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Are you still making calendars?  Here’s another set of 12 candidates, if my count is right.

January could be American Integrity, a product of Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1000′ loa x 105′ and when loaded and photographed from this angle, she looks impossibly long.  Her size keeps her confined to the four upper lakes, being way too large for the Welland Canal.

Since these are two of the same vessel, one could be the inset.  This shot of American Integrity discharging coal at a power plant in East China, MI, seems to shrink her.

Radcliffe R. Lattimer has truly been around since her launch in mid-1978.  Besides the usual plethora of Great Lakes ports, she’s worked between Canada and the Caribbean, been taken on a five-month tow to China for a new forebody, and made trips on the lower Mississippi and Hudson.  I took this photo just south of Port Huron.

Here Arthur M. Anderson waits to load at the docks in Duluth.  I’d love to hear an estimate of tons of bulk cargo she’s transported since her launch in 1952.  For many, Anderson will forever be remembered as the last vessel to be in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald in November 1975.

Here’s Whitefish Bay upstream from Montreal.  Click here to see her and fleet mate Baie Comeau christened side by side at the Chengxi Shipyard in Jianyin, China, in November 2012.

Cedarglen is another laker that has seen major design changes in its superstructure, having first launched in 1959 in Germany with the bridge midships.  She has the same bridge.  Down bound here near Ogdensburg NY, she’s worked on the Great Lakes since 1979.

Walter J.  McCarthy Jr., here down bound on Lake Superior is another of the thirteen 1000′ boats working the upper four lakes.

Kaye E. Barker has been working since 1952, here in Lake St. Clair down bound.  That’s the tall parts of Detroit in the distance.

Algoma Integrity was launched in 2009 as Gypsum Integrity.

Cason J. Callaway is another 1952 ship, here discharging cargo in Detroit.

Algoway was launched 1977.  Will she be there for the 2018 season?

So from this angle you might think this too will be a laker . . . ., right?

She once was of the same class as Callaway and Anderson above, but .. . between end of the 2007 season and the beginning of the 2008, she was converted to a barge and married to the tug Victory.

Victory was built in 1980.

And to close out the mosaic that is the December page on our hypothetical Lake 2 calendar, it’s a close up of Victory at the elevator in Maumee OH.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who believes that the number of single hulled lakers will decrease as ATB design becomes predominant.

 

To start, these are boats, I’m told, not ships.  I first saw the type as a kid, reading a book that made an impression and crossing the St Lawrence on the way to the grandparents’ farm.

I’ve posted Great Lakes photos a fair number of times in the past few years, so I continue CYPHER series here with Manitowoc –a river-size self unloader–departing Cleveland for Milwaukee.

Alpena–1942–with the classic house-forward design transports cement.  I was thrilled to pass her late this summer on a magnificent Lake Huron afternoon.

Although you might not guess it, Algoma Harvester was built here half a world away from the Lakes.  To get to her trading waters, she crossed two oceans, and christened less than four years ago.  The selling point is that she carries more cargo than typically carried within the size parameters of a laker (Seawaymax), requires fewer crew, and exhausts cleaner.  I took the photo on the Welland.

Thunder Bay hails from the same river in China as Algoma Harvester and just a year earlier.  The photo was taken near Montreal in the South Shore Canal.

Tim S. Dool was built on a Canadian saltwater port in 1967.  I caught her here traversing the American Narrows on the St. Lawrence.

American Mariner was built in Wisconsin in 1979.   In the photo below she heads unbound on Lake St. Louis. I’ve seen her several times recently, here at night and here upbound St. Clair River.

Baie St. Paul is a slightly older, nearly identical Chinese built sister to Thunder Bay.

Algolake, launched 1977,  was among the boats built in the last decade of the Collingwood Shipyard.  

Lee R. Tregurtha, here down bound in Port Huron,  has to have among the most interesting history of any boat currently called a laker.  She was launched near Baltimore in 1942 as a T-3 tanker, traveled the saltwater world for two decades, and then came to the lakes.  I  also caught her loading on Huron earlier this year here.

Mississagi is another classic, having worked nearly 3/4 of a century on the Lakes.

Buffalo, 1978 Wisconsin built, and I have crossed paths lots recently, earlier this month here.  The photo below was taken near Mackinac;  you can see part of the bridge off her stern. Tug Buffalo from 1923, the one going to the highest bidder in five days, now stands to go to the bidder with $2600 on the barrelhead.

