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I missed the ship  at first, even though I was looking for it.  Then its slow steady movement caught my attention.  Behold the bunker carrier Buffalo in Cleveland

steaming upstream without tug assist, although it has thrusters.  There’s 68′ beam of this self-unloading bulker winding her way upstream.

See the green-domed clock tower on the ridge?  On the photo above it’s just to the left of the bow mast of Buffalo.  That’s Westside Market.

See the West Side Market on the map below?  And the red line in the river heading its way under the Detroit Avenue bridge?  That was my location for these shots. Destination was somewhere near the red circle below.  Imagine shoehorning a 634′ ship through here?

 

And whatever reputation the Cuyahoga had a half century ago, there’s river life stirred up here, as evidenced by the gulls.  Anyone know what draws the gulls?

The folks in the apartments on the ridge (along W 25th Street) must have an enviable view of this traffic.  Invite me to visit?

 

Again, what amazes me is the absence of tug assist.  And learning to pilot this . . . I’m impressed.   See this location in a time-lapse at 11 seconds in this short video.  And the outbound leg is done stern wise, as seen at about the 6:00 mark in this video. 

Cleveland . . . I’ll be back.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who posted the first of this series here.  See a bit more of Buffalo on the Cuyahoga here.

 

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The previous post in this series shows the port in  the late 19th century, so I’d say it’s high time to update.  This lighthouse dates to 1934, and I’ve long wondered why the buildings have not received a much-needed re-painting.

Oceanis appears not to be a commercial vessel, at least not now, but the hull was surely inspired by something large and seaworthy.

 

Stephen B. Roman, however, carries her weight among all the hard working vessels on the Lakes.  Any guesses what the B. stands for?    Answer follows.

 

Essroc is one of two cement companies delivering to the port of Oswego.

And these ingots regularly delivered by Wilf Seymour and Alouette Spirit?  You may see them next as Ford F-series parts stamped out by Novelis Oswego.

x

The B. is for Boleslav.  Stephen Boleslav Roman was a mining engineer.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Way in the distance where the waterway narrows, that’s lock E-11 and accompanying moveable dam, Amsterdam NY.  Click here for closer-ups of some of the Erie Canal locks and bank scenery.

I saw no names anywhere as this catamaran cut dynamic grooves into a calm river, where I was waiting–in vain–for a vessel in the opposite direction, hoping to get photos of it navigating through the morning mist.  By this time, that mist had dissipated.

Here Bear motorsails westward past Little Gull light . . .

Anyone help with the name of this large sloop in the sixth boro about three weeks back?

It looked to be about 60–70′  . . .

America 2.0 plied harbor waters operations

out of Chelsea Piers.

Off Croton Point, this metallic-looking catamaran headed upriver.

Again, I noticed no name, but the flag could say Bermuda.

Even as the mainsail is lowered, Clearwater is unmistakeable.

And this brings up back up to the Oswego Canal, it’s brigantine St Lawrence II;

her rig conspicuously missing tells me it went on ahead on a truck.  St. Lawrence II here was nearing Oswego.

And to close this out, here are three photos from Lake Erie, late summer.

 

 

All photos recently by Will Van Dorp, who by this time should be back on the St. Lawrence River.

 

We continue along the Great Coast, now on Lake Erie, a place of

dramatic early morning skies.

And lakers against the canary daybreak.

Calumet has just left the Cuyahoga,

Italcementi Essroc has the very best logo . . .

and Stephen B. Roman has worn it for some time now, as it also has the distinction of being the first vessel to break out of the Toronto winter ice most years.

The engineering department catches some air and ambience entering Cleveland on a late summer evening.

See the hatch in the hull of Buffalo directly below the ladder on the port side?

J. S. St John (1945!) is a sand dredge I’d love to see under way.  I caught these two slightly different angles in Erie PA.

 

And finally, American Mariner–possibly transporting grain to ADM in Buffalo–makes her way into port and up the ship canal after dark sans assistance.  Two details not captured by these photos include the sound of crew opening hatches and the effect of three spotlights picking up a variety of landmarks along its path in.

Here’s the scoop (pun intended!) on the purple lights on the Connecting Terminal elevator.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I could barely make her out, since we were several miles off a shore I was paying attention to for its own sake.  Some closeups taken last year appear at the end of the post, showing Lee A. Tregurtha as she’s put together now, so different from her first lives in the Atlantic and Pacific which could have seen her torpedoed and coral- or something-encrusted in the deeps.

Some major quarrying takes place there, north of Alpena MI,

rendering a +800′ ship almost invisible.

I know I’m exaggerating, but this enterprise leads me to imagine that Lake Huron might be enlarged here until there becomes an Upper Peninsula and a Lower one with a long coastline between Huron Beach and Petoskey,  creating the island of Cheboygan in between and a cable-stayed crossing at Indian River.

Yes, I digress,

but some thousand years from now . . ..

who knows . .

 

So here’s how the fore section of  Lee A. looks today.  She was launched in 1942 as SS Samoset, then six months later acquired by the USN as USS Chiwawa.

Here’s the distinctive stern.

The midsection arrived from Germany in 1960 towed by the tug Zeeland.

