You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Saint Lawrence River’ tag.

Again . . . on the run, chasing food like the finned one in the foreground, Federal Asahi heads down bound chasing who knows what.

Maria exits the Saguenay River where she discharged a load of bauxite.

 

 

And Insignia, later to be speeding downriver at 21 kts, overtakes us at the last bridges down bound spanning the River.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

Road trips sometimes include portions on water.  That’s the way this post begins.  First, let’s boat up the Saguenay.  On the north side, we pass Hotel Tadoussac and to its right, the 1747 chapel, Canada’s oldest wooden church.

Around the point is the Tadoussac ferry rack.  I could do more boat posts from this trip….

Transiting the river takes only about 10 minutes;  the companion ferry below is on the south side of the river.

Steep banks sink deep into the fjord on both sides, here south and

 

here north.  Seals sun themselves not far from where the elusive belugas swim and feed.

Clearly this seal is digesting.

This trip has been a recon for my next trip upriver here, scheduled for a few months from now.   About halfway on my 120-mile road trip, the cliffs draw back, exposing wide flats at low tide.

At high tide, about 15′ of water covers all the flats above and below.

Saguenay’s waterfront park has fountains bathing a plethora of sea mammal facsimiles.

Surprisingly, just north of that park, a gigantic aluminum smelting complex operates,

located there in part because of proximity to hydropower.

Just north of the complex, Lac St Jean fills an impact crater, one of several in Quebec.

Surrounding the lake are lake farms producing canola beans, corn, blueberries, and more.  I passed several blueberry fields before I realized what they were.  I took no photos partly because they look like golf courses several years overgrown.

The turnaround point on the north side of the lake was at Dolbeau-Mistassini, where a blueberry festival highlights summer.  The Mistassini River, flowing over this rapids, is one of many rivers feeding into Lac St Jean and the Saguenay River.

At this point about 120 miles from the Saint Lawrence, I turn from the upper east side of the lake, and turn back south along the west side, and then the heavens open and rain pours over the return to Tadoussac.

All photos and observations by Will Van Dorp, who suggests you study a satellite view of a google map of Saguenay, QC.

 

These days, seeing a spout could mark this as Lower NY Bay portion of the sixth boro, but in fact, I’m pretty far afield, and that’s what roads are for whether they be terrestrial or watery.  The land in the distance here are the right bank of the Saint Lawrence, and those whales are likely finbacks.

Whales and seals amass here for the grub.

Prince Shoal Light sits atop an underwater mountain.  The name–Prince (of Wales) Shoal stems from the fact that the Prince ran aground there, discovering the shoal in the worst possible way.

By the way, I’m told the light is for sale for one loonie.  The catch is that the buyer is responsible for all expenses related to upkeep.

Click here for info on the various species grubbing up here, trapping their prey again the steep underwater slope.

Those are the sand dunes in Tadoussac in the distance.

Seals back float?

A fin back charges and dives beneath us.

Marks on the whales, like the notch at the base of the fin, facilitate identification and longitudinal studies of whales.   Find more if you “like” a FB site called “Parc marin du Saguenay-Saint-Laurent.”

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who goes up the Saguenay and to the headwaters in tomorrow’s post.

By the way, I know some large tugboats built on the Great Lakes for saltwater have traveled up the Saguenay in recent years.  Anyone have photos to share?

 

I heard it long before it emerged from the morning fog at Saint-Siméon.  I was on the north shore waiting t catch the boat to the south, Rivière-du-Loup.

Canadians must have a surplus of !!! available for their signage, but seeing this made me walk away from the immediate area.

Some of you can likely already identify this self-unloading bulk carrier, heavy laden most probably with ore.  Her identity is given at the end of this post.

I mentioned previously that the Saint Lawrence is wide,

so wide there’s never been a thought to build bridges downstream from Quebec City.

Trans-St. Laurent is in its 56th season on this run, operating until ice thickness prevents it.

Note the steering pole, aka spear pole to “point to the course.”

This is NOT a great pic or even a good one, but that white speck is one of the several beluga whales that passed during the crossing.

Brandy Pot Light is on the Rivière-du-Loup (Wolf River) side of the crossing, and here’s a glance at

Saguenay Fjord National Park . . . in that hollow almost center of the photo.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

And the laker with the fog horn I heard . . . it was Algoma Mariner.

When you’re on the road, I know you miss some things entirely.  Other things, you catch parts of.  If you have time and imagination, you sometimes figure out how to see more.

Like this scene over the trees,

A half mile walk showed this, an 1836 windmill with cloth on the blades to help it turn.  But even knowing that prompts a million more questions, which–if you’re on the road–you’ve no time to seek to answer, imagination notwithstanding.

Here’s another example. Jack Polaire and another stacked up behind a breakwater.

Now there’s three, with Beluga Polaire appeared off the stern.  And what is GFFH?

Then there’s another . . .

More appear, and disprove me hunch that these tugs were all identical.

So  . . . some preliminary answers.  GFFM stands for Gilbert, Felix, Francois, and Martin, the four Leclerc brothers who run this niche shipyard.  They build and rent out small tugs, and have done so since 1998.  My guess is that Vent Polaire is an example of their second generation of boats;  Siku behind it above of the 1998 generation.

