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If you ordered a calendar last year, you might recall that I promised that I’d “extend” the photo set each month.  Well, here’s September, following all the other months.  Call this . . . “how Cleveland turned a toxic industrial sewer into a recreation area, while maintaining industrial activity.”  Recall while looking at these photos that THIS is the Cuyahoga, the object of shame back when I was a teenager, the river on all East Coast folks’ minds when the first Earth Day protest happened.  WestCoasters had the Santa Barbara oil spill uppermost in mind.  It took vision and –see the article– ongoing effort.

If you’ve never visited Cleveland, you’ll thank yourself for doing so.  If you’ve never looked at Cleveland from the perspective of the Cuyahoga, you can do it right here thanks to the miracle of Google maps . . .  it winds and winds and a few miles up, there’s still a lot of industry, so bulk carriers like Algoma Buffalo need to get up there, and getting there requires the assistance of tugs to negotiate all the turns.

Note all the recreation in boats happening all around this Algoma Buffalo, a 1978 Sturgeon Bay WI build, 24,300 tons cargo capacity (convert that to dump trucks), 634′ x 68′ and powered by 7200 hp.  It was flagged US until the 2018 season.  Note the “whitewater” from the portside emanating from the thruster tunnel.

People are enjoying the summer sun, oblivious some of them to the ship.

Kayakers and SUPers carry on.

Now what’s happening amidst all these folks enjoying the beautiful Cuyahoga is that Algoma  Buffalo will exit the river as far as that lift bridge and then be assisted moving astern into the old Cuyahoga.

Also, keep in mind that tug Cleveland was launched in 2017, and Iowa in 1915.  Yes . . . the two tugs assisting the laker are 102 years apart in age!  The captain of Cleveland might be the great-grandson of the original captain of Iowa.  Also, both tugs were built right on this river.  Deckhands appear calm here while directing the swarm away from danger.

And . . . I said swarm!

Here’s the point where forward motion stops, and Iowa assumes the lead, tugging the ship into the Old River.

Also, if you’re thinking to take a drive to Cleveland, keep in mind that I took all these photos from land, not from a boat.  People along the waterway there can have a beer or lunch or tea while enjoying a front row seat to all this  . . . drama. Set your GPS to the Greater Cleveland aquarium, a good aquarium with a huge parking lot right by the riuver.

I’m being redundant now, but this is the Cuyahoga a half century from the time it caught fire and people who didn’t work on it shunned it.

 

Again, the ship is backing up the Old River, towed

amidst all the fun-seekers on the water

around all the twists and bends by this antique but state-enough-of-the-art 1915 tugboat.  Just up around that bend is the Great Lakes Shipyard.

Cuyahoga!

Cuyahoga!  This is the only photo I took not from terra firma.

 

 

Cleveland needs a song about the rebirth of the river.  Maybe there is one I just don’t know about.

All photos, WVD, who’d go back to Cleveland in a heartbeat.  If you’ve not been, you owe to yourself to go there on a sunny summer day, and there aren’t many of those left for this year.

For other photos of Cleveland, try this one from February. For posts in Cleveland of Buffalo as a US flagged vessel, click here and here.

 

 

Yes, I missed doing this in July, so today I play catch-up.

Three vessels were on the July page.  First, it’s Louis C, a small tanker reborn as a small crane ship.  I was last aboard her on a very cold morning in January 2020.  The enclosed workshop forward of the wheelhouse features a wood burning stove that has no appeal in August but was very welcome in January.

Fugro Enterprise, now as then, is working off Atlantic City, making bathymetric charts of the area where the 99 turbines of Ocean Wind will soon sprout above the surface of the waves.

The third and more prominent boat on the July calendar page is Nathan G, and rather than use a photo from July 2019, let me put up this one from July 2020, where Nathan G is one of the tugs escorting USS Slater to the dry dock.  That dry docking will soon be finished, and Nathan G will possibly accompany the destroyer escort back to Albany.  For more info on Slater and memberships, click here.

For August, on 17 August 2019 at 0615 and we were at the western end of Lake Ontario approaching Port Weller.  You’re looking over the after deck of Grande Caribe.  In case you’ve not heard, Blount Small Ships Adventures made a shocking announcement this Monday that their BSSA vessels are for sale. 

Welland Canal pilot vessel Mrs C approached ready to deliver a pilot, having just

retrieved one from the down bound Federal Yukina.

A few days later in August at 0722 and at the northern end of Crystal Island in the Detroit River, about 50 miles north of Toledo OH and 25 south of Detroit MI, we passed

Edgar B. Speer as she was about to enter the down bound lane between Crystal Island and Stony Island.

