Welcome aboard !

May 2003

May 2003 The Country Girl goes sailing again

Waiting again.....

April 1st...April Fools! .......nothing here yet..thanks for looking...

April 24th....I'm in the Okay I want to go on May 12..I.want to be ON THE SHIP may 12th...now to see when it will happen.............................................

May 5th..well it WAS planned ..I was going to be meeting the ship on May 11th in Nanticoke but the company threw in another trip for him through the Canal..course I could go now but I have to wait for my son Zachs college graduation on the 10th ..no way can I miss that Magnum cum laude Graduate..very coolBeans!!!.. So now the trip will be May 14th? 

May 11th...yep another delay...why the heck are there gales out on the Lake the end of May??? "My boat" is anchored in Thunder bay awaiting the wind to subside so to go in and load up for coal for Detroit.... now I'm looking at friday the 16th....maybe? There are alot of circles around dates on the calendar..I think this is the first time since I've been going out sailing with Anders that this has happened. I'll deal with it but I don't have to like it! :o)

May 15th.. Okay so ..here's the latest scoop...he's arrived in Detroit so bearing any other delays I'll be meeting him at 11:00pm Friday night. So he says to leave the house at 10am..like THAT is going to happen...:o) From past experience he knows I leave when I"m darn good and ready..ha ha normally like after I wake up!!!

May 15th...again.. oh well so much for THAT idea..you getting an idea what it's like being married to a sailor?? Heck I'm just trying to see him!! Anyway..the Buffalo made it to Sandusky 10 minutes before The Algolake so ...I guess I"m still leaving Friday mid morning but I'll have to grab a room at a motel till 8 Saturday morning..8...hmmm wonder what time it will be???? So this is my last update till after my trip. ...Tomorrow morning I'll be off..well my daughter is having a party here at the house so not sure how well sleep will come though!!! :o) I know one thing..I can't wait to get out there and see my Sailor guy again!!!!!


what do I do when I'm waiting? well here I am playing "sims" at my office computer...normally I'm sitting in front of one of them either playing or actually working!

or I give "hints" to some of my "boatnerd buddies" that I NEED a picture of my sailor guy...thanks to Neil, Ken, Scott and Alex I got some thanks!!!!!! Course I like the all the "boat" pictures I get to..I have quite a collection!!


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From Neil in Detroit



from alex in the welland canal


From scott in the soo



from ken in duluth


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may 2003

Here we go!

16th of June 

Well it FINALLY happened!! I left home on Friday the 16th of June around 9:30 am. I drove through Vermont and New York and then took the scenic route in southern Ontario as there was "no rush"* seeing as though Anders wouldn't be there until Saturday morning sometime. I ended up in Wallaceburg, Ontario around 11 hours later and checked into the Super 8 motel there. I called Anders to let him know I had arrived and was WAITING for him to get there. Actually appears that they were running AHEAD of schedule which after all the delays I was quite pleased about (remember that for later ) He told me that he would be arriving in Lambton around 5am the next morning. Well I was totally exhausted from the drive so I went next door to Pizza Hut to grab something to eat then hit the sheets to see if I could get a nap before I had to get ready to go to the ship. For some reason when Anders called me at 4 am he was surprised that I answered on the first ring! Well heck do you think I could sleep?? Heck I was way too bouncy to sleep! I got showered, dressed and got my stuff packed in the car and when he called to say he was almost to Port Lambton I got in the car and drove down to the river to follow him up. I saw the ship coming so I parked and watched it go by. I still find it so amazing how quiet the ship is. The morning was warm with no wind, the sun hadn't come up as of yet and there was this Huge ship all lit up moving slowly up the river. Course I was pretty excited at that point and it wasn't long before he noticed my car sitting there and I had this Spot light on me! 


may 2003

what big pile of coal

   Well, I know a few of you have had this spot light shine on you at times too. It's a bright one for sure! I followed the ship up the river, stopping along the way once in awhile when I got to far ahead. The sun came up and before I knew it I was at the Lambton Hydro Plant and I parked the car to wait...wait...wait. Course it seems like it takes forever. Docking the ship, then getting her all tied up and secure, the Captain guy who I'm waiting so patiently for has to call customs to clear the ship and then come down all those stairs and walk down the deck of the ship while I'm standing there with HUGE butterflies! 