Click here and scroll to see a tugster post from almost three years ago showing transport to the “polar” niche occupied by these boats. Click here for a closeup of this type of tug, though likely NOT GFFM Leclerc built.  Click here for a great post by Mac MacKay showing the loading of these small tugs for “lightening” work in the Canadian Arctic.

All photos here by Will Van Dorp, who hopes the road leads back to this island whose area is less than twice that of Manhattan.

 

 

The 11% grade, per road signs, leads to a strawberry vendor if you make the left and a ferry dock if you follow all the way down to the Saint Lawrence.  See the two ferries in the distance?  Click here for a view from roughly the same location in March two years ago.

Ferry Joseph Savard approaches for the ride to L’isle aux Coudres, 60 miles closer to the Atlantic than Quebec City, nominally island of hazelnuts, crowding this side of the stream, where the deep water channel for all traffic .  The flats around the island show the result of a 13′ tidal range. The page on this ferry has not been translated, but it was built in 1985, has two Bombardier engines, possibly this one,  propelling a single screw and generating 3894 hp. Capacities are 367 passengers and 55 vehicles.  And it’s free.

 

One, of many, appeal of this ferry is that on the island side it lands immediately next to Ocean Group shipyard.

Vessels outside and on the hard included Fjord Saguenay, a Rio Tinto boat!  Rio Tinto has a large aluminum plant at the head of Saguenay fjord, my destination.

Also in the yard are Ocean Arctique and Ocean Sept-Isles.  The latter is a Collingwood product;  click here and scroll to see what has become of the Collingwood shipyard.

And just north of the blue hulls, it’s Ocean Brochu.  Note the Voith-Schneider drive and skeg under the hull.

Two vessels I’ve published in ProfessionalMariner about were built here, Ocean Traverse Nord and Ocean Taiga. The latter vessel has recently moved to the Arctic on Baffin Island duty.

We’ll return to L’isle aux Coudres, but for now, let’s cross back over to the mainland to catch this traffic and more. It’s the other ferry Radisson, named for the fur trader and explorer.  Savard is named for an early, maybe first, French settler of the island.

Here you see a container ship in the channel located on the narrow strait between the mainland and the island.  Just ahead of the ship, you see the 11% grade hill from the beginning of this post.  And the village atop the hill is a hamlet in Les Eboulements.

 

Here’s a side view of the church prominent in the village;  notice the river above the car to the left?

And let’s end with another snapshot of the church, presbytere des Eboulements.   Here’s the best “eboulements” translation . . . .

Let’s leave it here.  Tomorrow we return to the island.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

The photo below I took almost two years ago . . . the mouth of the Richelieu.  Enter here and you’ll get to Lake Champlain, and of course anywhere in the contiguous watery world. But the rest of the photos here I took along the right bank of the St Lawrence, driving northeast between the big river and southern Quebec.

Here are the towers of L’église de Saint-Pierre, built between 1826–31.

Turning my back to Saint-Pierre, I see Ladon, a 2018 product tanker headed upstream toward Montreal.

The fence by the water is adorned with kid’s art,

generated by “my river and I” program.   I quote the local paper (translated) from the goals of the program:  “My River and I are the first educational project aimed at bringing young people closer to the St. Lawrence River, informing them and raising their awareness of the issues surrounding their protection, development and development.”

I thought it notable that the word cloud on the signage includes métiers, which can be translated professions.

A couple hours downstream (you can’t stop everywhere) is the Quebec Maritime Museum in L’islet-sur-mer.

The St. Lawrence, which you see off the stern of the display ship and already downstream from Quebec City, is about 10 miles wide at this point.

The village has a church, Notre-Dame-de-Bonsecours, built 1768.  The very green grass floods at high tide.

But this ship led me to stop here.  Study it and then I’ll provide some info. Try to visually remove the stands and gangway and imagine it traveling full speed on water. The sea-going hydrofoil exceeded 63 knots in sea trials!

She’s 163′ and some long, and at the main foil span, 66′.

The turbine puts out 25,000 hp.

 

Here are the particulars on an experimental vessel following on the HD work of Alexander Graham Bell (yup!) and abruptly cancelled in 1971.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

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Thanks to Marc, I offer this post that could also be called Océan Blue 7.

Arranged chronologically, these photos nicely show the intrusion of ice on the Saint Lawrence.

Starting on October 12, 2017, it would be t-shirt weather on Ocean Duga

taken in port of Sorel-Tracy.  Duga (4000 hp from 2 Wichman 7-cylinder engines) was built in Lansten, Norway in 1977.  Notice laker Tecumseh at the grain dock;  I took photos from the river of Ojibway at that same dock less than a week earlier.

Hercule, taken on November 11, 2017, enjoys autumn warmth here.  Notice the Jamaican flag on her mast just below the conical roof of the silo?  She’s been sold out of the Ocean fleet, but here are all five of her former names, including a stint as a McAllister of Canada vessel.  Here’s more McAllister history.

