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“irrespective of operating conditions, all vessels must be clear of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section [of the St. Lawrence Seaway]  at 12:00 hours on December 31st, [2017].” quoted from Seaway Notice No. 26–2017

Above and below, Leonard M and Ocean A. Simard struggling to extricate Federal Biscay, as seen from Robinson Bay, on January 6, in temperatures double digits below zero, Fahrenheit.

Yet, here we are as of earlier this morning in the areas east and west of the Snell Lock [between groups 3 and 4].  Green AIS symbols are ships, all down bound, and aqua are tugs, assisting in that effort.   Key follows.  Check this news update from Massena NY on boatyard.com for January 8.

1  Pacific Huron.  It had grounded farther upstream in late December.

2  Performance and Robinson Bay

3  Federal Biscay and Ocean A. Simard.  Federal Biscay precipitated this delay, when it got stuck in Snell Lock last week.  It was freed Saturday. 

4  Billeborg, Beatrix, and Mitiq

5  Ocean Tundra and Martha L. Black

This should make for interesting story to follow on AIS or on FB group St. Lawrence River Ship Watchers.

Leo Ryan’s Maritime Magazine comments on the gold-headed cane ceremony each January in Montreal honoring the first ship into port of Montreal each year.  There should be a similar “recognition” of the last ship out of the Seaway.  Name suggestions, anyone?  Definitely there should be recognition of the efforts of the tug and ice breakers crews ensuring that the last ship gets out.  For some reason, I recall a kid’s book . . . The Story About Ping.

Many thanks to Nathan Jarvis for the top two photos and assistance with information.  The photo below I’m not sure who to credit to, but it shows Robinson Bay‘s efforts to extricate Federal Biscay last week.

And as of 10:54 today…

Federal Biscay and Pacific Huron are competing to be Ping;  the others are downstream following Black and Tundra.

Here are the previous in this series.

As we depart downstream on this rainy day, Ocean Pierre Julien  heads upstream.

Ocean Intrepide stands by Silver Manoora and Mars S.

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Over alongside Sorel-Tracy, Ocean Jupiter heads upstream for reasons beyond my ken.

 

The twins wait in Quebec City, and

Ocean Serge Genois, farther upstream.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

When I first spotted this, I didn’t quite know what was happening.

 

Cold as it was, I’d put on enough layers to wait.

I’d call it path creating, not path finding,

Ocean Yvan Desgagnes opening the ice for Le Phil D,  a 1961 Russel Brothers Ltd. vessel.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Algoma Mariner (2011) heads upriver with a load of ore.  This time of year and until the St. Lawrence Seaway opens, Montreal is the head of navigation, so that’s where the ore will be discharged and sent further by rail.

Pilot exchange at Quebec City is facilitated by Ocean Ross Gaudreault (ORG).

 

 

Minutes after the exchange, ORG (94′ x 37′) cuts a swath back to the base

using its 5000 hp through the freshwater ice that’s come down from

Lake Saint Pierre.

Back in September, I got these photos of the pilots’ exchange.

 

For some info on the Canadian Pilots, Laurentian Region, click here.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

I’m going to play catch up, starting back in October.  This is Quebec City.

I’ve posted figureheads here and here before, even figureheads on a non-wind vessel like here.  But here’s a sequence that suggests that figureheads can come and go.  The first photo, taken at 10:22, shows the small push boat Vezina moving a convenient sized barge to

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to the cruise ship to

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offload the garbage.  By the time, I made my way to the port side, Vezina had acquired a figurehead and

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when the barge dumpsters were filled, there appeared to be some interaction between figurehead and crew, mimicry.

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I took these photos in October in Quebec City.

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I have no info on whether this figurehead has since been released.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

And let’s make these mostly blue . . . Ocean Groupe, and mostly tugboats.  I took this photo six weeks ago in Montreal.

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Ocean Stevns and Ocean Delta were at the home dock in Quebec City.  Birk Thomas had caught Ocean Delta here once four years ago.

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Here’s Ocean Rusby, an incomplete and nameless vessel (Cecon Excellence?), and an Ocean pilot boat.

