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Topic review - Update from Denny
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  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Thanks Bookworm for your always encouraging words along with your comments as well as they are much appreciated. Glad to see and hear about you and your reports as well and hope that you are doing well also. I've read your reports and seen your tribute as well to your soon Mike and I also agree with everyone else here as that was very moving and touching to see him so loved and honored in that way and remembered as he will forever be an angel to you and be your Wind Beneath Your Wings! Just to let you along with many others know though, as promised was at the river today and although it was yet another slow day been having way too many of those days lately I did get lucky and see some good boats today with the few that were on the river. Let's begin first today with the Saginaw as we got her downbound late morning at the Bridge in Port Huron and got some nice shots of her. Then, the best was yet to come as the last few years I have been waiting patiently to see the Algoway upbound. Well today it FINALLY happened as she was indeed upbound and we got her in Port Huron at the Bridge and got tons of photos with the Algoma Central Corporation bow logos just as I was hoping for! It is sad though to see the condition that she is in from all the years of hauling salt but, she served her owners well in 45 years of service on the lakes and seaway. So I say to her, 3 Long and 2 Short and God Speed 'ole friend as soon it will be time for your rest as you've earned and deserve it through your hard work over the years. Later toward supper time we also got the CSL Welland upbound in spectacular lighting toward the dinner hour tonight. So overall, although it was slow at least we got very lucky and still had a great day and that's what my Autumn Thunder is all about! Now we've made the river 6 times for October tying the number set back in 2007 also with six trips in October for that year at least. Now, we look to tie the most trips ever in a month with 7 and that number will come this week. Next weeks' weather as far as I know at least anyway, it set to change and get much cooler so we are taking full advantage of this while it lasts as we all know what's soon to come I hate to say it for our weather mainly when we get to November as well. Until then, I'm loving this folks!
Post Posted: October 17, 2017, 7:40 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
I am so happy for you Denny that you are setting records out on the river! Now that you have gotten started there is no stopping you. I hope that you have many successful trips this week!
Post Posted: October 17, 2017, 12:04 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Denny, recently my writing assignments have kept me from following ships and Boatnerd postings. This job is the most rewarding I've ever had. I interview couples who will be celebrating fifty or more years of marriage (so far the most has been 67 years) and then do a write-up of between 1,500 and 1,800 words to submit to the local paper. Yesterday I had two interviews and today another is scheduled. It gives me a chance to meet new people and share their unique life adventure, and gives them a chance to reminisce and recall the memories and people that have made them who they are. We do a lot of laughing together!
Now that I've read your up-dates, I can see that 2017 will go down as one of your most memorable years for seeing and photographing ships along the St. Clair River. I'm so glad it has turned out so well for you and expect it will only get better -- before winter takes over! Go safe and enjoy, my friend!
Post Posted: October 17, 2017, 5:59 am
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Just to let anyone who's been reading and following this post know and I do know that my good friend Howard Sprague has been one of many that's replied and responded but, I've also noticed that I have not seen or heard from many others lately in particular my good and dear friend Daniel McNeil along with another of my close and dear good friends Dawn Roberts or Bookworm! Well the Roar and Sound of the Thunder is getting much more violent and louder than ever for this week and IMO anyway, "The Autumn Thunder is getting even more ear deafening and shattering than the Thunder you would hear in you average Thunder storm." So why am I making such a big deal here you may ask? Because for the first time since 2007 I will have my best October out along the St. Clair River as this has been a long time coming for me and long overdue from years of struggling out on the St. Clair River. Also the most trips ever made in one single month to the river was 7 of them and this took place back in the mid-1990s so as you can see my term for Autumn Thunder is more than just me seeing Ships and getting salutes! It's means much more than that at least IMO anyway. It simply means going to the river, having fun and enjoying it while I can and seizing the moments and opportunities as the happen and occur! This month I'm on par and course to end up with the most trips ever in a month and I'm trying to take it all in and full advantage of this mild and nice weather while I can because we all know thus can't last forever unfortunately and what's to come at some point on our weather! By the end of this week I should have an incredible 7 trips in October to the river and for my run at 500 trips I should be at 435 with 65 left to go at 500. If you do the math on that stat though, this will take me about 6-7 more years to get to 500 on my journey there. So I ask for your support this week and now more than ever as you can simply tell me and say "Go For It and also to Go Get them Denny!" Believe me when I say folks that I'm Hungry for this and now I got my swagger back and the Eye of the Tiger as well! Sorry for a long post folks just keeping you all updated on here.
