Monday, June 6, 2011

Learning Something New or Stalk *Your* Favorite GL Freighter

I don't know anyone who has spent time on the Great Lakes without falling just a little in love with the large freighters that travel so beautifully up and down their waterways. We took a drive to the state's East Coast, rather than our favorite West Coast this weekend, and I'm excited to share my new favorite vantage point. Where, I'm happy to report, the temperature was an entire 25 degrees cooler than in my backyard. Go Great Lakes!

The Great Lakes Maritime Center is, in a not-to-do-it-justice word, AWESOME. State of the art AIS screens overlay actual ship locations on top of satellite imagery to show you, in real time, the location of each vessel on the Great Lakes. A live underwater camera feed lets you view activity under the St. Clair River. I could go on and on and still not hit all the high points. I'm talking benches! Glassed-in viewing areas where I know we will spend plenty of time this fall! Gulls! Fishing piers! Power boaters! Freighters! Sunshine! Music! See, I could go on and on. The only thing missing were cots and employment opportunities.

The center is also where I learned about BoatNerd.com. An amazing, and informative website with more info on Great Lakes Shipping past and present then you could imagine. Bonus! You can stalk, erh, track your favorite freighter. Want to learn its tonnage? What freight is it currently carrying? What port did the vessel sail out of and where is it going? Where I can view this freighter?

See? Awesome.

image author: Bob Campbell. This image is in the public domain because it contains materials that originally came from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, taken or made during the course of an employee's official duties.

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