Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald, 1975. Photo by Bob Campbell
 Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

When occasionally considering moving from NW Wisconsin to a warmer climate, there are a few issues that always come to mind, that always effect a negative decision. One of those, (along with family, friends, church, shared history, etc.)  is the fact that we live only 2 hours south of Lake Superior. It's not that we are frequent visitors to the great lake, but there's something about Lake Superior that seems to be a sort of geographical anchor. I mean, if we moved somewhere else, maybe we would just float off into space.

Just look how huge it is. The lake's surface area is that of the size of Maine, the size of Austria - roughly 32,000 square miles!  So maybe it's gravitational pull. :-) When I'm on the north shore of Lake Superior, I can  almost imagine that I'm on the ocean, for I can stand on the rocky shore and see no opposite shoreline.

On November 10, 1975, the American freighter, Edmund Fitzgerald and her entire crew of 29 men were lost, when they went down in a storm on Lake Superior.

"At 3:30 pm that afternoon, Captain McSorley radioed Captain Cooper and said: 'Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald. I have a fence rail down, two vents lost or damaged, and a list. I'm checking down. Will you stay by me till I get to Whitefish?'...At about 5:20 pm the crest of a wave smashed the Anderson's starboard lifeboat, making it unusable. Captain Cooper reported winds from the NW x W (305 ) at a steady 58 knots with gusts to 70 knots, and seas of 18 to 25 feet..." Read the entire story on The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum website.

The following year, Gordon Lightfoot came out with the ballad, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Still sends a shiver down my spine when I think of the crew of the Fitzgerald, and the families who were waiting for their husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers who would never return home.




Thanks to Beth for reminding me of this tragic event.

13 comments:

Jenn said...

Yea, I could see where you wouldn't want to move far away from that body of water...I've seen it, it truly is beautiful. Now if you all just wouldn't get any snow, I would be happy living there!! :)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Being a fellow (former) Great Laker (Michigan) I can understand your hesitation to move away from the lake! I miss it sorely! The Edmund Fitzgerald has been one of my favorite songs ever since I was a small kid and heard it for the first time. My dad told me the story of the sailors who were on the Edmund Fitzgerald and how the Lake took them and their boat. I used to cry when I heard the song. Heck, I still do!! Much P&PT going out to the victims and survivors and their families of the Edmund Fitzgerald as well as other shipwrecks.

Michelle said...

Wow, what a tragic story. I've never been to Lake Superior. I've been to Lake Erie and lived for several years in walking distance to Lake Michigan, it was very nice, we loved it and it was so hard to leave. On a plus for moving to warmer climates, I love being a few hours drive to the beach and a few hours drive to the mountains. It ain't bad:-)

Yenta Mary said...

There's been a lot of coverage of this here in Michigan, today. It's still astounding to think of it going down, the terror the men must have felt, and the sheer power of nature ....

Rachel said...

Earlier today at work one of my co-workers was singing "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." It's so sad!!

stephen said...

a tragic story. . so sad!hope everyone's okay:(

Lana said...

My mind went right to Gordon Lightfoot! LOVE that song! It is so weird to think that a ship could be lost in one of the Great Lakes, one would think that just happened on the ocean.

Judy S. said...

Isn't Lake Superior also very deep? Somewhere I read there are lots of boat on its bottom, a Nevada Barr book, maybe. When I lived in CO I really missed the Lake Michigan and in San Diego, nearby mountains. Here we have both and lots of rain~ but when it's nice it's wonderful.

EmptyNester said...

I have picked you for the Stylish Blogger Award because I enjoy visiting and reading your blog! Just visit me and see how to Pay It Forward!

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Some things are difficult to comprehend. I knew Lake Superior was large but it's the scale of it that I can't take in. Similarly the size of the vessel in this tragic event. I can identically put myself into your first profound paragraph.

Debbi Does Dinner Healthy said...

We just went to Duluth last summer for the first time as a family. We're in the twin cities so not too far away. I don't remember this story though, I'll show it to my kids, thanks!

Debra said...

I have been singing the song for a few days now. What a sad story. Wow I didn't realize how huge it is!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Wow, what a story. I think I had heard something about that on some travel channel show once. So interesting!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner
www.mawhats4dinner.com

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails