If two years in a row makes it a tradition, it's official: I head for the Soo in December!
I look forward to rotten weather, good pictures and lots of traffic.  Last year was too cramped and I missed a bunch of traffic; so this year I took two extra days off and hit the road. I really wasn't expecting anything unusual but as it turned out, there might be an opportunity to catch a Canadian straight-decker on her last run. As I left Thursday evening the stage was being set for some light automotive comedy as well:
The u-joints on the truck started squealing.
All pictures can be clicked for larger views, resize as needed.
On station at Mission Point by 6 pm and within 30 minutes the Oglebay Norton's Fred R. White Jr. shows up. There is snow on the ground but it's comfortable and I am able to work the digital settings to capture the silhouette against the Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario lights.  Stick around, this is just starting!
Fred R. White Jr.
Oglebay Norton Marine
Launched: 1979
Capacity: 23,800 tons
Length: 636 ft.
Beam: 68 ft.
EMD 20-645 (2)- 3,600 bhp each
Single Screw
Self Unloading
Nothing coming so it was into town to check in. Afterwards, the Buckeye called in and I was out the door. She was loaded and slowly easing into the MacArthur.  I have a soft spot for the "Buck", she was the first Laker I got pictures of in layup when the bug bit two years ago.  After spending 2003 in layup, she fitted out this year.  I have to say I prefer this view of her at work to the icy slumber I first found her in.
Oglebay Norton Marine
Launched: 1952
Capacity: 22,300 tons
Length: 698 ft.
Beam: 70 ft.
Bethlehem Steel steam turbine 7,700 shp
Single Screw
Self Unloading
The Buckeye heads east to the lower lakes, it's 8 pm and the evening is just getting started.  Tag along for more ships in the night.
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