One of these days I’ll do a post on Great Lakes moods, as I’ve so far seen them.  Actually, an essay on the range of conditions might be fun…

CCGS Samuel Risley, an icebreaking tug, hints at moods in months to come…

Lower Lakes Towing’s Ojibway makes for Hamilton, appearing almost a cartoonish version of itself thanks to fata morgana.

This view is looking at Sodus Point, where I learned to swim,  from just over 10 nautical miles.

 

For the first time, I see Donald Sea under way.

Science ship Ontario Explorer is also a first-timer.

 

And I’d love to know Rascal‘s story, tied up here in Oswego near Ontario Explorer.

Working on the breakwater is Madison R, home-ported in Duluth.  I’ll post more of her later.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

BFD’s fireboat Cotter is always a high point of a Buffalo visit, a Crescent Shipyard 1900 (!!) Elizabethport NJ product, aka the world’s oldest active fireboat. 

Headed west for Port Colborne, we’re treated to beauty over SteelWinds. 

As darkness looms, JW Cooper arrives to drop off a pilot.

Imagine my dismay passing MRC after dark,

and head down to Ontario level through the night.

Daybreak brings us to nearly Ontario, and we wait for Wilson T. Cooper to exit the lock W-1.

Port Weller’s shipyard a year ago was occupied by Presque Isle. 

 

We drop off our pilot and

 

enter Lake Ontario.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Pride . . . I wish I’d seen more of her.

Harbour Feature would look right at home in the sixth boro . . . .  Now that’s a place I’ve not been in a while.

James R. Barker . . .heading at us here like a dreadnought . . .

 

 

At this distance, the power plant at East China, MI shrinks the laker.

 

As we get closer, however, she clearly is quite large.

Indiana Harbor is one of the 1000-footers.

x

Annie M Dean is a noisy Windsor boat.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Why wood?   It’s been awhile since I asked that . . .  I suppose I should ask why so many wooden runabouts and cruisers suddenly swarmed in the St. Clair, but it was enjoyable.  But here is the event, and if you want to get into a wooden boat, as maybe I do, here’s a ticket.

Jeffery Dave is a Higgins . . . maybe early 1960s?

Miss Minneapolis IV.

Bette Noir heads into the Black River…

Names as I can read them . . . Tiger Lily, 

Cracker Jack and Cracker Jack (?),

just a beautiful classic,

and Nigel’s Launch.  Can anyone identify the manufacturer?

Don’t tell Nigel . . .

Let’s end it here with a SeaSkiff named The Old Lady.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who would be happy to attend this boat show.

Lots more of everything to come . . .

 

 

. . . of the mitten and below the thumb . . .

Passing us on the land side first was Algoma Niagara.  She’s a recent arrival in the lakes, from China via the Panama Canal.

Finally, here’s a first sight from a distance of Joseph H. Thompson, a truly unique laker built in Pennsylvania salt water in 1944.

The tug here is Joseph H. Thompson Jr., a 146′ x 38′ vessel made from steel left over from the conversion of Joseph H. Thompson–the ship–to a barge.

 

The Blue Water Bridge gradually emerged, like a giant turtle, from Lake Huron waters.

Tug Michigan and barge Great Lakes has appeared on this blog before . . .

Recently I saw old photos of her with the Amoco logo on the stacks.

x

And by now, the Blue Water was looking like a bridge.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Departure time meant we couldn’t watch Paul R. Tregurtha transit the passage on this brilliant day, but that’s life.

On our way out, Corsair passed one more time with a load of hay . . .

 

My references here are inadequate to say whether Mackinac Islander, laid up here, was built in the same yard as Corsair.

As we turn south, Poe Reef Light blinks a farewell

and we see sunset rays off to the north behind us, begging not to be forgotten.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

A combo of current and breeze makes for spectacular splash . . .

And in a place of such clear water and natural beauty . . .

it’s uplifting.

Even with stolid lakers like John J. Boland and American

Mariner, this interplay of forces makes a display.

Small boats appear nearly submerged.

x

 

This appears to be a training chase . . .

It’s not surprising the original inhabitants thought this place was Eden.

All photos by will Van Dorp.

 

When you have a big horizon, unlike the case in my cliff dwelling near the sixth boro, sunrises make getting up and out a must.

And when a laker–in this case RadcliffeR. Latimer seen illuminated by the first rays of dawn–

shares it with you,

start of day comes with a high.

 

 

Later in that same day, the wind has kicked up some spray and a pair of Lower Lakes Towing vessels come by . . .

Saginaw and

 

Mississagi . . .

 

no matter what else is going on, it’s a good day.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Round Island is an uninhabited island between the islands of Mackinac and Bois Blanc.  Big traffic passes through a relatively narrow passage between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan.

Edwin H. Gott transited recently.  Gott, as I’ve read, has a self-unloader boom longer than standard.

Even at 280′ the boom looks small compared with the 1000′ hull.

 

No long afterward, Erie Trader and this sailboat transited in the opposite direction.

Pushing the Trader is

 

 

Joyce L. VanEnkvort. 

The sailboat made the passage in Joyce and Trader‘s wake.

A bit over a century ago, this route was served by the oceanic North Land. 

It’s possible this image was enhanced in this engraving.  Sam Clemens was a big fan, it appears, of the Buffalo to Duluth run.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

“The road goes on forever and the  . . . [journey] never ends . . ..”

Robert Keen’s lyrics are slightly adapted here . . .  The Straits of Mackinac is a tempestuous place with random seeming currents;  note all the shipwreck symbols on the chart below.

Along the way, we pass Federal Mackinac.  I’m not sure what those conical-tipped cylinders are.

Off the stern, White Shoal Light sinks

out of sight . . .

 

Traffic goes on and on.

Here Erie Trader gets

powered by Clyde S. VanEnkvort.

 

Here a 49-foot Buoy Utility Stern Loading vessel leaves the St Ignace port

and heads for the Straits.

Meanwhile, CSL Assiniboine heads for the Straits and

Lake Michigan.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

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