The Final Adieu

I started this blog back on October 30, 2011 as a place to share my photos and experiences (mainly regarding ships) from before and during high school. I graduated high school in June, and on Sunday I begin college. Tomorrow I will be leaving the Detroit area, where I have lived since 2002, and will be settling in northern Michigan, far from any major ports or good boatwatching spots. I will still be visiting Detroit from time to time, and traveling around the Great Lakes occasionally over the next four years, but I have come to the difficult decision to end this blog after this final post.

To say goodbye to Detroit, I went down to the river for one last time, arriving at Delray Park in the early afternoon.

American Spirit

The American Spirit has just departed Zug Island after unloading her cargo of taconite.

American Spirit

The 1,004 foot long ship has been a frequent visitor on tugboathunter, as this is her 20th post.

American Spirit

She is making a short trip up the river to the Mistersky fuel dock to gas up.

American Spirit

She is my favorite of the 13 1,000 footers on the Great Lakes, so it’s nice that I’ve seen her more than the others over the years.

Spirit and Elise

She is being followed up the river by somebody much smaller.

American Spirit

The Spirit was built in 1978 in Lorain, Ohio as the George A. Stinson for National Steel. She was remamed American Spirit in 2003.

American Spirit

Zug Island has been her main unloading destination throughout her career, which is why I sometimes call her the Zug Express.

American Spirit

After barely making it into the middle of the river, the ship is already angling toward Mistersky to make her stop.

American Spirit

So adieu to her as she makes her way to get fuel.

Candace Elise

The tug following her is the Candace Elise, a handsome vessel owned by Ashton Marine from Muskegon.

Candace Elise

This is her first year on the Great Lakes, as she was previously working on the east coast as the Stephen Dann for Dann Ocean Towing.

Candace Elise

She is on her way to Port Huron after delivering a barge to Port Maitland, Ontario.

Candace Elise

She hasn’t been in service for very long, but her jobs should include ship assistance, general towing, transportation, and icebreaking. She will probably do work on all of the Great Lakes, but mainly Lake Michigan.

Candace Elise

So adieu to her, as she continues on her way to Port Huron.

Spirit and Sakura

After a late lunch, I returned to Riverside Park, where I caught the American Spirit refueling at Mistersky, with the salty Federal Sakura unloading at Nicholson’s ahead of her.

Federal Sakura

This is my first time seeing the Federal Sakura, so it’s nice to have briefly met her.

CSL Assiniboine

Cruising on downbound is the CSL Assiniboine.

CSL Assiniboine

The 740 foot self-unloader is heading to Belledune, New Brunswick with a load of coal.

CSL Assiniboine

For whatever reason, I rarely get any good photos of the Assiniboine, as she has proved to be elusive over the last few years.

CSL Assiniboine

These are easily my best Detroit River photos of her, but that’s not saying a whole lot.

CSL Assiniboine

She was originally built in 1977 as the Jean Parisien, but she was rebuilt with a brand-new forebody and cargo section in 2005.

CSL Assiniboine

Only the stern section is left from the 1977 construction.

CSL Assiniboine

Her low bow lip makes her distinctive among her fleetmates, and makes her easy to spot from a distance.

CSL Assiniboine

This is my final chance to get my favorite Ambassador Bridge + boat shot.

CSL Assiniboine

And I’m glad it was a ship I was actively seeking, giving me a sense of fulfillment on my final day here.

CSL Assiniboine

But she has a long trip to Belledune ahead of her, so adieu to the CSL Assiniboine.

And adieu to tugboathunter. I really hope you enjoyed reading this blog over the past four years, just like I enjoyed taking the pictures and writing the posts. Maybe I’ll return someday, but for now, I’ll explore other options for publishing my photos. And don’t worry – I’ll still be hunting for new ships as often as I can.

I’ll leave the site up for a couple months before I delete it for good, so you (and I) can go back and experience the nostalgia, and how bad of a photographer I was as a freshman.

