You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘pilot boats’ category.

Let’s call this Fednav’s B-class . . .

Federal Biscay is one of six in that class, all built in 2015 by Oshima.

 

She’s upbound to load, possibly grain for export.  To get a sense of her recent itineraries, click here and scroll.

As a non-US/Canadian vessel, she needs to carry a pilot the whole distance within the Seaway . . . I mean from eastern edge of Quebecois water to whatever her destination and the return.

 

On Lake Erie, she crossed Federal Bering,

a similar bulker.  To see her recent port stops, click here.

 

Bering is down bound, and

 

has to wait for traffic to clear through lock W8 before proceeding.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wants to remind you of the NYS Canal Conference happening on Staten Island next week.  I will show Graves of Arthur Kill and speak on a panel about the hidden places of the sixth boro.

 

BFD’s fireboat Cotter is always a high point of a Buffalo visit, a Crescent Shipyard 1900 (!!) Elizabethport NJ product, aka the world’s oldest active fireboat. 

Headed west for Port Colborne, we’re treated to beauty over SteelWinds. 

As darkness looms, JW Cooper arrives to drop off a pilot.

Imagine my dismay passing MRC after dark,

and head down to Ontario level through the night.

Daybreak brings us to nearly Ontario, and we wait for Wilson T. Cooper to exit the lock W-1.

Port Weller’s shipyard a year ago was occupied by Presque Isle. 

 

We drop off our pilot and

 

enter Lake Ontario.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Again, many thanks to Christine Douglas, let’s explore the Calumet River a bit more.  Actually, a lot more.  Let’s go back and see more of the GL yard.  From l to r here, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana.

Closest up is the oldest . . . Virginia, launched 1914, just two years younger than Grouper aka Alaska and Green Bay. Virginia was re-powered in 1921 and again in 1951.

Massachusetts dates from 1928.

After a few hours, she headed up the Calumet for a tow.

For a ninety-year-old machine making a profit, she was just beautiful.

 

Next under the 96th Street Bridge was Florida, 1926.

Note the orientation and shape of the aft bitt.

The bridge . . . Calumet River Norfolk Southern RR Bridges . . . dates from 1912.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Again, thanks to Christine for the tour.

 

MRC is located on the east side of the entrance to the Welland Canal.  This was a part of the trip I was eager to see. I recall seeing English River for as long as I’ve taken photos on the Lakes.  Paul H. Townsend I first saw here.

Townsend dates from 1945, and

English River  . . . from 1961. Here’s a post I did on her 10 years ago.

 

Marcoux Princess of Acadia arrived here on a towline from the Maritimes.  Click here for photos of her on the Saint Lawrence a year and a half ago.

 

Doubled up at the south end of the scrap yard were Algorail and Algoway, launched in 1968 and 1972, respectively.

 

Algoway on a towline was featured here.  This is the first post that includes Algorail.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Too bad this intriguingly named RORO was so far away when I saw it.  Actually Drive Green is the project;  the actual vessel name is Drive Green Highway.  The project seeks to reduce NOx and CO2; it’s more streamlined, uses slippery hull coating, incorporates solar-powered LED lighting throughout the ship, and more.  Click here for RORO history.  I don’t know why the orange is not some version of chartreuse.

Breezy Victoria really should be parts of a “names” post, but I took it this same foggy visit to this part of the port.

Note the upper 400′ of the Staten Island side bridge tower is missing as

Pilot No 1 aka New York heads back out to her station.   Here from winter 2014 is the same boat at the same bridge in different weather.

If you use your peripheral vision, you can just make out West Bank Light off the starboard stern of pilot boat New York.

Orange Ocean follows the fog bank into the Narrows.

And here’s the vessel I came out to see:  Grande Mariner on her return from Honduras!!  Here you can see the West Bank Light a little more clearly.

I board Grande Mariner again in July, for some more tours of the Great Lakes.  Next winter’s plan for Grande Mariner is a trip to Panama! 

Having no pressing demands on Thursday morning, I went back down to the Narrows, and once again it was

socked in!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I appreciate it when folks send in photos they’ve taken.  Sharing photos is one of the joys of the Internet.

Here from Ashley Hutto, Mister Jim pushing five barges, upbound through the Highlands.  If you could swivel the camera to the right, you’d be looking at West Point.  I love the reality-defying lens.

The next two photos come from Phil Porteus . . .  you’re looking across a scrap barge at a set of barges filled with special Delaware Bay sand heading west in the  KVK and

pushed by the fairly new Daisy Mae.

From Jake van Reenen, this is what a small tug looks like on an Interstate, in this case before heading north mostly on I-95.  Photo taken in Miami.

From Sean McQuilken, it’s commissioning time for

USS Ralph Johnson, its namesake being a 19-year-old Marine who died in Vietnam in March 1968, a half century ago.

And last but not at all least, thanks to Hugo Sluimer via Fred Trooster, it’s the “US pilot boat” Elbe on the hard near Rotterdam.  Post-publication note:  Elbe WAS a pilot boat in the US, but she was way way more.  See here.

Many thanks to Ashley, Phil, Sean, and Fred.

 

A 4300 hp product of a Collingwood ON shipyard no longer there . . . it’s Océan Basques.

Here’s a better profile, taken a second earlier.  Basques provides ship assists in the port of Trois-Rivieres, QC.  