For all the details, here’s a tip of the hat to George Wharton and located on boatnerd.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I used to see this as a kid from my first beach while learning to swim.  Those eroded cliffs defined the edge of my world, making me wonder whether they could be an eighth wonder beckoning me to become the discoverer.

I find myself looking at this landscape again, six decades later, and wondering instead what the research boat is probing,

following what appears an erratic path,

past my first lighthouse, which back then I never imagined could be seen from this angle.  Here’s the lighthouse in winter almost a decade back.

Here’s the research boat, RV Kaho, whose christening I attended here three years ago.

Might these be among the bottom features Kaho seeks?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Back to the Great Coast . . .  BBC Elbe has since I took this photo gone to Duluth, and then headed back out toward the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Kaye E. Barker approaches and

recedes, an illusion of her usual self played by the magic of Huron.

At sunrise it’s an upbound G3 Marquis, off to load

grain, I’d wager.

And as we pass through Detroit, we have an opportunity to see a self-unloader at work.

But what surprised me the most was overhearing a conversation about Cason J Callaway being a son of Georgia.  I was skeptical, but

but it turns out he’s the namesake of this laker launched in 1952.

The textile magnate was also a board member at USS.

Taconite from Minnesota, perhaps, and headed

 

here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Alpena was my elusive ship, and then  . . . just like that . . . on her voyage out from Alpena MI, there she was.

She’s the last of her class, working since 1942, lugging cement products around all five Great Lakes.

She’s a beauty.

Maybe if I study these photos long enough, I’ll learn to paint or draw.

 

Click here to see and hear her moving out of the McArthur Lock at the Soo.   And here, she departs Cleveland, and footage of tug Iowa in the Cuyahoga is especially rewarding.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I saw Iglehart in Duluth.  Is Crapo still in the Rouge?  And of course, the Townsend has just arrived in Port Colborne’s MRC.

Off in the distance, I believe those lights are Greys Reef and Skillagalee . . . and the

ship is another 1000-footer named for an Indiana port.  Maybe it’s the time of day, but I think I see the iron ore dust on the white paint.

Getting back to my invented  TTT unit (twenty-ton trailer), she has the capacity of 3942.5 trucks off the road.

Algoway (1972) is another appropriate -sized laker, serving ports otherwise possibly inaccessible, and replacing 1200 trucks.

Here she passes through the Round Island Channel, eastbound.

Notice the hatch in the hull below the stack?

An engineer taking some fresh air?

American Spirit . . .  another 1000-footer . .. has a capacity equal to 3120 TTT.  Imagine having all those trucks on the highways between the mines and the steel mills 500+ to the south!

Anyone know how many tons of cargo these boats lug in a season?

Philip R. Clarke, 1265 TTTs.

I do love the paint scheme of USS Great Lakes fleet.

James R. Barker, 3165 TTT.

She’s been running for 41 years on the lakes.

 

And as James R. Barker disappears in the direction of the Soo and Lake Superior, Hon. James L. Oberstar (1550 TTT) heads for the steel mills.

Here’s a list of the 1000-footers on the Great Lakes

American Century

American Integrity

American Spirit

Burns Harbor

Edgar B. Speer

Edwin H. Gott

Indiana Harbor

James R. Barker

Mesabi Miner

Paul R. Tregurtha

Presque Isle ITB

Stewart J. Cort

Walter J, McCarthy Jr.

For an alphabetical listing of these Great Lakes-locked vessels, check out Dick Lund’s page.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

 

 

 

My staying with this * thread leads me to wonder how to refer to this long peaceful international boundary between the US and Canada, and after rejecting a few like “third coast” (It would be disputed with the Gulf of Mexico) and “fresh coast” (Fresh has too many negative connotations) I’ve settled –for myself–with “great coast.”  Keep the Lakes Great stems from great partnerships.  Check out this great short video.

So let’s continue with this cataloging of a finite set of vessels from both countries along the great coast.

  CSL Laurentian (1977) is a fleet mate of my erstwhile crush . . . Alice Oldendorff.  We’ve we’ve both moved on;  at least I have.  I can’t speak for Alice of the stone heart.

Kaye E. Barker is one of the classics, to me.  Launched in 1952, she went back to work in spring 1976 after experiencing  a 120′ growth spurt that allowed her to lug 6000 more tons of cargo.

Adding a self-unloader shortened her in-port times, making her more profitable in the steel-related trades.

Here she’s at the south end of Lake St Clair, Detroit river bound.

Atlantic Huron‘s story here details just how much of an panAmerican boat she is, having worked from the Orinoco to Newfoundland.

As a former resident of Indiana, I’m amazed by the diverse usage of that state’s 40-mile shoreline along Lake Michigan from national lakeshore to national leader in steel production.

As such, it’s not surprising to find this name on one of the Great Lakes 1000-footers.

Can you tell the direction of travel?

Can you “read” the prop wash of Calumet?

Here the 1973 “river class” boat has backed out of the stone dock in Holland MI and is heading through Lake Macatawa out to Lake Michigan.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who will continue to unpack the summer (and fall) gallivants, along with a few diversions.

 

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