November 9, 2017
By 1 a.m. on Ten November, black water scoured the deck of the big ship. Conditions had grown worse as the Fitzgerald made its way northward along the Northern Track. The barometer had been dropping steadily since she sailed out of the Duluth Superior port and at about 7 p.m. , the winds shifted and now had become a deadly northeaster, whipping waves high in its 60 miles-per-hour winds. Already the big laker was beginning to twist and bend, its loose keel starting to make itself known. The Fitzgerald and the following Anderson were not alone on the lake. Other oreboats had decided to take shelter behind Isle Royal -- a poor shelter at that but still some protection. Yet another oreboat had gotten entirely off Superior and was sheltered behind Pie Island in the long reaches of Thunder Bay. Only the Fitzgerald and the Anderson were resolutely plowing ahead in this late in the shipping season.