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We took out my luggage and drove the car over the the Hydro Plant where it would stay safe and secure until I returned to drive it back home to Vermont. Finally got aboard the ship around 6am. It was so great to be there with Anders as it had been over 6 weeks since I had seen him. We were both pretty exhausted me from my drive and him from being in the river all night so we went in to take a rest then got up for some lunch around 12:30. Macaroni soup and fresh homemade bread..ohhh man was it ever good! We were supposed to leave around 4:30 that afternoon and my gosh we actually did. (hmm was I seeing a trend here?) We had to go up to shell oil to get some "gas" before heading out on the lake so it was a short little ride and a short trip at the fuel stop too. Expected it to be an hour but only took 1/2 hour. geezz....

May 2003

st clair river

   It was a nice quiet day in the river and soon we were out on the Lake where I just love to be and where Anders could relax a bit. We had dinner up in the wheelhouse. Anders gets to have his delivered but poor me I must walk down four flights of stairs and back up to eat with him in the wheelhouse...poor me..ha ha..actually I don't mind at all. Its about the only exercise I get while I'm there!


May 20

In the wheelhouse


keeping an eye out


hazards of fueling up - dirty coveralls !


fueling station


a sign for the coolbeans


Here is of "Jim and Julie" some of our boatnerd friends who have a really cool beans , coolbeans sign they hang out for the ship! :o) If you look close you'll see them there waving too!

going under the bluewater bridge


May 2003

Love this photo


"a beautiful picture" (always gives me a great feeling to see our countries flags together),

beautiful lighthouse


one of many lighthouses that keep the ships safe on the Lakes.

beautiful water



the captains flag


Finally out on the lake again, its such a great place to be too!  we went down to Anders "apartment" and watched some tv then got some sleep. Oh how I love sleeping when the ship is out on the Lake! I tell you there is nothing better. The gentle movement of the ship just rocks you to sleep. We got up around 7:30 and went down for some breakfast Oh yum, eggs, home fries all the good stuff.! Course why people eat fried bologna for breakfast I'll never know but whatever toots your whistle I guess!! :o)

round island LIGHTHOUSE


This is round island where round island lighthouse resides. It's a beautiful place that has been completely restored and it's amazing! They always get a salute from the Algolake and then they give one back too! 

Munuscong lake


Yep, if you've read any of my other story adventures you'll remember that Anders and I have frequent discussions about whether or not there are a few Lakes IN the St. Marys River system. Here on the Chart its proof but of course he IS the Captain so if he says there isn't a lake then of course there isn't a lake...:o) 

May 2003



I just love the water, the currents and the colors it's so beautiful!

A boatnerd sighting


Hey Look its Stephen Hause! Course I wasn't sure who it was at the time but I was looking and he yelled "HEY Donna!!" I waved and I got home and found pictures of me on the ship waiting for me! yeah! thanks Steve! The guys in the wheelhouse think it's pretty funny that I have so many friends out here that know me..I think it's pretty cool beans! :o)

At the soo locks


Now this is fun!

spotting for the captain


Mike the first mate up forward spotting for Anders and getting ready to land the boys.

landing the boys


tight squeeze


I mean REALLY would YOU think this ship would fit in there????

