You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Grande Mariner’ tag.

This begins a new series, and I’ll post only when I can get on WIFI.  “Montreal bound” will soon devolve to MB.  Logistics causes me to post with a few days lag, so I’m posting from Buffalo.

To start, this is the closest I’ve been to Roger Blough so far.  One of these years, I’ll see her in much greater detail.

Since I’ve switched vessels most of this years, here’s my former ride . . . Grande Mariner, Chicago bound.  By now she’s been in Chicago a few days.

Off Wisconsin, we passed Sarah Andrie towing A-390,

Tonawanda-bound.

At the Fincantieri Bay yard in Sturgeon Bay, I saw what I believe are portions of the new VanEnkevort barge.

At the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, I enjoyed the works of its namesake and benefactor, Gerhard CF Miller, and this drawing from 1883.

No stop here would be complete without a glance at the Elizabeth NJ-built John Purves.

But leaving town by the ship canal, I had my greatest surprise . . . these two USCG 22′ ice rescue airboats.  The Door peninsula is happy they are here. 

I never knew the USCG had such equipment.  These are cell phone pics, because if I had run to my bunk to grab my camera . . . I would have missed the shot altogether.

All photos and any errors by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

Grande Mariner is on its way to Chicago from NYC via the Erie Canal.  Since I’m not onboard, I have the opportunity to watch it lock through.

The lock is on the Palatine Bridge side of the Canal, across the bridge from Canajoharie, five times larger with its population of 3500.

Note the captain (see sunglasses extreme right center of the photo) coordinating with radio info from the mates (on ship extreme left center).  What the captain can’t see but needs to know is the orientation of the bow and stern with the lock wall, ie, distance from the wall.

Once inside the chamber, the lock master (nearer) determines when the mitre gate can be closed and start to fill the lock.

Lines on the bollard secure the ship inside.

When the chamber is full, the lock master determines when the upper gates can be opened,

and Grande Mariner sails west.

Chicago . . . it’s about two weeks to the west from this location.

If you’ve ever taken Amtrak west of Amsterdam NY, you passed within 200′ of this approach wall.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who will be westbound on the sister ship in less than a week.

And that’s not some sports scores.  This is a set of photos from a two-day run from Sylvan Beach to Waterford, locks E22 to E2.

A chart identifies locations along the Canal that are just ghosts, absences now like “USAF oil docks”

rather than presences.

Eyes outside though show presences, lots of small boats, very small like

these sculls on the summit level.

We squeeze through the guard gate just west of Rome, where

Captain Jack Graham passed us, passing the entry point of the Mohawk River into the Canal, the same area marked by the chart capture above.

Recreational boats were out on this Sunday morning, and

work boats BB 121 and BB 57 stayed tied up.  I don’t know the number of the one of the bank where, a year ago, we would have seen the now-Sound-submerged T7. 

Thistle passed, a Newport boat,

as did this one, name unknown.

Tender #2 (T2) is tied up until Monday in the Utica area,

west of lock E18.

Shooting Star seems an unlikely vessel to have come up from Peekskill.

Steeling’ Away is a classic small cabin cruiser I’d guess from the 1950s, the time of two-tone cars.  Anyone know the manufacturer?

In some thick fog above E10, it’s BB 107.

  

Below E09, it’s the bateaux of Mabee Farm, the oldest house in the Mohawk Valley.

Scotty waits with a scow below E07.

 

And below 3/5s of the flight, it’s Tender #3

and at Hudson River level, it’s Riverkeeper.

Photo #6 (of GM) by Bob Graham.  All other by Will Van Dorp, who at this point is almost home.

 

 

Bright and early, Kithy P passes Grande Mariner and enters

lock O8.

We followed Kithy P later, and departing lock O5, we met Rebecca Ann, who would enter the lock we had just vacated.

(Note:  as of today, Rebecca Ann is transiting the Welland Canal on the return trip to the sixth boro.)

On our way to Fulton, we passed some exotics.

And on our way to Phoenix, we passed my favorite docks in the system . . . repurposed flatbed trailers, three of them together.

This pontoon vessel had to exit O1 before we could enter, and

River Rose, a former sixth boro excursion boat now relocating to Michigan, had to wait for us.

 

And dead ahead, it’s Three Rivers, Clay NY, where the Oswego and the Erie Canals meet.   We will turn to port . . . east.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

This is Oswego to Port Colborne, by way of Rochester . . . actually Charlotte on the Genesee.   The whale-watch headed Grande Caribe.  No . . . the Great Lakes have no whales. At the port is Robert S. Pierson, a river-class bulker.

