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A few days ago I posted this twilight view of Service Boat No. 1.

So, I hope she ‘s more defined by these shots from a bit later in the port of Montreal, as she passes Toronto Express.


Ocean Macareux (translates as “Ocean Puffin”) follows the grain elevators on her way to –maybe–

attach some rendering. . . .

Farther along, a spud barge moved by GFFM‘s

Vent Polaire (tr. Polar Wind) seems standing by, assisted by this very

shallow draft prime mover.

Over by the Beauharnois Dam, Deschenaux (tr. Channels) stands by.

Click here for more info on the Beauharnois generating station.

Anyone know where and when Deschenaux was built?

Farther upstream yet, in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, it’s Circle Polaire (tr. Polar Circle)

And closing out this post, Ocean A. Gauthier here heads downstream to assist Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin return to a floating condition. I believe she’s still undergoing repairs in the port of Johnstown ON.

All photos by Will Van Dorp.


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.



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