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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.”

 

Almost exactly a year ago, I did a saltwater ice post here, and I’ve done related ones here. So since the article I wrote last year about a huge ore-carrying Great Lakes ATB is out and you can read it here, how about some photos that didn’t make it into the publication.

Above and below, ATB Clyde S Van Enkevort and Erie Trader find themselves a day and a night’s steaming north from Detroit, nearly at the north end of Lake Huron, where the cold air is creating sea smoke.

ATB Olive L. Moore and Menominee (I’d better be right or I’ll hear about it.) wait on the west side of DeTour Reef Light. Mackinac is not quite 50 miles to the west.

At Detour Passage, we depart Lake Huron and enter the St. Marys River.  Sault Ste Marie and Lake Superior are 75 miles up this river.  Ice forms more quickly on the shallower water.

Off the stern we look back at Lake Huron.

Crew prepare the landing gear.  Landing gear, you say?  Hold that question, I say.

On a turn, we meet CSL Assiniboine.

I think we are envied.  Unlike the two previous years, so far this 2020 winter . . . ice is “weak.”

Near Sault Ste Marie, we meet Wilfred Sykes, and the Sugar Island ferry crosses our bow, Sykes‘ stern.

WTGB-101 Katmai Bay is busy assisting in keeping the river open.

Recall I mentioned landing gear? . . .  technically it’s a landing boom, a quick way to get crew onto the lock to assist with the “locking through.”  In the earlier photo, ice was being removed from boom and its line, so that the line would run free but controlled to get the crew safely down the 20 feet or so to the chamber wall.

See the crew walking alongside the barge?  Out ahead, that’s a bay of Lake Superior.

As we head across that bay and ultimately into Superior, we pass Kaye E. Barker, who’s heading downstream for the Soo (or Sault) locks.

All photos by WVD, who’ll post more photos of the trip soon.  And I’d give a big shout-out to the captain and crew of Clyde for their hospitality and help with the article.

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.

 

Below was the lead photo in Whatzit 3, January 10,  2009.  Bowsprite took the photo from her cliff in late October of that year, and several months later asked me if I knew what it showed.  I had no clue.

Eventually we figured it out, and only recently it occurred to my “slowness” that the tow must have come through the Erie Canal. Now thanks to “group sourcing,” we know that this unusual tow did enter the NYS Canals in Oswego on October 19, 2008.  Kudos to Isaac Pennock for locating this page, credited to Jon Vermilye, whose site can be found here.

Above and below, M. R.  Kane arrived with the ex-future HMS Detroit and put it in push mode to enter lock O-8, entry point from the Great Lakes to the interconnected waterways to salt water.  For War of 1812 history fans, here‘s basic background on the construction and fate of the original HMS Detroit.

Notice the upper helm on the tug  . . . allowing the captain to see over the “tow”.

Here the tow departs lock O-6.

 

Many thanks to Jon, Isaac, and bowsprite for these photos. Is it possible that someone along the other 27 locks between Oswego O-6 and the sixth boro might have gotten photos of this unusual tow?  Maybe someone got photos of the tow at its final destination, which I think was somewhere in Narragansett Bay?  I checked with the owner of the tug here and they had none, they said.

Maybe one of these years, SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will make its way back to Oswego, via the Saint Lawrence, of course.

Isaac works on a Great Lakes freighter and has created this invaluable database.

 

. . . 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.

 

 

 

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