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Iron ore captain sails into retirement

Captain Raymond Sheldon worked on a boat for most of his life.
Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 4:50 PM EDT
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ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - An iron ore ship captain sailed into retirement after his four-and-a-half-decade career. He describes the moment as “bittersweet.”

Captain Raymond Sheldon has always been interested in ships and water.

“I would read books; different books of shipwrecks and survival and ghost stories of the Great Lakes,” said Captain Ray Sheldon, retired Captain of the MV Joseph L. Block.

For his whole life, Captain Sheldon has been working on a boat. After four decades on the water, he has quite a few stories to tell. But one in particular stands out to him the most.

“Well, my favorite story is how Peggy and I, we got married on the boat on June 30, 2019,” said Captain Sheldon.

After Captain Sheldon married, his wife Peggy, also known as “Mrs. Captain”, sailed with him during their first year together.

“I was able to ride with him quite a bit and that was really, really fun. I got to experience what he experiences out there,” said Mrs. Captain.

When the pandemic began, Mrs. Captain wasn’t allowed on the boat, but she still found ways to spend time with her husband.

“I would get in our truck and go to wherever he was, pick him up, we would go to exploring and then I bring him back. He’d get back on and I would go home,” said Mrs. Captain.

Captain Sheldon sailed through the Soo Locks for the last time last week with several people watching in support.

“It’s nice to have all those memories by people who care about him, who care about the boat, who care about us and who follows us,” said Mrs. Captain.

Now, the couple plan to sail to Florida in their own boat.

“I’m just really glad to have them home and I’m looking forward to our new captain adventures on our boat called Captains’ Adventure,” said Mrs. Captain.

“It’s time to move on to new adventures,” said Captain Sheldon.

After a lifetime sailing, to Captain Sheldon, it’s more than just a career.

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