Lake Superior is on my mind…Today, the 46th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be marked by the annual memorial service held at Split Rock Lighthouse. I’m glad it’s back live this year. Of course, last year it transitioned to an on-line only event due to the pandemic. It’s a moving ceremony in observance at the historic lighthouse to remember the 29 men lost aboard the shipwreck, as well as mariners lost in other shipwrecks. You can read more at: https://www.mnhs.org/splitrock/activities/beacon-lighting
The freighter left Superior, Wisconsin on November 9, 1975 with a load of iron ore pellets, and made its way across Lake Superior as a November gale intensified. While battling wind and waves the captain radioed the nearby freighter Arthur M. Anderson that the Fitzgerald was holding its own, but soon after, the Fitzgerald sank without giving a distress signal. You may remember the Gordon Lightfoot song that came out in 1976 about the shipwreck.
Today at 4:30 PM, the names of the lost Fitzgerald crew will be read as a bell rings 29 times, and then one more time to remember all lost mariners. Then the Split Rock lighthouse will be lit, shining out over the cold, dark waters of Lake Superior.
I’m not attending this year, but have in many past years been among the many who come for the ceremony of observance of those lost. All present are made aware of the majesty and power of the lake. The ceremony reminds us of the danger to be sure; the lake is reliable in its ability to change, the storms of November are legendary.
Lake Superior is on my mind… because it is clear that climate change is making an impact on it. It is among the the world’s fastest-warming freshwater bodies, and has increasingly borne the force of what used to be considered once-in-a-lifetime storms. And while a bloom of blue-green algae first appeared in Lake Superior about a decade ago, no serious levels of toxins had been confirmed until last month when a bloom near Superior, Wisconsin left a beach’s water streaky green.
While I love nothing more than being snug in my lake home safely watching the lake churn through a November gale, I’m concerned about the future. Lake Superior is cold, deep and holds a tenth of the earth’s surface freshwater. Rising temperatures, diminishing ice cover and longer summer seasons don’t bode well for a the rapidly warming lake. Beyond its clear recreational draw to millions, the shipping industry relies heavily on the ability to move supplies across the shipping lanes. We need to pay attention.
Lake Superior is on my mind… because it’s time I announce my second novel! Lake Superior is the setting for novel “Finding Grace” which will be published July 19, 2022 by She Writes Press. If you are reading this post, you have visited my website, just refreshed with the news. Do you like the cover of the new book?
I have been mesmerized by the lake most of my life. As a native Minnesotan, and a lake home owner, the lake inspires me, challenges me and thrills me. I love its reliable changeability. No two days are the same. Seasonal changes are captivating. In future posts, I will share more of the lake, and of the new book, available for pre-order already!