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To repeat what I said yesterday, this was supposed to be a visit to get photos of tugs and ships in ice.  The Cuyahoga may be quite cold, but no ice . . . .

This shot is taken from the Carter Road Bridge looking toward Collision Bend and the bug venues.

Under the Rte 2 Bridge, Alpena awaits her 76th season!  She makes me feel young!

In resplendent light last summer late, I caught her heading northbound mid-Lake Huron.

Again, I imagined ice;  two weeks earlier and I likely would have seen it.

The yellow of the water makes more vivid the yellow of her hull.

Some crew is maintaining boiler pressure.

And when the season begins, Alpena will back out of this dock on the old river, turn to port and head back to work for her 76th season.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who looks forward to seeing her steaming on the Lakes again this summer.

Previous Cleveland posts on tugster include this and this with laker Buffalo,  and this with–among other things–Iowa towing Sea Eagle II up the Cuyahoga.   There are others also if you just use the search window.


I’d planned a gallivant along the coast of Lake Erie to see ice, maybe even walk and fish on it, as I did many decades ago.  February would normally be a good time for that, but my actual schedule depended on someone else, my son.  Well . . . I was told that a week earlier, ice fishing was happening here . . .  Click on the map below to make it interactive.

Huron OH?  I admit never having heard of it.  It’s just east of Sandusky, which I saw here, and roughly between *7 and *8, posts on the Great Coast that I did last fall.

This two-part panorama (above and below) shows the turning basin near the mouth of the Huron River, which might be fun to canoe one of these years.

I use AIS to determine which roads I take on a gallivant like this, and this surely is not the green icon I saw, but I’m thrilled the icon led me here.  Adam E. Cornelius is not as old as it looks–launched 1973–and I’ve no idea what her fate will be.  And she’s Toledo’s pride.


One of these years, I hope to see her, under this name or another, back hauling Great Lakes minerals around our Great Coast.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  And that green icon that led me here, I’m guessing it was either R/V Kiyi or R/V Kaho.  anyone help?  Chain link stood in the way of my getting any reasonable picture.

For the many previous “port of” posts on tugster, click here and scroll.


Few things about flying rival “window seat,” as they complement my lifelong fascination with maps and, later, charts.  Of course, few things are as frustrating as realizing I’m sitting on the wrong side of the airplane and can’t just run to the other side.  Anyhow, let’s play a game of window seat IDs of photos of the flight from NYC (LGA) to Quebec City with a change in Montreal.  See what you can identify here, and then I’ll post them again with annotations/identification.





#1 again.  From left to right is downstream.  Red number 1 is the South Shore Canal, the downstream-most canalized portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Red number 2 is the Lachine Rapids, so-named by Jacques Cartier and the whole reason for the locks at this location.  Cartier thought the route to China lay above the rapids, hence, La Chine.

#2 again.  Again, from left to right is downstream. Red number 1 is Habitat 67, 2 is a certain icebound brand-spanking-new US warship that will be left unnamed, 3 is the old port of Montréal, 4 is a lock in the Lachine Canal, and 5 is a certain formerly McAllister tugboat.

#3 again.  Here, bottom to top is downstream.  Red 1 is one of many random bits of ice flowing downstream toward Quebec City more or less at the location of Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, where the St. Lawrence is about two miles wide, i.e., half mile chunks of ice.

#4 again.  Red 1 is the Citadelle, 2 is Chateau Frontenac, 3 is the entrance to Bassin Louise i.e.,  a location in the ice canoe racing posts, and 4 is the bulk and containerized port of Quebec City. The long unmarked structure between 3 and 4 is the now G3 grain elevator.  To see a G3 (Global Grain Group) ship on Lake St. Clair, click here and scroll.

All photos and attempts at identification by Will Van Dorp, who’s also responsible for any misidentifications or omissions. And if you ever decide to buy me a ticket to fly somewhere, make mine a window seat or cockpit jumpsuit.

Here’s an index of my jester posts, which started summer of 2017.


To start out, here’s the Groupe Océan dock in the old port of Quebec.   The large tug to the left is Ocean Taiga; its twin Ocean Tundra is to its right.  Here’s my article on the 8200 hp twins (118′ loa x 42′) in February 2018 issue of ProfessionalMariner.

Question:  As the temperature range at this location this past weekend was a high of 12 F to a low of -6 F, is that ice safe to walk on?  Quebec has 12′ tides.

The photo above shows the entrance to Bassin Louise.  Below, Ocean Clovis T enters the bassin from the River after assisting a ship into the commercial port.  Note the straight-line break in the ice and the open water there?  To the left of that line, the ice is still;  to its right, the flood tide moves the ice upstream.  Interestingly, Ocean Clovis T used to be called Stevns Icequeen.

Now I digress, but I’ll get back to the icy river soon.  I went to Quebec for Winter Carnaval– Carnaval de Québec, originally celebrated in 1894 and then annually since 1955.  When you see “-ons” at the end of a French word, often it’s a verb and makes a suggestion.  Dansons means let’s dance.  Carnavalons means let’s carnival . . . sort of like Mardi Gras, that other pre-Lenten festival, just in a different climate.  Allons!

Above and below, the red-hatted guy is the mascot of the Carnaval, aka bonhomme carnaval, and his image is everywhere . . . like Santa Claus but it unrelated to Christmas.  He’s a snowman, i.e., a bonhomme de neige.  The snow sculpture is just called toboggan.   And notice the belt, aka ceinture fléchée, or arrow sash.

