Cadet Shipping Experience on the Great Lakes: Day 57

by Ben Dinsmore on June 3, 2011

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 57: My Last Day on Lake Superior…

June 28, 1997

A surveyor from the National Cargo Bureau working with the AB on the James R. Barker.

Well, if all goes as planned, this should be my last day (this summer) sailing across Lake Superior. We left Taconite Harbor at around 033o this morning bound for Indiana Harbor instead of Lorain, OH.

You can imagine how disappointed I was when I heard the news. All of my travel plans were based on us getting into Lorain, OH on June 30th. Nothing a quick phone call and about $150 in transfer fees can’t take care of right? It actually worked out in my favor since the flight home from Chicago (the closest major airport to Indiana Harbor) was less expensive even considering the transfer fee.

We had a surveyor come on board today from the National Cargo Bureau to sound our tanks and check our drafts. I assisted him with the soundings and also recorded the data.

I also had the honor of meeting the Vice President of the American Maritime Officers Union (AMO) who came on board briefly to meet with the licensed officers and talk about what the union was up to these days.

It was another beautiful day out on Lake Superior, as the mate let me take the helm of the ship to steer her east towards the entrance to the St. Mary’s River.

One site note to report, our gyro repeater is all messed up. The captain tells me he has already arranged for a service tech to meet the ship once we get in the Soo Locks in another day.

That’s it for today!

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