Thursday, March 25, 2010

J.W. Westcott II Launch

For years, at the Gregory Boat Basin on the Detroit River, our sailboat (FAMILY TIES) spends the winter on shore, under wraps just a few feet from the J.W. Westcott II and its sister ship and back up the Joseph Hogan. I think these are the only U.S. Mail Boats in history. A Westcott boat has been delivering mail-by-the-pail (on the end of a line) to commercial freighters and other vessels as they pass through the Detroit River or 115 years. So, it's been fun getting to know the owners and operators of these vessels. This year I happened to be down at the yard numerous times shooting a documentary for the owner of Gregory (Scott Gregory) of the ship-wrights as they change out the engines on Scott's 52-foot Hatteras. One day I walked over over to look at my boat to see how the covering was fairing in a recent snow storm. It wasn't doing very well, there were holes in the covering and I was down there next week with Pam to put a new cover on it. But the snow was pretty enough that I took some video of the river, empty slips covered with snow and ice, and the Westcott sitting next to us. Just last week I was down there again to record the techs as they lowered two, 1,800 pound engines into Scott's refurbished engine rooms. When we got done, Dan Miller (the yard manager) ran off to help launch the Westcott. I grabbed my camera and tagged along. The snow as gone and the sun was out. The next day Scott wrote and asked if he could be a clip of the Westcott launch on the Gregory Boat Company's Facebook page. I said yes, but didn't realize it would take me hours of editing. We'll it's done, and here's something to remember Detroit, the River, and a little history of a unique aspect of the U.S. Mail and the 115 year old J.W. Westcott Company, located at the foot of the Ambassador Bridge to Canada.

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