Thanks, it’s been a fun ride.

– Isaac

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Algoevening

Here is my third and final post with photos from Monday’s jaunt to the St. Clair River. Yesterday’s installment featured the Tim S. Dool at the Blue Water Bridges in Port Huron. After that, I was going to leave but decided to stay when another ship came around the bend.

Capt. Henry Jackman

The Capt. Henry Jackman had pulled over for fuel while I was at the Maritime Center, but she conveniently left shortly after the Dool had passed her.

Capt. Henry Jackman

She is on her way to the Lake Huron port of Goderich to load salt from the world’s largest salt mine.

Capt. Henry Jackman

She got a brand-new paint job less than a year and a half ago, but she looks like it was five years ago the way she’s been working.

Capt. Henry Jackman

She was the second-to-last Algoma ship to come in last Winter, running into late February before finally getting some rest.

Capt. Henry Jackman

However, the gray boot-topping on her bulbous bow has been re-touched and looks like new.

Capt. Henry Jackman

The Jackman was built in 1981 as the straight-decker Lake Wabush for Nipigon Transports. Nipigon and their partner Carryore Limited sold their small fleet to Algoma Central in 1986. The Algomarine is the only other survivor from that sale.

Capt. Henry Jackman

The Jackman is a ship I usually see on my Welland Canal trip, but it didn’t happen this year, so luckily I have this meeting to make up for it.

Capt. Henry Jackman

The blue paint on her stern is probably what her midsection would look like if it didn’t have ore stains all over it.

Capt. Henry Jackman

She has the typical 1970s-80s Collingwood stack design.

Capt. Henry Jackman

And after blowing a lengthy and generous salute, she heads for the lake and eventually Goderich.

Capt. Henry Jackman

So farewell to Capt. Henry.

Algoway

But I’m not quite done yet. My last stop was a small park on the Port Huron-Marysville border, where I met up with the mighty Algoway.

Algoway

At only 646 feet long, Algoway is one of Algoma’s smallest vessels, used for accessing small inland ports. She carries salt and aggregates almost exclusively, and makes over 50 trips per shipping season.

Algoway

However, she was built in 1972, and is currently operating on borrowed time. Her replacement is under construction in Croatia and is scheduled to arrive in 2017. Her older running mate Algorail will also be replaced.

Algoway

It’s been well over five years since her last paint job, so her blue is very faded and she is very rusty. But she can still make it through at least the 2016 season.

Algoway

Her self-unloading boom collapsed last November, ending her season prematurely. It was re-assembled and repaired during the Winter in Port Colborne, so she is all set to go now.

Algoway

She is following the Jackman up to Goderich for more salt.

Algoway

This area right here is probably the rustiest part of the ship’s exterior.

Algoway

Her stern still looks nice, though.

Algoway

The Algoway was the last of four similar ships built for Algoma between 1965 and 1972. The first, the Roy A. Jodrey, sank less than ten years after her construction. The second, the Algorail, remains in service. The third, the Agawa Canyon, was sold for scrap in 2010.

Algoway

The Jodrey and Rail were similar, as they were about 6 feet shorter with a more classic stern. The Canyon and Way have a squared-off stern that lacks some of the classic look.

Algoway

She may not look great, but she still looks good, if you know what I mean. This true workhorse must continue on her way.

Algoway

So adieu Algoway. Hopefully your time isn’t as borrowed as it may seem.

Algoway

And I’ll leave you with this.

That was it for my exploits on Monday. Hopefully I’ll get back out there soon this week.

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Too Cool for Dool

Yesterday’s post was the Canadian portion of Monday’s boatwatching, and after hanging out at Port Huron’s maritime center for a few hours, I went up to the Blue Water Bridges to catch a boat I hadn’t seen in far too long.

Tim S. Dool

Making her first appearance on this blog since August 2013 is the Tim S. Dool.

