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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Tugs at Rest on the Cuyahoga

Here is part 2 of my visit to Cleveland last Saturday. Yesterday’s installment highlighted the tugs Iowa and Petite Forte hard at work. I’ll pick back up just after that.

Goodtime III

Just below Collision Bend, the local tour boat Goodtime III is winding her way back to Lake Erie.

Goodtime III

I rode the Goodtime III back in 2006.

Pennsylvania and California

After that, I headed to the Great Lakes Shipyard to see what’s up with the G-tugs.

Pennsylvania

The 1911-built Pennsylvania has been inactive for the past several years, and is currently in the midst of being re-activated. The California of 1926 is behind her.

South Carolina and Maine

Ahead of that pair are the two retired tugs, South Carolina and Maine.

South Carolina

At this point, both tugs are simply serving as parts sources for the Towing Company.

Pennsylvania

This is my first time getting close-ups of the Pennsylvania, so I made sure to take some detail shots of this relic as well.

Pennsylvania

She has 1,400 horsepower from a rare Cleveland 8-498 diesel engine. The Idaho is the only other G-tug with this type of engine.

Pennsylvania

The California behind her has seen reduced use in recent years, but the company plans to re-activate her as well.

Illinois

Next down the line is the Illinois. Built in 1914, she is one of Cleveland’s two main ship assist tugs, along with the Iowa from yesterday’s post.

Iowa

The Iowa, built in 1915, is 100 years old this year, and is still going strong here in the city where she was built.

shipyard

Behind the Iowa, the flagship tug Ohio and icebreaker USCGC Katmai Bay are hauled out for refit.

USCGC Katmai Bay

The Katmai Bay is based in Sault Ste. Marie and is likely receiving her 5-year survey.

Ohio

The Ohio was built in 1903 in Chicago, and was originally a Milwaukee fireboat before becoming a tug. She has 2,000 horsepower and is used in long-distance towing and barge transportation.

Favorite

Past that is the floating drydock Favorite, and the Ashtabula-based tug Rhode Island (built in 1930) hauled out for refit.

Row

This row of tugs includes some interesting characters. On the right is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tug Cheraw, here for refit. Next is the Daniel McAllister, a sister tug that was just purchased by the Towing Company. She will be refitted and renamed Huron. The 1917-built Louisiana, recently reactivated, is behind her. Furthest on the left is the Michigan, another tug just acquired by GLT. She towed the Daniel McAllister here from Norfolk, and was previously named Susan McAllister.

Cheraw

The Cheraw is based in Buffalo, and is one of three similar tugs in USACE’s Great Lakes fleet.

Daniel McAllister

I don’t know the reasoning for the fleet expansion, but there are two more tugs similar to Daniel McAllister on the way, which will be renamed Erie and Ontario. Personally, I wish the Louisiana were much closer.

Goodtime III

That was the rundown of the shipyard, so my next stop was Wendy Park on the lakefront, where I caught the Goodtime III returning from a jaunt into Lake Erie.

Bluebill

The Canfornav salty Bluebill was unloading at the Port Terminal.

Bluebill

FirstEnergy Stadium looms large in the background.

Bluebill

Cleveland is a major hub for overseas trading, possibly the largest on the Great Lakes.

William C. Gaynor

Sitting out in the harbor is the big tug William C. Gaynor and her smaller fleetmate Sarah B. Both tugs are owned by Great Lakes Dock & Materials of Muskegon, who are doing dredging work in port. The classic Gaynor is receiving a new paint job.

William C. Gaynor

And that was it for me in Cleveland (boat-wise, anyway).

Hey, what do you know… I’m almost completely caught up to the present. I still have one or two posts to go, but after that, I’ll be up-to-date.

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Tugs at Work on the Cuyahoga

I went to Cleveland last weekend to visit family, as I do several times every year. Luckily, I was able to find a couple hours on Saturday for some boatwatching, so I headed down to the crooked river.

elCee 2

My first stop was Merwin’s Wharf, home of a fantastic restaurant operated by Cleveland Metroparks. The Metroparks are also debuting a water taxi service this year, and the new eLCee 2 is the boat for the job.

eLCee 2

I was tempted to go for a ride, but decided not to. Looks like a useful service, though, as they plan to add more stops over time.