I’ll close this installment out with lake #12 in this post . . . .    Hon. James L. Oberstar, with steel mill structures in the background, has been transporting cargo on the lakes since the season of 1959.  She is truly a classic following that steering pole. See Oberstar in her contexts here, here, and really up close, personal, and almost criminally so for the diligent photographer, here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  More to come.

 

 

George sent me these photos months ago, and I apologize for leaving them in storage for so long. But since I have a lull in traveling, these photos need to come out now, starting with Deschenes, about which I’ll have more to say at the end of this post.  This photo was taken in the interestingly named town of De Tour Village, MI, a place definitely on my list for a summer trip.

As I reconstruct George’s journey, which started and ended the same day in Sault Ste Marie MI, he drove close to 500 miles to get these photos.  I’ve rearranged the order.  This fish tug on the Garden Peninsula appears to be called Morning Star, although likely in earlier days it had a different name.  I skipped this peninsula on my trip last summer.

Farther east and south, he shot Siscowet (1946) over the fence.  As of some time ago, the Burger Boat vessel was still not scrapped.

Lake Explorer, built 1963 as a USCG 82′ cutter, is now retired from the Minnesota Sea Grant program. No doubt, the vessel below has shifted some of its work to Lake Guardian, which I caught here entering Milwaukee harbor.

Krystal started life as 45′ ST 2168, later USACE Thunder Bay, launched by Roamer Boat in 1953. Some Roamer STs previously posted on this blog can be located here.

LARCs . . . here’s one.

This tug yacht . . .  George had no clues about.  Anyone?

Linda Jean, built in Green Bay in 1950, spent a quarter century as a fish tug before transformation into a pilot boat, a role she continues–I believe–to serve. I’ve long been intrigued by fish tugs.    In the distance, that’s Drummond Islander IV, 148′ x 43′ with 32-car capacity, since 2000 providing year-round service to  . . . Drummond Island.  Click here for the great shots of her “walking” over the ice on a -15 degrees F morning.  How can drones even work in that?

If there were plans to scuttle this Chicago River icebreaker fireboat as a dive site over a decade ago, well, only skydivers could descend on her in her location as of some months back.  It’s Fireboat Engine No. 37 aka Joseph Medill, launched in 1949 and retired in 1936 1986.

My reason for starting out with George’s photo of Deschenes is that she is for sale.  Here’s a photo of the boat in 2003.

Here she is out of the water at Passage Boat Works in De Tour, MI, and

and here’s the paperwork.  If interested, here’s more:  asking price is $22,000.00 and contact is Les Thornton at les.d.thornton@gmail.com

Thanks to George and Les for use of these photos.

And happy thanksgiving, today and every day.

Unrelated:  Enjoy this slide show of the work leading up to the opening on the VZ Bridge 53 years ago today, and below, that’s Sarah D outbound under the VZ near midsummer earlier this year at 0530  . . .

I missed the ship  at first, even though I was looking for it.  Then its slow steady movement caught my attention.  Behold the bunker carrier Buffalo in Cleveland

steaming upstream without tug assist, although it has thrusters.  There’s 68′ beam of this self-unloading bulker winding her way upstream.

See the green-domed clock tower on the ridge?  On the photo above it’s just to the left of the bow mast of Buffalo.  That’s Westside Market.

See the West Side Market on the map below?  And the red line in the river heading its way under the Detroit Avenue bridge?  That was my location for these shots. Destination was somewhere near the red circle below.  Imagine shoehorning a 634′ ship through here?

 

And whatever reputation the Cuyahoga had a half century ago, there’s river life stirred up here, as evidenced by the gulls.  Anyone know what draws the gulls?

The folks in the apartments on the ridge (along W 25th Street) must have an enviable view of this traffic.  Invite me to visit?

 

Again, what amazes me is the absence of tug assist.  And learning to pilot this . . . I’m impressed.   See this location in a time-lapse at 11 seconds in this short video.  And the outbound leg is done stern wise, as seen at about the 6:00 mark in this video. 

Cleveland . . . I’ll be back.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who posted the first of this series here.  See a bit more of Buffalo on the Cuyahoga here.

 

The previous post in this series shows the port in  the late 19th century, so I’d say it’s high time to update.  This lighthouse dates to 1934, and I’ve long wondered why the buildings have not received a much-needed re-painting.

Oceanis appears not to be a commercial vessel, at least not now, but the hull was surely inspired by something large and seaworthy.

 

Stephen B. Roman, however, carries her weight among all the hard working vessels on the Lakes.  Any guesses what the B. stands for?    Answer follows.

 

Essroc is one of two cement companies delivering to the port of Oswego.

