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Let’s try a variation:  I’ve random tugs and random ships, in which I’ve confined most pics to a single general location and a a single photographer . . . me.  “Really random tugs” combines locations, eras, and photographers.  So why not do the same with ships, although in this case I’ve taken almost all the photos but in a variety of locations and times.

But this first one launches the concept.  What can you surmise or identify about the photo below, not taken by me?  Answer at the end of this post.

Spring brings the Great Lakes back to life. Here is a March 11 AIS capture of traffic on the Lakes.  The “arrows” are US and Canadian CG doing ice ops.  The rivers system around Chicago has some traffic.

The NOAA satellite image below provides the explanation . . .  what looks ice covered IS.  With the Soo scheduled to open on Monday, March 25, icebreaking carries high priority.   Note Green Bay as well.

March 22 marked the opening of the Welland Canal.  The first upbound ship this year was Thunder Bay;  this photo I took in Quebec in October 2017.  The first down bounder through the Welland was Algoma Spirit, but I’ve never gotten a photo of her.

Kaye E. Barker was the first springtime vessel out of Duluth;  I took this photo in the last week of navigation before the Soo closed on January 15.  The Soo is scheduled to open on Monday, March 25.

The KVK is a busy place all year round, although it’s not uniformly busy.  On this day last month, Alpine Maya followed Port Richmond, which  followed Atlantic Sun.

Stolt Integrity here stemmed while waiting to replace the tanker in the distance to leave the berth.

Tankers come in a variety of sizes;  Selasse is a particular small one.

By now, have you figured out that first photo?  I’ll give you a clue:  vessel name is Nggapulu and as of last night she was in BauBau.

Traffic moves at all hours;  night photos turn out quite unsatisfying, but golden hour ones I enjoy.  Can you guess the hull color on this one?

Foreshortening belies the amount of distance actually between the stern of the Evergreen ship and Diane B/John Blanche.

The colorful Stena tankers, bears and all,  seem to appear mostly in winter.

So here you have the answer, sort of.  Indonesia, being a far-flung archipelago supports a ferry system called Pelni, an acronym.  As an example of distances here, find Jakarta lower left.  From there to Makassar roughly in the center is 1000 miles!  Pelni operates about two dozen ferries of various designs.  Ngga Pulu has classic lines and was launched in 2002.

Here’s an English language site about traveling the archipelago.   Restless?  Aye peri!

Many thanks to Hannah Miller for sharing the photo of Ngga Pulu.  I’m not sure how that’s pronounced, but it’s named for a mountain.  Learning about Pelni and seeing this map gives me a whole new appreciation of Dewaruci.

Here was the first use of the title.

I took the first four photos here on May 25, 2018 in Washburn WI.  Don’t know where Washburn is?  It’s near the SW end of Lake Superior, just south of Bayfield, and I was searching for fish tugs, i.e., focused.  I recall noticing the masts and that pinky stern over beyond the boat in the foreground.

The mast rake and size was familiar, as were the ratlines.  And the stern lines .  .  . truly unique.

I even walked over there and thought the details of the bow . . .  what I call the head rig . . .  was something I’d seen before.

I recall the words “Thomas Colvin” bubbled to the surface of my brain.  But I saw this before 0800 at the start of a long day that would involved a car trip to Sault Sainte Marie, i.e., lots of miles to gallivant safely while seeing the most interesting sights. That trip ended and led into another in my picaresque journey through this part of my life.

And then yesterday, the social media entity I call “bookface” popped this photo to the surface as having been posted 11 years ago, exactly.  Indeed that was me, slouching way back into a pinky stern, keeping my feet clear of any adjustments the tiller man needed.

And a friend wrote to ask, “and where is that boat these days?”

I was busy at that moment, so only later in the afternoon did I get back to the question.  Since google helps answer a lot of such questions, I consulted it and came up with Rosemary Ruth Sailing Charters out of Washburn WI. At first, I regretted having been through Washburn twice in May.  How could I not have seen it, I wondered.  That led me to go to my photo library . . . thinking I’d seen it and it hadn’t registered.

But there she is, in plain sight, close enough that I could have touched it.  For photos of this delightful small schooner, click here.  For photos of her high and dry from 12 years ago showing the weld signature that I should have checked in Washburn, click here.   For photos of me on the tiller, click here. Then owner Richard Hudson (click on his tag at the top of the post)  put her on the land while he got Issuma, a sturdier schooner. and sailed tens of thousands of miles touching four continents and crossing the Northwest Passage.  For some of those photos, click here.   See Richard’s own blog, as his journey continues, here. For some video, click here.

Thanks to bookface and thanks to Tom Briggs for asking her whereabouts.

Many thanks to Lee Rust for working with the two photos immediately below, showing a boat frequently featured here.

Photo to the left was taken near the elevators in Manitowoc in a slip now filled in and frequently piled high with coal adjacent to Badger‘s slip. In the 1959 photo, the tug was owned by C. Reiss Coal Company. The tug had recently been repainted and repowered (1957).   Badger gets regular maintenance, so a similar treatment of that vessel would not evoke the same emotions.

