Ida Lewis, Anthony Petit, Katherine Walker, and Joshua Appleby . . .  what might they all have in common?  Which is the outlier here?  Follow me but first check out this link to a tugster blog post from 2009.

As we head into the dark months, let’s start with some bright photos from Florida in midsummer, photos I took on the jaunt from Port of Iberia LA to Tampa.

WLM 556 was in the process of servicing buoys in the vast expanse of Tampa Bay,


Because the bay is shallow except in the channel, we passed fairly nearby.

I wish now I’d gotten a shot of the text on the crane:  it reads “the wrecking keeper.”  The government had accused Joshua Appleby of being a pirate before changing course after lacking evidence and naming him keeper of a lighthouse west of Key West. It reminds me of the story of Capt. Dan Seavey, who went from being a pirate to a US Marshal.

The sixth boro’s WLM has an inspiring but less roguish namesake . . . Katherine Walker. 

Last week I caught WLM 552 running a load of summer buoys

it had (I believe by the numbers) swapped out from upriver.

USCGC Ida Lewis, the first of the class all built in a Wisconsin Lake Michigan port, bears the text “mother of all keepers,” as she is WLM 551.  If Appleby and Walker had interesting bios, then consider the Lewis story here

All photos of three of 14 WLMs, WVD, who thinks the names of this class of USCGC are all well chosen.  If you need some inspiration, google all the unfamiliar ones here

The outlier fro the list above?  Anthony Petit.  To see that WLM, I’d have to travel to Alaska, which is not such a bad idea now that I think of it.