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35 years ago this week

SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed “Mighty Fitz,” “The Fitz,” or “The Big Fitz”) was an American Great Lakes freighter launched on June 8, 1958. At the time of its launching, the Fitzgerald was the largest boat on the Great Lakes. It was one of the first boats to be at or near maximum “St Lawrence Seaway Size” which was 730 feet (220 m) long and 75 feet (23 m) wide.

On November 10, 1975, while traveling on Lake Superior during a gale, the Fitzgerald sank suddenly in Canadian waters approximately 17 miles (15 nmi; 27 km) from the entrance of Whitefish Bay at a depth of 530 feet (160 m). Although it had reported having some difficulties before the accident, the Fitzgerald sank without sending any distress signals. Its crew of 29 perished in the sinking with no bodies being recovered. When the wreck was found, it was discovered that the Fitzgerald had broken in two.

This is an open thread

36 Responses

  1. The Number 1 song of 1975:

  2. I’m gonna go watch Sarah Palin’s Alaska. Looks like it could be a fun show.

    • I’m watching the Pats vs Steelers

    • I’m watching the Amazing Race — It’s Amazing!

    • Sarah Palin’s Alaska was funny and beautiful. I didn’t realize it but she is hilarious.

      • I absolutely LOVED the show and will continue watching the other episodes. Sarah is truly hilarious! That rock-climbing was pretty scary! I also cracked up when she talked about the gate and the bottom of the stairs to keep the boys out…haha! I am having fun watching some of my fb “progressive” friends’ heads explode over the show. 🙂

      • I told you this show was coming and it will be a foil to the misogyny coming from MSNBC and the O-bots.
        Sarah Palin will be a force to be reckoned with in 2012 either by running or endorsing.

  3. Niners won in sudden death overtime.
    Frank Gore is awesome.
    He has a fast speed and then can kick into overdrive
    fast speed.

    Knows all the jukes and jives.
    He is a great runner.

  4. I was just sitting here remembering the fall of 1975 … it was one of the worst periods in my life. I’m REALLY glad most years since were much better.

  5. I am a Lightfoot fan and this is one of his many bests. Was he (a Canuck I’m proud to say) the only one to comemorate this?

  6. I’m watching the Pats vs Steelers..
    Football!!! When it’s the first weekend of Deer hunting season???…Alcohol, firearms, deer-stands and marginal IQs. The GF is covering ER/Surgery tonight and we had an informal two person bet about what time she would get the first drunk who fell out of the deer stand…9:10 CST!!!!

    • That’s perfect. Hard to call it “hunting” when you bait a lease all year and then sit in a stand waiting for Bambi to walk up. More like deer target shooting.

      • A farmer in the country noticed that a man would regularly fish at the lake close to the farmer’s house and would always leave with a stringer full of fish. The fellow had a boat but a fishing pole was not to be seen.

        The farmer reported the situation to the local game warden.

        The warden then staked out the lake and saw all that the farmer said was true! The man would arrive at the lake in the morning and by early afternoon he would return with a stringer full of fish.

        The warden dressed like a fisherman one day and approached the man. They exchanged pleasantries and then the warden said “I hear you always catch you limit. What’s your secret?”

        The stranger offered to show him and asked the warden to come fish with him. The stranger got out a tackle box and a net from his truck and put them in his boat. He then fired up the outboard motor and they putt-putted across the lake for 45 minutes until they arrived at a secluded spot.

        Once he shut off the motor the stranger opened his tackle box and pulled out a stick of dynamite.

        The warden pulled out his badge and said, “I’m placing you under arrest – I am a game warden and you are fishing illegally!”

        The stranger calmly lit the stick of dynamite and handed it to the warden.

        Stranger: “Are you gonna talk or fish?”

  7. Oh–I loved the Edmund Fitzgerald. Why–I don’t know. Maybe it’s the history. My husband and I just finished watching ‘Invictus’–netflix movie. So, I’m still teary. Great post–thanks.

  8. I used to know a guy who was in the merchant marine. He was on a ship, an iron-ore freighter, that was just a few miles behind the Edmund Fitzgerald on the night it sank in Lake Erie during a fierce storm. Spooky stuff. Those of you who do not know the Great Lakes may not realize that these “lakes” were at one time inland seas, and that conditions on the Great Lakes can sometimes be as rough as what the North Atlantic has to offer.

    • The Fitz lost its radar and that trailing ship was giving it position by radio that night.
      The conclusion of the Coast Guard investigation was that the hatch covers latches weren’t secured allowing the holds to fill with water.
      The wreck has been declared a grave sight and diving is forbidden.

  9. Katie–I don’t know if you’re still up, but I started casting on for a scarf I’m going to knit. I have to keep unraveling and starting over because some are loose and some tighter–looks funny. I guess practice is the answer to this problem??

    • Hi kc — I’m up. I didn’t get a knitting post today because I’ve spent the WHOLE WEEKEND knitting and ripping out the ribbing at the bottom of my sweater.

      If I wrote a post this weekend it would have been called, “Thank God for Lifelines!, God Damn it.”

      There are tricks for getting consistent tension. And videos on you tube that might help.

      Are you alternating between purl & knit stitches?

      • didn’t realize there was a new post up–thanks and I will check youtube for tension help. It’s probably like playing piano–practice, practice. Want to see pictures of your sweater when you’re finished.

        • I finally got that ribbing done. But, I’ve still got the sleeves to do. I’ll get a post up with photos tomorrow.

          We’ve got to keep our knitting group going!!

  10. no–this is my first try (thanks to your inspiration) and it is a scarf of only knit stitches. Called Garter stitches–supposed to be easy for beginners. I’ll look for a vid. of tension.

    • Oh!! I forgot to ask — what sort of needles are you using? When I first start a pattern, I have more control if I use wood needles. They hold the yarn a little so it doesn’t slip around as much.

  11. Yes–I did get wooden needles–well, after getting aluminum ones that were too short. These are a U.S. 10 and they seem to be fine. Guess I’m a little klutzy for awhile.

    • I have a lot of trouble with any needle larger than 8. I think it’s harder to visualize the shape of the stitches when they get that big. And the stitches seem to slip around.

      I think a scarf made with garter stitch on 8 or 9 needles might be easier for your first project.

      What yarn are you using?

  12. Making a garment looks intimidating. You are doing super. My daughter gave me this little beginner book she had and her yarn because she didn’t have time for it anymore. I would love to make scarves for family members for the holidays.

  13. A little late to this party, but I remember the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald well. I was almost five and living in the U.P. It was an awful night and I was terrified of Lake Superior, which really is a fierce inland sea, for most of my childhood. RIP to the brave crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

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