Technically, the two photos above were 58 years apart, so I added the two below which I took in Lyons NY earlier in 2019; hence, six decades apart.

 

Thanks to Lee and Jeff for providing these photos.

Unrelated:  Check out freighterfreak’s photos from Duluth here.

Anyone have similar juxtapositions of a single vessel or vehicle across time, please send it in.

If you haven’t heard, a serious fire broke out on St. Clair last Saturday night in Toledo, OH, actually the eastern industrial suburb called Oregon, where a number of lakers are in winter layup at the CSX Torco dock.  Torco expands to (TOledo ORe railroad COmpany).  These photos were taken Monday or Tuesday, to the best of my knowledge, by Corey Hammond, a friend of a friend.

Some basic facts: St. Clair is a 760′ ore boat operating for American Steamship Company, or ASC, launched in Sturgeon Bay WI in 1975.  She transported diverse cargo with a capacity of 44,000 tons.  It appears the fire is now out, but investigation has possibly only just begun.  No one was injured.  Adjacent vessels –see Great Republic below–likely sustained little or no damage.

I never got photos of St. Clair underway, but here is a blogpost by a friend Michigan Exposures. 

To me, besides being tragic, this is a cautionary tale, an illustration of the fire triangle. If you wonder about the value of fire drills, here’s a good reminder of what happens in a fire and what science undergirds fighting one, with analogy provided by Ernest Hemingway. 

I’ll mostly let the photos speak for themselves.

 

 

One node of the fire triangle mentioned above is fuel.  Given the other two nodes–heat and oxygen, materials not commonly thought of as fuel do burn and fast.  Here’s a demo in  residential setting, well worth a view . . . how fast a fire spreads in one minute.

Vessel farthermost ahead is ASC’s John J. Boland, smaller than St. Clair. 

 

It looks gutted and heat deformed.

 

Boatnerd also has reportage on the St Clair fire.

There will be followup stories.

Many thanks again to Corey Hammond and Tim Hetrick for these photos.

Here are previous tugster posts called “ice and fire.”

 

Last winter I planned a trip along the southern shore of Lake Erie, hoping to catch photos of lakers in ice.  The results were here, a week after ice out, a schedule that depended on someone else’s time off.  It was a fun trip, but the photos I hoped for eluded me.  Well, Brian caught them in the photos below.  GL New York (1913) and Rhode Island (1930) are frozen in, and Oberstar is so deep in hibernation that her shutters are pulled down.

 

Between the stern of Oberstar and the bow of Presque Ile in the distance, that’s Dorothy Ann, half the ATB with . . .

barge Pathfinder, launched in 1953 as the ore boat J. L. Mauthe.  The stern of the newly-renamed barge Maumee clearly shows the deep notch.  Maumee also started life as a 1953-launched ore boat.

er

Tug Victory, which worked in salt water for her first 25 years,  is laid up here between her barge Maumee, until recently called James L. Kuber, and J. S. St John.

Many thanks to Brian for letting me share these photos on tugster.

 

 

I’ll take a different tack here.  From a design perspective, Kaye E. Barker illustrates what I understand as the unique lines of the classic laker, sometimes called a longboat.  She was launched the same year I was born.  Combing through the records of her various owners, it might be possible to calculate the tonnage of payload she has transported and the profits generated, these days at 25,900 tons per load although previously less than that.

Click here for a slideshow of this vessel under the name Barker as well as her previous names:  Greene and Ford.  She’s the only AAA-class laker with a triple level house forward.

What became of one of her sister vessels–J. L. Mauthe–can be read about here.  I previously posted photos here of the sister boat that now barge Pathfinder.

Edwin H. Gott is one of the 13 “footers” aka “thousand-footers.”   Great Lakes Fleet–a CN company– has the best paint scheme, in my opinion.  Here’s an article on CN’s acquisition of GLF.

Cason J. Callaway is another GLF boat, but she has a cargo capacity of 25,300 tons versus 74,100 tons for Gott.

Although part of a different fleet than Barker above, Callaway embodies the same design referred to as AAA boats.

From this angle, you can see the long “skinny” hull.

In different light, time of day and a different lake, here’s Michipicoten on her last run of the season.  She’s currently in winter layup at DonJon Shipbuilding in Erie PA.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series.  I’m back in the sixth boro and Tugster-Tower-tied for a spell.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Because of a cold brisk wind, I shot some of these through glass, which is never a good idea.   But looking at this set, taken between Belle Isle and Sarnia, illustrate the variety of lakers, all in a context of not a single recreational vessel, something you’d never see in summer.

Select info from the excellent boatnerd site says this:  launched in 1943! from American Shipbuilding in Lorain OH, Cuyahoga was sold to Canadian interests in 1995, cargo capacity of 15, 675 tons, 620′ x 60′ and converted from steam to diesel between the 1999 and 2000 seasons.  She’s the second oldest Canadian vessel on the Lakes, younger only by a month than Mississagi.