Docked nearby in the same port, it’s Océan Bravo, slightly older and larger though less horsepower,  a product of Quebec’s  Davie Shipbuilding. 

After Bravo, you’d expect and Charlie . . . and there’s most of the other names of the military alphabet up to Lima in the Ocean fleet. Charlie here is roughly a twin in size and power–though not styling–to Bravo.

Duga is based in the port of Sorel-Tracy, and is a 1977 product of the Trondheim Fjord of Norway.

Staying with the Océan fleet in the quite busy out of Sorel-Tracy, here’s Pilote 2000 stemming between

Leopard Moon and

Jebsens’ Sharpnes.

Downstream to Quebec City, here’s Océan Guide returning from a pilot run to Helena G and

exchanging pilots on Dara Desgagnes.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who was not surprised to find that Canada has more miles of coastline than any other country on the planet.

And here’s an unrelated research question sent along by frequent contributor here, Jan van der Doe, and referring to the photo below taken in rotterdam in 1954.  Question is:  What identification might be provided by the white numbers “3793” visible in the lower right on the dark hull of the vessel just forward of the burning Tanga?  Note the Dutch flag on the stern of the vessel so marked.

 

Port Weller is the north terminus of the Welland Canal, and as such, sees either a pilot boarding or debarking, which was the case here. Mrs C has an equally attractive fleet mate at Port Colbourne, the southern terminus. The vessel in the background left will appear in an upcoming post.

Some 80 miles to the east Kimberly Anne (1965) was docked in Rochester’s Charlotte port.

Walking along the beach there, I saw this historical sign of tug Oneida and schooner H. M. Ballou, at different times both owned by a George W. Ruggles.

Fifty or so miles to the NE we enter the Oswego River to find the busiest (IMHO) unit on the lakes:  in the past few years I’ve seen Wilf Seymour and Alouette Spirit at least 6 times between Lake Huron and Quebec City.   Here’s more info on Alouette’s aluminum operations, at one time and possibly now the largest aluminum producer in the Americas.

 

Click here for more info on Novelis, the client here in Oswego.

 

Anyone tell me the weight of one of these ingots?

Moving from contemporary to retrospective, the Phoenix dock was hosting schooner Lois McClure and tug Churchill as we passed.

For more close-ups, check out tug44’s take. 

Click here for a complete history of the replica schooner Lois McClure.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes you all enjoy the last day of summer 2017 today.

 

With digressions behind us, let’s resume the journey.  In part 4 we descended from the level of the Mohawk at Rome NY into Lake Ontario, approximately 248.’  Canadian pilot boat Mrs C meets us not far from the entrance to the Welland Canal at Port Weller, so named for the lead engineer in building of the first iteration of the Welland Canal.

Below lock W1,  Alouette Spirit tied at a dock.  The mover is Wilf Seymour, a Canadian-flagged former Moran-owned Texas-built tug I’ve met on most trips here since 2015. I’ve seen her on locations between Lake Huron and the St Lawrence just up from Quebec City.   Click here to see her being loaded with ingots.

 ITB Presque Isle  occupied the Port Weller Dry Docks.

So that you can get a sense of how ungainly this ITB looks out of the notch, I’m sharing this photo thanks to Jeff Thoreson of Erie Shipping News.  Usually she’s in the notch and considered a 1000-footer.

Exiting lock W1 was China-built  Algoma Mariner, whose bow shows the effect of operating in ice.

Notice how narrow the Welland is here, with less than 100′ between Grande Mariner and Algoma Mariner.

For more info on the Welland, click here.

I drove through Port Colborne–at the 571′ level of Lake Erie–a few years ago, but seeing the names of the shops here, I’d love to stop by and wander.  I’m not fanatical about pies, but Jay the Pie Guy sounds too tasty to pass up.  Check him out on FB.

Four months ago, I posted photos from Clayton NY on the dead ship tow of the former traversier aka ferry Camille Marcoux.  Here’s what she looks like now after the

 

skilled carving tools of the workers at Marine Recycling Corp in  Port Colborne.

See the scrapping in the upper right side of the photo, here the pilot steps off and we enter Lake Erie, turning to port for Buffalo.

After an hour-and-a-half run, the grain elevators of Buffalo welcome us. Seeing the blue G, I can already imagine the smell of the Cheerios plant.

Near the entrance to the Buffalo River, I spot NYPA’s Joncaire II tied up near the merry-go-round.  I’d love to see her at work managing the ice boom.  I don’t see Daniel on the bow, but I believe the full name is Daniel Joncaire II.  ??

Over in Silo City, two older Great Lakes tugs–Washington and Vermont— await between jobs.  Of course, they still work.  The combined age of those two tug is 195 years.  YEARS!!

Silo City may not sound all that exciting, especially for folks who know farms, but this complex made Buffalo and forged a link with another boom city . . . . the six boros of NYC.  I like the quote here that it was grain elevators and the nexus of the Great Lakes and the Erie Canal that led Buffalo to surpass London, Rotterdam, and Crimea as then the #1 grain handling port in the world.  I also recently learned about the influence the grain elevator form had on modern architecture a la Gropius. 

Check out this Gropius design.

A few years ago, I’d never consider exploring Buffalo, and I have so many other photos that I might revisit the city on tugster, but for now, I suggest you go there too and

stop at Buffalo Harbor Museum, Pierce Arrow Museum, and Swannie’s, for starters.  I started from Erie Basin and walked to all of these in the same day.

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.

 

 

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