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I started this series yesterday to complement the Clyde S VanEnkvort article.  Without the crewman below, you might have difficulty identifying what this shows.

It’s the bow of Erie Trader after a night on Lake Superior.

The photo below shows the location from which I shot the photo above.  Note how calm the cold waters of Superior are.

Here’s a side view of that same crow’s nest, with wind-down icicles.

In addition to the reason I gave yesterday for clearing ice, there’s another;  hatch covers must be cleared to open when we get to the dock.

Sledge hammers and crowbars work, so do propane torches.

When we tied up at the dock, I went ashore to photograph ice buildup elsewhere on the ATB.

The reddish coating of everything on the dock is ore, taconite, semi-processed iron ore.

Seven hundred miles away and several days away we docked to Detroit to discharge about 35,000 tons of ore at the fiery steel plant.

 

Air temperature was in the single digits, and not far from the steel plant fires, ice floating past in the Detroit River

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I’m still looking for someone who might get a photo of that exotic ship coming into the sixth boro early this month.  But I also still don’t have a firm ETA for that vessel, Decisive.  She’s still out at sea but never in this  voyage has she been laying cable; as I understand it, she’s a cable “de-layer.”

 

Almost exactly a year ago, I did a saltwater ice post here, and I’ve done related ones here. So since the article I wrote last year about a huge ore-carrying Great Lakes ATB is out and you can read it here, how about some photos that didn’t make it into the publication.

Above and below, ATB Clyde S Van Enkevort and Erie Trader find themselves a day and a night’s steaming north from Detroit, nearly at the north end of Lake Huron, where the cold air is creating sea smoke.

ATB Olive L. Moore and Menominee (I’d better be right or I’ll hear about it.) wait on the west side of DeTour Reef Light. Mackinac is not quite 50 miles to the west.

At Detour Passage, we depart Lake Huron and enter the St. Marys River.  Sault Ste Marie and Lake Superior are 75 miles up this river.  Ice forms more quickly on the shallower water.

Off the stern we look back at Lake Huron.

Crew prepare the landing gear.  Landing gear, you say?  Hold that question, I say.

On a turn, we meet CSL Assiniboine.

I think we are envied.  Unlike the two previous years, so far this 2020 winter . . . ice is “weak.”

Near Sault Ste Marie, we meet Wilfred Sykes, and the Sugar Island ferry crosses our bow, Sykes‘ stern.

WTGB-101 Katmai Bay is busy assisting in keeping the river open.

Recall I mentioned landing gear? . . .  technically it’s a landing boom, a quick way to get crew onto the lock to assist with the “locking through.”  In the earlier photo, ice was being removed from boom and its line, so that the line would run free but controlled to get the crew safely down the 20 feet or so to the chamber wall.

See the crew walking alongside the barge?  Out ahead, that’s a bay of Lake Superior.

As we head across that bay and ultimately into Superior, we pass Kaye E. Barker, who’s heading downstream for the Soo (or Sault) locks.

All photos by WVD, who’ll post more photos of the trip soon.  And I’d give a big shout-out to the captain and crew of Clyde for their hospitality and help with the article.

I’m still looking for someone who might get a photo of that exotic ship coming into the sixth boro early this month.  But I also still don’t have a firm ETA for that vessel, Decisive.

 

A truly unique take on the the elf and his conveyance towed by three reingators  comes from Louisiana.  I’ve read here that the lead gator is called Rouxdolf.  Those reingators will need some bonfires to guide their way through the bayou.

Bravo Morgan City, and from Emily Ann off Sandy Hook as seen only from onboard in the wee hours during a time of year when there are more wee hours than anything . . .

 

And from Lake Superior a year ago

the lights and Detroit slim wearing red aboard Erie Trader and Clyde S VanEnkevort.  Both Emily Ann and Clyde S will be working today, Emily Ann in greater sixth boro and Clyde S, as always, conveying Mesabi ore toward the mills in the southern Great Lakes.  Cheery thoughts to all the crews–Emily Ann and Clyde S and all the other boats–out delivering gifts or anything else across the waters.

And finally from this spot down between Wavertree and the shop barge . . .a tree grows in the sixth boro…

. . . and for a vessel named St. Nicholas, see what bowsprite has wrought. May the spirit of all the Christmases whisk you up and up and away.

Cajun Christmas photo borrowed from Jim Taylor;  Hank Beatty for the Emily Ann photos, and the Clyde S. VanEnkevort/Erie Trader photos and W. O. (Willys Overland???} Decker photo by Will Van Dorp.

For more info on the reingator tow and who did it and how, click here.

“The road goes on forever and the  . . . [journey] never ends . . ..”

Robert Keen’s lyrics are slightly adapted here . . .  The Straits of Mackinac is a tempestuous place with random seeming currents;  note all the shipwreck symbols on the chart below.

Along the way, we pass Federal Mackinac.  I’m not sure what those conical-tipped cylinders are.

Off the stern, White Shoal Light sinks

out of sight . . .

 

Traffic goes on and on.

Here Erie Trader gets

powered by Clyde S. VanEnkvort.

 

Here a 49-foot Buoy Utility Stern Loading vessel leaves the St Ignace port

and heads for the Straits.

Meanwhile, CSL Assiniboine heads for the Straits and

Lake Michigan.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

I’ve seen this tug once . . . all in blue, DonJon blue.  

Over the winter, though,, she changed hands and is now registered in Escanaba MI

as Clyde S. VanEnkvort. 

Clyde pushes Erie Trader, a 740′ barge

with a 38,000-ton capacity.

She’s a big ore barge.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, at the Round Island Passage.

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