Them Belle Isle Blues

Belle Isle

I said in my last post that it could possibly be my last one for a few weeks. I guess the key words were “could possibly”. This afternoon I was back out at Belle Isle.

USCGC Hollyhock

The USCGC Hollyhock is leading an escort off Lake St. Clair.

USCGC Hollyhock

Although… most of the ice cover on lower Lake St. Clair disappeared this weekend, so I’m not sure why the Hollyhock was needed all the way down here.

USCGC Hollyhock

It’s hard to see, but that nice-sized ding on her port stern was the result of getting bumped by the giant freighter Mesabi Miner back in Jaunary.

Bench

So, while waiting for the ship that was getting the escort, I got bored and started shooting various things near the beach.

Belle Isle

In case you forgot where I was.

Duck

This duck is getting her frog no matter what!

Swans

And it’s nice to see the swans still hanging around, too.

Swans

These two have been swimming around this beach since January, possibly longer.

Ice

You know what else has been hanging around since January? This stuff.

Belle Isle

Oh look, here comes that boat…

Algosea

Closer she comes…

Algosea

I was tired of normal Belle Isle shots, so I got an assist from the ice.

Algosea

The ship is the Algosea, a tanker on her way to Nanticoke, Ontario from Sarnia.

Algosea

She’s one of three Algoma tankers operating on the Lakes this winter, the others being the AlgoCanada and Algoeast.

Algosea

Last week, she was featured in this photo making an icy crew change off Nanticoke with the help of the CCGS Griffon. Since then, it looks like the ice may have subsided a bit, but the Algosea still could be in for an adventure when she gets down there.

Algosea

The movement of oil products is the only trade that doesn’t stop during winter on the Great Lakes, so having ice-capable tankers is important to ship operators. In addition to the Algoma fleet, a few other companies operate tankers during the winter, mostly ATBs.

Algosea

So, crew changes are necessary; with a year-round sailing schedule they need some time off during the winter.

Belle Isle

I do too, so that’s all from me for this weekend (and probably also this month). Hopefully when I come back in the Spring, the State will have started putting their mark on this place, and the next era in Belle Isle history will have begun.

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