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When you have a big horizon, unlike the case in my cliff dwelling near the sixth boro, sunrises make getting up and out a must.

And when a laker–in this case RadcliffeR. Latimer seen illuminated by the first rays of dawn–

shares it with you,

start of day comes with a high.

 

 

Later in that same day, the wind has kicked up some spray and a pair of Lower Lakes Towing vessels come by . . .

Saginaw and

 

Mississagi . . .

 

no matter what else is going on, it’s a good day.

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.

 

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.

 

 

We had a long transit from Detroit to Mackinac, so here are a lot of photos, starting with Federal Kumano and Ambassador Bridge in the distance;

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passing steel operations,

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and the mailboat Westcott.

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Near central Detroit a pilot boards Federal Kumano from Huron Maid.

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Entering Lake St. Clair, we pass Philip R. Clarke, 

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followed by Lubie in China township,

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Radcliffe R. Latimer, 

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Great Lakes Maritime Center,

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lightship Huron,

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and as we headed unbound into Lake Huron, we passed Arthur M. Anderson . . . the last vessel in contact with the Fitzgerald before she was taken by Superior.

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This was sunrise nearing the end of this leg, and in the night and distractions, I missed Alpena.

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This post closes with Buffalo, as she leaves the Mackinac Bridge behind her.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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