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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.

 

 

Here are the previous ones.

Whitefish Bay was built in China in 2010.

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See the beached vessel to the left, it’s

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Kathryn Spirit, not a pretty sight.

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Here Orsula departs upstream of Beauharnois Canal.

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She’s formerly . . . Federal Calumet.

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Here Mississagi was offloading corn,

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with a green light and 84% of something status.

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And closing this out, I have a friend on Algolake who prompted me to help them fete their vessel’s anniversary five years ago here.

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Happy 40th very soon and fair winds.   I’m curious about the United Way logo on the superstructure.

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All photos by Will Van dorp.

As you know, I do this blog because it’s fun.  I’ve met a lot of great people, and recently, with the evolution of so-called “social media” have become friends with some hunks of steel aka ships.  Well, although I “befriend” a ship, it’s more accurate to say . . . the crew of the ship.  And I’m overjoyed to learn of others’ routines, lives, and journeys . . .  as offered by FB.  Here’s a foto recently posted by the crew of Algolake, a Great Lakes bulker.  This post I dedicate to the crew  of Algolake, my FB friends.      To hear the vessel, click here for youtube of her leaving Duluth.  The foto below was taken FROM Algolake.

And, I take a lot of fotos.  The first two below I took in the St. Lawrence Seaway in July 2008.  Algoport entered the port, and then

moved downbound for its next load. At the time, I recall looking up more info on the vessel, learning that it was built in Collingwood, Ontario, in 1979, and then ran only one foto, seen in this post.  Imagine my surprise then, when a few days ago, because of my FB friendship with Algolake, I ran into info about Algoport sinking in the East China Sea, while under tow by Pacific Hickory, for a new “forebody.”    Here a youtube slideshow with more info on the demise of Algoport, now gathering marine encrustation (?) 16,000 ‘ below the surface, a wreck no wreck diver will ever see.

Another story:  in March 2010 I took these fotos of USS Sanctuary in Baltimore harbor.  She served as a hospital ship during WW2 and the Vietnam War.    Yesterday, a friend mentioned in passing that this vessel

was on its way . .  or already arrived in Brownsville, TX

for recycling.  A little hunting leads me to believe her demise/rebirth . . .   will involve ESCO, a dismantler or recycler.  Foto 7 here leads me to think at least part of the tow was performed by Allie B.  Also back in March 2009, I gallivanted up to Massachusetts to see Allie B leave on a fairly long tow to Romania.  Some posts on that can be found here, here, and elsewhere.

Ships, like everything else, have lives.  Lots of folks, like me, are fascinated by the “end” of the life of various ships.  Some sink.  Some get reefed and then some of those “reefs” dived upon.  Some get recycled.  Others get scrapped or broken.  If, like me, you’re interested in these things and have the chance to see Park Bong Nam’s documentary “Iron Crows,” by all means . . . go.

I’d also love to hear your thoughts on this interest many of us share on the end of ships . . . breaking, recycling, wreck diving, wrecks in general,  . . . and the eerie beauty of rusting derelict ghost vessels.

Algolake . .  fair winds, interesting ports!  And keep the great fotos coming.

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