I repeat a variation of this image.  The Erie canal flows under the arched bridge and the Genesee . . . under the longer, flatter bridge.

We take a pilot right outside Port Weller, the Ontario end of the Welland Canal, and then

enter upbound.

 

Nassau-flagged Victory II met us between locks 7 and 8.

From right to left here, that’s Pierson  again, a sailing vessel, and Capt. Henry Jackman.

Now more on that sailing vessel . . . schooner Empire Sandy.  You have to read this link:  she started her life as a tugboat!

HMCS Oriole is a 1921 ketch, whose origins hearken back to both Toronto and Neponset, MA.

 

Capt. Henry Jackman waits in Port Colborne as does

Baie St Paul. Jackman was built in the Collingwood Shipyards, whereas St Paul comes from Jiangsu China.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Too bad this intriguingly named RORO was so far away when I saw it.  Actually Drive Green is the project;  the actual vessel name is Drive Green Highway.  The project seeks to reduce NOx and CO2; it’s more streamlined, uses slippery hull coating, incorporates solar-powered LED lighting throughout the ship, and more.  Click here for RORO history.  I don’t know why the orange is not some version of chartreuse.

Breezy Victoria really should be parts of a “names” post, but I took it this same foggy visit to this part of the port.

Note the upper 400′ of the Staten Island side bridge tower is missing as

Pilot No 1 aka New York heads back out to her station.   Here from winter 2014 is the same boat at the same bridge in different weather.

If you use your peripheral vision, you can just make out West Bank Light off the starboard stern of pilot boat New York.

Orange Ocean follows the fog bank into the Narrows.

And here’s the vessel I came out to see:  Grande Mariner on her return from Honduras!!  Here you can see the West Bank Light a little more clearly.

I board Grande Mariner again in July, for some more tours of the Great Lakes.  Next winter’s plan for Grande Mariner is a trip to Panama! 

Having no pressing demands on Thursday morning, I went back down to the Narrows, and once again it was

socked in!

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

The channels –here negotiated by Pride–run close to shore along the southern side of Mackinac Island,

necessitating careful monitoring of navaids, here is Buckthorn.

Near the strait that forms the somewhat undefined boundary between Huron and Michigan,  we meet Sharon M I pushing Huron Spirit, the barge and not the pilot boat by the same name.

The massive bridge spanning the strait here is about 10 miles to the east.  Click here to find out where the Mack Bridge ranks among the longest suspension bridges in the world as of now.

Note the blue color the water.  Here’s how the colors of the Great Lakes look from satellite images.  Earlier this year a Sea Grant scientist told me the new issue on the Lakes, especially the upper ones is oligotrophism related to zebra and quagga mussels.  Erie, however,  tends toward the hypereutrophic with especially serious algae blooms this summer.

Until I’ve a better system for night photos on the dark Lake, I’ll dispense with photos like the one below.

The Budweiser mural on the silos in Manitowoc today is just a mural, artwork, since the silos are now owned by Briess.  No beer–except home brew– is made in this part of this town.  As to the current owners, here’s the Briess Malt & Ingredients site, resident peregrine and all.

SS Badger can withstand anything the Lake can throw at her, but crossing in extreme weather might make for uncomfortable and dangerous conditions for the passengers, as was the case within 24 hours of my taking this photo.

Here’s a fluvial centric map of Chicago.  We docked just south of the area marked 4 here, but I decided to scout out Bubbly Creek, near 1.

Here’s a photo of Bubbly Creek from a century back, along with an explanation of the name.

My actual destination on Bubbly Creek was the Chicago Maritime Museum.  Check them out. If I’d have been there a little later, I could have gone to the presentation on Cap Streeter, a synopsis of which is here.

Once docked, though, I wanted to explore the southern shore water’s edge around to the east, to Indiana.  That’s the Chicago skyline below, and

here, is more of the picture I wanted, the Burn’s Harbor steel making site, part of the manufacturing infrastructure for which much of the Lakes’ traffic exists.

Quite a nice beach, actually.

All photos and sentiments and any inadvertent errors by Will Van Dorp, who will soon return to this area and suspend new blog posts until  reliable wifi is available.

