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A Final Push

It is unwise to make plans within 48 hours of an appointed crew change, lest you provoke the indignation of the crew change Gods and conjure the ‘crew change curse.’  I foolishly did just this and now trouble somewhere on the tracks between here, Sandusky, Ohio,...

The Whole Dirty Lot of ‘Er

I’m woken two hours early by the 2nd mates knock at my cabin door, ‘We’re just passing Mission Point, we’ll need you for the locks,’ he says in what sounds, from my grimy fug of sleep, to be an obscenely cheerful voice.  I grunt an...

Dark is the Night, Bright is the Morning

It is a time of gales.   As temperatures change, storm fronts form out west and barrel eastwards towards us on the Great Lakes, where they suck up moisture, fuel for their devastating engines.  There are the large, slow moving Colorado lows, and the smaller,...

The Guts of It

The engine room is like North Korea, I have no idea what goes on in there, and if I visit, I’m afraid I won’t make it out.  Many minutes of my life have been lost trying to navigate its Escher-like catwalks and stairs, searching for an engineer, a storage...

To the Dogs

There is a cement spit that juts out into the St. Marys River on the approach to the Soo Locks.  These locks are what join Lake Huron to Lake Superior and make up the elevation differential so that large commercial vessels are...