Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Monday, November 10, 2008

The skies of November turn gloomy

It's that time again. Today is the 33rd anniversary of the loss of SS Edmund Fitzgerald. We can always remember the lyrics of Gordon Lightfoot (and you can hear him sing here.):
The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they called 'Gitche Gumee'
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy
. . .
Well, the skies of November 2008 have been gloomy. This site, by Richards-Creations, provided a long list of ship wrecks in the Great Lakes in the last last century. Here are just the November cases:

November 10 ,1975 - Edmund Fitzgerald - 29 lost
Nov 29, 1966 - Daniel J Morrill - 33 lost
Nov 17, 1958 - Carl D Bradley - 25 lost
Nov 11, 1940 - Anna C Minch - 24 lost
Nov 11, 1940 - William C Davvock - 22 lost
Nov 11, 1919 - John Owen - 22 lost
Nov 24, 1918 - Inkerman - 34 lost
Nov 24, 1918 - Cerisoles - 38 lost
Nov 18, 1914 - CF Curtis - 26 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Leafield - 18 lost
Nov 25, 1913 - Rouse Simmons - 17 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Leafield - 18 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Regina - 25 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Isaac M Scott - 28 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Charles B Price - 28 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Henry B Smith - 23 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Argus - 24 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Wexford - 22 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - John A McGean - 23 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - James B Carruthers - 30 lost
Nov 13, 1913 - Hydrus - 23 lost

While the list is daunting to read, it is by no means complete. Note the number of ships lost in November 1913 during the so called the Great Lakes Storm of 1913. According to Wikipedia the storm was formed "as the convergence of two major storm fronts, fueled by the lakes' relatively warm waters—a seasonal process called a "November gale". It produced 90 mph (145 km/h) winds, waves over 35 feet (11 m) high, and whiteout snowsqualls."

It was the deadliest and most destructive natural disaster ever to hit the lakes, the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 lasted from November 7 through November 10, killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships and stranded 19 other ships. Here's a headline page of the Detroit News at that time:

And here's a fantastic breaking wave picture at a Lake Michigan shore published in Chicago Daily News, November 10, 1913.

Look at the person watching the waves at the top of the stairs, why was he seemed not worried? Anyway, those are the memories of November on the Great Lakes!

Let me conclude today's post with Mr. Lightfoot's lyric again:
Does any one know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?


P.S. My sincere thanks to Mr. Lightfoot, Richards-Creations, and most of all, Wikipedia for generously making these information available.




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