Speer is one of the 1000-footer, aka “footers” who ply the Upper Lakes unable to get beyond Lake Erie because they greatly exceed the dimensions of the Welland Canal.  Speer‘s cargo  capacity is 73,700 tons.   That would be a lot of trucks.

All photos, WVD.

After a number of “misfires” this past week, I’ve made some changes.

To inaugurate these new protocols, I’m pleased to share photos you’ve sent in.

First, from Great Lakes Mariner, a few photos of Cheyenne in her new Lake Michigan waters.  These photos were taken in Manitowoc, which some of you will recognize from the context.  Here is a post I did on the Manitowoc River.   Here‘s one of many from Sturgeon Bay.   William C Gaynor (1956) has spent her entire life on the Great Lakes.

See the patina red tug to the left is Erich.  You have seen that before here.

 

Next, from John Huntington back in March, Jaguar escorts the 1942 oyster schooner Sherman Zwicker to a berth in Gowanus Bay.  Notice Loujiane in the distance to the left, and I believe Highlander Sea foreground left.   Previously you’ve seen Jaguar here, here, and here.

And is that John D McKean to the far left?

Seeing parts of “US naval vessels to be” transiting the East River has long been common, but extralime recently caught Patrice McAllister doing the tow, now that Gateway Towing has disbanded.  One of the Gateway tugs that used to do this run is now called Meredith Ashton and is currently in Lake Michigan.

 

And finally, from tug Hobo, here is a much improved wheel from the one you saw in one of my posts from yesterday.

Many thanks to GL Mariner, John Huntington, extralime, and Donna at Hobo for these photos.

 

Preface: The title 1W indicates this is a west-to-east trip, almost 200 miles between Lake Erie and the cut into Onondaga Lake, not far from Three Rivers, where previously we left the Erie and headed north on the Oswego.  Many smaller recreational boats traveling between the Lakes and the Atlantic follow this west-to-east via Lockport route to avoid using the Welland Canal. Click here for regulations regarding smaller craft in the Welland Canal, considered one section on the Saint Lawrence Seaway and entirely in Canada.

I have to be frank; I’ve traveled this part of the Erie Canal much less frequently than the portion we just finished, and most of my photos are from 2014, so if you’ve been through here more recently and stuff has changed, please update me.  Also, I’ve not been on the water between Black Rock Lock and Pendleton NY.  There may be gaps, omissions of key features in this part of the guide.

That being said, thanks for booking another trip. Virtual trips can magically re-position you; even time travel is possible.  For food, drinks, or a more comfortable pillow, though, you’re on your own.  Remember, doubleclick on a photo to enlarge it.

 

Welcome to Lake Erie, the lake with the seiches,

now looking east toward Buffalo. The Canal is named for this body of water.  It could have been named the DeWitt Clinton Canal, the New York Canal, or anything else.  But mercifully it was not.  “Erie” is an abridged name for a Haudenosaunee people whose more complete appellation was closer to “Erieehronon,” meaning people of the cat, possibly a long-tailed cat.  I add as much info as I do about First Peoples because so many places bear references,e.g., Lakes Erie and Ontario, Lackawanna, Tonawanda, Niagara . . . etc.

 

If we were heading west, here‘s some of what we’d see.  But the rainbow attracts us to look east.  See the white structures on the horizon near the center of the photo?

That’s Steel Winds, an energy project built on a former brownfield, technically in Lackawanna,  where part of the Bethlehem Steel plant was once located.

Grain elevators were invented in Buffalo and made the city rich, a past place of the future.  Since 1959 when grain shipments out of the midwest began to bypass the city via the Welland Canal and the St. Lawrence Seaway to anywhere in the watery parts of the globe, much of this infrastructure was left empty, left to be reimagined.  Oh . . . that white vessel shrunk by the elevators of “silo city . . .”  yes, that’s SS Columbia, a project that plans to bring this steam vessel to the Hudson River.

Some elevators still operate;  not far from the General Foods/Gold Medal Tower is the plant where to this day, as your nose will tell you, they make Cheerios and other breakfast cereals.  I learned this by walking there one day and smelling, Cheerios. Another day, it was clearly Cinnamon Toast Crunch.

Buffalo has a lot of interesting architecture, but the Liberty Building, one of my favorites, is germane to our virtual tour;  twin Statue of Liberty replicas on the roof face one east toward the eastern terminus of the Erie Canal and one west toward the Great Lakes.  Buffalo is a boom and bust city of the canal, reflected by its population size:  1820–2k people, 1850–40k,  1900–350k,  1950–580k, and now declining and approaching 250k.  There really is so much in Buffalo, which in 1900 was the eighth largest city in the US;  today it’s around #50.

