A November gale warning is posted!

November 11th, 2015, 9am

We have a gale warning beginning tonight through tomorrow here on the Western End of Lake Superior.

Yesterday, on the 40th anniversary of the Edmund Fitzgerald sinking, I paged through a book about the loss of the Fitzgerald in a large November storm in 1975 and I played my old Lightfoot vinyl “Summertime Dream” with the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”. I followed a Twitter feed from the Detroit News chronicling the last day in the voyage of the ship before it sank.

The huge 730 foot freighter sank so fast the crew apparently had no time to abandoned ship or send a distress call. The ice cold water of the Lake keeps the crew of 29 entombed with the broken ship. They lie buried in 530 feet of water.

The presentation included recordings of some of the radio traffic between the ships masters, the Soo Harbormaster and Coastguard personnel.

Most haunting is the master of the Arthur M Anderson, Captain Jesse Cooper, which followed the Fitzgerald down the lake, agonizing over a decision to turn about and look for survivors. The Coastguard asks if the Anderson would turn about and search for survivors. “My God,” Captain Cooper stammers, “I don’t know … The sea out there is trememdously large.” A few moments later after noting that the Anderson had taken some huge waves over the ship before sheltering in Whitefish Bay he says, “I’ll give it a try … That’s all I can do!”

Lake Superior is majestic, mighty and merciless.

David Wade and Steve said thanks.

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Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

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