Iowa

While I was enjoying my meal, something smoky came around the bend and I had to investigate.

Iowa

The hardworking tug Iowa coming by with a towline is usually a sign that a ship is just behind.

Iowa

The Iowa was built here in Cleveland in 1915, and is powered with a Cleveland diesel.

Iowa

She currently serves as the lead assist tug in Cleveland, so it’s no surprise she got the call for this job.

Petite Forte

Rather than a ship, however, her assist is actually another tug – the Petite Forte.

Iowa

It appears the Iowa is primarily here to steer, as the Petite Forte is likely providing most of the power on her own.

Petite Forte

This big Canadian tug was built in Selby, England in 1969, and has 4,200 horsepower from a pair of Ruston diesels.

St. Marys Cement

She is with her assigned barge, St. Marys Cement, and the pair is departing Cleveland after unloading powdered cement at the St. Marys terminal upriver.

Petite Forte

I recently featured this pair on my Welland Canal trip in Port Colborne.

Iowa

Iowa is always a common sight for me in Cleveland, although it’s much better to see these tugs in action than at the dock between jobs.

Petite Forte and Iowa

I like this shot quite a bit, as it looks like the two tugs are having a tug of war or something like that.

Iowa

There was still enough room in the river for pleasure boaters to pass by with ease.

Petite Forte

This side of the Petite Forte is much better-lit than when she came around the bend originally.

Iowa

And so are my stern shots of the Iowa.

Petite Forte

Prior to coming to the Great Lakes in 1986, this tug has worn the names E. Bronson IngramJaramac 42Scotsman, and Al Battal. She’s finally had some consistency during her 29-year freshwater career.

Petite Forte

The barge, St. Marys Cement, was oddly built in Cleveland, and originally worked for St. Marys under the U.S. flag with the tug Triton.

Iowa

Here’s one more stern shot of Iowa before I stop with that. She’s very photogenic.

Petite Forte and Iowa

This season, the Petite Forte and her barge have been working for all three Lake Ontario cement companies – St. Marys (loads in Bowmanville), LaFarge (loads in Bath), and Essroc (loads in Picton). I’m not sure why this is happening, but at least they are keeping busy.

St. Marys Cement

Cleveland is one of just two ports (the other being Toronto) that receives cement from all three of those companies.

St. Marys Cement

Toledo is generally the farthest from Lake Ontario that this pair travels, although last year they took a very rare load from Bowmanville to Grand Haven on Lake Michigan, and on their return carried a load from Charlevoix to Owen Sound on Georgian Bay.

St. Marys Cement

So now that you have some info on this fine pair, I can finally get them all in one frame just as they’re about to go around the next bend.

St. Marys Cement

And I still do have my lunch to finish.

Cleveland

I then stopped a little further up the river to grab some scenic shots, even though there were no boats nearby.

Cleveland

Hidden much further up the river is the ArcelorMittal steel mill.

Cleveland

The cleanup and redevelopment of the banks of the river was an outstanding job, and this place looks fantastic now.

Cleveland

So I’ll leave you with this, and pick back up tomorrow.

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Mariya’s Brief Visit

Now that I’ve finished my Welland Canal saga from the end of June, I can work on getting back to the present. But to do that, I have to start with last week, when I returned to the Detroit River on a Wednesday afternoon.

Delray

I got kind of bored at Delray Park, so I started doing stuff like this to pass the time.

Mariya Moran

And then the boat I’m waiting for finally shows up.

Mariya Moran

You may notice that the Mariya Moran ia an articulated tug running without a barge. In fact, she has never seen her barge, but she is on her way to pick it up from Bay Shipbuilding on Lake Michigan where it was built.

Mariya Moran

Moran Towing is a major tug operator on the U.S. East and Gulf coasts, and I have featured their tugs previously in my coastal expeditions.

