Great Lakes mariner to talk about life at sea

MARQUETTE — If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to serve on a freighter and live on the Great Lakes there is an opportunity to learn all about it.

Keith Baker grew up in Sault Ste. Marie and saw boats pass through the locks with regularity. This, along with wanting a change of pace, helped him decided to become a man of the seas.

22 years later he’s happy with the choice he made.

“There were a couple storms where I was like, ‘Wow,” ’cause the boat, we rolled pretty good,” Baker said with a laugh. “It’s like, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to have another #1 hit become at my expense,’ but I got over it.”

Baker has hauled everything from iron ore to corn and spends nine to ten months out of the year a sea. It might seem daunting, but remember, this is the 21st century.

“Nowadays we’ve got satellite TV, we’ve got WiFi Internet, so you’re in constant communication,” Baker said. “Cell phone service is pretty spotty, but other than that if you can handle being away from your loved ones, and your friends and your family, and put up with some boredom at times you can do it. The job’s actually easy.”

Baker will talk about life on a Great Lakes freighter Thursday at noon at the Landmark Inn in Marquette.

He also has a Facebook page called “STORM WARRIOR” Great Lakes Sailor/Keith Baker.