You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Detroit River’ tag.

Many thanks to Wade P. Streeter for his help in getting these first photos of M/V Hon. James L. Oberstar from public locations along the River Rouge.


Here she squeezes ever so slowly through the open Dix Street Bridge, showing her multiple builders plates and


flower boxes abaft her house.


Then she headed into the turning basin to offload her ore in the late afternoon.


Before mid-morning the following day, she was light and ready to race back to Superior for her next cargo.


She followed us for a bit before


overtaking us and showing her stern on her way into Lake St. Clair and places north.


More on the other vessels here later.





All photos by Will Van Dorp.

. . . the Detroit River, an international race.  See my post here from four years ago for this quite eclectic set of boats.


Sheila Kaye and Josephine,


J. M. Westcott II,


R & R,


Jessie T,


and more.


I wonder if there’s ever a chance of getting a higher horsepower class to arrive some year as well . ..  like Ken Boothe Sr., Everlast, GL Ostrander, Samuel de Champlain, Jane Ann IV . . . and their size.


All photos by Jan van der Doe, taken the same day as the Mermaid Parade and the last run of Pegasus.

Know the city?

Know this city?  The clue lies in WTGB number, 107 v. 105.  And in the nearer, smaller vessel below.

It’s New York and Detroit, two capitals of different enterprises.  Click here for more Detroit police boats.

Both cities have an Ambassador Bridge, although

the one in New York spends less than 24 hours in port whenever she appears.  Bunkering there thanks to Sassafras.

Here’s Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge, Canadian tug John Spence heading southbound in that direction.

But these days, Detroit has some New York doesn’t . .  snow.  After a slight dusting in October that was gone the next day, the sixth boro has sen no snow!  Of course, that could all change very quickly, and to say no snow does NOT mean warm, calm weather.   Snow was blowing so hard across the Detroit River this weekend that this ore carrier couldn’t be identified.  (It’s Lee A. Tregurtha, Baltimore-built.  Thanks Ken.)

Great Republic could.

This is the first year the 31-year-old vessel has operated under that name, ex-American Republic.

CSL Niagara is a fleetmate cousin of the frequent visitor to the sixth boro, Alice Oldendorff.  Note the self-unloading gear.  I’ve gotten over my affection for Alice.

Here are more American lakers, Adam E. Cornelius and

Roger Bough Blough.   Enjoy these additional fotos of Roger Blough, possibly now laid-up for the winter.

Here’s a Baltimore-built classic  Michipicoten.

Many thanks to Ken Bailey for these Detroit fotos;  Will Van Dorp took the sixth boro ones.

More news from Detroit, the owner of the Ambassador Bridge has been sent to jail.  Info here.

Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities has one of the most memorable opening lines in English literature.  Know it?  

Detroit . . .  it’s international and freshwater, although a number (anyone KNOW that number?) of saltwater vessels pass through for such still-distant “ocean ports” as Chicago and Duluth.

Vessels in the race below are, l to r . . . Sheila Kaye, Josephine, Elmer Dean, J. M. Westcott II, and Sindbad.  By the way, J. M. Westcott II could also go by the “floating zip code” of  48222.   I’d love to see a floating post office take part in NYC’s 2011 tugboat race . . . you mean the “sixth boro” does not have its own zipcode??  I wonder if the Terreform ONE folks anticipate a zipcode in their visions?   Then again, will the USPS even exist in 2050 or 2111?  Anyhow, more Westcott pics soon.

Again, Sheila Kaye, Josephine,  Elmer Dean, and Marvin O.

Sindbad was the overall winner in the race from the Ambassador Bridge

to the Dieppe Gardens. If the info in this article is correct, Sindbad was built in 1925 in Buffalo, but  I haven’t corroborated that.  It’s not on the Buffalo DryDock site.

Elmer Dean . . . pretty . . . can anyone confirm that it was built in 1998?

An international race implies vessels from more than one country.   You might not have suspected that Josephine began life as Wambrau, 1956, in Den Helder.  In 1987 she became Sea Driver II, out of the VOC city of  Enkhuizen, and at some point after that, became the Toledo, OH Josephine.

I’d wager Josephine is the only Toledo tug powered by Werkspoor.  Here’s an English language site on the company.


galley, and

after portion of the house.  The engine room must be light and airy with this many port holes in a hatch over the engine

All fotos come thanks to Jan van der Doe, frequent commenter who watched the race from the Ontario side.  Thanks, Jan.

And I’m supposing that some of these tugs may have passed through the sixth boro at some point in their careers.

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Seth Tane American Painting

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My Babylonian Captivity

Reflections of an American hostage in Iraq, 20 years later.


August 2022