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At some point, maybe days before April 23, 1921, at McDougall Duluth Shipyard, this vessel, Interwaterways Line Incorporated 101, or ILI 101, had taken shape on the ways.

After it slid down the ways at launch, it was followed by four sisters, all before summer began in 1921.  The 101 traveled via the Soo, three Great Lakes, and the Barge Canal  to New York with 83,000  bushels of oats (approximately 1300 tons… count the trucks or rail cars) at a rate 60% below the railroad cost.

As you can read below, 101 was the “advance courier of a fleet of new type of ships,” freighters specifically designed to transit the newly opened Barge Canal or Eriemax vessels.

The telegram below details of communication between 101 management and Canal management regarding a “representative familiar with the canal” aboard.  I’m wondering if this was a way of saying they needed a pilot, someone with relevant local knowledge.

 

That initial transit was made eastbound with wooden tugboat Lorraine.

Between 1910 and 1920, the time of the opening of the Barge Canal, the population of Fairport grew by almost 50%.  Note the low profile cargo hatches on the vessel at this time.

Later in August 1921, spectators were photographed coming to see her at E-21.  The steering pole hints at her Great Lakes roots.

Through the years, a number of modifications, detailed here, were made to the freight ship.  She was renamed Richard J. Barnes and later Day Peckinpaugh, her current name.   As Barnes, she carried coal along the East Coast and once dodged a torpedo launched from a German submarine.

1959?  Here she is just below lock E2 and the “flight of five” in Waterford.  All the other commercial vessels behind them, stretching all the way back to the Hudson River, I’ve read they are stuck there because of an issue with another lock in the flight.  In other words, this is a smaller version of the back up a month ago due to Ever Given in the Suez Canal.

Also note in the photo above tug Urger on the opposite side of the channel.  Urger is no stranger to this blog and, in my opinion, another critically endangered vessel with a NYS Canal history.  I worked as deckhand on Urger for the 2014 season, when she was in her 113th year.

1963.  Here she is northbound on the Oswego Canal at Phoenix NY.

 

1994.  Eastbound at Rome NY with her last load of cement, the only type of cargo she carried from 1961 until 1994, she passes the freighhouse, now incorporated into Bellamy Harbor Park.  The terminal lies less than a mile ahead, off her portside.  At a special widening ahead either before or after discharging cargo, she’d turn around.  Compare her special cement hatch/manifold arrangement below with the configuration in the photo taken in Fairport in 1921.

1994.  Here’s a video still of her exiting a lock after having discharged her last cargo, heading home, so to speak, to an uncertain future.

2005.  After more than a decade being “laid up” in Erie PA and just before she might have been scrapped, she was purchased by an alliance that included the New York State Museum, the Canal Society of New York State, the New York State Canal Corporation, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, and New York State Marine Highway Transportation Co., Inc.  On this trip to a new role, the 84-year-old freighter was escorted by Benjamin Elliott, as she had been by Lorraine 84 years earlier.  I missed this, but from accounts I’ve heard, this was a triumphal return.  She’s currently an accessioned artifact of the New York State Museum.

2005.  From that same voyage, she exits the downside of lock E17.

2009.  During the year of the Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial, she traveled under her own power as far south as the sixth boro of NYC and Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

2009.  I took this photo of her hold, a vast space that has potential as an exhibit space inside a traveling artifact from NYS canal history, whose history demonstrates the connection the Erie Canal  makes between the Great Lakes and salt waters.

 

2021.  She’s still afloat, raised from the bottom of the canal as a result of the routine annual winter lowering of water level.  She’s afloat for her one hundredth spring, but needs her potential recognized once again.  Stan Rogers wrote a song performed here by Makem and Clancy that captures the attitude needed to rekindle the flame, clarifies the vision, and saves her from the scrappers or the reef.  Maybe someone from the New York State Museum can comment on their vision for this last of her type.  A sister vessel, ILI 105 lies rusting away in Staten Island.

Some of my previous posts on the vessel can be seen here.  Many thanks to all who contributed photos to this post:  Paul Strubeck, John Callahan, Craig Williams.  Any opinions are my own and any errors mine as well.

One goal I have for this post is to try to unearth more images of this vessel pre-1994.  Anyone help?

 

This is the same story as yesterday’s, but the perspective is different, thanks to a Great Lakes mariner.  New York slides the 509A into Black Rock Lock, a USACE facility.  By the way, Black Rock was a town that once rivaled Buffalo.