Post Posted: October 16, 2017, 9:56 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Just to let everyone know that we set a recoord at the river which may never ever be broken. In 25 years of going to the river along with shipwatching, the most trips I've made is 2 in a week's time. However this week we ended up by doing 3 trips believe it or not in one week which is something that's never been done and may not ever be done again! For the season since April 1st I've now made it to the river 12 times but, since September when I officially started up I have made it 9 times. For September we made the river 4 times and for October, I've made it 5 times with still plenty of time left at least for this month to get in more of them. I believe the most trips that I have ever made was 7 in one month so anything is still possible yet at this time. On my quest for 500 river trips someday and a very long someday, I'm at 433 in total, what I consider ad All Day River Trips. In time, I will provide a short list of some that I saw for this week. One other stat, we've now made the river 73 times for October the most of any month! We've now made 129 Friday trips to add to the 100 Tuesday trips as well. So History and pages are still being written if you will and can say for my history on the St. Clair River for now.
Post Posted: October 14, 2017, 12:25 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Just to let ones know we were back at the river today but, gosh was it slow with a captital S for slow today. Believe it or not other than the Paul R. Tregurtha in St. Clair just before 10 A.M. for this morning at least, there was no other traffic other than the Algolake downbound just after the lunch hour today. So I tied a record at least for the least amount of ships seen in one day with only one I would call it with just the Algolake! The last time this event had ever happened to me was back in the early 1990s when I was just getting started, I had a similar day to where I only ended up with one ship the whole day which was the Reserve. I even had a close friend of mine today ask me the same question I was thinking as well "In the past couple of weeks why has the shipping traffic slowed down on the St. Clair River?" My answer was that I had no answer for him and that it just seemed strange and odd that it has been so slow especially considering now that we are into the Fall season and the Grain Rush time, I would've thought surely that the traffic would be heavier and picking up instead of slowing down. For the month of October though we've now made the river so far four times for the month equaling the September total which was also at four trips as well. Fortunately there's still some time left for me in October to add a few more to the total just so long as this weather continues to stay fairly decent and mild. Depending on how you want to look at the scenario, I've made the river now 11 times since April 1, 2017 or else as I consider it anyway I've made it out there 8 times for the year. One of my goals at least for the 2017 season is just to try and do well and as best as I can with taking one day, one step and also one river trip at a time as that is all I can do at this point. However, I just basically for now would at least like to have something good come out of 2017 so that this will give me the confidence I need in going forward into 2018 and also to have something to look forward to and build upon as well for the 2018 shipping season. As for my race to 500 trips along the St. Clair River someday, our total now is 432 with 68 more left to go until we hit the 500th ever river trip total. However, don't hold your breath there too much folks as this number will still take a great many more seasons and years yet to get to that point as it will not happen anytime soon for both this year or next year also. However, rest assured as it will happen someday and hopefully while I'm still in my 40s and young yet I hope and as long as I still got some good healthy days ahead of me as well. One final note for today's trip at least as we pulled into St. Clair this morning at around 10 A.M. give or take, we unfortunately just had missed the Paul R. Tregurtha headed down river by about maybe 15-25 or so minutes give or take. Fortunately we saw her back in September but it would've been nice to see her this morning especially since I say and consider it was close to my lucky number of 1013 and the fact that it was also close to October 13 to which I always consider that day and date as the PRT's homecoming event if you will on that note and subject. So that's my river news at least for now!