Of course, we’re getting ahead of the history here;  none of this would have happened if Buffalo had not become the original “western gate” of the Erie Canal, aka the back door of the Atlantic.  Things could have turned out differently if a town to the north had been chosen.

Everyone knows about “wedding of the waters,” but I want this ceremony, performed on Seneca Chief‘s return to Buffalo, to be as well-known.  One of the confusing aspects of historical research is that names like Seneca Chief get adopted widely, as with this steamboat not long afterward.  As an aside, given what DeWitt Clinton expressed about the Iroquois, of which the Seneca were part, I’m puzzled by this choice of name, unless by that time the name of the Lake had already been divorced from the people.

Calusa Coast, once a regular in the sixth boro, now works the Great Lakes.  Here she passes Buffalo’s Erie Basin and heads for the Black Rock Lock, an entry point for our eventual turn east into the Erie Canal.

The western terminus of the Erie is in the Tonawandas.  Remember my caveat about my relative unfamiliarity with this part of the state, relative to the other side of the state.  Here‘s a summary of some attractions of the area, although even I know they’ve skipped the carousel museum, the Wurlitzers, and the Richardson boatyard.  At the beginning of the boating season, new Richardson boat owners would take part in a mass “sailaway” transiting the canal to salt water, as shown in this delightful video from 1935.  A 1941 Richardson docked alongside the canal back in 2014.

Pendleton is a few miles east, and then a bit farther, it’s the deep cut,

one of the hardest sections of the canal to dig, and it was dug before 1825, i.e., without materials and technology available for the Barge Canal.  As soon as this part of the canal opened in 1825, the Seneca Chief procession departed for New York City. More on the rubble removed here later.

 

See the locks ahead, beyond Lockport’s “big bridge,” which should be called the wide bridge.

 

Once east of the big bridge, we are at locks E-35 and E-34.

We started this leg of the trip on Lake Erie, currently above average height, . . . at 570′ or so above sea level.

We’ll end this post here, above E-35, heading east.  Using the distance table from part 1 of this series, Syracuse lies 146 miles ahead and at 370′ above sea level, and Waterford, 319 miles . . . and 15′.

All color photos by Will Van Dorp, unless otherwise stated.

 

Time gets away from me quite a lot.  Notwithstanding the 50-degree temperatures and bursting blooms, it certainly does not feel like it, we’re several days into spring, and I’d intended this as my last winter’s day post, following up on another post from this Great Lakes mariner . . .  maybe I should say great Great Lakes mariner.  No matter, since I’m social distancing from my tugster editor these days.

From Sturgeon Bay, it’s Meredith Ashton and Fischer Hayden.  Meredith Ashton once worked in the sixth boro as Specialist,not Specialist II.

From Milwaukee . . . it’s Neeskay, and

from Port Huron, it’s Manitou, which also had a New York chapter.

See the white stuff above?

Anyhow, many thanks to the captain Nemo of the inland seas.

 

I was doing maintenance in the  photo archives yesterday and took a second look at some photos from Damen and from Picton Terminals.  Since I know that Sheri Lynn S (SLS) arrived in Canada in Montreal in late fall, this has to be a photo of it being loaded onto the ship in Shanghai after traveling via the Yangtze from the shipyard in Changde, Hunan in China.  Given that, the tugs in the background could now be scattered all over the world.

This photo shows the boat being secured to the deck,again in Shanghai.

After the ocean voyage between the photo above, SLS arrives in a port at the end of her voyage, and that port has to be

Montreal, given the blue tugboat here, Ocean Georgie Bain.

And now for a few photos from her current habitat on the NE corner of Lake Ontario, SLS breaks ice, sometimes . . .

enabling the cement ship to dock.

In fact, this time of year, ice breaking is her main activity.

Many thanks to Damen and Picton Terminals for these photos.

A friend who works on the Great Lakes sent me these next two photos recently.  When I saw Anglian Lady in the foreground, my first thought was that I’d seen her myself but she looked somehow different.  More on that later.

Anglian Lady was Thornycraft built and launched in Southampton UK as Hamtun, a 132′ x 31′ steam tug that operated for the company now known as Red Funnel. From there, it was sold to interests in Belgium and then back in England before being purchased by Purvis Marine of Sault Ste. Marie.

But the tugboat I recalled was not Anglian Lady.  It was another distinctive tug by Purvis Marine below.