And these ingots regularly delivered by Wilf Seymour and Alouette Spirit?  You may see them next as Ford F-series parts stamped out by Novelis Oswego.

x

The B. is for Boleslav.  Stephen Boleslav Roman was a mining engineer.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Way in the distance where the waterway narrows, that’s lock E-11 and accompanying moveable dam, Amsterdam NY.  Click here for closer-ups of some of the Erie Canal locks and bank scenery.

I saw no names anywhere as this catamaran cut dynamic grooves into a calm river, where I was waiting–in vain–for a vessel in the opposite direction, hoping to get photos of it navigating through the morning mist.  By this time, that mist had dissipated.

Here Bear motorsails westward past Little Gull light . . .

Anyone help with the name of this large sloop in the sixth boro about three weeks back?

It looked to be about 60–70′  . . .

America 2.0 plied harbor waters operations

out of Chelsea Piers.

Off Croton Point, this metallic-looking catamaran headed upriver.

Again, I noticed no name, but the flag could say Bermuda.

Even as the mainsail is lowered, Clearwater is unmistakeable.

And this brings up back up to the Oswego Canal, it’s brigantine St Lawrence II;

her rig conspicuously missing tells me it went on ahead on a truck.  St. Lawrence II here was nearing Oswego.

And to close this out, here are three photos from Lake Erie, late summer.

 

 

All photos recently by Will Van Dorp, who by this time should be back on the St. Lawrence River.

 

We continue along the Great Coast, now on Lake Erie, a place of

dramatic early morning skies.

And lakers against the canary daybreak.

Calumet has just left the Cuyahoga,

Italcementi Essroc has the very best logo . . .

and Stephen B. Roman has worn it for some time now, as it also has the distinction of being the first vessel to break out of the Toronto winter ice most years.

The engineering department catches some air and ambience entering Cleveland on a late summer evening.

See the hatch in the hull of Buffalo directly below the ladder on the port side?

J. S. St John (1945!) is a sand dredge I’d love to see under way.  I caught these two slightly different angles in Erie PA.

 

And finally, American Mariner–possibly transporting grain to ADM in Buffalo–makes her way into port and up the ship canal after dark sans assistance.  Two details not captured by these photos include the sound of crew opening hatches and the effect of three spotlights picking up a variety of landmarks along its path in.

Here’s the scoop (pun intended!) on the purple lights on the Connecting Terminal elevator.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I could barely make her out, since we were several miles off a shore I was paying attention to for its own sake.  Some closeups taken last year appear at the end of the post, showing Lee A. Tregurtha as she’s put together now, so different from her first lives in the Atlantic and Pacific which could have seen her torpedoed and coral- or something-encrusted in the deeps.

Some major quarrying takes place there, north of Alpena MI,

rendering a +800′ ship almost invisible.

I know I’m exaggerating, but this enterprise leads me to imagine that Lake Huron might be enlarged here until there becomes an Upper Peninsula and a Lower one with a long coastline between Huron Beach and Petoskey,  creating the island of Cheboygan in between and a cable-stayed crossing at Indian River.

Yes, I digress,

but some thousand years from now . . ..

who knows . .

 

So here’s how the fore section of  Lee A. looks today.  She was launched in 1942 as SS Samoset, then six months later acquired by the USN as USS Chiwawa.

Here’s the distinctive stern.

The midsection arrived from Germany in 1960 towed by the tug Zeeland.

For all the details, here’s a tip of the hat to George Wharton and located on boatnerd.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I used to see this as a kid from my first beach while learning to swim.  Those eroded cliffs defined the edge of my world, making me wonder whether they could be an eighth wonder beckoning me to become the discoverer.

I find myself looking at this landscape again, six decades later, and wondering instead what the research boat is probing,

following what appears an erratic path,

past my first lighthouse, which back then I never imagined could be seen from this angle.  Here’s the lighthouse in winter almost a decade back.

Here’s the research boat, RV Kaho, whose christening I attended here three years ago.

Might these be among the bottom features Kaho seeks?

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Back to the Great Coast . . .  BBC Elbe has since I took this photo gone to Duluth, and then headed back out toward the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Kaye E. Barker approaches and

recedes, an illusion of her usual self played by the magic of Huron.

At sunrise it’s an upbound G3 Marquis, off to load

grain, I’d wager.

And as we pass through Detroit, we have an opportunity to see a self-unloader at work.

But what surprised me the most was overhearing a conversation about Cason J Callaway being a son of Georgia.  I was skeptical, but

but it turns out he’s the namesake of this laker launched in 1952.

The textile magnate was also a board member at USS.

Taconite from Minnesota, perhaps, and headed

 

here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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