Digging In

The Gales of November

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes to hours?
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her
They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters
-Gordon Lightfoot, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Edmund Fitzgerald

S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

I spent long stretches of my summers growing up in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula on the shores of Lake Superior, watching lake freighters ply the icy waters miles off shore. The beauty, vastness, and raw power of the big lake speak to me in ways unlike any other place I've lived or visited.

Today marks the 39th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, a 729-foot ore carrier caught in a November gale near the eastern end of Lake Superior shortly after 7pm on the night of November 10, 1975. She went down to the sea, issuing no distress call, and taking her entire crew of 29 with her.

Godspeed, Big Fitz.


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