I was thrilled back in September 2017 when I got out in front of it here.  Location?  Some clues are the structures beyond the bow and the stern of this tug.

Avenger IV is the tug I recalled.  She’s from Cochrane 1962, a former steam tug, 120′ x 30′.

The location?  This is a dozen miles east of the Mackinac Bridge.

The PML website can be found here.

Many thanks to the Great Lakes mariner for the first two photos and for getting me to have a second look at Purvis Marine.

And the G-tugs in the background of the top photo likely include Minnesota and North Dakota.

 

Languishing along the Erie Canal, now in the dry dock adjacent to E-28A, is tugboat Grouper.  As she continues in limbo, folks far from the Erie Canal remember her, recall family experiences long ago, not thinking of her as Grouper at all, but rather . . .  Green Bay. Here she assists passenger steamer SS South American, a steamer that plied the Lakes for over 50 years.

Some look at the photo below and can identify relatives.

She has been shipshape with

many assists behind her, like Hennepin here.  This laker was known by the name Hennepin between 1937 and 1975.

Of the many captains who worked on her over the years, Lester Gamble, to the right below,  was the captain from 1954-68.

Many thanks to the the Gamble family for sharing these photos.

Below are two photos I took of the highly endangered Green Bay/Grouper last month.  For all her previous names and history, click here.

For the dozens of previous posts I’ve done on this boat, click here.

 

 

Stewart calls this “museum tugs of the Great Lakes.”

“We start in Lake Superior, specifically Two Harbors, with  Edna G., built in 1896 and assisted freighters for 80 years.  [You can find previous appearances of this tug on this blog here. ]

Next we go to Sturgeon Bay with  John Purves. She was built in 1919 [at Beth Steel in Elizabeth NJ, I might add] and during World War 2 found herself armed with machine guns on her deck and out in Alaska protecting the shipping channels….

A short ways away in Kewaunee is our next tug,  Ludington. She was also a war veteran. Originally built as LT-4 in 1943, she helped moved barges to Normandy on D-Day.

All the way down in Lake Erie, at the bow of the museum freighter Col. James M. Schoonmaker, is our next tug,  Ohio. She was built in 1903 as a fireboat, and stayed this way until she was bought in 1948 by the Great Lakes Towing Company, and converted into a tug. She served this job until 2015, and in 2018 was converted and restored with the purpose of being a museum ship.

Finally, we end in Lake Ontario in Oswego New York, where yet another war veteran has retired. This tug is USAT LT-5, which is a sister ship of Ludington. [In fact, Ludington is hull# 297, and Nash is hull# 298, from Jakobson in Oyster Bay NY.]  She was launched in 1943, had 50 caliber machine guns on her deck, and also helped haul barges to Normandy on D-Day.  [Her dimensions are 114′ x 25′ x 14′.  And on June 9, 1944, her Norwegian crew shot down a German fighter aircraft.]

Thank you for reading this post.  All pictures from museumships.us, which is remembering history one ship at a time.”

Thank much, Stewart.

And I could leave well done alone, but this is an opportunity to mention one more . . . Urger.  Here she is less than 10 miles from Lake Ontario, pulled over above lock O-3 by a state employee on a mission. He wanted to look the 1901 tug over and lamented his son wasn’t there to get the tour with him.  Hats off, officer.   The info on museumships here is, unfortunately, three years out of date.

June 2014

And why not another . . . Urger here in 2018 alongside The Chancellor.

Last two photos,WVD.

 

I started this series yesterday to complement the Clyde S VanEnkvort article.  Without the crewman below, you might have difficulty identifying what this shows.

It’s the bow of Erie Trader after a night on Lake Superior.

The photo below shows the location from which I shot the photo above.  Note how calm the cold waters of Superior are.

Here’s a side view of that same crow’s nest, with wind-down icicles.

In addition to the reason I gave yesterday for clearing ice, there’s another;  hatch covers must be cleared to open when we get to the dock.

Sledge hammers and crowbars work, so do propane torches.

When we tied up at the dock, I went ashore to photograph ice buildup elsewhere on the ATB.

The reddish coating of everything on the dock is ore, taconite, semi-processed iron ore.

Seven hundred miles away and several days away we docked to Detroit to discharge about 35,000 tons of ore at the fiery steel plant.

 

Air temperature was in the single digits, and not far from the steel plant fires, ice floating past in the Detroit River

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I’m still looking for someone who might get a photo of that exotic ship coming into the sixth boro early this month.  But I also still don’t have a firm ETA for that vessel, Decisive.  She’s still out at sea but never in this  voyage has she been laying cable; as I understand it, she’s a cable “de-layer.”

 

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