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. . . and I hope they’ll soon all be goneHere‘s the ordering info.

I’ve intended this project to be transmedia, ie, same event told in several formats . . . in this case on paper and on the blog.  I took the photo  for the January page in the early afternoon of January 10, 2019. As we [and that we will be defined soon] approached Mission Point, we encountered Wilfred Sykes to port and the Sugar Island ferry about to take Sykes‘ stern and cross in front of us. note the crewman breaking ice on the deck of our barge.

The temperatures at this point were around 10 F.   In my opinion, the 1949 Sykes is among the most beautiful lakers operating on the Upper Lakes.  Read the link at the start of the previous sentence for all the superlatives she earned back in her first years of service.

Crews in winter break ice so that hatch covers can be opened;  note the four doing so as we pass.

 

In midafternoon light, darkness is not far away.  This year, 2020, Sykes is already in winter layup in Sturgeon Bay WI.

Please order some calendars if you’ve not yet done so;  it’s already January 3, so 2021 is only 363 days away . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful for the orders already submitted and monies sent to SeaScouts.

Daylight hours are getting very short, reiterating summer 2019 is no more, but I’ve still got photos left from gallivants of warmer and brighter days this year, like this one of a

downbound Thunder Bay passing Rock Island Light, once legitimately tended by an erstwhile pirate William Johnston.

 

Later as we continued towards Lake Onrario, we followed Atlantic Huron, an ore boat we seem to have encountered frequently this season, here leaving Carleton Island to port and

Wolfe to starboard.

Soon after passing Tibbetts Point Light, we entered the NE corner of

Ontario.  By the way, the hostel beds previously available at Tibbetts Light will soon be no more.

And as Atlantic Huron disappeared in the distance, we passed John D. Leitch,

passing the light at Charity Shoal, a light over an impact crater.

I love that steering pole.

 

Then Leitch entered the funnel, leaving Wolfe Island to port and downbound waters become the Saint Lawrence.

All photos from a few warmer months back by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

 

This Stella Polaris . . . a very common vessel name for obvious navigation reasons, is less than 400′ and about 20 years old.  The curious building off the bow is the Boldt Castle Power House and Clock Tower . . .  or BCPHCT.

Algoma Conveyor, SLSWmax, was still under construction a year ago in Jiangsu, China.

Narie is another recent Chinese built cargo ship

in the Great Lakes, I’ve read, for the first season, although other Polsteam boats have worked there for some years.

The oldest Great Lakes port in the US is Oswego, and it sees lakers like the Japan-built cement ship NACC Argonaut fairly frequently.

With the right vessel, one can travel from the Great Lakes directly to NYC, of course, and when we did, we ran into Disney Magic, Italian built, Bahamian flagged, and Spain overhauled.

Making this likely the most diverse “random ships” post ever, here’s P61, an Irish patrol vessel named for Samuel Beckett. Unless I’m mistaken, this “writers” class comprises the largest vessels in the Irish Naval Service. Here’s a photo of Beckett leaving town yesterday taken by frequent commenter Phil Gilson.

Cembay is another Japan built cement carrier, 1997, shuttling between the US and Port Daniel QC. 

And finally . . .  YM World is, as of this posting, steaming toward Savannah, after shifting boxes here in Bayonne.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp within the past 30 days.

What a view Toronto offers from the lake!!  no matter the time . . . day or  . . .

night or day.  Here Salvage Monarch heads out.

Hope takes a spud barge out to the job.

In the Port Lands, this unnamed vessel all decked out in camouflage paint waits.

Maybe someone can help with more names too. . .

Or stories . . . ?

 

Iron Guppy wins my prize for most colorful name.  Bravo to the school kids who dubbed it such.

And here’s the story that links Iron Guppy with William Rest.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Daybreak finds us entering the Welland Canal, taking a pilot from J. W. Cooper.

The past few weeks at MRC have brought the decapitation of Algorail.

Tecumseh is docked just below lock 8.

Algosea slips into the parallel lock chamber at lock 4, upbound.

We encounter NACC Argonaut as she heads upbound below lock 2.

Then we switch pilots at Lake Ontario level and

we pass Ojibway as we make a course for Toronto.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I’m posting from Montreal, the M in the series title MB.  So I’ve  some catching-up to do.

Let’s start in a waterway where deckhands have an additional task, one involving hand signals.

I commend the deckhands for their polite signals given the crowding.

All proceeds with minimal horn blasts and absence of injury.

 

Some hand signaling has to be repeated though. Have you guessed the town, the waterway?

It’s Cleveland of course with its much-loved Cuyahoga.

 

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

This post covers the St. Clair River (in the wee hours) and down to Detroit.  If it seems that it’s just a chronological series of photos of the voyage, well . . . yes, that’s what it is, and what’s wrong with that.

Can you identify the vessel that we passed between 0415 and 0430?  I’ll give the answer at the end of the post.

We followed Kaye E. Barker into the sixth Great Lakes. . .

Partway across, we both passed Atlantic Huron.

 

Just south of Belle Isle, we saw Bristol Bay with her barge and

still farther, Cheyenne light.

Federal Seto was moored near the Boblo-marked building, and

The last two boats for this post are Iver Bright and

Patricia Hoey.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

The mystery vessel was Paul R. Tregurtha.

 

xx

 

Crossing in front of Saginaw Bay, it was Federal Ruhr and

CSL St. Laurent . . . with its Seakeeper artwork on the superstructure.

Barge Ashtabula is pushed by

tug Defiance.

Then it’s Happy River and

(I believe) Saginaw.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

x

x

Yesterday’s post covered some of the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan.  Today it’s the Straits of Mackinac and part of the top of Lakes Huron.

Mesabi Miner headed for the mills at the south of Lake Michigan.

 

Great Republic passed between Mackinac Island and Round Island.

The following morning’s sunrise put golden colors on John J. Boland. 

Hon. James L. Oberstar followed Boland to the Staits.

Algoma Compass followed shortly behind.

Here was a surprise . . . . Highland Eagle heading for some more core sampling in the Straits.

 

Off Alpena, we crossed paths with Baie Comeau and

Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin.

More to come, provided that I find WIFI . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This begins a new series, and I’ll post only when I can get on WIFI.  “Montreal bound” will soon devolve to MB.  Logistics causes me to post with a few days lag, so I’m posting from Buffalo.

To start, this is the closest I’ve been to Roger Blough so far.  One of these years, I’ll see her in much greater detail.

Since I’ve switched vessels most of this years, here’s my former ride . . . Grande Mariner, Chicago bound.  By now she’s been in Chicago a few days.

Off Wisconsin, we passed Sarah Andrie towing A-390,

Tonawanda-bound.

At the Fincantieri Bay yard in Sturgeon Bay, I saw what I believe are portions of the new VanEnkevort barge.

At the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, I enjoyed the works of its namesake and benefactor, Gerhard CF Miller, and this drawing from 1883.

No stop here would be complete without a glance at the Elizabeth NJ-built John Purves.

But leaving town by the ship canal, I had my greatest surprise . . . these two USCG 22′ ice rescue airboats.  The Door peninsula is happy they are here. 

I never knew the USCG had such equipment.  These are cell phone pics, because if I had run to my bunk to grab my camera . . . I would have missed the shot altogether.

All photos and any errors by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

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