Shipwatching

U.S.S. Constitution

featuring Simon Wahl's "Leonie"

Few ships have as much prestige and history behind them as the U.S.S. Constitution, one of the U.S. Navy’s original six frigates, built in 1797. The Constitution was even named by George Washington himself!

The U.S.S. Constitution is notable for its role in the War of 1812, scoring several sea victories against the British and emboldening the spirits of the American military. During a duel with the HMS Guerriere, British cannonballs were seen bouncing from the Constitution‘s thick oak hull, which spawned the vessel’s legendary nickname, “Old Ironsides.”

The Constitution survived the War and served another four decades in the Navy before being taken out of active service in 1855. Today, the Constitution is still a commissioned warship in the Navy, though permanently harbored in Boston, Massachusetts. The ship is open daily for tours and also hosts special events, including functions related to its status as “America’s Ship of State.”

Simon Wahl is a fingerstyle guitarist from Germany. Despite his young age, he has released two studio albums and performed with name musicians in Germany and abroad.

Links

Official Navy Site of U.S.S. Constitution
City of Boston: USS Constitution and Charlestown Navy Yard
Simon Wahl Official Site (in German)


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Lee A. Tregurtha on Detroit River

featuring Chris Standring's "Regarding Tetchwick"

In addition to their loads, many Great Lakes freighters carry with them a small part of history, but few have as much history behind them as the ship now known as the Lee A. Tregurtha.

Originally planned as the oil tanker Mobiloil, the onset on World War II prompted the U.S. Maritime Commission to take over the ship’s construction and it was soon commissioned into the U.S. Navy under the name USS Chiwawa. From 1942 through 1944, the Chiwawa served in the Atlantic Fleet, refueling vessels along the East Coast and sailing on convoys across the ocean. Eventually it joined the Pacific Fleet for the final months of the war and was decommissioned in May 1946.

After a brief stint as an Atlantic tanker, the Chiwawa was converted to an ore carrier by Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company. It continues to serve the Great Lakes in that capacity as the Lee A. Tregurtha, a name it was given in 1989. Frequent renovations and upgrades have kept the historic freighter in service, including the 2006 addition of a pair of Rolls-Royce diesel engines.

In this eScapes video, the Tregurtha maneuvers upbound on the Detroit River between Lake Erie and Lake Huron. The Ambassador Bridge can be seen in the background, joining Windsor, Ontario and Detroit, Michigan.

Chris Standring is a jazz guitarist who has distinguished himself in the contemporary jazz realm with adventurous, lyrical compositions leavened with pure-pop perfection, dazzling guitar solos and thick beats. Though predominately influenced by jazz, Standring has expanded his sound with rock, blues, R&B and electronic elements.

Links

BoatNerd.com article: Lee A. Tregurtha
Interlake Steamship Company: Lee A. Tregurtha
Duluth Shipping News profile on Lee A. Tregurtha
Chris Standring Official Site


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Alpena on St. Marys River

featuring Peter White's "Crazy Feeling"

The Great Lakes freighter Alpena was launched as the Leon Fraser in 1942, carrying iron ore across the Great Lakes. In 1989, the ship was converted to a self-unloading cement carrier and shortly afterward was renamed the Alpena, after the hometown of its fleet, Inland Lakes Transportation.

In this eScapes video, the 519-foot Alpena moves downbound the St. Marys River near Sault Ste. Marie. The waterfront buildings and distant wind turbines of Ontario can be seen in the background.

Peter White is an English smooth jazz guitarist who played with several artists, including a 20-year span as accompanist and writer for Al Stewart, before launching a solo career in 1990. With several Top 10 jazz albums under his belt, White is a frequent winner of the National Smooth Jazz Award for Best Guitarist.

Links

Alpena on Boatnerd.com
Sault Ste. Marie Visitors Bureau
Peter White Official Site


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CSL Niagara (Upbound at Port Colborne)

featuring Chris Botti's "When Rain Falls"

Port Colborne, on the southern coast of Ontario, has been greatly effected by the Welland Canal, which runs through downtown on its way to joining Lakes Ontario and Erie. Since 1833, the passage of vessels here has created a community centered on marine trades– both industrial and recreational.

This eScapes video presents the Canadian Steamship Lines’ CSL Niagara, a Great Lakes freighter that has spent much of its forty-year career on or around this Welland Canal. As the freighter clears one of Port Colborne’s drawbridges, the narrow channel offers shipwatchers on shore a close-up look at the vessel, only matched by the onboard crew.

Chris Botti is a contemporary jazz trumpeter who has become one of the top-selling instrumental artists of the 21st century. His performances blend pop, jazz, and classical music– resulting in a style that reaches beyond only jazz audiences.

Links

BoatNerd.com article: CSL Niagara
City of Port Colborne
Wikipedia article: Welland Canal
Chris Botti Official Site


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Michipicoten at Soo Locks

featuring Chuck Loeb's "Sierra Nevada"

The Great Lakes freighter Michipicoten, formerly known as the Elton Hoyt 2nd, was built in 1952 and renamed once it joined the Lower Lakes Towing Company, which names its vessels after local rivers. In November 2010, it was converted to diesel power, increasing its capacity and lifespan while reducing its environmental footprint.

