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BREE'S BLOG: In The Wake of the Fitzgerald

On my way up Superior

In the misty, gray pre-dawn hours, I readied my boat for a long voyage across the tip of Lake Superior and began my trek to follow the Fitzgerald. “Red sky at morning, sailor take warning,” I remembered my sailor’s mantra and looked to the north. Yup. Peering down from beneath the cloud cover was a red sun. the Skies followed suit and turned reddish. I was in for it. I heard my VHF radio squawk and I was in radio contact with a fellow boater who was to join me going up the North Shore. “Things don’t look so good,” he said. “I’m not sailing.” Humn, I thought. Not so good. Still I was on my way, bowling along under full main and jib, making great progress. The wind increased, as did the waves, but I was having a great time with my little boat. Press on!, I hollered. I saw in the distance what appeared to be a white sail. A huge white sail, I thought, but what was it doing out here? As I lifted my binoculars, I saw that it was not another sailboat out here at all. It was water slammed high into the air by rushing waves and turning white. Worse, it marked the entryway to the Knife River Marina. The waves were growing large and unruly, and my boat and I were bouncing around more than I liked. I’d head in there – if I could make it. And I began to think about the Fitzgerald. This was the trek that the Fitz followed. A big storm arose after she left harbor on the 9th of November. I wondered what I would run into as well. I was beginning to feel very alone and a little bit afraid.
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