You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Great Lakes’ tag.

I could barely make her out, since we were several miles off a shore I was paying attention to for its own sake.  Some closeups taken last year appear at the end of the post, showing Lee A. Tregurtha as she’s put together now, so different from her first lives in the Atlantic and Pacific which could have seen her torpedoed and coral- or something-encrusted in the deeps.

Some major quarrying takes place there, north of Alpena MI,

rendering a +800′ ship almost invisible.

I know I’m exaggerating, but this enterprise leads me to imagine that Lake Huron might be enlarged here until there becomes an Upper Peninsula and a Lower one with a long coastline between Huron Beach and Petoskey,  creating the island of Cheboygan in between and a cable-stayed crossing at Indian River.

Yes, I digress,

but some thousand years from now . . ..

who knows . .

 

So here’s how the fore section of  Lee A. looks today.  She was launched in 1942 as SS Samoset, then six months later acquired by the USN as USS Chiwawa.

Here’s the distinctive stern.

The midsection arrived from Germany in 1960 towed by the tug Zeeland.

For all the details, here’s a tip of the hat to George Wharton and located on boatnerd.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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Alpena was my elusive ship, and then  . . . just like that . . . on her voyage out from Alpena MI, there she was.

She’s the last of her class, working since 1942, lugging cement products around all five Great Lakes.

She’s a beauty.

Maybe if I study these photos long enough, I’ll learn to paint or draw.

 

Click here to see and hear her moving out of the McArthur Lock at the Soo.   And here, she departs Cleveland, and footage of tug Iowa in the Cuyahoga is especially rewarding.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I saw Iglehart in Duluth.  Is Crapo still in the Rouge?  And of course, the Townsend has just arrived in Port Colborne’s MRC.

Off in the distance, I believe those lights are Greys Reef and Skillagalee . . . and the

ship is another 1000-footer named for an Indiana port.  Maybe it’s the time of day, but I think I see the iron ore dust on the white paint.

Getting back to my invented  TTT unit (twenty-ton trailer), she has the capacity of 3942.5 trucks off the road.

Algoway (1972) is another appropriate -sized laker, serving ports otherwise possibly inaccessible, and replacing 1200 trucks.

Here she passes through the Round Island Channel, eastbound.

Notice the hatch in the hull below the stack?

An engineer taking some fresh air?

American Spirit . . .  another 1000-footer . .. has a capacity equal to 3120 TTT.  Imagine having all those trucks on the highways between the mines and the steel mills 500+ to the south!

Anyone know how many tons of cargo these boats lug in a season?

Philip R. Clarke, 1265 TTTs.

I do love the paint scheme of USS Great Lakes fleet.

James R. Barker, 3165 TTT.

She’s been running for 41 years on the lakes.

 

And as James R. Barker disappears in the direction of the Soo and Lake Superior, Hon. James L. Oberstar (1550 TTT) heads for the steel mills.

Here’s a list of the 1000-footers on the Great Lakes

American Century

American Integrity

American Spirit

Burns Harbor

Edgar B. Speer

Edwin H. Gott

Indiana Harbor

James R. Barker

Mesabi Miner

Paul R. Tregurtha

Presque Isle ITB

Stewart J. Cort

Walter J, McCarthy Jr.

For an alphabetical listing of these Great Lakes-locked vessels, check out Dick Lund’s page.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

 

 

 

My staying with this * thread leads me to wonder how to refer to this long peaceful international boundary between the US and Canada, and after rejecting a few like “third coast” (It would be disputed with the Gulf of Mexico) and “fresh coast” (Fresh has too many negative connotations) I’ve settled –for myself–with “great coast.”  Keep the Lakes Great stems from great partnerships.  Check out this great short video.

So let’s continue with this cataloging of a finite set of vessels from both countries along the great coast.

  CSL Laurentian (1977) is a fleet mate of my erstwhile crush . . . Alice Oldendorff.  We’ve we’ve both moved on;  at least I have.  I can’t speak for Alice of the stone heart.

Kaye E. Barker is one of the classics, to me.  Launched in 1952, she went back to work in spring 1976 after experiencing  a 120′ growth spurt that allowed her to lug 6000 more tons of cargo.

Adding a self-unloader shortened her in-port times, making her more profitable in the steel-related trades.

Here she’s at the south end of Lake St Clair, Detroit river bound.

Atlantic Huron‘s story here details just how much of an panAmerican boat she is, having worked from the Orinoco to Newfoundland.

As a former resident of Indiana, I’m amazed by the diverse usage of that state’s 40-mile shoreline along Lake Michigan from national lakeshore to national leader in steel production.

As such, it’s not surprising to find this name on one of the Great Lakes 1000-footers.

Can you tell the direction of travel?

Can you “read” the prop wash of Calumet?

Here the 1973 “river class” boat has backed out of the stone dock in Holland MI and is heading through Lake Macatawa out to Lake Michigan.

All photos and sentiments by Will Van Dorp, who will continue to unpack the summer (and fall) gallivants, along with a few diversions.

 

The * here denotes these are freshwater ships, plying their trade along what must be the longest peaceful international water boundary in the world, a fact I think deserves to be more widely known and celebrated.  Here are installments 1–3.