Ocean Bravo was already scraping some ice on her hull on December 26, 2017.  Built in 1970 right across the river from Quebec City, the 110′ x 28′ tug is powered by 3900 hp.  I photographed her in Trois-Rivieres in October.

Ocean Bertrand Jeansonne is a 5000 hp tug built in PEI for Ocean in 2008.  This photo was

taken the day after Christmas.  Federal Tweed, as of this moment,  is anchored

off Sorel. This jetster photo nicely shows the Richelieu River, the outflow for Lake Champlain.

Ocean Delta is another vessel no longer in the Ocean fleet.  The 136′ 1973 tug is rated at 6464 hp, launched in Ulsteinvik, Norway.  Birk got a photo of her here in 2012.

taken the day after Christmas.  It appears that CCGS Tracy has been converted into a floating office for Ocean Group and renamed Ocean Tracy.  I got a photo of CCGS Tracy when she was for sale in October 2016 here.

On December 30, 2017 Ocean Tundra was heading upstream to help clear the last vessels out of the Seaway before it closed.  Recall the assistance Federal Biscay required to get out?   Note the sea smoke as the 8,046 hp vessel exposes the relatively warmer water to the seriously cooler air.

Imagine what all that ice does to the hull coatings, particularly at the bow.

And finally, we’re up to January 31, 2018, as La Prairie muscles through the ice.

I appreciate these “seasonal change” photos taken by Marc Piché, a glimpse of traffic in winter on the mighty Saint Lawrence.

Few things about flying rival “window seat,” as they complement my lifelong fascination with maps and, later, charts.  Of course, few things are as frustrating as realizing I’m sitting on the wrong side of the airplane and can’t just run to the other side.  Anyhow, let’s play a game of window seat IDs of photos of the flight from NYC (LGA) to Quebec City with a change in Montreal.  See what you can identify here, and then I’ll post them again with annotations/identification.

#1

#2

#3

#4

#1 again.  From left to right is downstream.  Red number 1 is the South Shore Canal, the downstream-most canalized portion of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  Red number 2 is the Lachine Rapids, so-named by Jacques Cartier and the whole reason for the locks at this location.  Cartier thought the route to China lay above the rapids, hence, La Chine.

#2 again.  Again, from left to right is downstream. Red number 1 is Habitat 67, 2 is a certain icebound brand-spanking-new US warship that will be left unnamed, 3 is the old port of Montréal, 4 is a lock in the Lachine Canal, and 5 is a certain formerly McAllister tugboat.

#3 again.  Here, bottom to top is downstream.  Red 1 is one of many random bits of ice flowing downstream toward Quebec City more or less at the location of Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures, where the St. Lawrence is about two miles wide, i.e., half mile chunks of ice.

#4 again.  Red 1 is the Citadelle, 2 is Chateau Frontenac, 3 is the entrance to Bassin Louise i.e.,  a location in the ice canoe racing posts, and 4 is the bulk and containerized port of Quebec City. The long unmarked structure between 3 and 4 is the now G3 grain elevator.  To see a G3 (Global Grain Group) ship on Lake St. Clair, click here and scroll.

All photos and attempts at identification by Will Van Dorp, who’s also responsible for any misidentifications or omissions. And if you ever decide to buy me a ticket to fly somewhere, make mine a window seat or cockpit jumpsuit.

Here’s an index of my jester posts, which started summer of 2017.

 

This is the grande finale, although you’ll notice I didn’t know when the finalization would  . . . finalize.  Spotters on the bow of the safety boat watch the canoeists through the snow squalls.

And at 31 minutes after the start, the first boat  (Archibald micro brasserie) returning from the Lévis side comes into view,

pursued by two others.

Archibald lands and races home….

 

with the next two running close together.

Three more arrive closely clumped.

 

 

But that’s when I realized I’d missed an important detail:  they make more than one lap!  Notice the Archibald team heading back out!  Later I believe I understood they were disqualified, although I didn’t understand why.

Now I understand that it’s more a marathon than a sprint.

 

 

At this point I head back to point 1 (See yesterday’s map.) to watch from the start/finish line.  Notice the three incoming boats from over by the pine trees where I got the previous photos from.

The two teams push their canoe past the two 8200+ hp behemoths  

to take the checkered flag.  By this time, I’ve lost track of who’s who and in what place.

Here’s a tavern to help you celebrate.  Care for a glass of Caribou?  Click here to learn the secret of the incongruous plastic canes I saw a lot of men carrying.

I headed up the street past the ice taverns so that after tasting something I had to go only downhill to my snowcave.

These ice bars–I was told–go up around Christmas and by March start to melt.  For now, they are exquisite.  And the bottles to the right of Jaegermeister are local spirits:  Quartz, Chic choc rum, Coureur des bois whiskey, and Ungava gin.

As I said, from the ice bars it’s downhill to my snow cave inside the walled city and return to hibernation.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.  For more photos, click here.  For a video clip of the snow bath–I did NOT indulge–click here.

For some photos of a clear winter’s day in Quebec City last year, click here.  For more frozen St. Lawrence riverbanks photographed in 2017, click here.

 

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