Pop quiz: which great lakes freighter is this? And just so you know, I didn’t take the pic *from* the bote. Actually, it isn’t even the real bote. It is a photo of the bote in the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle. Think PERISCOPE!!!

I follow a couple of great lakes freighters on facebook, the Cason J. Callaway and the Motor Vessel Algolake. The Callaway (Storm Warrior) mainly posts pics of water, weather, and sunsets/sunrises. The Algolake also posts pics of the interior of the bote and the folks who work there. (Hint: the bote in the pic is not the Callaway or the Algolake.)

One day a few summers ago, I was walking the beach on a foggy morning. I looked at the Marine Traffic app and saw that the Algolake was sitting out on the other side of The Pickle Finger somewhere, waiting for the fog to burn off (which it eventually did) so it could go down the channel and through the Soo Locks without hitting Round Island or running up on our beach as freighters do occasionally in every moomincabin child’s dream. I couldn’t see the actual bote from the beach because fog.

For whatever reason, I checked facebook, and just a few moments before, The Algolake had posted pics of life inside the cabin (or whatever you call it), where people were sitting around drinking coffee and enjoying a beautiful morning while waiting for the fog to burn off.

Surreal? Yes. My brain was going booooooiiiiinnnnnnnggggggg. Thinking of the days when I was a *little* kid and remembering one night when the whole Fin Famdamly (including my grandparents) walked down the beach at twilight to see a multitude of boats going up and down the channel.

We needed binoculars then to actually see which bote was navigating the channel and I think we all still have multiple binocs. My Old Coot got technology going back in the day in the form of a scanner from which a person could hear the boats reporting their locations throughout the channel. We would all be down on the beach and the old coot would walk to the top of the bank and report that this or that freighter was on it’s way down. That would be before we could see even a mirage of the bote.

My Old Coot embraced new technology (B29 airplane anyone?) until he couldn’t absorb anything new any more. He did cordless phones and marine scanners but he never quiiiiite got into personal computers and he died maybe not before facebook (but not sure) but a year before the iPhone and apps like Marine Traffic. I know that he would not have been able to navigate the iPhone (but my mother did!). I am wondering what he would have done with that technology had it been available when he was young enough to embrace it. I know he would have enjoyed seeing the Algolake folks sitting in the cabin drinking their coffee out there in the fog waiting to continue down through the Soo Locks.

2 Responses to “Surreality”

  1. Margaret Says:

    My parents are unwilling to embrace tech, although they do have an ancient(not smart) phone. I think my mom would have been all over the internet and posting feisty comments if she were not nearly 85. 🙂

  2. UU Says:

    good post