Although I’m a newbie, this being only my second run on Huron, I suspect this view dominates the experience of crossing Huron, possibly Superior also, which I’ve not traversed.  Huron is the inland sea with the longest shoreline, surrounded by sparse population.  Sarnia, the largest city on Huron has about 70,000; Port Huron, 30,000; and Alpena, 10,000.  Of course, Bay City–population 35,000– lies there also, but at more than 50 miles into Saginaw Bay, it’s a city you go to as a destination, which I need to do soon.  I’m eager to visit all the towns along this lake.

Off to starboard, it’s Thunder Bay, China-built, Seawaymax.

To port, it’s barge Menominee pushed by

Olive L. Moore.  If you look at no other link than this one in this post, check this one for the evolution of this tug since the hull was first laid down in Manitowoc in 1928, designed low to fit under the bridges in Chicago.

Arcticus ,Laurentian, a USGS vessel launched in 2014, was working some research project off our starboard.  Here’s a post I did in 2014 on another USGS vessel at its christening in Oswego.

Otherwise, along the shore there are lights  like Thunder Bay Island Light,

(and I’m not sure of the identification here) New Presque Isle Light, and

Spectacle Reef Light.

Near here, we passed tug Michigan pushing barge Great Lakes, which I last saw in Montreal last fall.

 

Martin Reef Light tells us we’re approaching the Straits, as

does the appearance of Kristen D, the ferry between Cheboygan and another Bois Blanc Island–more places to visit some day. Kristen D dates from the late 1980s.

Samuel D. Champlain I could pick out anywhere by its profile, but John C. Munson I had to check on my device. SDC appeared on this blog several times before, with a closeup here, and in a previous iteration here. Last year I caught SDC southbound in roughly the same end of Lake Huron.

And less than a mile from the dock on Mackinac Island, we pass Round Island Light.

Writing this post has clarified one section of where my next road trip will take me.  All photos and sentiments, errors, etc. by Will Van Dorp.

Related:  Check out these 10 facts about the Great Lakes.

Unrelated:  The 2017 NYC tugboat race is scheduled for Sunday Sept. 3. 

“Motor city” is another name for Detroit, but “detroit” is only part of the name for the waterway given by the French explorer Cadillac when he led the first Europeans to settle “Fort Pontchartrain du Detroit” on a bank of “le détroit du lac Érié,”  the strait of Lake Erie), linking Lake Huron and Lake Erie; historically,  the strait included the St. Clair River, Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River.

Some time after departing the Cuyahoga, we pass this mysterious site.  Any ideas?  I’ll identify it at the end of this post.

If you’re not at the helm, straits bring the treat of relatively close passage with other traffic, like Dorothy Ann and Pathfinder here.

Perry’s Victory and International Peace Memorial is a 352′ monument we can all live with, sans controversy.

As we approach the center of the contemporary city of Detroit, traffic and industry intensify.   I’d never noticed GLW’s glowing slag heaps, like crafted flows of lava.

On the Windsor side, Frontenac transfers payload .  . not sure what.  Salt maybe?

On the American side, 1000′ Edwin H. Gott is likely discharging Superior ore or taconite.

Sturgeon Bay-built Sam Laud watches from the Rouge.  Laud, the namesake, moved from shop painter and riveter to CEO of GATX.

Folks on the bridge of Algoma Olympic, Port Weller-built and down bound here just south of the Ambassador Bridge, must be experiencing the frustration of having to worry about devil-may-care recreational boaters.  Recently, a high profile meeting of stake holders was held at Port Huron to deal with difficult small boat operators, one in particular who decided to play chicken with a freighter .

Last year this China-built tug was called Victorious;  now she’s know as Leo A. McArthur, and as then, she pushes hot asphalt contained in John J. Carrick.

Patricia Hoey (built 1949) is a good example of the extended life experienced by freshwater boats.

A McAsphalt unit like Leo A. McDonald, Everlast, matched as always with Norman McLeod, is Japan-built.

I’d love to learn more about this Windsor home, but the name on the facade is that of the Massachusetts-born founder of Canadian Club whisky.

Just north of Belle Isle, SS Ste. Claire, Boblo ferry sister of SS Columbia marks Kean’s Marina.

And with night falling and work for me to do, we’ll leave this post only partway through the strait with Kaye E. Barker, once Benson Ford III.  Notice the GMRenCen in the distance just forward of the front of the self-unloading arm?  GMRenCen was built by Ford.

The return of daylight will find us in Lake Huron.  To see the St. Clair River by daylight, click here.  All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp.

The sinuous structures in the top photo depict Cedar Point as seen from a few miles out in the lake.

 

 

 

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.

 

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