The word of the week is freighter, a familiar sight all along Michigan’s shores. If there’s one site that you can’t miss, it’s Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online aka “boatnerd.com”. For well over a decade, the site has been chronicling the passage of the vessels of the Great Lakes. It features all kinds of photo galleries and tens of thousands of pages of information about the vessels.
If you’re wanting to get into shipwatching, you should probably grab a copy of Know Your Ships 2007: The Guide to Boats & Boatwatching Great Lakes & St. Lawrence Seaway. You might also enjoy the excellent Great Lakes Ships We Remember series from the Detroit Marine Historical Society and I’m certain that young readers will love Mail By the Pail, the story of a Manistee girl whose dad works aboard a Laker. You can find many more at The Book Blues new & used bookstore in Marine City.
The vessel in the above photo was built in 1906 and still hauls cargo. Read its amazing tale at The Southdown Challenger on Michigan in Pictures. You can head back in time for some photos of Ladies of the Lakes from Scenes from the Past. Freighter Frank has some more photos and you can explore pictures of freighters from the Absolute Michigan pool (slideshow). One of our group members who pays extra attention to the vessels that ply the lakes is Joel Dinda. He has a great set of Lakers photos and an equally cool set of historical photos titled Borucki’s Lakers.
You will almost certainly be moved by The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, edited by Joseph Fulton. The video is a fantastic interpretation of the song that has become the anthem of thosewho have been lost to the fury of the Great Lakes.
Finally, take a little time to listed to this excellent radio feature from NPR’s Hidden Kitchens titled Freighter Food: From the Galleys of the Great Lakes. They talk with the writers of the Ships of the Great Lakes Cookbook and also talk with the cooks aboard the lakers about the importance of food to the crew and the changing character of life aboard. There’s recipes for New England Clam Chowder and Cranberry Glazed Cornish Hens with Wild Rice and some maritime music to listen to as well. Highly recommended!
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments!