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Not much to report on the passage  . . . the watery parts of the planet have all the same moods, but as we approached Halifax, Sambro Island Light to port, the locally built pilot boat E. T. Rogers brought a pilot and some excitement. 


Atlantic Cedar

and other boats prepared to welcome a ULCV that will make for the sixth boro after a port call in Halifax.  Scotia Pilot heads out to meet them.

Halifax Transit claims the title of oldest saltwater ferry in North America.

Atlantic Fir heads out for the ULCV.

It’s Nova Scotia . . . therefore a bag piper.

All photos, any errors, WVD.

You’ll understand if I say this is a wicked quick post.  Bear with me.  At the appointed hour, albeit Campobello time rather than Eastport time, we cast off and made for sea.

Once away from town, the pilot departed, back for the Eastport station aboard North Sea.

We rounded the light off the top of Campobello as a fishing boat worked the same area.  I wonder what the catch was. 

Making our way SW out of the Bay of Funky Funky Fundy (yes, that was an autocorrect 2X!) and into the Gulf of Maine, we passed Storm Rider.  Note the crewman looking our way between the house and the curtain on the stern deck. Yes, this song came to mind.

At daybreak this morning we took on a Portland pilot from Spring Point.

Ram Island Ledge Light, I presume.

I’ve lots of other lighthouse photos, but as we made fast, we were alongside the Portland McAllister fleet:  l to r, Roderick, Nancy, and Andrew

Heading into town for some supplies, I had to photograph this sign.

All photos, wicked fast, any errors because I’m too wicked fast, WVD.

Another quick post . . .

sardines once made this a prosperous port.

Traces linger.


A handful of boats are already way down at mid tide.



Too bad I wasn’t here on December 31 for the sardine and maple leaf drop!  Check the Tides Institute website here


Here’s more on Old Sow Whirlpool.

My guess . . . sardine fishing boat . . .

All photos, not that much info . . . WVD, who departs tomorrow and doesn’t know how soon the next post will happen.  Stand by.

Here’s a quick “sign of life” post.  We’re laid up in the archipelago of Eastport for preparations to get under way.  But occasionally I see something and grab the camera.

Like Fairhaven Princess II.  I’m not sure what work she does, but I trust someone will comment.  My guess is that she’s involved in some sort of fishery.

Hopper II is a ferry between Eastport ME and Campobello Island.

Sunday she was quite busy.

Note the guy on the motorcycle in the photo below.


More photos by WVD when I can post. 

I read this about Eastport:  “1833 Eastport was the second largest trading port in the country after New York City.  Farms produced hay and potatoes. Industries included a grain mill, box factory and carding mill. But the island’s economy was primarily directed at the sea.   … but the fishing industry would decline, and many people moved away. Indeed, the city went bankrupt in 1937. In 1976, the Groundhog Day Gale destroyed many structures along the waterfront.”  You can read that and more here.

I need to come up here when I’m free.  Here’s more on Eastport. And I know Jackie F. McAllister is nearby, but I can’t figure out how to get a photo without trespassing or getting a skiff. 

Seen in Montrose IA, but visible anywhere in that area  


are long trains, dozens of them with over a hundred cars each.  This trip introduced me to the concept of class 1 railroads, as explained here.   Not all freight trains move containers, but with the ones that do, all the container lines are represented too, in the middle of the country, such as Matson, a Honolulu based company.

Hamilton IL is directly across the water from Keokuk.  Western Engineer referenced in this text, can be seen here. Also, steamer Virginia, also mentioned here, is placed into context in this link.

This newish cable-stayed bridge opened between Gulfport IL and Burlington IA 30 years ago.

As seen from the train window as we zoomed through Smithshire IL, population 100, I saw these three machines.  I can’t say I understand what they do.

Another railroad town Galesburg IL has over 30k people.  It’s the birthplace of Carl Sandburg.

Route 66 is mentioned in this earlier post.  Remember that road runs from Chicago to Santa Monica.

I’d hoped to make some stops and sidetrips on this automobile circle through Green Bay WI and many other places on Route 41, 2, and 27,

but with the storm that accompanied us and kept our speed to an average of 30, I caught this mural, realizing that Green Bay has many others.  More on the Great Lakes Circle Tour here.

Peshtigo WI, which is associated with the huge fire of 1871, happening the same time as the most widely known conflagration in Chicago, has a lumber/paper industry to this day.


Need more indication that the winter of 2023 happened in spring?  As passenger, I took many more photos like this one.

If you’ve never tasted a pasty, you’re missing a treat.  They were perfect on this cold, wintry day, but they’d be perfect any time.  Get them in lots of places, but this one I got at Clyde’s in Manistique.

The goal had been Sault Ste Marie with a side of Detour, but a combination of inclement weather and car issues led to hunkering down at a motel just SW of Saint-Ignace.  While checking in, the clerk asked if I wanted to pay a bit extra for a water view room.  Since visibility was so limited, I chuckled and said, “sure.”  The first few hours, visibility was about half a mile; later more and more of the Mackinac Bridge was unveiled.

By sunrise, visibility was unlimited except by curvature of the earth. 

Prior to 1957, ferries moved automobile traffic across the Mackinac Strait .

This was my first time to see the ice in the Strait.

 However, car issues meant we skipped the Soo this time, but I hope to get up and through the locks there several times this coming summer.  More on that soon.


Almost seven years ago, I posted Go West, the announcement of my employment as onboard lecturer for Blount Small Ships Adventures.  Dozens of posts followed between that date and fall 2019.  Here’s my Go West at start of 2017 post.  Then Covid-19 happened, and Blount decided to close their passenger vessel excursion business in spring 2020 and later to sell their fleet.

Today, I’m announcing that I have similar employment with American Queen Voyages, departing the sixth boro tomorrow by air for New Brunswick, initially.   My title is “lakelorian,” a nom de voyage I share with several other folks.  It’s a variation on “riverlorian,” used by lecturers on American Queen excursions on the Mississippi.  Roundabout?  Well, we head NE to get SW, and that’s after traveling from flying from LaGuardia to Toronto and then Saint John, crossing two international borders before getting to Eastport ME.  More later, I hope.

This is a short post to announce that I expect to be out of the sixth boro much of the time from now until well into fall.  I also expect to have WiFi at least sometimes, so I can post photos of noteworthy sights along new/old waterways as well as sixth boro events if you take and pass them along.  In fact, if any sixthborolorian relief crew wish to step up, let’s communicate.  

Meanwhile, as I step into the new, here’s glance back at the old, all photos of two of the Blount boats from 2019, their last year in service.  Here’s Grande Mariner in lake mode, but 

they are able to morph into NYS Canals mode and squeeze under and  

through;  I’ll miss 

those waterways.

All photos, WVD, who’s about to wear a new hat and may be incommunicado for a bit.  Here’s the new ride . . .


Here was “government boats 44” from almost six years ago.  Before you click on the link in the previous sentence, do you recognize the vessel fighting the fire below?

It’s none other than the oldest active fireboat in the world, unless someone can prove that it’s not.  

And if you’re not familiar with the boat yet, it’s Edward M. Cotter, built as W. S. Grattan in Elizabethport NJ in 1900 !!!, and –as seen above–still active doing what it was built for as part of the  Buffalo Fire Department.  For info on its current namesake, click here.  More photos here

Other photos I’ve taken of Cotter over the years can be seen here. Other fireboats posts… here.

Thanks much to Brian R. Wroblewski for use of these photos.  More photos of Cotter and BFD on scene can be seen on FB at Buffalo Fire & Rescue On Scene for April 15, 2023.  Previous photos from Brian on this blog can be seen here

Big announcement on tugster tomorrow. 

With greater focus today, let’s start where we left off yesterday . . . here, with that large red mooring ball behind tugboat Maverick.

The mooring was attached to a section of flexible dredge hose that 

was getting towed.  Any guesses on Maverick’s date launched?  Decide that for each of these and arrange them by age, before checking the answers at the end?

Carolina Coast came in light the other day, possibly just off a sugar barge. 

Meagan Ann was eastbound, maybe heading north for scrap.

Michael Miller was moving who knows what.   As a reminder, have you decided the launch date on each of these as you’re going through?  Answers are posted at the end here.

Miss Madeline a bit earlier was working on a dredge project.

Charles A was in from another dredge project.

Susan Rose was pushing oil.

Stephen Dann has since gone to Bridgeport.  

Charles James is still the the boro as of this writing.

And that’s where we leave it today.

All photos and any errors, WVD.

Maverick 1967

Carolina Coast  1970

Meagan Ann 1975

Miss Madeline  1976

Charles A. 1979

Charles James 1985

Stephen Dann  1999

Susan Rose  2019


This is my title for times I’m feeling ADHDed out . . .  when I can’t focus on a big picture for all the divergent details.   So, who’s home court is this?

AS Felicia‘s crew, that’s who.  Any guesses on AS Felicia‘s teu capacity?

RN Weeks is a split hopper TS dredge, like Ocean Traverse Nord (OTN).  See OTN dumping spoils by splitting her hull here

Between the islands of Governors and Manhattan, specialized conveyances are used. 

SeatheCity must be gaining popularity, if they’ve added a boat II to their fleet.  I need to make my way over to the Morris Canal to check them out again

As they head for sea, these crew are working on the ladder and gangway. 


When I first saw this utility boat, I thought it was unmarked, but when I zoomed in 

the red D and half ring were clear, although I can’t tell whose logo this is. 

And let’s leave it here with explanation coming tomorrow . . . why’s Maverick towing that orange ball?

All photos, WVD. 


SD 37 was quite some time ago, but what flummoxes me is that I thought I’d done this post, a profile of another Mister Darby model I saw at the September 2022 Tugboat Roundup.  It seems, to my embarrassment that I never posted these.  

To the models we go.  Some model builders from Quebec had come down to Waterford to display their craft.  That’s one of the models westbound in the Erie Canal below. 

The real tug whose bow we look across above is Joncaire;  the model is marked as a Smit tug called Moniqua, but I can find no information about the namesake.

Edgar Bonnet was the most powerful tugboat in the world when IHC launched it in 1953 for the Suez Canal.  The tugboat was sunk in the Suez Canal in 1956-57 during what some call the Second Arab-israeli War. When it was raised in March 1957, the Canal was reopened. For someone who can read Polish, here’s the story, and google can translate.  Some specs, the original Smit tug was 152′ x 39′.  The raising got lots of media attention;  even UN SG Dag Hammarskjold was present.  In 1958, it was renamed Antar.

All these models were 2′ to 3′ in length.



Mister Darby interested me the most, because it’s none other than the current Atlantic Salvor. 

Many thanks to modeler Carl Durocher

and friends for showing off their boats at Waterford.  And my apologies for not having posted his photos until now. 


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April 2023