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Here are previous installments in the series.  Summer sail can take the form of foil-raised GP racing as will happen in the sixth boro this weekend;  it can also happen on longer courses and require stamina and endurance as happens in some races ending in Mackinac.

All the photos in this post come from Jeff Gritsavage, as he was delivering a yacht from Florida to Lake Michigan.  Some of you will recognize that this shot was taken in an Erie Canal lock.  A few of you will name the lock.  Answer at the end of this post.

I’ll help you out here; this was taken on the Oswego Canal, a spur that was developed to connect the Erie Canal and Syracuse to Lake Ontario.  Name the town?

Another town on the Oswego Canal.  Name it?

This is the same town, and the boats are exiting the same lock as seen above.  In fact, about 500′ beyond the opening mitre gates is the location I took this photo of Urger and a State Police cruiser almost exactly 5 years ago.

This is Oswego.  White Hawk has arrived on its first Great Lake.  The masts await and will be stepped because air draft issues

no longer apply.

Welland Canal is less than 30 miles long, but it’s

 

the way around Niagara Falls in 8 easy steps.

Coexistence with larger vessels is the rule on the Welland Canal.

Above and below is one of the hardest working tug/barge units on the lakes . . . Wilf Seymour and Alouette Spirit

And on any lucky passage through the Welland, you’ll see vessels like Fednav‘s Federal Dee,

Polsteam‘s Mamry, and

Canada Steamship LinesCSL Tadoussac.

Before I give the answers to the questions above, here’s another town/Erie Canal location to identify.  Click on the photo to find its attribution AND the article that explains what’s happening with White Hawk.

So . . . the answers are lock E-23, Phoenix NY, Fulton NY, and finally above . . . .

 

that’s Rome.   Click here for a previous tugster post on the Rome to Oswego run.

Many thanks to Capt. Jeff for sharing these photos here.

And I’ll be looking for White Hawk on the Lakes this summer.

 

 

Recognize the bridge and lighthouses?  A clue . . .  it’s on the freshwater coast of the US.

Here’s a continuation of the bridge above.  More importantly, you see the escort vessel in the background, none other than the venerable Neeskay, originally a 1953 Higgins T-boat and now the primary research vessel for UW Milwaukee, where these photos were taken.

The yellow vessel in the foreground above is an unmanned surface vessel produced by L3 Technologies.  Here’s more on the range of applications.

I’ve not noticed any yet, but I do keep my eyes peeled for USVs in bathymetric survey work in the sixth boro. Has anyone seen any?

Many thanks to Greg Stamatelakys, captain of Neeskay, for these photos.

 

Or, stated less succinctly, March came in like a hibernating turtle, and is ending like a springtime cottontail.

Here’s a March 11 AIS grab.  A circle means a vessel is docked or anchored.  There’s a single vessel underway NE bound on Lake Erie.  It’s a Canadian CG ice breaker.

Below, less than two weeks later, it’s 0700 March 25.  The Soo locks opened on March 25 soon after midnight.  Stewart J Cort  (SJC) was the first vessel through, and it was upbound in ballast.   Here are some tugster posts featuring SJC, a 1000′ ship partly built in the Gulf of Mexico to fit through the St Lawrence Seaway and then added to in Erie PA.

The downbound vessels in Lake Superior over-wintered in Duluth.  The stopped vessels near Whitefish Point in Lake Superior are blocked by an ice “plug” reportedly 20 miles long, 4 miles wide, and 4 feet thick.  The three upbound tugs (aqua green) in Lake Huron are the Van Enkevort ATBs (Joyce and Clyde)  and Samuel de Champlain.

0030 March 28.  The Welland Canal (near Buffalo) has been open for a few days now, and check out all the upbound traffic on Lake Erie.  Ditto, Lake Superior has become quite busy.   The magenta dots are recreational; although some are online, none are moving.

1000 today, March 30.   The upbound (towards the Chicago steel plants) vessel along the east side of the Lake is Stewart J Cort, heading for Burns Harbor IN with her first load of ore.    Of note is the only magenta or “recreational” boat under way.  See it in the middle of Lake Ontario.  This is a vessel to watch in the next months;  it’s Bramble.

Bramble (USCGC WLB-392)  is embarking on a third life.  Launched in Duluth in 1943, she served  in the Atlantic Caribbean, and Pacific, as well as the Great Lakes.  After decommissioning in 2003, she became a museum ship the same year.  In 2018, she was listed with a yacht broker and sold to a private party who is now taking her to Mobile AL, under her own power, to be rehabbed and refitted for a reenactment of her 1957 voyage through the Northwest Passage.  

