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Almost exactly a year ago, I did a saltwater ice post here, and I’ve done related ones here. So since the article I wrote last year about a huge ore-carrying Great Lakes ATB is out and you can read it here, how about some photos that didn’t make it into the publication.

Above and below, ATB Clyde S Van Enkevort and Erie Trader find themselves a day and a night’s steaming north from Detroit, nearly at the north end of Lake Huron, where the cold air is creating sea smoke.

ATB Olive L. Moore and Menominee (I’d better be right or I’ll hear about it.) wait on the west side of DeTour Reef Light. Mackinac is not quite 50 miles to the west.

At Detour Passage, we depart Lake Huron and enter the St. Marys River.  Sault Ste Marie and Lake Superior are 75 miles up this river.  Ice forms more quickly on the shallower water.

Off the stern we look back at Lake Huron.

Crew prepare the landing gear.  Landing gear, you say?  Hold that question, I say.

On a turn, we meet CSL Assiniboine.

I think we are envied.  Unlike the two previous years, so far this 2020 winter . . . ice is “weak.”

Near Sault Ste Marie, we meet Wilfred Sykes, and the Sugar Island ferry crosses our bow, Sykes‘ stern.

WTGB-101 Katmai Bay is busy assisting in keeping the river open.

Recall I mentioned landing gear? . . .  technically it’s a landing boom, a quick way to get crew onto the lock to assist with the “locking through.”  In the earlier photo, ice was being removed from boom and its line, so that the line would run free but controlled to get the crew safely down the 20 feet or so to the chamber wall.

See the crew walking alongside the barge?  Out ahead, that’s a bay of Lake Superior.

As we head across that bay and ultimately into Superior, we pass Kaye E. Barker, who’s heading downstream for the Soo (or Sault) locks.

All photos by WVD, who’ll post more photos of the trip soon.  And I’d give a big shout-out to the captain and crew of Clyde for their hospitality and help with the article.

I’m still looking for someone who might get a photo of that exotic ship coming into the sixth boro early this month.  But I also still don’t have a firm ETA for that vessel, Decisive.

 

Believe it or not, I’m way inland and without a camera, and a preference for novelty prompts  a different almost-year-end post together.  Rules I made for myself follow:  go to my archives and select the first photo of something water-related each month of 2019. So if the first photo in my archives for each month is a person or an inland structure, I don’t use it;  instead, I go forward in that month to the first boat or water photo.

For January, it was Susquehanna in a very familiar IMTT on the Bayonne side of the KVK.  She’s currently westbound along the Keys.

February was La Perla, an oyster barge on Peconic Bay.

March was Nathan G on the very southern tip of Manhattan, across from the Colgate clock.  She’s currently working in the sixth boro.

Jonathan C was assisting a box ship out in the wee hours near the start of April.  Right now, she’s in the sixth boro, doing or waiting to do a similar escort.

May began with a NYC oyster boat headed north through the Narrows.

Early June it was Tavropos, in the Stapleton anchorage.  The crude oil tanker is currently off the Tabasco coast of Mexico.  The tanker appeared here previously as Moonlight Venture.

July began with Fishing Creek headed out of the Narrows.  She’s currently near Philly.

In August it was Grande Mariner approaching lock E14.  She’s docked in Narragansett Bay.

In September, actually on September 1, it was Kaye E. Barker southbound across Lake St. Clair with the landmark Renaissance Center ahead.  She’s currently upbound on Lake Huron, possibly getting another load of ore for the season.

October began with me meeting Mrs. Chips bound for the Narrows and point south and ultimately Florida, where she currently is.

November it was Denak Voyager taking on scrap.  That’s the Newark Bay Bridge beyond the ship, and Rebecca Ann lost to the left margin.  Rebecca Ann is currently in the sixth boro, and Denak Voyager has exited the Straits of Gibraltar, heading back to the sixth boro.

And finally, December, it’s a mystery boat for now and an unidentified location. Guess if you like . . . I hope to get back to this photo in 2020.