The photo above looks downbound, but the one below looks back toward Buffalo and to the stern of the tug.  Depending on conditions, one or sometimes two tugs are used.  To the left it’s Vermont;  to the right, New Jersey.    Vermont dates from 1914;  New Jersey, 1924.  It boggles my mind that one of the assist tugs is more than a century older than tug New York, launched 2019.

Here the unit heads down to Tonawanda.  Note New Jersey and Vermont

After discharging 50000 barrels of 300-degree hot asphalt, the unit turns back upstream.

Straight ahead here is the Niagara River and the speedy current this unit might never climb;  Black Rock Lock is off to the left.

When the 509A is loaded, it’s deeper in the water;  when it’s light, it’s way high.  Notice how little of the rocky margins of the Canal you can see. 

By this point, we’ve gotten south of the Peace Bridge;  a few more zigs to port and zags to starboard . . . and we’ve back into Lake Erie.

That’s the Buffalo skyline back there, as seen here in a previous post.  The barge goes onto the wire if the conditions warrant, and it’s Detroit bound, ETA 36 hours or so.

All photos, thanks to a Great Lakes mariner.

 

I hope you read my latest article, about Vane Brothers expanding to the Great Lakes.  Here tugboat New York pushes Double Skin 509A (A for asphalt) into the Black Rock Canal (or channel) near Buffalo.  Great history and aerial photos of the area can be seen here

In the photo above, the Vane unit came off Lake Erie just beyond the Buffalo Breakwater Light on the white pedestal.  Click here for the history of that light, that one in place since only 1961 because the previous was hit by Frontenac.  GL tug Vermont, a strong and youthful product of 1914!!!, provides the assist.  There are multiple turns in the Black Rock Canal, and bridges

such as the 1927 Peace Bridge. 

 

The waterway is tricky because of the turns, bridges, and rocky sides.  Of course, those factors can be controlled much more easily than the factors just west of the canal, the Niagara River which has currents up to 10 knots.

 

Past the lock, which you’ll see in the next post, it’s downstream.  Vermont continues downstream, since it’ll be needed to assist in turning around at the terminal in Tonawanda.

I took these on a cold day in mid-December.  Taking photos with a zoom outside is an excellent way to socially-distance.  Others’ photos of this run and trade soon.

Click here to read an account in Vane’s Pipeline publication.

 

Well . . . a couple of Great Lakes mariners who prefer to remain nameless . . . but let’s start with a photo of Joel B from a few years ago.  She’s quite the attractive boat! Thanks so much to a GL Mariner for responding to Saturday’s post by sending another of that boat in better times.

This was taken in Muskegon;  the unnamed tug to the right sank at the dock, I’m told.

USCGC WMEC 146 McLane, launched 1927, has been a dockside display in Muskegon for more than two decades.

I’ve seen RV Laurentian once on Lake Huron, but here she is close up.

Andy Milne is a 1956 Russel Brothers tug, and as such, she’s well documented here at the Russel Brothers site.  Click here for various Russel Brothers tugs I’ve posted over the years.

The next three photos, taken by another Great Lakes mariner out exploring territory,  make up a panorama from left to right of the Lyons NY Canal drydock.  Here from l to r, it’s a tender (Dana?), DeWitt Clinton, various dredges, Syracuse, and Grouper.

This continues that pan, with l to r, a quarters (or accommodations)  barge, Syracuse, Grouper, and DB #2A.  DB expands to “derrick barge.”  On the hard and to the extreme right, note a buoy boat sans cabin.

And completing the pan, here are two new Canal Corp boats, wintering nose-to-nose, and DB #2B below them.

Many thanks to Great Lakes Mariners for use of these photos.

I’ve been to Muskegon a number of times and my photos can be found here.

Sorry about the photo size; it’s an ongoing struggle.

 I took these photos back in early August 2019 in the village where I learned to swim . . . Sodus Point.   When I asked a few people about it, I heard that it was a wreck, it was done  . . .  etc. 

The small schooner clearly had been loved at one time.

Last week I learned the good news that the lift had loaded it onto a trailer to take it to a yard for  . . .

restoration!  So I finally googled it, which I’d not thought to do before, and lo and behold . . . it has pedigree!  It was designed by William H. Hand, and launched in Rocky River OH in 1918.  The S. S. S. means “Sea Scout Ship.”  Thirty years ago, it had been trucked to Rivendell Marine, in Monument Beach MA in 1991. 

All photos, WVD, and story to be continued.

Photo and discussion below can be found on FB, John Kucko Digital . . .  December 21, 2020.  By the way, John Kucko is a legend up in western and central NYS. Tugboat in the background is Donald Sea.

