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Sat Nov 9, 2019, 09:29 AM

The Spectacular, Rip-Roaring Waves of Lake Erie's 'November Witch'

A November witch is, as the name suggests, not something to trifle with. The colorful name refers to the particularly nasty storms that pummel the Great Lakes around this time of year. Most people wisely choose to stay inside, protected from the 30-mph winds whipped by storms so brutal they can make rivers flow backward. But Dave Sandford rushes headlong into the storm with his camera.

Some might call him crazy, but he can't help himself. "I've always loved being by the water," he says. "Ever since I was a little kid, I had a fascination with big bodies of water and waves. I loved the power and the energy that they have."

Sandford captures that power perfectly in his series Liquid Mountains, which he shot during four weeks on the shores of Port Stanley, Ontario. The town sits on the north shore of Lake Erie about 160 miles east of Buffalo, New York, and sees its share of November witches. The storms arise when cold, low-pressure air from northern Canada mixes with warm, high-pressure air from the Gulf of Mexico. They can be merciless systems; one such storm sank the Edmund Fitzgerald freighter 40 years ago. Although he respects the power of these storms, Sandford isn't afraid of them. The worse things get, the more compelled he is to be outside. "People like their nice, sunny blue skies and calm days," he says. "I’m looking for the opposite."









https://www.wired.com/2015/12/dave-sandford-hell-hath-no-fury-like-the-waves-of-lake-erie/?mbid=social_twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_social-type=owned&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=wired&utm_brand=wired



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Reply The Spectacular, Rip-Roaring Waves of Lake Erie's 'November Witch' (Original post)
demmiblue Nov 9 OP
Ohiogal Nov 9 #1
catbyte Nov 9 #4
BlueMTexpat Nov 9 #21
BlancheSplanchnik Nov 9 #2
Pacifist Patriot Nov 9 #3
tblue37 Nov 9 #5
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 9 #6
demmiblue Nov 9 #10
TNNurse Nov 9 #19
dalton99a Nov 9 #7
The Velveteen Ocelot Nov 9 #8
calimary Nov 9 #9
Baitball Blogger Nov 9 #11
dchill Nov 9 #12
mountain grammy Nov 9 #13
luvtheGWN Nov 9 #16
pecosbob Nov 9 #14
Tom Yossarian Joad Nov 9 #15
yaesu Nov 9 #17
demmiblue Nov 9 #20
yaesu Nov 9 #24
RainCaster Nov 9 #18
Bayard Nov 9 #22
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 9 #23
smirkymonkey Nov 9 #28
mahatmakanejeeves Nov 9 #29
N_E_1 for Tennis Nov 9 #25
Hekate Nov 9 #26
wnylib Nov 9 #27
elleng Nov 9 #30
Fla Dem Nov 9 #31
jpak Nov 9 #32

Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 09:34 AM

1. Stunning photos

The Edmund Fitzgerald sank 44 years ago this month in Lake Superior.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 09:44 AM

4. I remember it. My grandad used to sail the lakes & knew Captain McSorley well.

"Big Fitz" went down 44 years ago tomorrow, November 10, 1975.

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Response to Ohiogal (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:53 AM

21. I adore the Gordon Lightfoot

ballad:

**************
With photos like these, the story really hits home.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 09:42 AM

2. Wow, absolutely amazing!!! n/t

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 09:42 AM

3. Wow, breathtaking!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 09:51 AM

5. K&R. Great photos. nt

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:06 AM

6. Great song, different lake.

The Edmund Fitzgerald went down in Lake Superior not far from Sault St. Marie, in 30' waves (which might have looked like the ones in the photos).

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:16 AM

10. Yes, the link was the Witch of November.

The Witch of November, or November Witch, refers to the strong winds that frequently blow across the Great Lakes in autumn. The "witches" are caused by intense low atmospheric pressure over the Great Lakes pulling cold Canadian/Arctic air from the north or northwest and warm Gulf air from the south. When these cold and warm air masses collide, they can result in hurricane force winds that stir up large waves on the lakes.

Gordon Lightfoot's song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" makes reference to the Witch of November: the storm that wrecked the Edmund Fitzgerald was 978 mbar,[1] equivalent to a borderline Category 1/2 hurricane. Similar witches have caused numerous shipwrecks over the years. Another storm that hit in November 1998 was 967 mbar,[2] equivalent to a solid Category 2 hurricane. A still stronger storm, of October 2010, brought Minnesota and Wisconsin record low barometric pressures of, respectively, 954.96 and 961.06 mbar[3] (both equivalent to a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale) and lashed Duluth with 81 mph wind gusts[4] and 19-foot seas[5] during the night of October 26–27, 2010.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_of_November

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:28 AM

19. Went to Whitefish Point in September,

climbed the lighthouse and toured the museum. You feel like you should be able to see some of those wrecks from the top of the lighthouse. I can remember hearing the song when it first came out. It was some time before I realized it was recent and not an old story. If you go to Sault Ste.Marie and take a trip through the locks, you can also tour the ship museum (in a huge old freighter), there is an excellent exhibit about the Edmund Fitzgerald there as well.

