Sunday, August 17, 2014

Flying, flying, part 2.

On departure from Detroit City Airport, Proud Hillbilly aboard, we saw this thousand-footer entering the Detroit River off Lake St. Clair.
She's the Presque Isle, built in 1973. We've seen her before, and she's actually a tug/barge combination, not a single ship. You can see that better in this shot:
Downbound fully loaded.
She's huge any way you measure her though, at 1000 feet long, 104 feet wide, and drawing a depth of 46 feet when loaded. She can haul 57,500 tons of iron ore, and her diesels put out 14,840 horsepower. We saw her on the river last September, too.

Here's Belle Isle, a long-neglected city park that became a haven for drinking, drugs and other crimes under Detroit City Council's watch.
Now the State of Michigan is running it and it's cleaning up nicely with Michigan State Police in charge. Of course the usual suspects are complaining about the State Police doing what the city police never did: enforcing the law and maintaining the order.
Downtown, and the Renaissance Center. Built by Ford Motor Co., and now owned by General Motors, courtesy of the US Taxpayers, who took quite a bath bailing GM out.
Here's the Ambassador Bridge linking Detroit to Windsor, Ontario. (That's in Canada, for you Obama voters.)
Here's a nice Canada/US memorial in Windsor.
Nice to know that they've apparently gotten over both the War of 1812 and the last few hockey seasons where US teams have shellacked theirs.

And back on the American side, we see a famous landmark to urban blight and decay, the old Michigan Central Station.
It was so beautiful once.

Continuing downriver, we spot the cement barge St. Mary's Cement II being pushed by her dedicated tug, the Sea Eagle II.

And here's another one of my favorites, the self-unloading steamship Mississagi.
She was originally launched in 1943 as the Hill Annex. She cost 2.2 million dollars back then. She spent much of her time sailing as the George A. Sloan and she was converted into a self-unloader in 1965/66.
We've seen her before, too. She still looks pretty raggedy, but she'll always be a Great Lakes classic. Long may she sail.

Here's the little tanker Algocanada heading upriver.

And here's the southern end of the river, with the shipping channel down the center clearly visible.
Flying along than channel--and staying well on the US side of the invisible line in the sky which is the international border--we can see some old sunken barges hidden back in the swampy center of the islet.

Coming off the river mouth, it was so clear that we could see the cooling tower of the Davis-Besse nuke plant on the Ohio side of the lake. That's seriously above-average visibility.
Here's Put-in-Bay on South Bass Island again. Much nicer conditions than the visit last week.
We came ashore just west of Vermillion, Ohio. Here's a nice little marina community with it's own channel and breakwater. If you love your boat, this'd be a cool place to live.
We went south of Cleveland and I'd planned a mid-flight landing at Beaver Valley Airport just to get out and stretch, but then I saw Barbour Airport, a neat little grass strip at Alliance, Ohio. Heck, why not just land there? So we did. I loves me some grass strips.
Glad we did, too. They were skydiving there. we stayed to watch a bit.
Taking off again, we flew north and west of Pittsburgh as the sun was setting.
Then it was about an hour over the mountains until we were coasting down for a right-traffic approach to my home field's Runway 26. The sixth landing of the day was practically perfect, and after putting my trusty Cessna to bed, we enjoyed a fine Thai dinner in town at a nice place that PH knows well. I got home 13 hours after I left, pacified two wild dogs, and racked out. It was a very good day, indeed.

Oh, and Proud Hillbilly has more pics on her page here, including some of a darn cute kid.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:58 PM

    Thank-you for sharing these pictures