Mariya Moran

The brand-new Mariya and her brand-new barge Texas will be used in the oil transportation trade, primarily on the Gulf Coast where I will probably not see them.

Mariya Moran

She was built in Pensacola, Florida, although she has a sister and another new barge both being built at Bayship where she is headed.

Mariya Moran

Like most ATBs, she looks quite peculiar running by herself.

Mariya Moran

But I’m sure she will look excellent once paired with her new barge.

Mariya Moran

She doesn’t look too bad as it is.

That was it for that day, as I had just come down to catch a new tug that I have little chance of ever seeing again, unless I find myself on the Gulf Coast soon. Who knows?

I still have more catching up to do, so keep watching and I’ll keep posting.

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Goodbye Canal

Well, this is it. It’s finally here. The final post from my Welland Canal trip. I left you off on the morning of Canada Day in Port Colborne, where I had been watching the Frontenac at the grain elevators in the outer harbor. After that, I went back into town and over to Bridge 21 for some final action. (By the way, this was supposed to publish on Tuesday but for some reason it did not. Strange things have been happening here lately).

Baie Comeau

Hey, I finally did it! Two CSL boats in one day.

Baie Comeau

I already got three close looks at Algoma’s newbuilds on this trip, and now it’s time for one of CSL’s.

Baie Comeau

The Baie Comeau is the fourth of six Trillium-class lakers built for CSL from 2012-2014.

Baie Comeau

Unlike Algoma’s newbuilds, the Trilliums have a more common blunt bow and squared-off stern.

Baie Comeau

Visibility was key in designing the pilothouse. as the big windows pop out on all sides.

Baie Comeau

The ship is named for a major grain port on the St. Lawrence, but she rarely visits this port since she rarely carries grain.

Baie Comeau

In fact, on this trip she is heading to Quebec with ore.

Baie Comeau

I wouldn’t mind taking this thing for a spin.

Baie Comeau

While the Trilliums are generally nice, some of the stern design bothers me, particularly the tiny poop deck that only wraps around one corner.

Baie Comeau

And also the offset and hidden stack.

Baie Comeau

Other than that, though, she’s a very handsome newbuild, and I bid her adieu as she heads to Lock Eight.

Cuyahoga

After that I grabbed a little lunch, before returning to Bridge 21 for my last ship of the trip.

Cuyahoga

And what a ship to end it on… the classic Cuyahoga!

Cuyahoga

Built in 1943, she easily represents my oldest freighter of the trip at age 72.

Cuyahoga

She was the first freighter in the Lower Lakes Towing fleet back in 1995, meaning that this year marks her 20th anniversary in gray.

Cuyahoga

Up until then, she served as the J. Burton Ayers, working for four different fleets under that name.

Cuyahoga

LLT’s signature “Don’t Give Up the Ship” flag was flying below the houseflag.

Cuyahoga

Everything about this WWII-era vessel screams “classic”

Cuyahoga

However, even at her advanced age, she still makes money by carrying cargo.

Cuyahoga

The current load is salt destined for Thorold.

Cuyahoga

The only two major changes since her construction have been the self-unloading boom and her diesel engine.

Cuyahoga

Her stack is one of the most classic in the business, although it’s somewhere between a 1950s stack and an older stovepipe stack.

Cuyahoga

She was one of the first lakers built with a cruiser (rounded) stern, which became the mainstay on classics until the late 1960s.

Cuyahoga

Like all Canadian LLT vessels, she is registered in the fishing town of Port Dover.

Cuyahoga

For whatever reason, the Baie Comeau is still on the approach wall, so the Cuyahoga will use the lock first.

Cuyahoga

She slows down to ride the wall and slip past the larger ship that is 70(!) years younger.

Cuyahoga

And so, adieu to the Cuyahoga, and adieu to another incredible Welland Canal trip. Now it’s time for the long drive back home.

Well, now that I’m done writing about it, it feels like it really has ended. Oh well. I’ve been boatwatching a few times since then, so I have more posts to come later this week.

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