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Welcome to a series from around the Straits of Mackinac.

This vessel or vessels?

The nearer boat is American Mariner, and the farther, John J. Boland, both built in Sturgeon Bay WI.

 

Call this boogie boarding beneath the big bridge . . .

 

West of the Strait, we pass the unique Steward J Cort, once known as Stubby.

 

Is this mobile wheeled crane the hatch remover?

As we passed White Shoal Light, I lined up with Waugoshance in the distance, and then noticed

the tender, covered with a green tarp.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

Or, stated less succinctly, March came in like a hibernating turtle, and is ending like a springtime cottontail.

Here’s a March 11 AIS grab.  A circle means a vessel is docked or anchored.  There’s a single vessel underway NE bound on Lake Erie.  It’s a Canadian CG ice breaker.

Below, less than two weeks later, it’s 0700 March 25.  The Soo locks opened on March 25 soon after midnight.  Stewart J Cort  (SJC) was the first vessel through, and it was upbound in ballast.   Here are some tugster posts featuring SJC, a 1000′ ship partly built in the Gulf of Mexico to fit through the St Lawrence Seaway and then added to in Erie PA.

The downbound vessels in Lake Superior over-wintered in Duluth.  The stopped vessels near Whitefish Point in Lake Superior are blocked by an ice “plug” reportedly 20 miles long, 4 miles wide, and 4 feet thick.  The three upbound tugs (aqua green) in Lake Huron are the Van Enkevort ATBs (Joyce and Clyde)  and Samuel de Champlain.

0030 March 28.  The Welland Canal (near Buffalo) has been open for a few days now, and check out all the upbound traffic on Lake Erie.  Ditto, Lake Superior has become quite busy.   The magenta dots are recreational; although some are online, none are moving.

1000 today, March 30.   The upbound (towards the Chicago steel plants) vessel along the east side of the Lake is Stewart J Cort, heading for Burns Harbor IN with her first load of ore.    Of note is the only magenta or “recreational” boat under way.  See it in the middle of Lake Ontario.  This is a vessel to watch in the next months;  it’s Bramble.

Bramble (USCGC WLB-392)  is embarking on a third life.  Launched in Duluth in 1943, she served  in the Atlantic Caribbean, and Pacific, as well as the Great Lakes.  After decommissioning in 2003, she became a museum ship the same year.  In 2018, she was listed with a yacht broker and sold to a private party who is now taking her to Mobile AL, under her own power, to be rehabbed and refitted for a reenactment of her 1957 voyage through the Northwest Passage.  

I took these photos on July 7, 2016, while she was at the Bean Dock in Port Huron MI.

Click here for some predictions for the 2019 Great Lakes season.  Better yet, find some dates that you can witness some of the traffic first hand.

All AIS captures and interpretations and photos by Will Van Dorp.

 

 

. . . of the mitten state.  It could have been called the “arrowhead” state, given maps from long ago . . .

Passing on on the waterside is Stewart J. Cort, a laker I’ve never seen before  She’s truly unusual;  one of her unique features is that she’s the only 1000-footer built outside–at least initially–the Saint Lawrence Seaway locks.

Below, that’s Little Sable Light.  I’d not been that interested in lighthouses before, but once you’ve seen enough of them, maybe you develop an interest in the variety.

Next on the waterside . . . it was another encounter with Sam Laud.  Being on the Lakes this time, I’ve developed an appreciation for the pace of lakes, their constant running around from lake port to lake port. Here was my previous encounter with Sam Laud.

Is this hatch remover typically called an iron deckhand?

 

Big Sable Point Light has not always had this banded paint scheme.

Back on the lakeside, I’ve forgotten what vessel this was . . . heading for the Indiana portion of the lake.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.

With apologies all around . ..  I am tardy in posting some of the photos I enjoy getting from you all readers. Tardiness . . . my only argument is that I am very busy with projects that will come out at some point.

Like this one that Ted M sent in response to my Turmoil post some weeks ago.  Jason Reinauer is towing Turmoil–an older iteration– astern.  I believe I saw Acadian Freedom in Chelsea last year, but don’t have a photo to prove it.  Here’s what I did put up from that reconnoitre.

And thanks to Jed, here’s Pearl Coast, taken recently, and

photo 4 MARCH 2017

Pati R Moran, taken not so recently.

photo date 16 OCT 2008

I once had photos of the green boat below and below, but I think I deleted them out of frustration of NOT being able to determine its history.  It stood here in the Brooklyn Navy Yard for a while, but scuttlebutt is that it has been scrapped. These next four photos come thanks to Paul Strubeck, busy with projects of his own.

Can anyone fill in any of the blanks as related to this green boat?

Paul also made a trip around part of Lake Michigan recently and took these photos in Green Bay–GL Texas and North Dakota

and below the bow of Stewart J. Cort, my guess is Minnesota and Oklahoma.  The GL tugs are really amazing, with combined thousands of years of work.  As to Cort, she’s back at work, bow that the Great Lakes has reawakened.

 

The Maraki crew is underway again also, in the Bahamas, but before leaving panther land, which generated these and these unusual photos, they got these photos of Rikki S and

Jane.

 

Thanks again to Ted, Jed, Paul, and the Maraki crew for these photos.  how does the French saying . . . (mien vast hard due jambs.   eh?)   Wow, that’s what autocorrect did with my foreign language.  I’ll try again:  Mieux vaut tard que jamais.

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