Click here to visit Great Lakes and Seaway Shipping Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping Online
10th Annual Boatnerd Gatherings

2010 Schedule


May 19-21 - 2010 Spring Lighthouse and Freighter Cruise

2010 Spring Lighthouse and Freighter Cruise aboard the Keweenaw Star from Marquette to Charlevoix, beginning and ending at the Soo.

Day 1 - Wednesday, May 19:
Meet at the Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste. Marie. Cars will be left here until we return Friday evening. A charter bus will leave at 3:00 pm to take us to Marquette. We will stay at the Super 8 in Marquette and have dinner at Jeffrey's which is next door.

Day 2 - Thursday, May 20:
The bus will take us to the Marquette Marina where we will meet the Keweenaw Star at 8:00 am. Departing the dock, we will make a short trip to the Upper Harbor ore dock if any boats are in, and pass the Marquette Main Light. The Keweenaw Star will then head for the Soo, passing the Lights at Grand Island North, AuSable Point, Whitefish Point Ile Parisienne, Gros Cap and Point Iroquois. Keeping a lookout for any passing freighters, we will move to the shipping lanes for close up pictures. In the St. Mary's River we will check for boats at Algoma Steel, pass down thru the Soo Locks and dock at the Valley Camp dock for the night. The bus will take us to the casino for a buffet dinner and overnight stay.

Day 3 - Friday, May 21:
Boarding the Keweenaw Star at 8:00 am, we will head to Charlevoix. We will travel thru the Rock Cut, see Round Island Light (St. Marys River), Pipe Island Light, the pilothouse from the Lewis G. Harriman and the John Sherwin, check Drummond Island for freighters, pass DeTour Reef Light, Martin Reef, check for vessels in Port Dolomite, pass Round Island and Round Island Passage Lights, head under the Mackinaw Bridge and pass St. Helena Light, White Shoal Light, Waugoshance Shoal Light, Gray's Reef Light, Ile Au Galets Light before arriving at Charlevoix Pier Head Light. Along the way we will get close up photos at any passing ship traffic.

Upon arrival in Charlevoix, we will board our bus for the return trip to the Soo. Along the way, we will stop for dinner at Audie’s and at the GLLKA gift shop in Mackinac City. Due to the expected late arrival back at the Soo, your room at the Soo Days Inn is included in the trip cost.

Cost is $850.00 person single, or $700.00 per person double room occupancy. Prices included all bus transfers,  room and dinner in Marquette, continental breakfast lunch, non-alcoholic drinks and appetizers on board the Keweenaw Star both days, room at the Kewadin Casino in the Soo on Thursday and dinner on Friday during the bus trip back to the Soo and a room at the Soo Day's Inn.

Click here for all the details

Annual Badger Boatnerd Gathering - CANCELED for 2010
Due to a schedule change by the Badger, there will be no shoreline cruise in Wisconsin and no chance to schedule a Boatnerd Gathering this year. We will attempt to plan a Badger gathering again for 2011.

May 30 - Diamond Jack River Cruise
Leaves from Stroh Place at the foot of Jos. Campeau in Detroit, traveling up to the Blue Water Bridge and return. Enjoy more than 10 hours traveling up the Detroit River, across Lake St. Clair, then up the St. Clair River to beyond the Blue Water Bridges. Deli luncheon will be served on board, and a stop at the St. Clair Inn for dinner. This event is co-sponsored by Details

June 5 - Annual BoatNerd Cruise aboard the Huron Lady II
The annual BoatNerd trip on the St. Clair River aboard the Huron Lady II following the Port Huron Marine Mart. The boat leaves at 5 p.m. from her dock next to the bridge in Port Huron for a special one-hour cruise. Reservations are required. Tell them you are a Boatnerd to get the $5.00 fare. Call 810-984-1500 for reservations. Parking and other information is available at

June 24 - 27 - Engineer's Weekend at the Soo

Thursday, June 24 - Unofficial Boatnerd Picnic
A spontaneous, informal gathering started in 2006 at Rotary Park at Mission Point, Sault Ste. Marie. Snacks will be offered at noon, grilling begins at 2 pm, and carrot cake and other delicacies at 4. Potluck.
BoatNerd Official Volunteer and Reporter Appreciate Day, hotdogs and buns are being provided by BoatNerd.Com.
Grills, plates, and utensils will also be provided. If you have questions please E-mail Lee Rowe  Grills will be provided, but anyone with a portable grill or canopy please contact Lee Rowe with the information. Bring something to share. Soo delis will have food options to purchase and bring to the park. Come one, come all and enjoy a great time with other Boatnerds. Name tags will be provided in case you don't recognize faces. Plan now to attend.


Friday, June 25 - 8:30 a.m. - Boatnerds gather on the steps below the MacArthur Lock for a group picture. Come early and get a name tag.

