Saturday 14 July 2012


While panning the horizon for the superstructure or mast of the upbound ATLANTICBORG to become visible, suddenly from the corner of my eye appeared the tanker SICHEM DUBAI. She wasn't on my list of passages for the day, but who cares. The Danish oil & chemical tanker is actually registered in Valletta, Malta and she was making good speed downbound to who knows where. After the seaway opened in 1959, it was pretty amazing to see all these 'salties' (a local slag for an ocean-going freighter) as they made their way to new ports of call on our inland fresh-water Great Lakes. They came from all over the world and I recall trying to determine where they were from after seeing their flag flapping in a breeze and homeport boldly written at the stern of each ship. Some city names were quite humourous and had words in them that a 10 year old wouldn't want to be caught saying at home like 'RotterDAM', and HELsinki. I recall having a good laugh when for the first time I saw a saltie from 'SPLIT'. Whether the ship comes from Holland, Sweden, a small island in the Mediterranean, or an Adriatic Sea port in the former Yugoslavia, they all seem to be rushing by me while getting to be where they need to be as soon as possible.

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