Wooden Ships On The Water…And Barges Too!

One of the great things about living in the high-rise apartment in which I dwell in Detroit is the view. From the living and dining room windows, I can look out and see below me the Detroit River which connects Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. It’s a good-sized river, as far as rivers go, and I could probably swim across if I ever wanted to defect to Canada. Now there is a chance that the current could take me far downstream and most of the swimming I’ve done recently has been in pools and not in oceans or rivers, so it would be risky. Plus there’s always the problems of those pesky American and Canadian Coast Guards observers, but I believe we are getting far from the original point. (But before we move on I’ll tell you the other really awesome thing about this vantage point from my window is that I can look across the Detroit River and see Canada. Wow Another country just a football field away. I feel like Sarah Palin, who one time sorta claimed that Russia was visible from Alaska.)

The slightly strange thing about looking across and seeing the finely trimmed lawns of Windsor, Canada is that I am actually looking south. Yes, that’s right, south to Canada. Check it out on a map. By some freak of geography and territorial bounds, this small portion of Canada is actually to the south of these United States. Who would have thunk it?

Some days when I’m taking a break from searching for a new job, surfing the Internet or removing unwanted facial hair, I get off my duff and look out the window at this truly breath-taking view. Most days (in the warmer months) I see small boats, medium-sized crafts and a few larger yachts, none of which I will ever be able to afford, in this lifetime anyway. I also see an awful lot of barges. What is carried on these barges, traveling the Great Lakes, is anybody’s guess. Coal, perhaps. Large screen televisions and VCR’s. Illegal drugs. Like I said, the sky’s the limit.

So it was with great wonder when just the other day my lovely fiancee Janet happened to notice out upon the mighty Detroit River a Tall Ship gliding gently along the soft current. Now this sailboat was not even close to the size of some of the really, really tall ships that I’ve seen come into Boston Harbor. But still. It was at least a 120 footer, with three masts or main sails or whatever they are called. And with the glorious sun pouring down on the shimmering, effervescent water, well, it looked pretty awesome. That was at least until another ugly barge came by and ruined the view. But one thing I have now learned is that barges go a lot faster than tall ships and so the ugly barge was gone before long and once again it was just this magnificent sailboat and the Detroit River. We both watched – spying the ship through some handy binoculars. I stood there wondering where this ship might be coming from, where it might be going and whether or not there is a prettier sight that wooden ships on the water.

The water, whether it be rivers, lakes, oceans or whatever beckons me. And I must heed this call.

Who knows. Maybe I’ll get a job on a barge and just sail away.

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