Post Posted: October 10, 2017, 7:34 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Well the Autumn Thunder crew were back at it again today but, we need to change the tune here folks as Autumn Thunder needs to be called Autumn Silence instead as we are long overdue to get a few ships to blow a couple of salutes on the river. Today we tried to get them from both the Manitowoc and the Alpena to no avail which was slightly disappointing considering especially with the Alpena as we all know how sweet sounding that classic steam whistle of hers is yet we could not here any Thunder today from her or see any of that classic steam or hear her blow the wind and the pipes clean today! At least we got to see both the Manitowoc and the Alpena today among a few others which in total we ended up with 6 ships on the river which I guess isn't too bad but still a bit slow though IMO anyway. Here is who we ended up seeing as we got to see the Baie St. Paul for the first time in a few years and gosh she is now starting to look a tad on the nasty side probably from saltwater and a few salt cargoes as well. We also got the Algoma Harvester headed up to Sarnia today along with the Defiance and Ashtabula and the CCGS Private Robertson V.C. which was down during the late morning. Have not seen too many salties either on the river in quite a while as now I've gone into a mini dry spell lately with them on the river. The 1,000-footers are also on a major dry spell as well right now as I've yet to see American Century along with the James R. Barker, Mesabi Miner, American Spirit, Presque Isle and the Edwin H. Gott. The Gott though I don't think has made too many trips down here this year as she's been hauling lots of ore to Gary here as of late. Among the major company ships so far for this year, noticeably absent has been ones from the GLF fleet and the Interlake fleets as I've not seen too many from either of their respective companies. The GLF ships I've only seen so far this year have been the Callaway, Speer and Roger Blough and ones for the Interlake fleet have been the Dorothy Ann-Pathfinder along with the Herbert C. Jackson, Hon. James L. Oberstar among a few and the Paul R. Tregurtha. As you can see by my list, I still got lots to see and not too much more time left about a month maybe at the best for me before the 2017 season is done for me. I am also very long overdue to start having some busy days up there along the St. Clair River and hopefully the slowness will break soon and it starts to get busy soon for me. Still having fun and enjoying it.
Post Posted: October 9, 2017, 10:53 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
I am glad to hear that you will be getting back to the river this week Denny! Please post a list of vessels you see so that we may all share in your joy.
Post Posted: October 8, 2017, 7:47 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Okay everyone and all boatnerds as you better get ready this week because I am coming back to the river this week and this time I am hoping to get a few more salutes for my 25th year of boatwatching and dedicating them as well to my folks. Lately though the salute business has gone silent but, this week I hope to change that big time as since we are now into October and the Fall Grain Rush time, I also say this is "The Hunt for Red October along the St. Clair River for me as well!" So for any ships on the Great Lakes/Seaway right now you are being watched like a hawk by me right now! Remember all that I once had a saying that this year and Fall season for me, I call it "Operation Autumn Thunder!" Well we've made the river so far twice this month but, as long as the weather stays nice and mild at least for this week anyway soon some will know the true meaning of just what Operation Autumn Thunder really is and all about. Until then I leave that for most of you to figure out. Happy Boatwatching you all!
Post Posted: October 8, 2017, 3:34 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Hello Howard and again thanks as always for your kind along with thoughtful comments and encouraging words as they are always appreciated. I am sure you are right as far as me getting more than 10 trips to the river next year. However, a couple of things to consider one of which is that at some point next year my parents' home will be sold and someone new will be coming and moving in permanently. The other issue is that this will then force me as far as having to live and move in another location and this may take a while for me as far as getting situated and adjusting to the move and the changes. Keep in mind that I was born and raised all of my life 45 years in my parents' home and never once did I ever have to move from there or live anywhere else. Just once I stayed up at my brother's place after my Mom's passing but, that was only for a few days. This will certainly be a challenge for me next year as far as having to move away from a place that I've called my home for over 45 years and yet the house itself just turned 48 years old this year on Memorial Day weekend. As anyone can probably attest and tell you "Selling a house with so many memories in it is definitely NOT an easy thing to do especially when you have to clean out just about everything and get it ready to sell!" To make things harder and more difficult is knowing that someday new owners and a new family will be living here and driving by the place and looking at it will be hard for a while knowing that it's no longer your home and the fact that it's somebody else's home. Even more difficult is the fact that "It will be easy at first somewhat as you will want to try and drive in or pull in and look around but, that's when the sad reality at some point hits you and slaps you in the face and it also tells you that this is no longer your home and that it now belongs to somebody else!" Sorry to ramble on here folks just trying to make a point here is all. Thanks again Howard and to one and all for your kind words and encouraging thoughts as they are very much appreciated. The hardest part is yet to come this year as far as celebrating the holidays without my Mom as that was what she loved most is the holidays and baking and cooking and Christmas was always her favorite time of year. I know that somehow I will get through that time of year when it gets here but, whenever you lose a loved one the holidays are one of the most difficult times of year to go through. For many boatnerds and friends that have lost loved ones in the past and most recently this year, you have all of my thoughts and sympathy as I can in part know what many of you are feeling and going through as it is definitely NOT an easy thing but have faith and know that things will get better and that the road we all are traveling will get better. God our heavenly and eternal father along with our Lord and Saviour and Angels are all with us every step of our life's journey. For ones that have lost a loved one, remember and take time to pause and read the prayer of the Footprints among the many prayers. God Bless my friends!
