Edmund Fitzgerald 39 Years Ago


Old 11-10-14, 10:52 AM
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Edmund Fitzgerald 39 Years Ago


I still have a hard time believing waves could sink something so huge. Time sure does fly.
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Old 11-10-14, 11:11 AM
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Lake Superior doesn't think something of that size is huge.
Old 11-10-14, 11:48 AM
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It's the largest freshwater lake in the world, over 31,000 sq mi. The EF wasn't all that big to begin with really. Big for a lake freighter, yes, but not BIG.

If you've ever been on a ship in rough seas, you'd know that nothing seems big compared to a body of water that large.
Old 11-10-14, 12:54 PM
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I've been underway many times, sometimes it was scary. Makes you realize we are not really in control of things.
When a ship is taking heavy rolls, and filing cabinets that are welded to deck snap off, I always thought, Huh??? That's not good.
Old 11-10-14, 01:15 PM
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40 ft seas in the South China Sea in a tropical cyclone. Fully loaded LST but still only about 16 ft draft. Green water over the bow, 80 kt winds, and zero viz. 3 ft of water in the tank deck (not that they ever carried tanks). After the 60 degree roll, we all really thought we were done. Marine gen set and a M151 on deck broke loose from 8 10-ton gripes each. Pushed over the side.

We all knew where our life jackets were that day!

The ocean (or a big lake) is very unforgiving.
Old 11-10-14, 01:28 PM
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The good old days.

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee,
For those in peril on the sea!
Old 11-10-14, 05:01 PM
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The fact that they call it a lake misleads people. It's actually an inland sea.
Old 11-10-14, 06:53 PM
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Inland sea is the best description because it has its own micro-climate.

The Fitzgerald veered to miss a rock, broken in half and the remains were found nearby in 700'+ of water. It is about 1500' deep and the bottom is about 900' below sea level.

The average temperature is so low the microscopic bacteria will not grow and bodies do not decompse and float but just sink. Some old mariners bodies were found decades later in great condition for someone that drowned.

I fished on and around the lake for some time and quickly learned to respect it and be prepared. In late April it was about 80F in MSP and I drove up to go fish the streams for the early runners from the lake. In Dulute, it was about 70-75F but I knew it would be colder fishing a stream about 50 mile up the shore, so I bought a "hoodie" for added weather insurance. An hour later, I was on the shore at about 25F in a snow storm. - The reverse is also true since it can be well above 32F near the "sea" at Grand Marais and about0F to 10F a mile inland and away from the lake.

The volume of the lake is so great that water flowing into it takes over 150 years to flow out.

It is always an interesting place to go periodically at any time of the year. - It can become a real monster at times.

Old 11-11-14, 03:12 AM
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Having grown up 27 miles from lake michigan I was kind of disappointed the first time I saw the atlantic ocean as it didn't look much different. I don't know if there are other lakes you can go out on and not be able to see land on a clear day. I don't think the water in lake superior ever gets warm

I was a taken back a little by the title of this thread, hard to believe it's been 39 yrs. I would say that makes me feel old but I don't wanna
Old 11-11-14, 04:09 AM
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I live just off the eastern end of Lake Erie (Buffalo), the shallowest of all the lakes, and most treacherous. As kid I remember (I think) the EF being docked on the Buffalo water front at the old Bethlehem Steel Plant. For those of us who live around the Great Lakes I don't think we realize how awsome they are.

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