Here a sash-wearing inuksuk of ice blocks greets a statue of Champlain.  A variation of the inuksuk was the logo of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

But let’s go back to the River, where tugster meets the duchesses of Carnaval.  See the Chateau Frontenac in the distance in the upper city to the right?  We all have warm smiles for 4 degrees F, eh?

The man dressed like a logger . . . he’s the narrator for the events down by the river;  the vuvuzela bearers on either side, their answering his quiz questions, or trying to.  That’s the River behind them.

So the question .  . could you walk over the ice piles here?  They’ve just been broken up by Ocean Clovis T and,

right behind, Ocean Raynald T (ex- Stevns Iceflower ) after they assisted aptly-named Arctic into a berth in the cargo port.  I posted a photo of the spoon-bowed Arctic here (scroll;  it’s almost the last one) in November.  Ask me and I’ll post more photos of her.

Well, the sauvetage nautique  (water rescue) truck is there next to the pilots’ station.

And farther into the bassin, over by the lock, there ARE folks on the ice setting cones.

More tomorrow.  All photos by Will Van Dorp, except the one with the duchesses.  Any misread of the events is my fault alone.

I’m still stuck on that cypher 12, imagining hypothetical calendars.  So why not some trucks, other transport-for-hire “highway ships” which the blog has also strayed into due to family connections.  If I misidentify any dates here, I’m sure I’ll be corrected, but I hope you enjoy the photos.

This 1952 (?) Chevy light truck is configured like a parcel tanker plying the seas, a different vintage in each cask.

Boats can’t carry ships, but many ships carry boats, and in this case Badger carries trucks, fleets of them.

This ’49 Ford does what little it does very well:  it has a billboard mounted where a flatbed once lay.  What it advertises doesn’t matter:  it was the truck that caught me attention.

This Volvo (2014?) looked to be the way to negotiate the roads of Queens this snowy day last year.

Fuel trucks like this 1939 Dodge Airflow is guaranteed to turn heads anywhere;

While we’re on fuel trucks, I’m guessing this to be a 1950-something Diamond Reo, but I’m just guessing.  I’ve no idea about the light pickup behind it. Studebaker?

1947 Ford?

1948 or 9 Willys Jeep?  Here’s what I’m basing that on.

1941 Dodge streamliner fuel truck  . . .

Well, the cruise ship dates from 2000;  the Peterbilt . . . I’d say from the same era but with the stock grille replaced.  ??

1960 Ford F-500?

And this is a modification of replica of an art deco “guardian of traffic” from the Hope (as in Bob Hope–his father–) Memorial Bridge in Cleveland.  Who knew !  And for the record, I love those sculptures, but I can’t look at them while I’m driving.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Happy September 3, 

and August 2

and  . . . well, someone’s vision of  the moment or a zeitgeist,






All photos by Will Van Dorp, who thinks that’s where a tension exists.


Seen this logo before?  I had not.

Millville?  That would be the town formerly known as Shingle Landing in New Jersey, and here’s the origin and logic of the name.

Also, in the yard and visible and indomitable from the street overtop the buildings, it’s


And this, I take it, is the start of a new barge.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is sorry to miss the tugboat race this year.  Here was my 2009 post, and here’s an index of all the others.

Here’s more of the Grand River Navigation fleet.


According to the Harvey Hadland site, Kari A dates from 1938.  Previously known as Hustler, she was the product of Burger Boat in Manitowoc.

I was fortunate to have done this walk around in Mackinac City MI




All photos by Will Van Dorp, who wonders whether fish tugs ever towed trawl nets….


To me, this is a water craft built with craftsmanship and sailed with care.


The blue boat . . . well, I just hope the paddler is not wearing headphones.

Here’s another hand-crafted wooden boat.


Here?    Well, kayaks are fun.   I used to spend many hours in an earlier version of these surfing New Hampshire coastal waves, but I wonder about using them here.  The positive is the discovery possible in human-powered and small scale boats.

Here’s a craftsman of small craft I’d like to find more about, Ralph Frese.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


Tomorrow I head back out on my longest gallivant yet, even before I process what could be from the previous jaunt.  But I have a list I’ll work on when energy and wifi coincide.  But not to worry if I’m silent for a day or a week or three.

Part of me would be happy to stay in the boros;  if you’re near the sixth boro with a camera, keep your eyes open for  Ariadne,  the perfect name for a cable-laying vessel.

In the past month, I passed under more than a hundred bridges, and over a bunch also.  On July 22, we passed beneath the TZ Bridge, one space to the east from the main channel because of ongoing work to complete the last span.

Just to reiterate the record, the old bridge opened in December 1955.


That gap will be filled with these, then still also 100 miles away.

On July 23 we passed under these next two bridges, the Smith (1928) … the southernmost freight rail bridge since 1974.  Here’s who the Smith memorializes.

Beyond the rail bridge is the Castleton Bridge (1959), the connector between the Thruway and the MassPike. “Castleton” is a village of fewer than 2000 people.

I call this the Albany Swivel, but the more accurate name is the Livingston Avenue Bridge, opened

in 1902!  You’d think it abandoned, but if you’ve ever traveled on Amtrak through Albany, you’ve been on it.

I don’t know the actual name or alphanumeric designation for this one, but its carries all the freight/passenger trains through the Mohawk Valley.

A blurry photo I know, but it shows an Amtrak train crossing just east of lock E-19 in Frankfort NY, once world renowned home of Carlotta the lady aeronaut and the Meyers Balloon Farm.

All photos, sentiments, and any errors by Will Van Dorp, and more bridges to come as wifi and inspiration provide.


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