May 2003

making the wall


watching from the viewing stand


There are always people in the viewing stands its about as close as you can get to watching a ship go up or down in the Lock

a mini golf


One mini golf I have yet to whoop Anders at!.

taking a photo of someone taking a photo



May 20

     I always enjoy going through the locks..I love watching Anders working, and listening to the guys calling the spots, and watching the people who are watching us! There's a mini golf there that we always go by that I plan on playing at one of these days and whopping someone big time! :o)  oh yeah! We got up and out of the locks pretty quick ..we were still making really good time..We had a nice time across the lake going to Superior Energy , 36 hours from the Soo and we were there at 1:30 am...*YAWN** then we had to stay up and wait for the customs and immigration guys to come and say hello before we could get to bed. That darn phone rang at 6am!!! What's up with that? How fast can they load a ship anyway? Well we were done EARLY again. I'm really starting to see a trend by now. :o) We headed out on the Lake again and after Anders did all his "captain guy" paperwork we got some movies and just relaxed a bit. It was nice. Still very calm out on the lake.

     Poor Anders has to duck in a couple places on the ship...that's what he gets for being so tall I guess! hmm I don't have that problem myself!


May 2003

     Yep writing "NIGHT ORDERS" well at least this time it was night time..or almost! He writes night orders in the daytime too..I still try to explain the difference between night and day to him but I guess it's just that Captain thing again..if he says it's night ...its night..ha ha ha! ( Actually , from what I can see the night order book is for the guys in the wheelhouse to follow his orders when he's down in his room resting..all the mates have to read it and sign that they've read it and understand it and of course if there's any questions that phone will always ring. Oh and it does )



No need to explain the beauty of the lakes when the sun is setting or rising or any other time of the day. I can never tire of looking at it.

May 2004

heading out on the lake


Heading out of the Duluth Harbor....sun just coming up looks like a different time of day when you look behind though! 

looking back


Course from the front of the ship to the back could be a whole different time zone! :o)

at work


 This picture shows the guys painting grease on the wires for the unloading boom..not a job I'd like to do! They sure do keep busy though. Those guys are always doing something on the deck.

out on the big lake


This is just me taking pictures of water again..the sun sparkling on it was just too beautiful to pass up..God sure does work wonders out there.

who's out there?


There's Anders checking out to see what some ship is doing and where he's going. They have a new "gadget" this year that put the name of the ship and its speed and direction etc right on the screen for them. It's pretty amazing!

returning to the soo


Yep got the Soo earlier than planned..I think we gained an hour going down and back. I guess the fact that there wasn't a ripple on Lake Superior had something to do with that. Pretty amazing actually a lake that size and it was as flat as a sheet of glass.No one seemed to mind though. 

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shift change


not me thanks


This was interesting..shift change for the railroad bridge at the Soo. Oh my that guy took awhile to get all the way up in the elevator. I sure wouldn't want to be going up there in the winter! Well actually I don't think you'ld get me going up in that in the Spring, Summer or Fall either! No Thanks!

entering mac lock



another ship


we were going in the Mac the ship ahead going in the Poe.

going up


while we were going down!

lock crew


This is the guy giving the hands signals to let everyone know how far the ship has to go before its in the lock and they can shut the gate, he says it and uses hand signals, then the mate calls up to Anders to tell him then Anders repeats it back ..Anders has two walkie talkies he's using plus slowing the ship down! It's pretty neat actually.

may 20

on deck


There were alot of the crew standing outside today since it was nice and sunny. Lots of them using cell phones to call family and friends others just enjoying the view and answering questions to the people in the viewing stand.

back in the river


We were in the St. Clair River around lunch time. It was a beautiful sunny day again and yes we were early to bouys 11 and 12 ...If you aren't getting this ...let me explain. I don't mind the delays when I'm on the ship..heck we could anchor for a week and I wouldn't mind (sorry Algoma!) but the delays when I'm waiting for Anders to come home or when I'm trying to get out to see him..those I don't like..so its working the wrong way so far...man we are like flying here!

meeting and greeting


Oh yes indeed they got a salute!! Lots of kids on this tour today all wanting to hear the horn blow!!! So it did!

jw westcott


The J. W. Westcott now THERE is an important boat! Brings my sailor guy and all the other guys on the ship their mail from home. When the Westcott got pulled up alongside us one of the crew went running out with a letter to put in the pail he got there just in time!