Tim S. Dool

The Dool may not be a classic laker, but she is still a classic.

Tim S. Dool

She was built in 1967 in New Brunswick, and worked originally for Mohawk Navigation as the Senneville. Later on, she was part of the small Pioneer Shipping fleet, which saw her operate in bright orange and yellow hull paint under the same name. She came to Algoma in 1994 as part of the Great Lakes Bulk Carriers fire sale, and operates for them initially as Algoville, before taking on her current name in 2008.

Tim S. Dool

She was widened by three feet in 1996, bringing her to the maximum Seaway width of 78 feet.

Tim S. Dool

Having been repowered last decade, the Dool is the oldest straight-decker still in service for Algoma, and the only one built in Canada.

Tim S. Dool

She is heading to Duluth with a cargo of cement from Clarkson, Ontario. Her primary cargoes are grain and ore, but she has taken over the cement run this season from the late Algoma Montrealais.

Tim S. Dool

This is my first time seeing her in service off the Detroit River since 2011, so these are easily my best shots of the veteran stemwinder.

Tim S. Dool

For that reason, I took a few more close-ups and detail shots than I normally would.

Tim S. Dool

A jet-skier follows in her wake.

Tim S. Dool

This vessel is unique, as her Algoma straight-decker fleetmates were built in 1986, 1987, 1987, 2013, 2014, and 2014. The 1967 Dool is much older than her comrades, but her size and recent upgrades (especially the new engines) should keep her in service for the foreseeable future.

Tim S. Dool

For many years her running mate was the Silver Isle, a similar vessel built in 1963 in Ireland for Mohawk. She followed the Senneville through Pioneer and Algoma ownership, but was never widened or repowered during her career as the Algoisle. She was retired after the 2009 season and sold for scrap the next year. She was a vessel I never got to see.

Tim S. Dool

An interesting distinction held by the Dool is that she is one of just three lakers to be built by Saint John Shipbuilding, and the only survivor. The other two, Canadian Hunter and Canadian Mariner, were built in 1962 and 63, and sold for scrap in 1995 and 2007, respectively.

Tim S. Dool

She has a classic stack and lifeboat, adding to her vintage appeal.

Tim S. Dool

The dramatic sky in the background definitely helped these photos, and I’m glad it didn’t rain on me while I was out there.

Tim S. Dool

It had rained for about an hour while I was at the maritime center, but luckily the dark clouds stuck around with the sun coming through.

Tim S. Dool

I had been planning to head home after this, but was ultimately convinced to stick around for a couple more boats.

Tim S. Dool

So I must bid adieu to the cement-laden Dool.

Tim S. Dool

But I’m not quite done with stern shots yet…

Tim S. Dool

Okay, now I am.

I’ll finish up with Monday’s adventures tomorrow in another post.

P.S. – I’m not too cool for Dool, because Dool is cool. I was just trying to make a pun. I need better titles.

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Steel at Rest

The calendar has turned from July to August, meaning that Summer is now winding down here on the Great Lakes. But it isn’t over yet, and yesterday I made a convenient Monday trip across international borders to see some ships.

Algosteel

It’s just after noon at the North Slip in Sarnia, and the harbor is bustling with Summer activity.

Algosteel

The only thing not bustling is the Algosteel.

Algosteel

The veteran self-unloader is laid up due to a lack of cargoes. Since she operates deep into February when most other ships are enjoying their Winter rest, it makes sense that she should get some Summer rest to make up for it.

Algosteel

She is expected to remain here until September rolls around, which is similar to the 2013 season when she got a break during July and August.

Algosteel

Algosteel is my favorite ship, so it’s only natural that I should cross the border just to see her.

Algosteel

A couple was playing fetch with their dog in the slip, scaring some of the ducks.

Algosteel

The Algosteel was built in 1966, making her the oldest member of the Algoma Central fleet.

Algosteel

She inherited that title this year from the Algoma Montrealais, which is now being scrapped in Turkey.