The Michipicoten primarily runs between Marquette, Michigan and Algoma Steel, but also carries other material and has also been certified to carry grain. In this eScapes video, the freighter slowly moves through the Soo Locks, as it does on its usual route.

Chuck Loeb is a guitarist, composer, and producer. Known for his smooth jazz recordings, he is a versatile artist who has explored various other musical styles including classical and rock guitar. In addition to his extensive solo discography, Loeb has appeared on albums from many of jazz’s biggest names, as a performer and producer.

Links

Boatnerd.com: Michipicoten
Sault Ste. Marie Convention and Visitors Bureau: Soo Locks
Chuck Loeb Official Site


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Charlotte Amalie Cruise Harbor

featuring Earl Klugh's "Driftin'"

Charlotte Amalie, the capital city of the U.S. Virgin Islands on St. Thomas, is known for its many historical attractions and also for being the busiest cruise port of call in the islands. Millions of cruise passengers arrive at this port every year from various lines including Celebrity and Disney.

In this eScapes video, a Celebrity Cruise ship heads out of the port city as a relaxing sunset provides a brilliant backdrop.

Earl Klugh is contemporary jazz guitarist originally from Detroit, Michigan. Since his first album in 1976, Klugh has received twelve career Grammy nominations and produced more than twenty albums– five of them reaching No. 1 on the jazz charts. Klugh is a favorite of adult contemporary radio and regarded by some to be one of the best acoustic guitarists in the world.

Links

U.S. Virgin Islands Official Tourism Site
Wikipedia article: Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Celebrity Cruises: Caribbean Cruises
Earl Klugh Official Site


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Port of Los Angeles

featuring Andy Snitzer's "Love Song"

The port of Los Angeles began as a small port used by Spanish traders. Over the centuries, it has developed into what is now the largest shipping port in the United States.

This eScapes video features an APL shipping vessel making its way out to sea, loaded with containers. Freighters like this are a common sight in the port, but it also serves recreational boaters and is one of the largest cruise ship ports in the country, providing homeport to Carnival, Disney, Princess, and Norwegian cruise lines.

Andy Snitzer is a jazz saxophonist who has toured with many popular artists including the Rolling Stones and Paul Simon. Also an accomplished producer, his solo work blends a melodic jazz style with modern and electronic elements.

Links

The Port of Los Angeles
APL Shipping
Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau
Andy Snitzer Official Site


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Arthur M. Anderson (Duluth-Superior Harbor)

featuring Bahman Anvari's "Monir"

The steamship Arthur M. Anderson was built in Lorain, Ohio in 1952, alongside the Philip R. Clarke and Cason J. Callaway freighters. The Arthur M. Anderson has a unique place in Great Lakes shipping history: it is the last ship to have been in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald before it sank in Lake Superior in 1975, and later braved the deadly weather to search for survivors from the doomed freighter.

In this eScapes scene, the Anderson leaves Duluth-Superior Harbor at the southwestern tip of Lake Superior.

Bahman Anvari is an instrumentalist. His first commercially available single, “Monir,” is featured in this episode and features Radean Anvari on guitar and arrangements by Elton Farokh Ahi.

Links

Boatnerd.com: Arthur M. Anderson
Duluth Shipping News: Arthur M. Anderson


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Algorail at Port of Milwaukee

featuring Peter White's "Moonlight Montreal"

The self-unloading freighter Algorail has served the Algoma Central Corporation on the Great Lakes since its construction in 1968, and is managed by its partner, Seaway Marine Transport. This is the second vessel to bear the Algorail name. The first, known as William S. Mack before Algoma purchased it, was scrapped in 1963.

In this video, the current Algorail departs the Port of Milwaukee, past the Milwaukee Breakwater Light in Lake Michigan.

Peter White is an English smooth jazz guitarist who played with several artists, including a 20-year span as accompanist and writer for Al Stewart, before launching a solo career in 1990. With several Top 10 jazz albums under his belt, White is a frequent winner of the National Smooth Jazz Award for Best Guitarist.

Links

Seaway Marine Transport: Algorail
Algorail on BoatNerd.com
Port of Milwaukee
Peter White: Smooth Jazz Guitarist


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James R. Barker

featuring Jacob Deon's "The Piano Song"

The Great Lakes freighter James R. Barker was built in 1976 for the Interlake Steampship Company. One of the first thousand-footers on the Lakes (the first being the Stewart J. Cort), the James R. Barker is named for the President and Chairman of the Board of Interlake Steamship Company. Another ship, the Kaye E. Barker, is named for his wife and is featured in the full version of this episode.

The St. Marys River channel connects Lake Superior with Lake Huron and is the site of the Soo Locks in the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and Ontario. The locks carry ships past the natural rapids of the St. Marys and were constructed in 1837. Visible at the beginning of this video is the Cloverland Electric Hydroelectric Powerhouse, the longest horizontal shaft hydro-electric plant in the world.

Jacob Deon is an independent solo artist. “The Piano Song,” featured in this video, was his first commercially available single. He has since released a full-length album, Something Beautiful.

Links

Interlake Steamship Company: James R. Barker
Boatnerd.com: James R. Barker
Complete History of Cloverland Electric Cooperative & Powerhouse (PDF)


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