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Ocean Henri Bain and a small fishing boat lie across from the pastoral Ile d’Orleans.

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Kanguk II –a NEAS (Nunavut Eastern Arctic Shipping) small tugboat–appears to be a sister to Qimu here.  Along the port side of Kanguk II are barges for delivering containers from ship to shore.

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In Montreal, it’s Ocean Serge Genois and (possibly) Ocean Intrepide.

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Closer to the city, it’s Ocean Pierre Julien and Ocean Georgie Bain.  I don’t know the names of the two smaller boats to the right.

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These smaller workboats include OC 32

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La Trenche, and an unidentified boat underneath this bridge to NYC.

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Will Van Dorp took all these photos.

I’m not adding much text in the next few posts.  Why gild the lily or rouge the autumn maple leaf.  When I’m back in the sixth boro, I’ll revisit some of these photos.   For now enjoy Quebec.

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This is Montmorency Falls.

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Amundsen will be breaking ice soon.  Winter is coming.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

What’s this . .  a catatug?  A joke of meowman or purr people?  But first, have another look at more Ocean blue tugs posted on this blog before, including the one once called Helen M. McAllister.  Click here and scroll.

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All the photos today were taken in the port of Montreal.  Let’s start with Ocean Georgie Bain.

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Here are more shots of Ocean Intrepide.

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And that red vessel in the background, here’s

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a closer look at Peniche and beyond her what I first was a Montreal fan of meow man’s literature.

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MSC Donata here is getting an assist from

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two Ocean tugs,

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Ocean Pierre Julien and

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Ocean Serge Genois. 

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And that returns us to the top photo, seen in its entirety here, Ocean Catatug 2 

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pushing Weeks 235 with some unidentified structural steel, probably related to the new bridge over the Saint Lawrence. So far, Ocean has two of these catamaran tugs.

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Closing out this post, it’s Blizzard Polaire.

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I know there were Ocean vessels in Sorel and Trois Rivieres, which I missed.   Maybe I’ll see more next time, and I certainly want to see any and all in icebreaking activity some winter soon.   all photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Where has the time gone since I did Ocean Blue 1?  Well, it’s not been wasted.   Ocean blue seems at least as ubiquitous on the lower Saint Lawrence as  green-red G-tugs are to the upper Great Lakes watershed.

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I took all these photos near their Quebec City base, nestled beneath the illuminated G3 grain elevators so reminiscent of the ones in Buffalo.

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Right up front and center is Ocean Tundra, with Ocean Taiga looking over its starboard shoulder.  Are they still the most powerful Canada-built tugs at over 8000 hp?  I’m going to have to invest in winter layers so that I can come up in January and see these machines in ice mode.

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Ocean Charlie docks here too.

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Just in from an assist, Ocean Ross Gaudreault and Ocean Henry Bain return to base.   Click here for the particulars on all the Ocean vessels.

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Here Ocean Ross Gaudreault and Ocean K. Rusby assist a heavily laden Garganey.

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In the distance beyond Ocean Stevns, is that Jacques Cartier National Park?

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And what blue-hulled vessel is that in the distance at the shipyard?

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Ocean Guide does pilot exchange round the clock.

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More Ocean vessels tomorrow.  All these photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s eager to return to Quebec.

 

I’ve made myself back to the sixth boro by train now, and I’m succumbing to “train lag,” which means I’m allowing myself a few days to put up chronologically arranged photos before focusing on some scene that caught me and haven’t let go.  The Quebec City-Levis ferries are part of a huge network.

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The Coast Guard base is just below–way below–Château Frontenac, where a fateful conference took place in 1943.

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An excursion boat has as namesake a Quebecois–same guy the extra ‘l’ notwithstanding– who undertook a significant journey with a priest.

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Ocean has a huge base in the old port.  I plan a host of Ocean posts soon.

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I don’t know if Nordik Express still makes this journey, but I intend to find out.

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Django dates from 1928, but more than that, I know nothing.

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And finally, back from a job, Ocean Henry Bain returns from a job, passing the pilots’ station.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp, who recalls this morning as a day that lives in infamy.  In remembrance, check out the first photo here.

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