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What I noticed first about Johanna G is

the cranes.

Never have I seen cranes that stripped of recent paint.  Maybe rust-busting is happening as we speak, but

 

new coating of paint –IMHO– should be applied soon.  See a photo of her possibly new and with blue/gray cranes here.

As of this posting,

she’s already headed into the Atlantic . . . Gibraltar bound I believe.

The zoom lens foreshortens the distances here;  there was adequate time between Johanna G clearing the bridge and the lowering of the span.  There’s no room for a repeat of the Windoc incident. 

This photo clearly shows what “seawaymax” means.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who noticed that the other photographer working in proximity to me was stopped shooting for a while to wave the Portuguese flag, not the Madeiran.

This is a reminder also 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.

 

I’d first assume this was a small tanker, but I was wrong.

 

 

Here’s the answer to cargo:  dry bulk cement.  In previous lifetimes, it had carried grain as well.

 

A hint of ghostwriting midships and to the right of “SPIRIT” shows another name or several namesGagliarda and Arditawere there earlier.

Arriving soon after Mckeil Spirit, was this vessel that I’d seen in Buffalo earlier this summer, wedged in alongside the Lafarge dock.

All this up-high piping suggests cement carrier as well, reminding me of English River, less than a mile away waiting for the scrappers’ torches.

Covered over with paint is the Arklow fleet logo. I never have been able to learn if there’s a technical term for a vessel logo situated on the bow, almost like a harkening back to a figurehead, not unlike the one of the barque Peking.

 

Now I understand:  this is not saying a “new [division] of Algoma; it’s a joint venture between Algoma and Nova, the latter a company from Luxembourg.

 

 

Here’s the rest of the fleet.  For a photo/article of NACC Argonaut in Oswego, click here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

At this point in my life, I have a solid list of projects yet to undertake.  One of those is scratch-building a ship or boat model.  Nothing screams “build me” more than this classic laker style.  Enjoy a lot of photos here, curvaceous details to render in a model.

Like the dead ship Paul H. Townsend to the far left, Michipicoten was built in salt water, i.e., Sparrows Point, MD.

 

If you’re wondering how to pronounce Michipicoten, it’s five syllables with emphasis on PI.

That spar mounted on the bow of “house-forward” lakers is called a steering pole, a guide for the helmsman.

Note the crewman watching the camera from the port light above the “M”?

Half the Lower Lakes Towing fleet has the traditional “house-forward” design:  Cuyahoga, Mississagi, Saginaw, Ojibway, and Manitoba.

Note the many large windows on the lee side of the forward superstructure.

The base machinery of the self-unloaders intrigues me.

 

Note the rounded stern and exposed top of the rudder.

The curves on these boats never quit.

 

Into Welland lock 8 she goes.

Yup . . . this winter I need to play around with scratch-building a model, and I’ll see if I can make it eight feet long.

All photos and sentiments 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.

Port Colborne is the location of MRC, the clean-up business, and right now they’ve a few years–my guess–of projects.

JW Cooper goes in and out several times a day.

But what I wanted to watch was the traffic, up and down bound, like Algoma Buffalo.  The previous two times —here and here–I’d seen this vessel predated her sale to Algoma.

Port Colborne is very quiet on a rainy early fall Sunday,

so quiet I could hear the engine room crew commenting about the town’s stillness,

although I’m guessing they spoke louder than otherwise because they had on ear protection.

Algoma Buffalo headed to a turn-off on the Welland and self-unloaded some of her cargo.  The 24,300-ton-capacity vessel started her cargo-carrying life late in 1978, i.e., just over 40 years ago.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Besides the title, you might place this photo by the background.  It was the focus of this post from about six weeks ago.

I returned to Port Colborne because I wanted to spend more time.  All vessels traveling between the upper four Lakes and Ontario/St Lawrence Seaway must traverse here.  And an alarm on Bridge No. 21 notifies that traffic will pass in a few minutes from the sound.

In the case of today’s post, however, I was caught between a need to head back across the border and a compulsion to see the vessel about to enter town from Lake Erie.

A schooner.

Leftmost flag on the crosstrees tells the tale.

It’s Lettie G. Howard, homeward bound and beyond.  For now, after a summer of sailing and sail training on Lake Erie, Lettie was headed to New York via the Saint Lawrence/Nova Scotia.