Since this post features a sailing post, let me share what I’ve been watching, based on a suggestion of a reader from South Africa.

First a trip from the Falklands to Capetown on an impressive boat this past summer.

Then I learned the name of the boat and the concept developer, Skip NovakHere‘s more Skip Novak.

Then I learned of his latest project . . . 2020 into 2021, appropriate for these days.

Thx, Colin.  This is good winter fare.

Ontario here means the province and the lake.  In the NE corner of the lake lies Picton and Picton Terminals, homeport of a tug called Sheri Lynn S.  Well, Sheri Lynn S just got a big sister, and one place to start the story is in UAE, Sharjah a few months back . . . in August.

Captain Tjalling van der Zee, of van der Zee Marine Services was engaged to deliver the new tug Amy Lynn D or ALD, a Damen 3209 Shoalbuster, the 9414 nm from UAE to Lake Ontario.  Capt. van der Zee shared most of these photos.  Here is more Damen Shoalbuster info. The first part of the voyage mostly circumnavigated the Arabian peninsula.  Having lived there for three years, I can imagine the heat topping at least 100 F.

Part of the voyage transited areas of “unrest” and armed guards were on board for any annoyances, but these folks were just fishing.  Jeddah was passed on October 17.

This is a view from the wheelhouse northbound in the Suez Canal around October 20.   Pilots were required.  Any guesses on the total number of pilots taken on this 9400+ nm trip?  Answer follows.

ALD passed Sicily on October 26 . . . .  it had traveled light until Algeciras SP, where a barge Jacob Joseph C carrying three Damen tugs was met.  The small tugs were to be delivered to Halifax and Montreal.

This is the view of the barge from ALD after traveling offshore following the Great Circle.

Azores Ponta Delgada was seen on November 14. By the way, any idea of crew number?  How about daily fuel consumption?  All answers to follow.

An ingenious “selfie” was managed, albeit with an unsatisfactory camera, when instruments showed ALD and tow crossing fairly near an eastbound ship.

Big seas were part of the experience.

The tow arrived in Halifax on December 6.  Mac Mackay documented the safe arrival here.  Thx, Mac.

Two of the small tugs, both Damen Stan 1205 class, were offloaded in Halifax.

The remaining tug arrived in Montreal, where

it was discharged. 

 

To enter the Saint Lawrence Seaway, Jacob George C was put on the nose and

I’m not sure who took this photo, but I borrowed it from the Picton Terminals FB page.  It shows the tug and barge easing into a SLSW lock.

On the last morning, Nathan Jarvis, working on Robinson Bay, took this of the homestretch as ALD and JJC passed Clayton NY. 

And finally . . .  ALD and Jacob Joseph C tie up at Picton Terminals. 

Many thanks to Picton Terminals and Capt. van der Zee for use of photos and time.  Any errors are mine.

Some answers, 25 pilots, 6 crew (1 Dutch/South African and 5 Filipino), and approximately 1200 gallons of fuel daily. Last but not least . . . 82 nights on the boat.


Justin Zizes gets credit for the striking photo below.  He took it the other night from another vessel off Lower Manhattan.  That’s Jersey City forming a wall in front of the sunset sky. 

Erieborg is part of the Wagenborg family-owned fleet of 180+ small general cargo vessels.  They’re a common sight on the Great Lakes.  So on a whim, I checked where Erieborg had begun and where its voyage would take it.  Astonishingly, it’s headed from Albany to Hamilton Ontario.

The road distance between Albany (right) and Hamilton is no more than 350 miles.  By the Erie and Oswego Canals and Lake Ontario, it would be about the same.  Of course, the small cargo ship, exotic as it would look transiting the Erie Canal, is too large in every dimension.   The Erie Canal can handle vessels up to 300′ long, 43.5′ wide,  12′ draft, and 21′ air draft.  Any inklings on the dimensions of Erieborg above?

Erieborg is 452′ x 52.4′ beam, and draws 26.1 . . .  too long, wide, deep, and certainly high.  So what options does Erieborg have for transporting its cargo what would be 350 miles?  Pick a route and number for the distance and voyage time?

Here’s the route . . .  around Nova Scotia and far north between the Gaspe peninsula and Anticosti Island. 

I come up with 1955 nautical miles and a seven or eight day voyage at 10 kts and allowing for transit time in the Saint Lawrence Seaway, burning fuel at the rate of . . .  400 or so gallons an hour (my guess).

Thanks to Justin for use of his photo.  I wish I knew what the cargo was.

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 Loujaine 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, xlime, and Donna at Hobo for these photos.

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