Post Posted: October 7, 2017, 4:18 pm
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Very interesting statistics, Denny, my friend. However, keep in mind that next year you will probably make more than 10 trips to the river as you race toward 500. Good luck to you my friend!
Post Posted: October 7, 2017, 7:24 am
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Just to add a few more statistics here for all of you. With the two trips made to the St. Clair River for this week, I've now made it out there for a grand total of what I count and consider as being 430 official trips to the river for boat and ship watching. In doing my calculations at 70 trips away from 500 river trips, I took and went with the 500 number and then dived that by 70 to come up with the number 7 to which it would take me seven years plus at least at the rate and pace I'm going to reach my 500th river trip. Over the course of time it will happen for me just need to be patient and hang in there as it will be coming someday and will happen. In the meantime I am enjoying the ride to get there as best as I can for now so far at least.
Post Posted: October 6, 2017, 8:17 pm
  Post subject:  Re: Update from Denny  Reply with quote
Okay here's a few more interesting statistics to add to my resume of 25 years of shipwatching on the St. Clair River. Since 1992 when I first started following them and driving to and from the river on my own at least, for the month of October counting the two trips made just this week I have now made it to the river during the month of October at least 70 times in that span. Following that I have 63 times for the month of September and 62 in May but next year at least, May should end up going back to my second best for that span. As for days of the week, Fridays I have 128 so far and for Ruby Tuesdays it is 99 believe it or not. Now if anyone is also wondering this question, "Have I ever done every day of the month at least from April to November?" The answer to that question is a very loud and resounding No I have not done every single day and date from April to November in my 25 years of watching ships on the St. Clair River. So in other words, there are still days and dates yet to be fulfilled and right now there are only two days and dates left for October and I will at least have that month done and over with as far as days and dates to which I've never made it to the river on. Take for instance Halloween, I've never made it to the river on that date nor have I ever made it out to the river during the Fourth of July as well. These are just a few examples of what I am referring to. In years past if I have gotten 4 trips during the month of September at least, usually October the total is better and higher and in fact the most I've ever made in October once was 6 trips to the river so depending on the weather yet for this month it's still possible but averaging one or two trips a week will be difficult to say the least. Right now I'm just taking things one day and step at a time and we will see where it goes from there.
Post Posted: October 6, 2017, 10:05 am
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Well to let my friends and anyone else know, we've been back at the river now twice this week and for October we have had two runs or trips. For the 2017 season at least for me, it depends on how you want to look at things I guess. For the common boatnerds along with technically I've made the river 9 times with a breakdown of this as follows with one in April along with two in August, four trips for the month of September and two in October so far. However, I do not count officially anything prior to September as these were all just special trips. I consider the real deal being in September as far as when I officially started for 2017. The only problem that I'm having on the river and No it's not enough salutes but, "Where are all of the boats at?" The last 2 or 3 trips I've made I have not seen but more than 4 to 6 ships and had some very slow days! This has been a bit disappointing and frustrating as I would've thought with the Fall season and Grain Rush that the traffic would pick up. Maybe I will get lucky in time and just have to be patient but, time is running out for me though for 2017 and with the days getting shorter this makes it a bit more challenging. However, I am trying to enjoy this year as best as I can and I know that's what anyone would tell me to do for now. Also I know some would say "Does it really matter that much just how many you see?" I agree just have fun and enjoy it while it last!
Post Posted: October 5, 2017, 8:57 pm
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Thanks Roger for that and your correct and right on everything you said and I will let it be at that. Basically all I wanted mainly was to see her yesterday to FINALLY tell people mostly family, friends along with neighbors that I got to see her. Everyone keeps asking me the million dollar question "Did you see it yet?" It makes me proud to say at least that I finally did it and above all things, that is what matters the most! I totally agree to be very fortunate and lucky to receive the salutes that I have gotten so far from the Sam Laud, Roger Blough and the Edgar B. Speer along with the Indiana Harbor and also the Hon. James L. Oberstar. I hope their captains at least are reading my post and know how much I appreciate them saluting and thanks to them as well! Nothing personal either to anyone that doesn't just as long as I see the boat and that's what counts and matters the most!
Post Posted: September 27, 2017, 7:02 pm

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