Note the house forward and boom pointing aft.

Tecumseh (641′ x 78′) is also a Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. boat, also built in the US . . . in Seattle at Lockheed Shipbuilding in 1972.  Because she has no self-unloader, she discharges her maximum 29,510 tons of cargo using shore gear.  For more info, click here at boatyard.   [Autocorrect always wants to replace my “boatnerd” with  “boatyard.”]

Robert S. Pierson is the last Lower Lakes boat in this post.  It too was built in Lorain OH, in 1973 and was sold and registered Canadian in 2008.  At 630′ x 68′ she has a capacity of 19,650 tons.  Of course,by now you’ve noticed her house is aft with her self-unloader pointing forward.   Much more detail can be found here.

Hon. James L. Oberstar was launched in 1959.  At 710′ loa, only a handful of boats on the Lakes were longer, including the Edmund Fitzgerald at 729.’  She was lengthened to 806′ between the 1970-71 seasons.  A self-unloader was added between the 1980-81 seasons. In 2008, she was repowered, replacing a steam turbine with a diesel.   Her cargo capacity is 31,000.  Again, much more info can be found here.   Notice that in contrast with  Cuyahoga above, Oberstar has house forward and self-unloader boom pointing forward.

The white steam is evidence of the emissions scrubbers pioneered on Oberstar in 2016, and now visible on other Interlake Steamship boats like Paul R. Tregurtha and James R. Barker.

CSL Tadoussac, already in winter layup and light here, has the same basic configuration as Oberstar, but is less curvaceous.  She was launched in 1969 in Collingwood ON but extensively rebuilt before the 2001 season.  Currently she is 730 x 77′ and has cargo capacity of 30,151 tons.  Her namesake is an early settlement dating from before Jaques Cartier on the St. Lawrence downstream from Quebec City.   Boatnerd has her complex her here.  Alice Oldendorff is part of the very diverse CSL fleet.

To round out this post, let me add a tanker.  Truth be told, I include this photo here partly because of the dramatic difference in scale between the ship and the tanker truck alongside.  I’m not sure what product the trailer tank is there to deliver or receive.

Algoma Hansa was built in Mobile AL in 1998.  She entered Canadian waters for the first time in 2013, and for the past few years has worked mainly in Algoma’s domestic fleet.  Is it  correct to assume the Canadian fleet relies more on tankers for what in the US is transported by large ATBs?

Let’s leave it here.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these comparisons as much as I have.

All photos and information interpretation by Will Van Dorp, who is solely responsible for any errors.

Oh, and if the Tugster Tower internet wizards sent you a puzzling 404 error message in lieu of yesterday’s URL, try this:  https://tugster.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/late-season-lakers-1/

Ice causes major disruptions, like the ones in Troy NY this morning.

Most of my previous posts featuring lakers were ice-free.  Even ones from a road trip I took specifically to see ice were ice-free.  Alpena had just lost her icy jacket.

Yet, I’m fascinated by navigation through the ice.  These photos give a sense of two weeks ago;  not it’s worse although most of the navigation has ceased here for winter hiatus.  I caught photos of CSL Assiniboine about 50 miles from here last September.  I love the curve she makes here in the icy St Marys River.

The classic Wilfred Sykes makes the turn down bound out of the Soo, where wind turbines catch power on the ridge. I’ve seen her before, but these are the first good photos I’ve gotten.

You can hear Sykes here in this video from almost two years ago, as she becomes the last laker to depart Escanaba with a load of ore.

And finally, for this installment, these shots of Ojibway in the Poe Lock show

what locks in winter look like.

As she heads down bound, she passes USCGC Katmai Bay WTGB-101, the first of the 140′ ice breaker class,

a 40-year-old vessel based in the Soo.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Long before Marvel comics and their several versions of rebirth, a crop of folk heroes existed, with stories that originated in the oral tradition, at least so it seems to me.  And was the Paul Bunyan legend based on Saginaw Joe Fournier?

No matter.  Here’s the first workboat I can recall aptly named for one.  The paint may be scuffed,

the name boards in need of rehab, but

she looks ready to break out of the ice and lift some gates.  By Great Lakes standards, she’s not even that old, it seems, launched in Muskegon in 1944.  Has she been repowered?  She’s a barge, so the power would be only for the derrick machinery.

With the Soo Locks closed now and drained, it’s possible she’s hard at work lifting gates as needed.  Click here for another another and photos about the January 2019 closure of the locks.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

In an icy corner of the Soo, it’s Indiana, launched in 1926 and still on the roster.

Over at the Algoma Steel plant, it’s Leonard M, and

nearby, it’s Sharon M I.

This isn’t a great photo, but it shows both McKeil Marine tugs at the steel plant.

Farther around the lake in Two Harbors, it’s Nels J and

Edna G, a survivor from 1896.  Oh, the stories she could tell.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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