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Way back when, I had some fun abridging “__ Express” names, generating Glex and Sex.   While out at the KVK, then, I thought I’d seen Dublin Express aka Dex before, so I’d take some photos, of the box ship and

the two escort tugs.

And I wondered about the unusual pyramidal arrangement of containers on the stern.

I hadn’t known that Gary Haszko, credited for the next two photos,  was taking photos almost simultaneously from Elizabethport, and aware of something else.

Here the two tugs assist in pinning Dex to the pierced in Howland Hook.  He also knew something else I was unaware of, ie, containers tumbling overboard during a rough ocean transit may have damaged the hull and led to oil spilling into the Kills.  For more on this spill, click here.

After a concerted investigation and clean up effort, USCG cleared the ship to depart. 

Many thanks to Gary for use of the last two photos above;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

 

Or, stated less succinctly, March came in like a hibernating turtle, and is ending like a springtime cottontail.

Here’s a March 11 AIS grab.  A circle means a vessel is docked or anchored.  There’s a single vessel underway NE bound on Lake Erie.  It’s a Canadian CG ice breaker.

Below, less than two weeks later, it’s 0700 March 25.  The Soo locks opened on March 25 soon after midnight.  Stewart J Cort  (SJC) was the first vessel through, and it was upbound in ballast.   Here are some tugster posts featuring SJC, a 1000′ ship partly built in the Gulf of Mexico to fit through the St Lawrence Seaway and then added to in Erie PA.

The downbound vessels in Lake Superior over-wintered in Duluth.  The stopped vessels near Whitefish Point in Lake Superior are blocked by an ice “plug” reportedly 20 miles long, 4 miles wide, and 4 feet thick.  The three upbound tugs (aqua green) in Lake Huron are the Van Enkevort ATBs (Joyce and Clyde)  and Samuel de Champlain.

0030 March 28.  The Welland Canal (near Buffalo) has been open for a few days now, and check out all the upbound traffic on Lake Erie.  Ditto, Lake Superior has become quite busy.   The magenta dots are recreational; although some are online, none are moving.

1000 today, March 30.   The upbound (towards the Chicago steel plants) vessel along the east side of the Lake is Stewart J Cort, heading for Burns Harbor IN with her first load of ore.    Of note is the only magenta or “recreational” boat under way.  See it in the middle of Lake Ontario.  This is a vessel to watch in the next months;  it’s Bramble.

Bramble (USCGC WLB-392)  is embarking on a third life.  Launched in Duluth in 1943, she served  in the Atlantic Caribbean, and Pacific, as well as the Great Lakes.  After decommissioning in 2003, she became a museum ship the same year.  In 2018, she was listed with a yacht broker and sold to a private party who is now taking her to Mobile AL, under her own power, to be rehabbed and refitted for a reenactment of her 1957 voyage through the Northwest Passage.  

I took these photos on July 7, 2016, while she was at the Bean Dock in Port Huron MI.

Click here for some predictions for the 2019 Great Lakes season.  Better yet, find some dates that you can witness some of the traffic first hand.

All AIS captures and interpretations and photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

It’s the first full day of spring, which means that soon many more small craft will operate on the sixth boro, yet all winter long, many small boats never leave.

If this is a Class A 25′ SAFE Defender boat, it may have entered service in 2002.   I’ll be back with this.

Here are a team of the newer 29′ USCG vessels.

Line and boom boats, patrol boats . . . these small craft operate in the sixth boro all year round.

Ditto survey boats like this one.

Over alongside Rhea‘s stern, that’s certainly a launch from Miller’s.

I’m guessing these are 31′ SAFE boats operated by NYPD, but they’ve been running in threes of late.  They also have larger Vigor (ex-Kvichak)-built boats.

NJ State Police has a few small boats that patrol/train all year round.

NYPD has had a few of these for almost five years now.  When they first arrived, I was astonished by the speed they could make.

USACE Moritz first launched in 2001.

 

So let’s go back to that 25′ Defender in the first photo, but at closer inspection . . . see the logo on the door . . . it’s a DonJon RIB.