look whose steering


well look at this the Captain is actually steering the ship! Anders thinks its funny that the first time I went out there to take a trip with him I expected that he would be steering. Actually all of them think that's funny. Gee seems like the Captain would steer...I can't get them to understand that one though..:o) Course I SUPPOSE there are times when that would be somewhat difficult.

exclamation point alley


Exclamation point Alley and actual Exclamation points! Okay look at a Chart of the lakes and tell me that the little lighthouse marks don't look like exclamation points.....:o)

may 2003

sun setting on Lake Erie


detroit river light




We got up to a cloudy sky approaching Nanticoke, those Towers sure can be seen from everywhere! We got off the ship in hopes to get in a game of mini golf in Port Dover but they weren't opened yet so had to settle for running errands for the ship and had to stop at our favorite pizza joint "Capt Billy's" wasn't long before the rain started coming down and we were both pretty tired so took the taxi back to the ship to get some rest before we headed out. When the unloading is going on you really have to be really really tired as the Captains room is right behind it and it's pretty loud!

lots of phone calls


On the way in Anders is on the phone alot calling the list of people who are going to come down to the ship with supplies, laundry, etc. There's usually quite a list too!

on deck


getting the latches off the hatches.

docking the ship


Anders doing his thing and backing the ship u

may 2003

back out on the lake


We watched the Hockey game that night before we headed out , back out on Lake Erie headed towards Sandusky by about 8:30. Yep they got the ship unloaded ahead of schedule AGAIN. The American Republic was scheduled to be in Sandusky the same time as we were so I was kinda hoping they would beat us there..but no such luck when they heard we were going to be there too the scheduled her somewhere else....geez I just can't get a break! :o)

out on deck


walking around the ship a bit..its nice off the stern, the sound of the engines and the water is very relaxing and the view is nice too!

cedar point


walking around the ship a bit..it's nice off the stern, the sound of the engines and the water is very relaxing and the view is nice too!



This is really interesting! 

Anders heads the ship in the bay in Sandusky, then he has to turn her around in this little teenie area at just the right spot. Yep there's a guy on the bow spotting and this picture sure looks like we are running into something but for sure we didn't . Pretty fun spinning around though!

loading the ship


dumping train cars full of coal onto the ship.



This basically shows how they load the ship in Sandusky, its pretty interesting really , I really enjoy watching the process of seeing the coal cars going up, flipping over etc. fascinating really.

may 200

mrs captain


relaxing in the wheelhouse

into the fog


So this is the last leg of my journey before I head for home. We got to Detroit River light and Anders went to work. Things were fine , it was a nice sunny day but once we got in the river Anders got a few radio messages from a ship in front of him that the fog was settling in. Well it sure did! We were already in the river so nothing Anders could do about it for now so up the river we went.



once in awhile it would clear up so you could see something. But the background was how I saw the Amherstburg Channel, Grassy Island and a few other things to





funny how you look out the windows but why? Can't see anything!

no break for you


Once we got to Lake St. Clair the fog started to lift so Anders went down stairs for a bit to relax, that had been a rough morning! I don't think we were down there for more than 1/2 hour though when the mate called down to say the fog was coming back in. So back up we went.

Yep and then we got to Lambton Generating Station again. We got there in the afternoon and headed up to Sarnia to go have a snack at Paddys :o) Found out that there was still a ship in the Slip that Anders was hoping to put the ship in later. So he'll have to go to the North Slip instead to get the repairs done they needed. I was going to drive up and stay until they were finished but things were running slowly ( yeah now they slow down...grrr) So it was decided that I would head down to Wallaceburg again and get a good night's sleep before I headed back home the next day. So around 10pm Anders walked me down to the car..and we said Good bye for now and I headed back . I knew at the time I would be coming back out in a week to pick him up and bring him home for a month but it was still hard to leave. It was a great trip and I"m looking forward to going back with him in the fall.