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 45: Lake Michigan, upbound St Mary’s River:
June 16, 1997
I woke up early for watch last night in time to report in the wheelhouse for my 00-04 watch rotation. We reached the Mackinac bridge at 0032 and were at the entrance to the St. Mary’s River by 0315. Consequently, the majority of this morning was spent transiting the St. Mary’s River (upbound) and passing through the the Soo Locks.
I received a nice surprise in the mail today (from the Soo Lock mail station). My parents had sent me some of the local papers from back home. It was nice to get caught up on events happening at home. With my cadet shipping internship 3/4’s of the way through, it won’t be long before I’m back home on summer vacation!
They also sent me an article about Maine Maritime Academy’s new training ship that was currently sailing with the academy’s freshman and junior classes. I’m really looking to my junior cruise on the ship next year.
On another note, I seem to have come down with some sort of illness over the last few days and I just haven’t been feeling like myself. Having been up since before midnight, I took a nice long nap this afternoon once we were clear of the St. Mary’s River and back into the open waters of Lake Superior.
I woke up this evening just after 2000 and worked a little bit more on my sea-project before reporting back up to watch. We’re currently scheduled to sail into Duluth, MN for fuel and then “hop over” to Superior, WI to take on another load of coal at the “SMET” dock.
I felt a little better after my nap this afternoon, but my head is still congested and my body still aches…maybe I’ll start feeling better tomorrow!
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