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181  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Re: U.S. Coast Guard security patrols for the "Super Bowl" on: February 04, 2006, 04:01:49 pm
agreed; I go up that way quite often and this is the first time I have seen the Coast Guard with their machine guns mounted on both large and small vessels.  Looks like they are having fun.  Its probably much to do about nothing but that is the way it is in the U.S. these days.
182  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / U.S. Coast Guard security patrols for the "Super Bowl" on: February 04, 2006, 03:46:55 am
The Great Lakes (North America) website www.boatnerd.com has photographic coverage of the U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard's defensive protective measures for Sunday's "Super Bowl", the championship American football game of the National Football League.  The game is to be played in Detroit, Michigan in a stadium that is within a mile of the heavily trafficked Detroit River.  Armed Coast Guard vessels are keeping any traffic away from downtown Detroit's waterfront although at this time of the year river traffic is light (due to the mild winter in the United States the river is open and there are still a few ships transiting Lake Erie, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The Sault Ste Marie locks and the Welland Canal and St Lawrence Seaway are closed for the winter).

Since the 9/11 terrorist attacks the "Super Bowl", the single most watched sporting event in the U.S., has been feared by authorities to be a potential target for terrorists so extraordinary security measures are taken every year.  From the photos on boatnerd.com it appears that the U.S. Coast Guard is taking the threat seriously and keeping any water traffic clear of downtown Detroit.

As an aside several inches of snow are forecast to fall in the Detroit area Saturday and Sunday although the football stadium has a roof on it.
183  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / grounded Seabulk Pride pulled free by tugs on: February 04, 2006, 03:36:54 am
The double hulled tanker Seabulk Pride, which was grounded in Alaska's Cook Inlet, was pulled free Friday, Feb 3. by 3 tugboats.  No leaks were detected from the grounding and the ship has been moved south to Tokachemak Bay where divers will make a detailed inspection.  This information is from a news report on www.yahoo.com
184  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / tanker Seabulk Pride aground in Alaska's Cook Inlet on: February 03, 2006, 01:45:11 am
The newspaper
Anchorage Times is reporting the grounding of the 575 foot tanker Seabulk Pride in Alaska's Cook Inlet.  The tanker was loading fuel at the port of Nikiski when it was struck by a fast moving ice flow, broke free and grounded on shore which was fortunately a silt beach. The double hull of the vessel appears to be in good shape.

Then Anchorage Times report can be found at:
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story7411662p-7323488c.html
185  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / USS Winston S Churchill boards pirate vessel on: January 22, 2006, 05:49:29 pm
The Associated Press on Sunday, Jan 22, 2006 has reported that the guided missle destroyer USS Winston S Churchill, part of an international task force to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean has stopped and boarded a dhow 54 miles off the coast of Somailia.  The dhow itself was reportedly captured by the pirates and was being used for their activities.  Interdiction of the vessel included the firing of two shots across its bow before the vessel ceased to flee the naval vessel.

The story has a fair amount of background information in it, including how Somali pirates capture merchant vessels and hold them for ransom.

I found the report in the news section of www.yahoo.com.
186  Shipspotters all over the world / Shipping News and information / Port of New Orleans, Louisiana, USA rebounding from Katrina on: December 28, 2005, 04:46:33 am
A news story on Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) Dec 27 reports that the Port of New Orelans, La., USA, which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina on August 29 is recovering quickly: ship traffic is now about 50% of normal.  Before Hurricane Katrina struck about 36-40 ships called at the Port of New Orleans each week; currently about 18-20 ships are calling each week, a much faster recovery than predicted. Port officials are predicting that by March, 2006 traffic will be at 70% of pre Katrina levels.
187  Shipspotters all over the world / Trip reports / Trip report: Port Huron, Mich, USA/Sarnia, Ontario, Canada on: December 27, 2005, 05:18:19 am
This is my first post here so if this not what you want to see let me know.

Thursday, Dec 22 was spent spotting Great Lakes boats in the Port Huron, Mich., USA/Sarnia Ontario, Canada area where Lake Huron empties into the St Clair River.  All ships are "Lake Boats" restricted to the Great Lakes/St Lawrence Seaway unless otherwise indicated.

This is a marvelous spot, especially in the summer and I imagine several readers are familiar with it.

Prior to sunrise was the downbound "Wolverine".  AT 7:30am we took a half mile ferry ride across the St Clair River from Marine City, Michigan to Sombra, Ontario on the small car ferry "Ontamich". Canadian Customs clearance took about 30 seconds which is the usual time to enter the country.

The large 1,000 footer "William J McCarthy" was unloading coal at a large electricity generating station.  We watched the "Lee A. Tregurtha" enter the St Clair River and sail under the Bluewater Bridge at Sarnia.  Following it was the "Sam Laud" and the "American Mariner" was upbound.

The large car and passenger ferry "Chi-Cheemaun" which normally plies Georgian Bay on Lake Huron was laid up for the winter at Government Dock in Sarnia.  Further downriver we saw an unusal backup move as the "Mississagi" backed a considerable distance down the St Clair River from a fuel dock to the Courtwright Aggregate Dock to unload via conveyor crushed stone.

A few small fishing boats went out to Lake Huron but we did not get their names and we saw a tug towing a barge but even with the binoculars we could not get the name.

We crossed back over to the U.S. by ferry again and had major problems with US Customs for the first time in a few thousand border crossings.  One of the problems stemmed from using this ferry in a sparsely populated area several times in the past 6 months while living 300 miles away.  A young female customs inspector all but accused us of illegal activity even after a lengthy discussion of sun angles for photography in the am and pm which is why we cross the river.

Next was the"Fred R. White" downbound and after she had passed the tanker "Algosar", which was purchased and renamed from the "Gemini" earlier this year.  Darkness fell and a combination of rain, frozen rain, and freezing rain started falling.  We watched the "Middletown" go down the river then left for a 340 mile trip home to OHio.

Any day at Port Huron is a good day as it is a marvelous spot to watch and photograph shipping.  However, on this day it was cloudy although it was forecast to be sunny and the upbounds were sparse due to severe ice conditions south of Detroit, Mich which had stopped a handful of upbounds.

Being nearly in the center of the U.S. that is about as close as we come to ship spotting.
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