I took these photos on July 7, 2016, while she was at the Bean Dock in Port Huron MI.

Click here for some predictions for the 2019 Great Lakes season.  Better yet, find some dates that you can witness some of the traffic first hand.

All AIS captures and interpretations and photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

I’ll take a different tack here.  From a design perspective, Kaye E. Barker illustrates what I understand as the unique lines of the classic laker, sometimes called a longboat.  She was launched the same year I was born.  Combing through the records of her various owners, it might be possible to calculate the tonnage of payload she has transported and the profits generated, these days at 25,900 tons per load although previously less than that.

Click here for a slideshow of this vessel under the name Barker as well as her previous names:  Greene and Ford.  She’s the only AAA-class laker with a triple level house forward.

What became of one of her sister vessels–J. L. Mauthe–can be read about here.  I previously posted photos here of the sister boat that now barge Pathfinder.

Edwin H. Gott is one of the 13 “footers” aka “thousand-footers.”   Great Lakes Fleet–a CN company– has the best paint scheme, in my opinion.  Here’s an article on CN’s acquisition of GLF.

Cason J. Callaway is another GLF boat, but she has a cargo capacity of 25,300 tons versus 74,100 tons for Gott.

Although part of a different fleet than Barker above, Callaway embodies the same design referred to as AAA boats.

From this angle, you can see the long “skinny” hull.

In different light, time of day and a different lake, here’s Michipicoten on her last run of the season.  She’s currently in winter layup at DonJon Shipbuilding in Erie PA.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this series.  I’m back in the sixth boro and Tugster-Tower-tied for a spell.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Because of a cold brisk wind, I shot some of these through glass, which is never a good idea.   But looking at this set, taken between Belle Isle and Sarnia, illustrate the variety of lakers, all in a context of not a single recreational vessel, something you’d never see in summer.

Select info from the excellent boatnerd site says this:  launched in 1943! from American Shipbuilding in Lorain OH, Cuyahoga was sold to Canadian interests in 1995, cargo capacity of 15, 675 tons, 620′ x 60′ and converted from steam to diesel between the 1999 and 2000 seasons.  She’s the second oldest Canadian vessel on the Lakes, younger only by a month than Mississagi.

Note the house forward and boom pointing aft.

Tecumseh (641′ x 78′) is also a Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. boat, also built in the US . . . in Seattle at Lockheed Shipbuilding in 1972.  Because she has no self-unloader, she discharges her maximum 29,510 tons of cargo using shore gear.  For more info, click here at boatyard.   [Autocorrect always wants to replace my “boatnerd” with  “boatyard.”]

Robert S. Pierson is the last Lower Lakes boat in this post.  It too was built in Lorain OH, in 1973 and was sold and registered Canadian in 2008.  At 630′ x 68′ she has a capacity of 19,650 tons.  Of course,by now you’ve noticed her house is aft with her self-unloader pointing forward.   Much more detail can be found here.

Hon. James L. Oberstar was launched in 1959.  At 710′ loa, only a handful of boats on the Lakes were longer, including the Edmund Fitzgerald at 729.’  She was lengthened to 806′ between the 1970-71 seasons.  A self-unloader was added between the 1980-81 seasons. In 2008, she was repowered, replacing a steam turbine with a diesel.   Her cargo capacity is 31,000.  Again, much more info can be found here.   Notice that in contrast with  Cuyahoga above, Oberstar has house forward and self-unloader boom pointing forward.

The white steam is evidence of the emissions scrubbers pioneered on Oberstar in 2016, and now visible on other Interlake Steamship boats like Paul R. Tregurtha and James R. Barker.

CSL Tadoussac, already in winter layup and light here, has the same basic configuration as Oberstar, but is less curvaceous.  She was launched in 1969 in Collingwood ON but extensively rebuilt before the 2001 season.  Currently she is 730 x 77′ and has cargo capacity of 30,151 tons.  Her namesake is an early settlement dating from before Jaques Cartier on the St. Lawrence downstream from Quebec City.   Boatnerd has her complex her here.  Alice Oldendorff is part of the very diverse CSL fleet.

To round out this post, let me add a tanker.  Truth be told, I include this photo here partly because of the dramatic difference in scale between the ship and the tanker truck alongside.  I’m not sure what product the trailer tank is there to deliver or receive.

Algoma Hansa was built in Mobile AL in 1998.  She entered Canadian waters for the first time in 2013, and for the past few years has worked mainly in Algoma’s domestic fleet.  Is it  correct to assume the Canadian fleet relies more on tankers for what in the US is transported by large ATBs?

