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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.

I’m out of my weight class here, but formulas exist for calculating mechanical advantage of compound pulley systems like this.  I’m just focusing on the task in the north country for this machine.

Grasse River (1958) is dedicated to the Saint Lawrence Seaway and based in Massena NY, along with tugs Robinson Bay (1958) and

Performance (1997).  By the way, road distance from Massena NY to the sixth boro is over 350 miles!!

Perversely or providentially, Grasse River was the last ship produced by American Shipbuilding on the Buffalo River, before the shipyard closed, a victim of the opening of the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Plans have been set in motion to replace Robinson Bay, but the 300 t. capacity Grasse River is there, on call, dedicated as a “mitre-gate lifter” in the case of damage.  It’s sort of like the tow trucks on the ready at the Lincoln Tunnel to expeditiously drag out a wreck should a mishap occur inside the tunnel.

Seeing the size of the superstructure, I erroneously first assumed Grasse River was self-propelled.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, whose previous 21 “specialized” posts can be found here.

And let me add a postscript here about the location in Buffalo where Grasse River was built.  The shipyard was where a vacant lot across the street from Tewksbury Restaurant finds itself today.  The Tewksbury reference here is to one of two “runaway” ships  that destroyed a bridge on the Buffalo in January 1959, a month when no ships were supposed to be traveling on the river.  The ships involved were MacGilvray Shiras and Michael K. Tewksbury.

In that same neighborhood, Harbor Inn once served as a community institution as well.

Buffalo’s First Ward are the focus of an entire blog, as you can see here.

 

A 4300 hp product of a Collingwood ON shipyard no longer there . . . it’s Océan Basques.

Here’s a better profile, taken a second earlier.  Basques provides ship assists in the port of Trois-Rivieres, QC.  

Docked nearby in the same port, it’s Océan Bravo, slightly older and larger though less horsepower,  a product of Quebec’s  Davie Shipbuilding. 

After Bravo, you’d expect and Charlie . . . and there’s most of the other names of the military alphabet up to Lima in the Ocean fleet. Charlie here is roughly a twin in size and power–though not styling–to Bravo.

Duga is based in the port of Sorel-Tracy, and is a 1977 product of the Trondheim Fjord of Norway.

Staying with the Océan fleet in the quite busy out of Sorel-Tracy, here’s Pilote 2000 stemming between

Leopard Moon and

Jebsens’ Sharpnes.

Downstream to Quebec City, here’s Océan Guide returning from a pilot run to Helena G and

exchanging pilots on Dara Desgagnes.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who was not surprised to find that Canada has more miles of coastline than any other country on the planet.

And here’s an unrelated research question sent along by frequent contributor here, Jan van der Doe, and referring to the photo below taken in rotterdam in 1954.  Question is:  What identification might be provided by the white numbers “3793” visible in the lower right on the dark hull of the vessel just forward of the burning Tanga?  Note the Dutch flag on the stern of the vessel so marked.

 

. . . meaning lacking self-unloading gear, which makes these vessels less versatile.  Manitoba was in exactly the same location–and similarly high in the water–a year ago when I was here.  With her traditional “‘house forward” design, she’s fearless and called a straight decker–having nothing but holds between the ‘house and the engine compartment .

Ditto Ojibway, only slightly younger than I am,

with some quite serious lock, ice, and dock rash.

Contrast them with Algoway, traditional design but with self-unloading gear.

Tim S. Dool, although gearless is generally not considered –as I understand it–a straight decker because it has its ‘house aft.

And what an attractive rake the forward portion of this house has.

Built in 1967, she’s starting to show some age,

on her graceful lines.

Finally, one more gearless vessel, Spruceglen.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp, who is grateful to boatnerd for the linked info.  Soon it’ll be time to order your new KYS “boat watching bible.” 

 

Here are previous posts in this series.

Floragracht hurries upstream just north of Montreal

with a mixed cargo

on its deck.  The sail might be re-named Wet Autumn Dream.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Here are the previous in this series.

As we depart downstream on this rainy day, Ocean Pierre Julien  heads upstream.

Ocean Intrepide stands by Silver Manoora and Mars S.

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Over alongside Sorel-Tracy, Ocean Jupiter heads upstream for reasons beyond my ken.

 

The twins wait in Quebec City, and

Ocean Serge Genois, farther upstream.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

When I first spotted this, I didn’t quite know what was happening.

 

Cold as it was, I’d put on enough layers to wait.

I’d call it path creating, not path finding,

Ocean Yvan Desgagnes opening the ice for Le Phil D,  a 1961 Russel Brothers Ltd. vessel.

 

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

I’m not adding much text in the next few posts.  Why gild the lily or rouge the autumn maple leaf.  When I’m back in the sixth boro, I’ll revisit some of these photos.   For now enjoy Quebec.

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This is Montmorency Falls.

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Amundsen will be breaking ice soon.  Winter is coming.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

By the time you read this, I should already be in Quebec, and once we get under way, we’ll reverse the trip I began six weeks ago in NYC’s sixth boro here. From Quebec City we travel up the Saint Lawrence, up as in upstream.  The waterway is truly beautiful, and although I have defined tasks on the ship, I get to spend a lot of time watching .

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The photo below I took from the NE corner of Lake Ontario looking toward the port of Oswego.

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From the Lake, we cut in at Oswego via the Canal, bypass all the fishing, and

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make our way via the grand canal back to saltwater.

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Here’s the 1899 Buffalo-built steam tug Geo E. Lattimer (loa 59′ x 16′ x 4.5′) exiting the low side of Lock 17.

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Given the pain of finding enough of a signal to post, I can’t tell you when and what you’ll see next.

All photos by Will Van Dorp, including the photos of photos from Canal signage.

We are much farther north but without wifi I’ve been unable to post until now.  Enjoy these photos –sans commentaries–for now for the route from Clayton to Salaberry de Valleyfield.

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Alex Bay,

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Dark Island, and

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and here’s another shot of Victorious on a crowded Saint Lawrence.

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All photos by Will Van Dorp.

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