The crew lives on the ship, working six hours on and six hours off, seven days a week, for 60 days. So what’s it like aboard a laker? RocktheLake climbed aboard (literally, with a ladder) at the Port of Cleveland Bulk Terminal at Whiskey Island on Lake Erie to find out. We rode Interlake Steamship…

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We love to watch freighters. As long as the Terminal Tower is tall, the ships are eye-catching, mesmerizing, romantic vestiges of industrial glory days. We can’t get over their size, whether they’re powering through Lake Erie or pivoting around the hair-pin curves of the Cuyahoga River. They’re more than a pretty sight on the horizon.…

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The 600-foot William G. Mather was once the biggest, grandest steamship in the Cleveland-Cliffs fleet, carrying 14,000 tons of iron ore from the shores of Lake Superior to the steel mills of Lake Erie. Now, the so-called “ship that built Cleveland” is docked in Cleveland’s North Coast Harbor, part of the Great Lakes Science Center…

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Meet Jason Kolar, a mate on a Great Lakes freighter. Kolar, of Cleveland, is the guy right below the captain, who takes care of payroll, manages the deck crew and plan how to load and unload the ship. Kolar, 28, who grew up in Olmsted Falls, spent his summers on Catawba as kid. His uncle…

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