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“irrespective of operating conditions, all vessels must be clear of the Montreal-Lake Ontario section [of the St. Lawrence Seaway]  at 12:00 hours on December 31st, [2017].” quoted from Seaway Notice No. 26–2017

Above and below, Leonard M and Ocean A. Simard struggling to extricate Federal Biscay, as seen from Robinson Bay, on January 6, in temperatures double digits below zero, Fahrenheit.

Yet, here we are as of earlier this morning in the areas east and west of the Snell Lock [between groups 3 and 4].  Green AIS symbols are ships, all down bound, and aqua are tugs, assisting in that effort.   Key follows.  Check this news update from Massena NY on boatyard.com for January 8.

1  Pacific Huron.  It had grounded farther upstream in late December.

2  Performance and Robinson Bay

3  Federal Biscay and Ocean A. Simard.  Federal Biscay precipitated this delay, when it got stuck in Snell Lock last week.  It was freed Saturday. 

4  Billeborg, Beatrix, and Mitiq

5  Ocean Tundra and Martha L. Black

This should make for interesting story to follow on AIS or on FB group St. Lawrence River Ship Watchers.

Leo Ryan’s Maritime Magazine comments on the gold-headed cane ceremony each January in Montreal honoring the first ship into port of Montreal each year.  There should be a similar “recognition” of the last ship out of the Seaway.  Name suggestions, anyone?  Definitely there should be recognition of the efforts of the tug and ice breakers crews ensuring that the last ship gets out.  For some reason, I recall a kid’s book . . . The Story About Ping.

Many thanks to Nathan Jarvis for the top two photos and assistance with information.  The photo below I’m not sure who to credit to, but it shows Robinson Bay‘s efforts to extricate Federal Biscay last week.

And as of 10:54 today…

Federal Biscay and Pacific Huron are competing to be Ping;  the others are downstream following Black and Tundra.

Contining here, I am, from Detroit to Cleveland.

Demolen at the USACE dock near the Rouge,

Stormont pushing the ferry barge

in the direction of RenCen,

Victory moving James L. Kuber

past Fighting Island, and

Leonard M remakes the tow

that’s heaped up with coal,

and I get to watch it all.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

All these photos come compliments of frequent commenter Jan van der Doe.  And all were taken in Hamilton Harbour, the southwest corner of the lake where I learned to swim.

Hamilton is headquarters for McKeil Marine, whose vessels have been posted on this blog herehere and here.

Click here for the specs on Leonard M.

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Click here for info on Tony MacKay.

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Florence M needs TLC and paint.

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Here’s another shot of Tony and Florence.

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From left here, more McKeil Marine vessels:  Carrol C 1, Bonnie B, and James A. Hannah.  This latter (rightmost) tugboat has appeared on tugster before, and in fact is a sibling of Captain Bob (in the Columbia) and Bloxom, the faded red tugboat on the cover of our 30-minute documentary film Graves of Arthur Kill.  If you want to read about the dispersion of the entire Hannah fleet by the U. S. Marshal’s auction, click here.

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Here’s a side view of the same three boats.

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Click here for the specs on Kingfish 1.  

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Believe it or not, this blue-hulled vessel below dates from 1959 and used to be known as Helen M. McAllister.   Here’s her story as told from a different perspective.

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Jerry G. is one year younger.  Click here for more info.

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This looks like two old but active boats,  Lac Manitoba and Vigilant I, both of Nadro Marine.

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And finally, Jan didn’t pass along info on the black hulled vessel to the left. Pacific Standard . . . ex-Irishman (?) is my guess.

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I visited Hamilton twice 50 or more years ago to visit a relative there.  I recall not liking the city.  But what does a kid know?  Jan’s photos in this post and tugboathunter’s here inspire me to consider a return there.

Jan . . . many thanks.

Somewhat related, for a great database of Owen Sound-built boats, click here.

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