Radcliffe R. Latimer has appeared here a year ago.  For a complete history of the 1978 launched vessel on her third name after a transformative trip to China, click here.

Algoma Mariner is entirely built in China, delivered in 2011. Initially, the forebody was intended for Algoport, a vessel I’d photographed the the Seaway in July 2008, but (to allude to a story told by links here) Algoport sank on its way to China.   For more detail of this vessel, let me redirect you again to boatnerd.

The United Way logo here piqued my curiosity, and here’s the answer from corporate Algoma.

 

Buffalo is US-built and US-registered, a product of Sturgeon Bay WI and launched in 1978.

Bigger isn’t always better, and that’s the genesis of Manitowoc, built to negotiate the rivers around the Great Lakes, waterways where commerce and manufacture still lives inside cities often dismissed as having succumbed to “rust belt” disease.   She was launched in 1973 in Lorain OH.

Frontenac is a Canadian built launched in 1968

the the classic “house forward” design.

Coe Leni is the only “salty” in this batch.

Her previous name–Marselisborg–is still visible.

Sam Laud is another Sturgeon Bay WI product, launched in 1974.

Algoma Olympic–named for Canada’s hosting of the games in 1976–was launched that same year.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who hopes you’re forming an impression of the dynamic economic engine along the international border with our friendly neighbors to our north.

 

 

Happy fall equinox.  This seems as good a time as any to honor Poseidon with a photo parade of more fish tugs, to really challenge a segue. . .

as is grouping Lady Kate with fishing tugs.  It appears she was built as passenger vessel G. A. Buckling II back in 1952, and is wearing her fourth name now, but

she certainly has the lines of a fish tug despite possibly never having worked as such.  I’m sure someone will weigh in on this.

Doris M is a fish tug built in Erie in 1947, and given the flags,

she appears to still work.

Real Glory is a real deal:  a Lake Erie fishing boat that sells the catch right from the pier, according to this news article.

If I lived nearby, here’s where I’d get my fish dinner.

Environaut (1950) is a 48′ science platform for Gannon University.   

Big Bertha is a 1945 Stadium Boat Works fish tug, built as Gloria Mae.

I love how shore power plugs in here.

Thanks to this site, I can confirm that ASI Clipper, which I’ve wondered about before, began its life as a 1938 Port Colborne-built fish tug.  Here’s a photo from that earlier incarnation.

And finally, we end here, it’s Eleanor D, a 1946 Stadium Boat Works fish tug about to be eclipsed by Stephen B. Roman.  Here’s a closer-up photo of Eleanor D I took almost a decade ago.  Like me, Stephen B Roman has been roaming a lot.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is honored to have been interviewed on WBAI’s Talk Back–New York, We and Thee show.  To hear the interview, click here and start listening at about the 1 hour 38 minute mark on the Sept 20 show.

And if you haven’t seen this yet on PBS, stream Erie: The Canal that Made America here.

And finally, click here for the “fishing tugs” tugster archive.

 

I’m back near the sixth boro now and have photos for at least through early October, at which time I leave on another gallivant.

So here’s step one in catching up.  Up the meandering Cuyahoga, here are Iowa (1915) and Oklahoma (1913);  these boats were built to work and last.

 

The vintage GL tugs may just be replaced for the next century by this design:  Cleveland, launched less than six months ago . . . 2017.

Click here for a recent article on Cleveland.

Cleveland in this series was doing assist for 610′ x 78′ sand barge Ashtabula powered by 142′ tug Defiance

Here’s Elizabeth Anna in the Lake Erie port on Erie PA.

Elizabeth Anna (ex-Bear) last appeared on this blog here.

In the entrance to the old Buffalo River, here’s Daniel Joncaire II, a NYPA tug

launched in late 2015 by Great Lakes Shipyard in Cleveland. NYPA uses the tug for ice boom installations near its hydropower units on the Niagara River. I’m curious now about Niagara Queen II and William H. Latham

I’ve always had misgivings about my series title “freshwater tugs” and here’s a good illustration why:  Calusa Coast–here with Kirby barge Delaware–was until a few years ago a regular in the saltwater and brackish , in and out of the sixth boro.   Here she is in the Niagara River headed for Black Rock.

Beyond her stern here is the combination Buffalo Intake Crib Lighthouse. 

And to close out today’s post, it’s Sarah Andrie, another tug that’s made the transition from saltwater to fresh . . . the former Caribe Service.

She’s making her way here upstream into Lake Erie from the Welland Canal.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

At first, I’d been concerned these folks in green kayakers were holding the wall for stability.

Then later I saw this and realized that the Chicago River has so much current that

one guide’s role in a “muster” is to paddle up current to keep the raft from heading for the Mississippi.

And this styling?

It only made sense when I saw them again in the Straits….

I believe this is a Ranger 21 . . .

nice, but maybe having an exhilarating day.

And recreational fishing, there’s a lot of it in

the lake and its bays

all day long.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Quick post here:  This is the best I could do with Prentiss Brown Bradshaw McKee and her barge, Challenger, formerly the vintage St. Marys Challenger.  Click here for the story of the conversion.

They departed after us and passed far to starboard.

Here headed for Ste Sainte Marie, it’s Avenger IV, another classic.

The barge is PML 9000, and I’ve no idea of the cargo, regular or otherwise.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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. 

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