Let’s leave it here.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these comparisons as much as I have.

All photos and information interpretation by Will Van Dorp, who is solely responsible for any errors.

Oh, and if the Tugster Tower internet wizards sent you a puzzling 404 error message in lieu of yesterday’s URL, try this:  https://tugster.wordpress.com/2019/01/25/late-season-lakers-1/

Ice causes major disruptions, like the ones in Troy NY this morning.

Most of my previous posts featuring lakers were ice-free.  Even ones from a road trip I took specifically to see ice were ice-free.  Alpena had just lost her icy jacket.

Yet, I’m fascinated by navigation through the ice.  These photos give a sense of two weeks ago;  not it’s worse although most of the navigation has ceased here for winter hiatus.  I caught photos of CSL Assiniboine about 50 miles from here last September.  I love the curve she makes here in the icy St Marys River.

The classic Wilfred Sykes makes the turn down bound out of the Soo, where wind turbines catch power on the ridge. I’ve seen her before, but these are the first good photos I’ve gotten.

You can hear Sykes here in this video from almost two years ago, as she becomes the last laker to depart Escanaba with a load of ore.

And finally, for this installment, these shots of Ojibway in the Poe Lock show

what locks in winter look like.

As she heads down bound, she passes USCGC Katmai Bay WTGB-101, the first of the 140′ ice breaker class,

a 40-year-old vessel based in the Soo.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Long before Marvel comics and their several versions of rebirth, a crop of folk heroes existed, with stories that originated in the oral tradition, at least so it seems to me.  And was the Paul Bunyan legend based on Saginaw Joe Fournier?

No matter.  Here’s the first workboat I can recall aptly named for one.  The paint may be scuffed,

the name boards in need of rehab, but

she looks ready to break out of the ice and lift some gates.  By Great Lakes standards, she’s not even that old, it seems, launched in Muskegon in 1944.  Has she been repowered?  She’s a barge, so the power would be only for the derrick machinery.

With the Soo Locks closed now and drained, it’s possible she’s hard at work lifting gates as needed.  Click here for another another and photos about the January 2019 closure of the locks.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

In an icy corner of the Soo, it’s Indiana, launched in 1926 and still on the roster.

Over at the Algoma Steel plant, it’s Leonard M, and

nearby, it’s Sharon M I.

This isn’t a great photo, but it shows both McKeil Marine tugs at the steel plant.

Farther around the lake in Two Harbors, it’s Nels J and

Edna G, a survivor from 1896.  Oh, the stories she could tell.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

I started this series using a title that was a play on words here.

The only clue that Olive L. Moore and self-unloading barge Menominee–formerly a ship built in Maryland–are in winter waters is the sea smoke rising from the water.  Actually, it appears the ATB itself has risen from the water and is floating

on air past the Detour Reef Light.

Complementing that pair, here are two photos of USCGC WLBB-30 Mackinaw

tied up on Lime Island.  Her crew was recently involved in an icy rescue.

A pair of 47′ MLBs awaits springtime, and a

duo of hardy deer demonstrate their sure-footedness on ice.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous 8 installments.

We’ll start just north of Belle Isle and move north for these. From l to r, it’s Kimberly Anne and Andrew J, both sailing for Dean Marine & Excavating.

 

Near Sarnia and in front of the refinery that creates its product, McAsphalt Transportation’s Everlast lies at the dock.  Previous Everlast photos show her in locations as far east and downstream as Montreal. Here’s a bit of history on McAsphalt.  Want more here on the history of usage of asphalt, bitumen, or as Noah the boat builder called it, tar and pitch?  And want to get really nerdy “good news” about the evolution of asphalt road building and McLeod’s contribution published in Asphalt: The magazine of the Asphalt Institute , click here.

Venturing farther north and along the east side of Nebbish Island, it’s a fish tug.  Anyone know the name?

Farther upstream and hauled out, this tug appears to have Soo as the first part of its name, but I can’t make it all out.

Over on the Canadian side in the city of Sault Ste Marie, these boats appear to be floating for the duration.

On the US side of the Soo, it’s Rochelle Kaye and Kathy Lynn, both of Ryba Marine from the lower peninsula.

Beside the Bushplane Museum, it’s the Purvis Marine yard, beginning with large Norwegisn-built tug Reliance.

On the other side of the building is a menagerie of other tugs, including Avenger IV and W. I. Scott Purvis.

Wilfred M. Cohen, with some inside and out built in the US, lies along the pier.  Cohen previously appeared here.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who has the luxury of staying indoors today.

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