 

As she came into the dock, cold rain starting to fall and hint of winter, the crew tied her up with skill and aplomb to wait for timing.

Fair winds and warm days.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This is Oswego to Port Colborne, by way of Rochester . . . actually Charlotte on the genes.   The whale-watch headed Grande Caribe.  No . . . the Great Lakes have no whales. At the port is Robert S. Pierson, a river-class bunker.

I repeat a variation of this image.  The Erie canal flows under the arched bridge and the Genesee . . . under the longer, flatter bridge.

We take a pilot right outside Port Weller, the Ontario end of the Welland Canal, and then

enter upbound.

 

Nassau-flagged Victory II met us between locks 7 and 8.

From right to left here, that’s Pierson  again, a sailing vessel, and Capt. Henry Jackman.

Now more on that sailing vessel . . . schooner Empire Sandy.  You have to read this link:  she started her life as a tugboat!

HMCS Oriole is a 1921 ketch, whose origins hearken back to both Toronto and Neponset, MA.

 

Capt. Henry Jackman waits in Port Colborne as does

Baie St Paul. Jackman was built in the Collingwood Shipyards, whereas St Paul comes from Jiangsu China.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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.

 

Yesterday’s post requires a complement, so here it is.  The flight out was less turbulent but equally rewarding for folks looking out the window.  Behold the Tappan Zee.  This stretch of the river–from Piermont “pier” (created by the Erie RR) on the west side of the Hudson to Croton Point on the east and a little margin on either side represents approximately 10 statute miles, by my estimate.  Rockland Lake,  directly across the river from Croton Point and usually obscured by Hook Mountain just south of Haverstraw, can clearly be seen here.

Here’s the next stretch of river from Croton Point north and almost to Poughkeepsie.  That’s about 40 statute miles, as the crow flies.  By slow boat, that’s the better part of a winter’s day.  Note the long skinny reservoir,  DeForest Lake, at the 4 o’clock point of the photo.

From my seat on the starboard side, I was hoping for a glimpse of Lake Ontario, but this is way beyond my hopes:  despite the clouds, a clear view of the 27-mile Welland Canal from Port Colbourne on Lake Erie below to Port Weller on Lake Ontario above.

Last summer we exited here, near the MRC scrapyard at Port Colbourne just after 1600 after having entered the Welland Canal

here at Port Weller, just before 0900 that day . . . so the aerial above represents a day’s traverse through the Welland locks, with no delays.

By this time, I was starting to think the pilot of this aircraft must have wanted to be credited on this blog, for as we headed into Detroit airport, he gave me this final treat:  a view of the 740′  Algoma Harvester upbound through the cutoff leaving marshy Walpole Island to starboard and the more substantial Seaway Island, ON to its port. The natural flow of the St Clair River–and the international border– is along the far side of Seaway and Miller, MI.

My week away involved another flight, a long drive, and then the flight with my camera–not my phone.  Since I’m on an aerial fling, I’ll share some of those tomorrow.  Below is a sample, for you to savor if you want to guess my destination.

 

 

Back on December 4, two formerly McAllister tugboats departed the home base in Mariners Harbor (typically referred to as “Mariners”) for Muskegon Michigan.  Word is that they have now safely arrived.

A few days after they departed NYC, Nelson Brace caught this photo of the two traversing the Cape Cod Canal.

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On December 19, Michel Gosselin caught these photos of the two unbound from Lock 2 of the Welland Canal, many cold blustery, and icy days later.

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mm4

 

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Many thanks to Nelson and Michel for use of these photos.  Hats off to the crew . . . better yet, given that ice, keep your hats on.

Below is the screenshot of the tow arriving in Muskegon late Christmas Eve.

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It would be nice to see some of the photos crew might have taken as they crossed the stormy Gulf of Saint Lawrence and fought their way across Lake Ontario with strong winds out of the NW.  And I’m looking forward to seeing them in Port City Tug colors.

 

 

We didn’t make 7  because of delays, but stuff happens and here’s catch-up.

That’s Toronto as seen from the Lake as we head for Port Weller, where

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we take a pilot.

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We wait for a down bound vessel in the first lock, and then

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“record” it as it passes.

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We pass a load of coal between locks 7 and 8.

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Then we drop a pilot at Port Colborne and

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and pass the marine recycling yard before

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turning eastward for Buffalo harbor.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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