Friday - 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.- The Corps of Engineers will open the area between the MacArthur and Poe Locks, the Administration Building and the Davis Building to visitors. This is a once-a-year chance to see inside the Corps operation, and see passing freighters from a different angle.
Edison Sault Electric plant Open House, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Friday - 6:00 p.m. - Annual Boatnerd Freighter Chasing Cruise
This year's
St. Marys River cruise will again be aboard one of the American Soo Locks Tours boats departing from Dock #2 (next to the Valley Camp) at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 25. Boarding begins at 5:30 p.m. The cruise will be three (3) hours and we will travel thru both the U.S. and Canadian Locks, and will do our best to find photo opportunities for any traffic in the river.

A buffet dinner is included in the $35.00 per person cost. Dinner will consist of pasta with meatballs, baked chicken, cheesy potatoes, mixed veggies, tossed salad and desert. There will be a cash bar on board.

Reservations are a must as we are limiting the group to 100 persons. This will afford everyone enough space to take photos and enjoy themselves. Mail-in reservations must be received no later than Monday, June 21. If any space is available, reservations will be taken by Dave Wobser Wednesday evening in the Soo, or at the Soo Boatnerd Picnic before noon on Thursday, June 24. Call 419-722-5507 to locate. Click here for reservation form.

Saturday, June 26 - Daytime
Informal gatherings at Mission Point, weather permitting. Bring your best pix to compare and show. Bring your radio-controlled boats for an informal regatta.

August 7 - Detroit River Cruise
On Saturday, August 7, we will repeat the popular Boatnerd Detroit River Cruise aboard the Friendship, with Captain Sam Buchanan. This year’s cruise will be four (4) hours and will go up the Detroit River, and hopefully into the Rouge River. Pizza lunch will be delivered by the J. W. Westcott mail boat. Cost is just $30.00 per person, same price as last year.
Departing at 10:00 a.m. sharp from the Portofino's On The River in Wyandotte, MI.
Click here for for directions to Portofino's.
We must have a minimum of 50 reservations, and a maximum of 100. Click here for reservation form.

August 28 - Boatnerd/Diamond Belle cruise to Toledo Marine Mart
Diamond Jack’s River Tours and Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping are co-sponsoring a round-trip cruise aboard the Diamond Belle from Stroh Place at the foot of Jos. Campeau in Detroit to Toledo on August 28. The trip is designed for those wishing to attend the S.S. Willis B. Boyer Marine memorabilia Flea Market. The trip will pass the Detroit River Light, Toledo Harbor Light, the CSX coal dock, the drawbridges in the Maumee River, the dry docks at the Toledo ship yard. During the flea market the Diamond Belle will provide transportation between the Toledo Maritime Center the museum ship Willis B. Boyer. The Diamond Belle will depart Bishop Park at 8 a.m. and return around 9 p.m. The cost of TBD per person includes three meals on board. Reservations are required. Click here for reservation form.

September 17-19 Welland Canal Gathering, Thorold, Ontario

Friday, September
- Evening Gathering - Raffle & Door Prizes
Canadian Corps Assoc. #22, 7 Clairmont St., Thorold
Canadian Corps is located 3 blocks West of The Inn at Lock Seven
6:00 p.m. - Vendor Tables Open. Vendors who desire a table either/both night(s) - Please send an e-mail  
7:30 p.m. - Bring a tray of your best slides to share with the group. We will have a laptop and digital projector available, so bring a CD or DVD or your best stuff.

Saturday, September 18 - 10:00 a.m. - Noon
Walking tour of International Marine Salvage scrap yard - Canceled. Located at south end of Welland Street - Port Colborne

Saturday, September 18 - Evening Gathering
Colborne Canadian Corps Assoc. #22, 7 Clairmont St., Thorold
6:00 p.m. - Vendor Tables Open. Vendors who desire a table either/both night(s) - Please send an e-mail
7:30 p.m. - Slide show - Joint Meeting with Welland Canal Ship Society. Bring a tray of your best slides to share with the group. We will have a laptop and digital projector available, so bring a CD or DVD or your best stuff.

Saturday & Sunday
9:00 - 5:00
- Free Admission to St. Catharines Museum and Welland Visitors Centre - Located at Lock Three. Gift Shop offering 10% discount on selected items - Tell them you are a "Boatnerd". Sign up all weekend for the prize drawing on Sunday morning.

Sunday - September 19 - Lock Three Visitors Center
Sunday at 11 a.m. a special video will be shown at the Lock Three Interactive Center followed by the prize drawing. Sign up for the drawing all weekend in the gift shop.

Saturday, September 25 - Diamond Jack Cruise to the St. Clair Whistle Blow
A fun trip leaving from Stroh Place at the foot of Jos. Campeau in Detroit and going up the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers to the annual Whistle Blow in St. Clair, Michigan. Here is a chance to hear live steam whistles from freighters, passengers boats and trains. This event is co-sponsored by Details



Be sure you have your official
Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping
Hats or shirt