Maybe tomorrow . . .  last day of the year . . . I’ll do the last photo of each month following the same rules.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

This post covers the St. Clair River (in the wee hours) and down to Detroit.  If it seems that it’s just a chronological series of photos of the voyage, well . . . yes, that’s what it is, and what’s wrong with that.

Can you identify the vessel that we passed between 0415 and 0430?  I’ll give the answer at the end of the post.

We followed Kaye E. Barker into the sixth Great Lakes. . .

Partway across, we both passed Atlantic Huron.

 

Just south of Belle Isle, we saw Bristol Bay with her barge and

still farther, Cheyenne light.

Federal Seto was moored near the Boblo-marked building, and

The last two boats for this post are Iver Bright and

Patricia Hoey.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

The mystery vessel was Paul R. Tregurtha.

 

xx

 

Let’s try a variation:  I’ve random tugs and random ships, in which I’ve confined most pics to a single general location and a a single photographer . . . me.  “Really random tugs” combines locations, eras, and photographers.  So why not do the same with ships, although in this case I’ve taken almost all the photos but in a variety of locations and times.

But this first one launches the concept.  What can you surmise or identify about the photo below, not taken by me?  Answer at the end of this post.

Spring brings the Great Lakes back to life. Here is a March 11 AIS capture of traffic on the Lakes.  The “arrows” are US and Canadian CG doing ice ops.  The rivers system around Chicago has some traffic.

The NOAA satellite image below provides the explanation . . .  what looks ice covered IS.  With the Soo scheduled to open on Monday, March 25, icebreaking carries high priority.   Note Green Bay as well.

March 22 marked the opening of the Welland Canal.  The first upbound ship this year was Thunder Bay;  this photo I took in Quebec in October 2017.  The first down bounder through the Welland was Algoma Spirit, but I’ve never gotten a photo of her.

Kaye E. Barker was the first springtime vessel out of Duluth;  I took this photo in the last week of navigation before the Soo closed on January 15.  The Soo is scheduled to open on Monday, March 25.

The KVK is a busy place all year round, although it’s not uniformly busy.  On this day last month, Alpine Maya followed Port Richmond, which  followed Atlantic Sun.

Stolt Integrity here stemmed while waiting to replace the tanker in the distance to leave the berth.

Tankers come in a variety of sizes;  Selasse is a particular small one.

By now, have you figured out that first photo?  I’ll give you a clue:  vessel name is Nggapulu and as of last night she was in BauBau.

Traffic moves at all hours;  night photos turn out quite unsatisfying, but golden hour ones I enjoy.  Can you guess the hull color on this one?

Foreshortening belies the amount of distance actually between the stern of the Evergreen ship and Diane B/John Blanche.

The colorful Stena tankers, bears and all,  seem to appear mostly in winter.

So here you have the answer, sort of.  Indonesia, being a far-flung archipelago supports a ferry system called Pelni, an acronym.  As an example of distances here, find Jakarta lower left.  From there to Makassar roughly in the center is 1000 miles!  Pelni operates about two dozen ferries of various designs.  Ngga Pulu has classic lines and was launched in 2002.

Here’s an English language site about traveling the archipelago.   Restless?  Aye peri!

Many thanks to Hannah Miller for sharing the photo of Ngga Pulu.  I’m not sure how that’s pronounced, but it’s named for a mountain.  Learning about Pelni and seeing this map gives me a whole new appreciation of Dewaruci.

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.

 

Are you still making calendars?  Here’s another set of 12 candidates, if my count is right.

January could be American Integrity, a product of Sturgeon Bay, WI, 1000′ loa x 105′ and when loaded and photographed from this angle, she looks impossibly long.  Her size keeps her confined to the four upper lakes, being way too large for the Welland Canal.

Since these are two of the same vessel, one could be the inset.  This shot of American Integrity discharging coal at a power plant in East China, MI, seems to shrink her.

