on that note: We thought we would leave you with the latest Freighter Friday photo from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District. This image of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, shows the Mesabi miner entering Poe’s Lock as Cuyahoga exits MacArthur Lock. (A personal note on the visit to the US Army Corps Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center in Duluth: masks are now mandatory in the building.)


Photo and graphic credits: Port of Thunder Bay; International Lake Superior Board of Control; Lake Superior Railway Museum; Courtesy of John DeBeck; US Corps Detroit District


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