USCG checking me out with a long lens? . . . Nah, that’s Bjoern of New York Media Boat.  Check out their blog here, and book a tour here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s again reminded that you’ll see something new each time you go down to the water and look closely.  And in the next few months, in all waters recently ice-bound, be ready to see an influx of recreational boats coming north for the summer.

 

Here are some previous ones.

I caught TS Kennedy anchored in Stapleton yesterday, and

soon thereafter she heaved up anchor and headed for sea . . . for home.

Meanwhile, FS Primauguet, allegedly from Reykjavik, arrived, maybe to check on the current status of this monumental French gift to the people of the US. This is an anti-submarine frigate with a towed array sonar.

She got this far sooner than I had expected.

A few weeks ago, I caught USCGC Seneca (WMEC-906) off Orient Pointe . . .

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who chalks these up to just documentation.

 

Here are previous iterations of this title.

Well, in fresh water like the Upper Saint Lawrence, they look like this, from a photo by Jake Van Reenen.

In salt water, even small outboard work year round.  There are boom boats,

patrol boats,

more boom boats,

clam-digging boats,

small island supply boats,

fishing boats,

police boats,

. . . and 29′ Defiant boats.

Top photo credit to Jake;  all others by Will Van Dorp.

 

My rules for this series:  all photos need to have come from the month in focus but exactly 10 years earlier.  It’s a good way to notice change.

Take Capt. Log.  I used to love seeing that boat, now long scrapped.  I have photos of her as a heap of scrap pieces and have never posted them.  I’m guessing the Chandra B crew are happy to have that new boat, but Capt. Log was such a unique sight.

Baltic Sea . . .   I’d love to see a current photo of her from Nigeria.  See more of her departed K-Sea fleet mates here.  Sunny Express is now Minerva Lydia, and still working, I think.

Taurus has moved to the Delaware River and has some splotches of purple a la Hays.

Volunteer has been scrapped.

The orange June K is now the blue Sarah Ann . . . .   I still miss that color….

Charles Oxman is no longer in service . . .  I last saw her here in 2016.

APL Egypt used to be a regular here, and of course John B. Caddell . . .had only a few years left at this point before getting cut up.  For a “what’s left . . .” of John B., click here and scroll.

I’m not saying everything is gone or has changed.  Walker and Salvor still work here and –to the untrained eye–look exactly as they did a decade ago, even though these days from any distance, I  can’t tell the distance between Atlantic Salvor and Atlantic Enterprise.  And those crewing on these two vessels, I can’t tell if anyone working then on each boat still does. For Walker, it’s very likely it’s an entirely new crew.

I hope you enjoyed this glance back.

All photos in February 2009 by Will Van Dorp.

 

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.

I started this series using a title that was a play on words here.

The only clue that Olive L. Moore and self-unloading barge Menominee–formerly a ship built in Maryland–are in winter waters is the sea smoke rising from the water.  Actually, it appears the ATB itself has risen from the water and is floating

on air past the Detour Reef Light.

Complementing that pair, here are two photos of USCGC WLBB-30 Mackinaw

tied up on Lime Island.  Her crew was recently involved in an icy rescue.

A pair of 47′ MLBs awaits springtime, and a

duo of hardy deer demonstrate their sure-footedness on ice.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t this the WYT-60 Manitou that spent part of its life breaking Hudson River ice?

These photos come from a fortuitous pass with the 1943 built former USCGC at the north side of Lake St. Clair.

And she is Apalachee class?  Click here for a summer shot.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Here are the previous 70.

I’m very happy to share these photos from Ray Sup, the digital Marketing Specialist/Webmaster at Beyel Brothers.  Megan Beyel came through the sixth boro almost two weeks ago bound for sea.  This is outbound at least her second trip;  the first time she was caught by Tim Hetrick here.

The Indiana-built vessel appears to have a government boat history.  

I was informed she was in Albany port, but I was 200 miles to the west at that time.  I’m not sure, but these appear to have been taken by drone, another

 

piece of evidence that I need to invest.

I’m thankful to Ray for sending these–and more, if you’re interested–along.  As of this posting, Megan Beyel is approaching Miami, where it’s a cloudy 80 degrees.

Thanks to Ray and the Beyel team. See more photos in the series here.

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