Radcliffe R. Lattimer has truly been around since her launch in mid-1978.  Besides the usual plethora of Great Lakes ports, she’s worked between Canada and the Caribbean, been taken on a five-month tow to China for a new forebody, and made trips on the lower Mississippi and Hudson.  I took this photo just south of Port Huron.

Here Arthur M. Anderson waits to load at the docks in Duluth.  I’d love to hear an estimate of tons of bulk cargo she’s transported since her launch in 1952.  For many, Anderson will forever be remembered as the last vessel to be in contact with the Edmund Fitzgerald in November 1975.

Here’s Whitefish Bay upstream from Montreal.  Click here to see her and fleet mate Baie Comeau christened side by side at the Chengxi Shipyard in Jianyin, China, in November 2012.

Cedarglen is another laker that has seen major design changes in its superstructure, having first launched in 1959 in Germany with the bridge midships.  She has the same bridge.  Down bound here near Ogdensburg NY, she’s worked on the Great Lakes since 1979.

Walter J.  McCarthy Jr., here down bound on Lake Superior is another of the thirteen 1000′ boats working the upper four lakes.

Kaye E. Barker has been working since 1952, here in Lake St. Clair down bound.  That’s the tall parts of Detroit in the distance.

Algoma Integrity was launched in 2009 as Gypsum Integrity.

Cason J. Callaway is another 1952 ship, here discharging cargo in Detroit.

Algoway was launched 1977.  Will she be there for the 2018 season?

So from this angle you might think this too will be a laker . . . ., right?

She once was of the same class as Callaway and Anderson above, but .. . between end of the 2007 season and the beginning of the 2008, she was converted to a barge and married to the tug Victory.

Victory was built in 1980.

And to close out the mosaic that is the December page on our hypothetical Lake 2 calendar, it’s a close up of Victory at the elevator in Maumee OH.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who believes that the number of single hulled lakers will decrease as ATB design becomes predominant.

 

Back to the Great Coast . . .  BBC Elbe has since I took this photo gone to Duluth, and then headed back out toward the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Kaye E. Barker approaches and

recedes, an illusion of her usual self played by the magic of Huron.

At sunrise it’s an upbound G3 Marquis, off to load

grain, I’d wager.

And as we pass through Detroit, we have an opportunity to see a self-unloader at work.

But what surprised me the most was overhearing a conversation about Cason J Callaway being a son of Georgia.  I was skeptical, but

but it turns out he’s the namesake of this laker launched in 1952.

The textile magnate was also a board member at USS.

Taconite from Minnesota, perhaps, and headed

 

here.

All photos 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.

 

“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.

 

 

 

Let’s look at these from a different perspective . . . whether they can escape the inland seas shared by the US and Canada or not.  The maximum size the Seaway aka Highway H2O can accommodate is 740′ x 78. x 30.’

So Kaye E. Barker . . . 767′ x 70′ x 36′ . . . Nope.    But when she first came off the ways in Toledo in 1951, her loa was 647′ and she had no self-unloader, so back then she could have,

fs1

although there was no St. Lawrence Seaway then either.  So Nope again. But she was not lengthened until 1976, so Yes.  Her tonnage capacity is 25,900.

fs2

Mississagi comes in at 620′ x 60′ x 35,’  so if she’s carrying a partial load . . . maybe.  She came out of the River Rouge in 1943.  Her capacity . . . 15,800 tons.

fs3

In photo #2 above and the one below, notice the RenCen of Detroit.

fs4

American Mariner came out of Buffalo in 1979 at 730′ x 78′ x 45.’

fs5

So with a light load, yes.

fs6

Her capacity is 37,200 tons.

fs7

I don’t know if she ever leaves the Upper Lakes.

fs8

Chemtrans Elbe is a saltie, so obviously she’s a global traveler.  She was built in Korea in 2009 and measures 423′ x 75.’

fs9

Edzard Schulte was built in China in 2011, 475′ x ’75.’

fs10

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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