Algosteel

The Algosteel has been featured more times than any other vessel in the nearly 4-year history of this blog, but this is my first time ever seeing her at this dock.

Algosteel

Even though the lighting wasn’t good at this time of day, the angles and views here are better than what I would have gotten if she were out and moving.

Algosteel

Around the middle of the hull you can clearly see her “ribs”.

Algosteel

And here’s a close-up of her classic stern and self-unloading system.

Algosteel

I also stopped over by the Sidney E. Smith Dock for some stern shots.

Algosteel

The lighting is better in this direction.

dumpster

Oddly, the last boat to dock here left a dumpster full of stuff they discarded. I’m not completely sure which vessel this stuff is from, but most of it was oily and not worth me keeping.

dumpster

The only thing I might have wanted was their workboat, but I didn’t have the space to take it back to the U.S. with me.

Sten Bergen

Visible all the way down at the Imperial refinery is the salty tanker Sten Bergen, which will conclude my short visit to Canada.

Sten Bergen

But after crossing back over and having lunch, I hung out for awhile at the Maritime Center in Port Huron, where I got some better photos of the Sten Bergen.

Capt. Henry Jackman

Joining her at the dock was the Capt. Henry Jackman, who pulled in to refuel before going to Goderich to load salt.

Sten Bergen

And that will conclude this post, but I still have more coming from yesterday… so another post tomorrow.

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Sky is the Limit

Yesterday I finally got caught up on posting, then I went boatwatching again. Don’t worry, I only saw one boat, so I’ll be caught up again after this post.

geese

It was evening when I arrived at Belanger Park, the home of geese and boatwatchers.

Nordana Sky

Across the river is a ship unlike any I’ve ever seen before – meet Nordana Sky.

Nordana Sky

You may take a look at her and think she is a salty, but she isn’t – she’s on charter to Transport Desgagnés and registered in Canada, although her owner is Symphony Shipping (she’s chartered to Nordana, who is chartering her to Desgagnés).

Nordana Sky

The ship is new, having been built in 2015, and Desgagnés is the first company she has worked for, spending time in the Canadian domestic trade on the St. Lawrence.

Nordana Sky

She is currently taking on a partial load of grain. Later that evening she departed for Hamilton to complete the load, after which she will head to Long Pond, NL to unload.

Nordana Sky

What makes her so unique is her forward pilothouse, which is a common sight on old lakers, but not so common on modern vessels.

Nordana Sky

The vessel was chartered as a replacement for the Catherine Desgagnés, the veteran bulker that has now been retired and will likely find her way to the scrapyard soon. Perhaps Desgagnés will eventually purchase the vessel as a permanent replacement.

Nordana Sky

I’m sure she would look good in their paint scheme with a Desgagnés name.

Nordana Sky

Either way, I’m glad I got to meet this unique member of the Canadian fleet on her first visit to the Great Lakes.

Belanger

It’s been awhile since I last took pictures of these things.

belanger

Here’s the one I’m standing next to.

Nordana Sky

And here’s a parting shot of the Nordana Sky.

It’s always a good day when you see a ship for the first time, and for me, seeing another ship in the Desgagnés fleet is a treat. That may be all for me in the month of July, but hopefully August will bring more good stuff.

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It’s Cruise Season

Last Monday (not yesterday, the one before that) I was on Belle Isle shooting a tug towing a dredge and a bunch of pipe. But that wasn’t all that came by the island that evening…

Kaye E. Barker

The Kaye E. Barker represents my first real freighter sighting since I was at the Welland Canal on July 1.

Kaye E. Barker

Old Kaye has a mission – to deliver ore to AK Steel in Dearborn.

Kaye E. Barker

She’s been a Dearborn regular since the 1980s when she was owned by the Ford Motor Company.

Kaye E. Barker

She was a steamer from her construction in 1952 until the 2011 season. She was repowered during the first half of 2012 and marches on as a motor vessel.

