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Last winter I planned a trip along the southern shore of Lake Erie, hoping to catch photos of lakers in ice.  The results were here, a week after ice out, a schedule that depended on someone else’s time off.  It was a fun trip, but the photos I hoped for eluded me.  Well, Brian caught them in the photos below.  GL New York (1913) and Rhode Island (1930) are frozen in, and Oberstar is so deep in hibernation that her shutters are pulled down.

 

Between the stern of Oberstar and the bow of Presque Ile in the distance, that’s Dorothy Ann, half the ATB with . . .

barge Pathfinder, launched in 1953 as the ore boat J. L. Mauthe.  The stern of the newly-renamed barge Maumee clearly shows the deep notch.  Maumee also started life as a 1953-launched ore boat.

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Tug Victory, which worked in salt water for her first 25 years,  is laid up here between her barge Maumee, until recently called James L. Kuber, and J. S. St John.

Many thanks to Brian for letting me share these photos on tugster.

 

 

Here are some previous posts with photos from Paul.

If you want to see all my posts with photos of these wonderful towing machines, click here, the tag GLT.

Illinois is typical of this fleet.  Look at the riveted hull.  She’s still working, launched in 1914, before the US entered WW1!!!    Behind her is Idaho, 1931.  If you want an exemplar of American engineering and manufacturing, you need look no farther than this fleet.

New Jersey dates from 1924.    . . . . .       And Wisconsin is the oldest.  I’ll let you guess and you can read the answer below.

Wyoming . . .  1929.

Many thanks to Paul Strubeck.

1897!!  And she still works.  some day I hope she goes to the Smithsonian, as long as the Smithsonian establishes a wet display area.  And of course, the National Museum of the Great Lakes has already seen fit to add one of these to their wet display.  more on that later.   If I lived closer, I’d be there on November 30.

There’s a whole chapter on G-tugs in Tugboats of the Great Lakes by Franz A. VonRiedel.

 

I had a high school math teacher armed with adages like “sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you.”  It came to mind this morning as happens sometimes, this set of photos set themselves up, a situation much better than when sometimes you taste the frustration of being minutes or seconds too late.

We arrived in Milwaukee the same time as Lubie, and the sun was just rising. Perfect.

Enjoy this sequence of tug Minnesota yanking the bulk carrier by the stern and rotating it a full 180 degrees.

 

I would have been even happier with a fixed location, but we were headed in.

 

I can’t complain though.  And Minnesota, she’s been doing this kind of yanking since 1911!!  She’s been working since before the Titanic sank.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Again, many thanks to Christine Douglas, let’s explore the Calumet River a bit more.  Actually, a lot more.  Let’s go back and see more of the GL yard.  From l to r here, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, and Louisiana.

Closest up is the oldest . . . Virginia, launched 1914, just two years younger than Grouper aka Alaska and Green Bay. Virginia was re-powered in 1921 and again in 1951.

Massachusetts dates from 1928.

After a few hours, she headed up the Calumet for a tow.

For a ninety-year-old machine making a profit, she was just beautiful.

 

Next under the 96th Street Bridge was Florida, 1926.

Note the orientation and shape of the aft bitt.

The bridge . . . Calumet River Norfolk Southern RR Bridges . . . dates from 1912.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  Again, thanks to Christine for the tour.

 

This is Toledo to Detroit . . .and we start with Bessie B 

making her way out toward the mouth of the Maumee River.

Laid up . . . it’s Manistee.

This post is geographically arranged . . . otherwise, I’d put this first.  Tug Wisconsin used to be America, launched 1897!!

This ferry is in the Detroit River, crossing between Bois Blanc Island and Amherstburg, both in Ontario.

Wagenborg has lots of vessels, this one for the location appropriately named Americaborg.

 

CSL Tadoussac heads upstream and

H. Lee White, who has a museum named for him in Oswego . . .  down bound.

Here’s some info about Mr. White.

And off the stern of John G. Munson . . .

the new digs for Cheyenne, a former denizen of the sixth boro.

 

And closing it out behind Zug Island . . . it’s Missassagi, unloader stowed and minutes away from the next upbound trip.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Edda Fram runs back and forth, it seems, from shore (Scotland)  to various oil platforms in the North Sea.  Rough weather operation necessitates seats hard to fall out of.

Solomon T, once operated by Elbert Felton (shown), is a 1938 restored inside the Outer Banks fishing vessel, with seat and wheel appropriate to 1938.

MV Argyle is a ferry that operates on the Firth of Clyde.

T-ATF 172 USNS Apache has a spacious bridge.

Tug Mississippi, in service doing commercial work since 1916 (102 years!!) has a “bar stool” and a tiller.  It was repowered from steam to diesel electric in 1957.

Converted Bering Sea crabber Ocearch has wide bridge.  Here’s an article I did on their shark research program a year and a half ago.  Follow individuals of different species of shark around  the ocean in real time here.

A seat on an ATB? here’s the spacious wheelhouse of Paul T Moran.

Lake Express is a fast ferry that crosses Lake Michigan several times a day from Milwaukee to Muskegon.  One of these days, I’ll cross the lake fast.

Here’s another fast ferry, Athena,  sometimes serving Block Island.

Kaori is a 2004 tug operating in New Caledonia.

I’ll close out this post with the seat of power in the powerful Ocean Taiga.  For an article I wrote on this St. Lawrence tug, click here.

To protect the anonymity of some folks who sent along these photos, let me just give a tip of the hat to all the photographers.  Unless you send along more photos or unless I take some more, this’ll be the last in this series.  Any seats out there in strange colors?

Here’s a new look in ship-assist boats.  Can you tell what else is unconventional?