I always listen to this song on the 10th as I will tomorrow and post it on FB to remind people.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:08 AM

7. Kick

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:12 AM

8. My grandfather was the captain of a Great Lakes ore freighter

during the 20s and 30s. We have photos of one of his ships completely covered in ice. Until the Fitzgerald went down I guess I hadn't realized what a hazardous business that was (he died before I was born so I never got to hear any stories).

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:16 AM

9. Whoa!!! That first one looks like an angry carnivore!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:21 AM

11. !!!!!!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:39 AM

12. K&R! Wow!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 10:58 AM

13. Can't even imagine being close enough to that power to take a picture..

absolutely amazing. Thank you.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:08 AM

16. This year's witch arrived a little early

last week of October (on Hallowe'en, actually!) and did considerable damage along the north shore of Lake Erie.

Fabulous photos! Thanks for posting, Demi!

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:04 AM

14. My wife grew up on the shore of Lake Erie

Way too cold for this southern boy.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:05 AM

15. Wow! Simply wow.

What wonderful photographs. Thanks for posting.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:10 AM

17. Do to relentless rain since Aug of 2018 the great lakes are at historic highs, lots of flooding,

roads that have been closed for months are being raised to meet the new norm. My fav walking path near the lake has been closed for months. Climate change is here.

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Response to yaesu (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:45 AM

20. Yep, I have seen the same.

An acquaintance went to Mackinac Island over the summer and told me about the damage to M-185 (the road on the island).

I just googled it:



It is only going to get worse.

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Response to demmiblue (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:06 PM

24. yes, it was a particular cool & rainy summer here again, don't think we saw a 90 deg day. Fall is

running over 20 deg colder than normal, forecast zero by Tuesday, going to be a long winter, wouldn't surprise me if we had one of those years without a summer in the near future, wouldn't take much to put us over that breaking point.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:11 AM

18. That took patience! Waves like that come from a very confused sea.

I have sailed for the last 30 years on Puget Sound, and I always loved to go out in the big winter storms that come down from the Gulf of Alaska. The waves from those storms are far more regular, so 8-10 seas isn't a big deal. The seas in these pictures are frightening to me.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 11:58 AM

22. Incredible pictures

Yikes.

Just watched the History Channel clip on what happened. Very interesting, several theories.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:04 PM

23. Thanks for reminding me. From 2015:

Recreating the monster storm that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald 40 years ago today

From 2017:

42 years ago today: The gales of November came crashing

From 2018:

Storm forecast as Edmund Fitzgerald leaves Superior, WI, headed for Detroit; November 9, 1975

"Fellas, it's been good to know ya."

SS Edmund Fitzgerald



Edmund Fitzgerald in 1971

History
Name: Edmund Fitzgerald
Owner: Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
Operator: Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Company of Cleveland, Ohio
Port of registry: United States
Ordered: February 1, 1957
Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works of River Rouge, Michigan
Yard number: 301
Laid down: August 7, 1957
Launched: June 7, 1958
Christened: June 7, 1958
Maiden voyage: September 24, 1958
In service: June 8, 1958
Out of service: November 10, 1975
Identification: Registry number US 277437
Nickname(s): Fitz, Mighty Fitz, Big Fitz, Pride of the American Side, Toledo Express, Titanic of the Great Lakes
Fate: Lost in a storm on November 10, 1975, with all 29 crew members
Status: Sunken
Notes: Location: Coordinates: 46°59.91′N 85°06.61′W

General characteristics
Type: Lake freighter
Tonnage:
13,632 GRT
8,713 NRT (from 1969: 8,686 NRT)
26,000 DWT
Length:
729 ft (222 m) overall
711 ft (217 m) between perpendiculars
Beam: 75 ft (23 m)
Draft: 25 ft (7.6 m) typical
Depth: 39 ft (12 m) (moulded)
Depth of hold: 33 ft 4 in (10.16 m)

Installed power:
As built: Coal fired Westinghouse Electric Corporation steam turbine at 7,500 shp (5,600 kW)
After refit: Conversion to oil fuel and the fitting of automated boiler controls over the winter of 1971–72.
Carried 72,000 U.S. gal (270,000 L; 60,000 imp gal) fuel oil
Propulsion: Single fixed pitch 19.5 ft (5.9 m) propeller
Speed: 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph)
Capacity: 25,400 tons of cargo
Crew: 29

SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 7, 1958, she was the largest ship on North America's Great Lakes, and she remains the largest to have sunk there.

For 17 years, Edmund Fitzgerald carried taconite iron ore from mines near Duluth, Minnesota, to iron works in Detroit, Toledo, and other Great Lakes ports. As a workhorse, she set seasonal haul records six times, often breaking her own previous record. Captain Peter Pulcer was known for piping music day or night over the ship's intercom while passing through the St. Clair and Detroit Rivers (between Lakes Huron and Erie), and entertaining spectators at the Soo Locks (between Lakes Superior and Huron) with a running commentary about the ship. Her size, record-breaking performance, and "DJ captain" endeared Edmund Fitzgerald to boat watchers.