Kaye E. Barker

She is very regal with her triple-deck cabins, one of only three classic lakers still operating with this feature.

Kaye E. Barker

As a regular in the Detroit area, she is also a regular on this blog, making numerous appearances since her 2012 repowering (I started the blog in late 2011). This is her 19th post!

Kaye E. Barker

But obviously, she has ore to deliver, so I must let her get on her way to Dearborn.

Saint Laurent

Got time for one more? I thought so.

Saint Laurent

My third and final ship of the day is the cruise ship Saint Laurent. Yeah, a cruise ship.

Saint Laurent

Small cruise ships such as this have been regularly working the Lakes since the late 1990s, although this is my first time catching one.

Saint Laurent

This is Saint Laurent‘s second year cruising the Lakes. Her first was 2001, when she ran around here as the Cape May Light before her owners went bankrupt. The ship was laid up in Jacksonville for the rest of the 2000s before finally re-emerging with her new name this year. Cruises are booked by the Haimark Line.

Saint Laurent

The ship recently was repaired after accidentally striking the sill in the Eisenhower Lock on the St. Lawrence. The ship took on water but repairs were made quickly and she is now sailing smoothly again.

Saint Laurent

She is heading to Port Colborne to transit the Welland Canal. While she has fun in the locks, her passengers will disembark and take a bus over to Niagara Falls for a day of fun. But me, I would rather stay on and ride through the canal!

Saint Laurent

While it would be cool to cruise the Great Lakes, I’m not sure it’s worth the money, as I’ve already been to most of the places this cruise goes. I’d probably be better off cruising the Caribbean or something.

Saint Laurent

For a cruise ship, she is quite attractive due to her traditional faux-steamer design.

Saint Laurent

I would like to see her on the inside, to compare it to a big ocean cruise ship.

Saint Laurent

She sure looks good on the outside, though.

Saint Laurent

And that’s all for today, so farewell Saint Laurent and her passengers.

I’m finally caught up on posting! Hope you enjoyed everything. Now I suppose it’s only a matter of time before I go boatwatching and fall behind again.

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Pipe Dreams II

One week ago today, I went back to Belle Isle in Detroit for the first time since June 16th. It’s been over a month, but it’s nice to be back.

Matt Allen

I’ve been photographing a lot of tugs lately, and this will not change just yet.

Matt Allen

The tug Matt Allen is towing a dredging consist down to Point Mouillee near the mouth of the Detroit River to do some work there.

Matt Allen

The Louisiana-built Matt Allen spends most of her time on Lake Michigan, so this is my first time seeing her.

Matt Allen

She currently works for the King Company, but was with Andrie Inc. before that under the name Mari Beth Andrie.

Matt Allen

She has 2,200 horsepower from a pair of Detroit diesels.

Buxton II

The dredge she is towing is the Buxton II, which she normally works with.

Matt Allen

The consist was making pretty good speed once they entered the river, moving at 7+ knots.

pipes

Behind the Buxton II was a smaller crane barge, with about 15 very long dredging pipes tied onto it.

Buxton II

The pipes are part of the dredging operation, but I don’t know the details of how the Buxton II works.

Matt Allen

Matt Allen has attractive lines that date back to her 1961 construction.

Buxton II

The Buxton II was built in 1976 and has been King’s largest dredge for some time now.

barge

I’d be curious to know how this tow handled, given how heavy this barge must have been and how long the pipes were.

pipes

I couldn’t capture the entire length of the pipes in one frame, but here is the end of them.

pipes

The tow ran on reduced speed on Lake St. Clair, so I would imagine they went even slower crossing Lake Huron.

Buxton II

Here’s a better shot of the Buxton II.

second barge

As well as the second barge and its wealth of pipes…

pipes

And with that, I will bring this post to a close.

Don’t worry, that wasn’t all I caught last Monday. I will finish up tomorrow in another post.

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