More on the design later in the post.

This is a classic design in freshwater tugs.  And this particular boat you’ve seen in a number of posts on this blog in 2016, if you’re a faithful reader.  It’s in these.

I’ve never seen Grouper‘s hull out of the water–and I hope to some day–but I’m imagining it’s fairly similar.

It’s GL tug Nebraska, 1929 launched, still working in Toledo, and in the yard only for preventative maintenance.   Over in the distance, that’s Maine, nearing the century mark and likely to be scrapped soon. Here’s an entire page with links devoted to GL tugs ….

You’ve seen this design before:  Cheraw is a YTB of the vintage of tugs like the sixth boro’s Ellen McAllister, but in the livery of the USACE.  I don’t know if USACE operates any other ex-YTBs among their very large fleet.

And in closing this post, here’s Seahound, 1941 built in the US and since 1957 working in Canada.  Since these shots show her at a dock in Windsor and pushing a barge marked . .  .

ferry service, I’m left wondering if Seahound shuttles vehicles between here and Detroit.  Anyone help?  And I know better than to take any names literally, but given her location, she might better be called Straithound?

So to get back to the top two photos . . . that’s Cleveland, the prototype for a new series of  harbor assist tugs built in Cleveland using a Damen design.  And what you may have noticed is the absence of a stack.  Engines exhaust through the stern.  Much more in this article from Professional Mariner here.   Here’s more from the Damen site.  Here are other links showing the environment where GL tugs operate while assisting cargo vessels in Cleveland.

All photos, sentiments, and any inadvertent errors by Will Van Dorp, who’s grateful to Great Lakes Shipyard for the tour.

 

After a seiche sped us from Buffalo to Cleveland through the night, morning found us under the Cleveland Memorial Shoreline Bridge, down where the Cuyahoga flows.  Cuyahoga, to most non-Clevelanders of my generation, connotes a many times burning river of the past.

Here’s a reference to that time on a sign inside the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.  I never visited Cleveland in the 1960s or ’70s, and without these opportunities to visit now, I’d have imagined it a possible setting for a Philip K. Dickesque dystopia.  As a caveat, let me say upfront that  I’ve not lived in Cleveland, so this post is based on impressions gleaned from reading and quick visits like this one.  But

this has to be the most unexpected postscript to any predictions made in 1972.

Believe it or not, this working Iowa is 102 years young.

All these photos–except the one directly above which I took on July 4, 2016–were taken in a few-hour period of time in late July 2017.

Restoration indeed, and with the collaboration of Cuyahoga River Restoration, cuyahoga arts & culture, and  ArcelorMittal.

Yet commerce goes on. It does not have to be “either-or-or.” A 634′ Buffalo weaves through what must be a captain’s nightmare to get to the steel plant under the corkscrew path of the Cuyahoga.

 

Simultaneously, a 630′ Manitowoc exits the Old River after having taken on a full load of road salt for Milwaukee from the Cargill Salt mines extending far under Lake Erie.

For both watch standers, this has to be an ordeal of concentration.

 

 

And a waterway already juggling commercial vessels and recreationalists, trains are another factor;  all small vessels lined up as one train after another cross this bridge move expeditiously once the lift rises.

 

My early 1970s self would never have imagined 2017 Cuyahoga’s mouth, although

accidents sometimes happen.

Still, I believe the effort is worth it.

All photos and sentiments by a gallivanting 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.

 

except “random” here  just means in the order that I encountered them on my all-too-short gallivant around Wisconsin.

In Sturgeon Bay, I finally saw the 149′ x 27.8′ John Purves, built in Elizabeth NJ in 1919, definitely retired now but looking great as part of Door County Maritime Museum.  John P. Holland had some connections with Patterson and the shipyard in Elizabethport NJ–right across from Howland Hook terminal, as well, where the USN’s first series of submarines was built.  See some here (and scroll).

Stern to stern with Purves is Donny S, formerly ATA 230, G. W. Codrington, William P. Feeley, William W. Stender, and Mary Page Hannah.  She’s 135.5′ x 33.1′ and is said to hail from Cleveland.  She was building a Levingson Shipyard in Orange TX.

I gather she was once part of the Hannah Marine fleet, as in here.

Quite a number of Selvick tugs rafted up here as well:  right to left:  William Selvick, Jacquelyn Yvonne, Sharon M Selvick, Cameron, Susan L, and William C. Gaynor. … a bit too tightly packed for good photos.

Farther south in Kewaunee, WI, I stumbled upon Ludington, a 1943 Jakobson Oyster Bay tug just a month older than Nash, restored to Navy gray and part of the exhibit in Oswego NY’s H. Lee White Maritime Museum.  Lots of tugboats–current and older–in the sixth boro hail from Jakobson’s, now all gone.

In Milwaukee, I was fortunate to track down tug Wisconsin.  Now that might seen less than ordinary until you learn she dates from 1897 and still works!!  She’s gone through more names than there are Great Lakes but here she is.

Off her stern Minnesota and Superior (almost invisible) are rafted up.  The 1911 Minnesota is a year older than Urger but still profitable.  Superior was launched in 1912 in Manitowoc and still works in ship assist and lakes towing.

I’ll need some help on this one, high and dry just beyond Superior.  For some of the more GL tugs previously posted here, click here, here,  and here.

Joey D is a workboat boat, 60′ x 20′ launched 2012, built in Cleveland.

My guess is that this is the boat Joey D replaced, but that’s sheer conjecture.  It’s not conjecture that this bow’s seen some ice and made contact.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who’s eager to get back to the Great Lakes basin and see more.

 

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