In the spring and early summer of 1997 I sailed on the Great Lakes as a deck cadet on board the bulk ore and coal carrying ship “James R. Barker“. The following articles are pulled directly from the journal I maintained during my 60 days on board the vessel. Enjoy!
Day 39: Offloading coal in Marquette, MI; steaming to Taconite Harbor, MN:
June 10, 1997
After unloading our cargo of coal in Marquette, MI we maneuvered the ship out from the dock and were once again underway on Lake Superior by 0830. The unload went very well and all the crew members made it back to the ship in time before we departed (unlike last time we were in Marquette).
At 0915 this morning we had one of our periodic fire and safety drills. During the drill I volunteered to demonstrate the correct way to suit out in the fire suits. Since I had just completed an advanced firefighting training course at Maine Maritime Academy last year I was more than happy to share my knowledge with the crew.
Today I learned we will be taking on a load of iron ore in Taconite Harbor and delivering it to “LTV Steel” in Indiana Harbor on Lake Michigan. It will be my first trip into Lake Michigan and I’m looking forward to the trip!
I’m still getting used to working the 12-4 watch but overall it hasn’t been too bad of a transition. I’ll have another two days at least on this rotation and then I will be back to the longer shifts as we enter the St. Mary’s River and head on into Lake Michigan.
The weather is still really nice and it should be a nice ride up to Taconite Harbor this evening. See you in the morning.
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