Carrying a full cargo of ore pellets with Captain Ernest M. McSorley in command, she embarked on her ill-fated voyage from Superior, Wisconsin, near Duluth, on the afternoon of November 9, 1975. En route to a steel mill near Detroit, Edmund Fitzgerald joined a second freighter, SS Arthur M. Anderson. By the next day, the two ships were caught in a severe storm on Lake Superior, with near hurricane-force winds and waves up to 35 feet (11 m) high. Shortly after 7:10 p.m., Edmund Fitzgerald suddenly sank in Canadian (Ontario) waters 530 feet (160 m) deep, about 17 miles (15 nautical miles; 27 kilometers) from Whitefish Bay near the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario—a distance Edmund Fitzgerald could have covered in just over an hour at her top speed. Although Edmund Fitzgerald had reported being in difficulty earlier, no distress signals were sent before she sank; Captain McSorley's last message to Arthur M. Anderson said, "We are holding our own." Her crew of 29 perished, and no bodies were recovered. The exact cause of the sinking remains unknown, though many books, studies, and expeditions have examined it. Edmund Fitzgerald may have been swamped, suffered structural failure or topside damage, been shoaled, or suffered from a combination of these.

The disaster is one of the best-known in the history of Great Lakes shipping. Gordon Lightfoot made it the subject of his 1976 hit song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" after reading an article, "The Cruelest Month", in the November 24, 1975, issue of Newsweek. The sinking led to changes in Great Lakes shipping regulations and practices that included mandatory survival suits, depth finders, positioning systems, increased freeboard, and more frequent inspection of vessels.
....

Final voyage and wreck



The National Transportation Safety Board map of probable course of Edmund Fitzgerald and Arthur M. Anderson

Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin, at 2:15 p.m. on the afternoon of November 9, 1975, under the command of Captain Ernest M. McSorley. She was en route to the steel mill on Zug Island, near Detroit, Michigan, with a cargo of 26,116 long tons (29,250 short tons; 26,535 t) of taconite ore pellets and soon reached her full speed of 16.3 miles per hour (14.2 kn; 26.2 km/h). Around 5 p.m., Edmund Fitzgerald joined a second freighter under the command of Captain Jesse B. "Bernie" Cooper, Arthur M. Anderson, destined for Gary, Indiana, out of Two Harbors, Minnesota. The weather forecast was not unusual for November and the National Weather Service (NWS) predicted that a storm would pass just south of Lake Superior by 7 a.m. on November 10.
....

Here's the song. It has strange audio, with a built-in echo effect. Was it always like that?

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 01:20 PM

28. Very sad.

I just feel really sad after reading and listening to all of that. My heart feels heavy. I wonder if there has ever been a documentary done on the ship's workers and their families. It seems like it would be appropriate to have some kind of tribute.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #28)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 01:52 PM

29. Sounds like something that would have been produced by Minnesota

public broadcasting. I can't recall anything.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:12 PM

25. My paternal grandfather...

was washed into Lake Michigan during one of those storms, never found. He was working for the Chicago DPW sandbagging somewhere along the shore. My Dad was a young man when it happened around his birthday, November 22. He and my Grandma went for years, even though they knew it may be fruitless, to identify drowned men found in the lake.

After my Grandma passed my Dad moved to Michigan. On a trip back to Chicago with our family one year we took the ferry across the lake. It was on that trip standing at the railing of the boat where Dad related the entire story to me and my siblings. He said that Lake Michigan was his dads grave.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:14 PM

26. Breathtaking and terrifying images. TY for sharing.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 12:25 PM

27. Growing up in Erie, Pa on Lake Erie I can remember

gale warnings from the US Coast Guard about lake conditions. Erie is the most shallow of the 5 lakes so its waters get churned up easily in storms.

We sometimes went to the public dock to watch (from a safe distance) as waves crashed over the dock from all directions, sending water sprays high into the air. And that was on the bay side of the Presque Isle peninsula which creates the harbor and shelters it from the lake.

On the lake side, it was much rougher.

In winter, stormy winds threw water on the dock railings where it froze instantly, making beautiful and strange looking formations.

People on the lakes, besides Superior, followed the Edmund Fitzgerald news since the crews of these freighters were often composed of men from various Great Lakes cities. We understood the risks and the concerns of the relatives and friends of crew members.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 02:00 PM

30. Thanks.

I listened to that song on car radio when moving from Denver to Chicago, for another part of my life in '70-something, MAY have been the year it was released, '76.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 02:39 PM

31. Dramatic, frightening and beautiful pictures. Thanks.

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Response to demmiblue (Original post)

Sat Nov 9, 2019, 06:44 PM

32. That's some scary shit!!!!!111

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