A little better than a year ago, I was at work, praying my hart out. I've got family that sails the lakes, as well as friends I've not seen in years. Even here the weather men were making comparisons to November 1975. I couldn't help remembering a song we used to request Kim to sing at the Peanut Barrel or maybe Claddagh, in my college days. We called it the "Dead Ship Song". I guess that was a smug college kids way of dealing with something that I hadn't the least bit of a clue about.
The weather report that day had me worried. Gary was on the Jackson and they hadn't made port. There is a web site that tracks ship movements. I keep hitting refresh every couple of seconds, hoping to see the ship come up. All it reported was that the Jackson was out of Duluth bound for the Rouge.
The waves on Superior were reported 30 to 40 foot with winds up to 90 miles an hour. This was way worse than Nov 10, 1975. I was just a boy then and I don't remember much of it, but I learned more about it as I got older. Enough that in 1991 when I was offered a chance to sigh on as a cooks mate on the Paul R. Tregurtha, I turned it down. Perhaps that was a dumb move. If I'd done it, I'd have my 20 in this year and could retire at the end of season pulling down about $5k a month.
When I saw the Jackson had made port, I thanked God. I also made a phone call, it went unanswered, just like the one I made a minute ago, but that as they say is another story.