Engineer’s Weekend, Part II

I left off with my photos from Engineer’s Day on Friday, June 26. I stayed in the Soo for the rest of the weekend, and saw some more action.

12-BurnsHarbor-6-27-15-dlOn Saturday morning, I caught the Burns Harbor upbound below the locks.

057After locking up, she will head to Superior, WI, to load iron ore pellets – her usual run.

13-Transport-6-27-15-dlThen, I headed up to the locks, and caught the Algoma Transport being lowered in the MacArthur Lock.

059Here’s a detail shot of her bow.

14-Transport-6-27-15-dlI went to the lower pier of the locks to watch her exit – but she isn’t the only one.

061The Queen of the Lakes, Paul R. Tregurtha, was locking downbound at the same time. She let the Transport exit the approach first.

15-Transport-6-27-15-dlSo farewell to Algoma Transport, as she continues on her way downbound.

16-Tregurtha-6-27-15-dlHere’s where it got interesting: Burns Harbor is docked at the lower approach wall waiting, so the Tregurtha has to maneuver her bow away from the wall to exit the lock.

17-Tregurtha-6-27-15-dlBut she did it, and she did it well. So adieu to Paul.

064Next, I headed to the Tower of History, a viewing tower with sweeping views of the city, lower approach, and the Soo Locks. In this panoramic shot, you can see Paul R. Tregurtha heading downbound, passing the upbound St. Clair.

065I had to zoom way in to get this shot – a little blurry, but not bad. The Coast Guard Station is in the foreground – USCGC Katmai Bay is docked on the right, and the buoy tender Buckthorn is on the left.

18-StClair-6-27-15-dlAfter watching the Burns Harbor exit the Poe Lock, I headed to a spot above the locks to watch the St. Clair. But there was a chain link fence there – a photographer’s worst nightmare. I stood atop a picnic table to get this shot over the annoying fence.

19-Florida-6-27-15-dlNext, I headed back below the locks and stopped at the MCM Marine yard to see what was going on, where I found the G-tug Florida, built in 1926, on a floating drydock. Florida is unique among her fleetmates because of her Kort nozzle, which channels water for better propeller efficiency and can be rotated to steer the tug. Most of the G-tugs have the normal propeller-rudder configuration, so I found this interesting. She is on drydock undergoing a major overhaul, which will greatly lengthen her career. 14 of her fleetmates are also being overhauled around the upper lakes. For more information on the overhaul program, visit this post on the Great Lakes Group’s blog.

20-Spirit-6-27-15-dlI spent the rest of Saturday afternoon in Canada, exploring the area and the Canadian lakeshore. When I returned, I caught the American Spirit locking up.

074She heads upbound with the picturesque sunset behind her.

That was all the boatwatching I did on Saturday. I left late Sunday morning, but not before catching a few more ships.

21-Mariner-6-28-15-dlThe first ship of the day Sunday was Algoma Mariner, upbound below the locks. This was my first meeting with her, as she only recently began coming to the upper lakes. She and a few Algoma fleetmates had been running ore on the eastern St. Lawrence, until they were replaced earlier this season by Algoma Integrity.

22-Buffalo-6-28-15-dlJust before I left Sault Ste. Marie, I stopped at the locks one last time. I just missed the Buffalo locking through, but got this stern shot as she headed downbound.

090My final ship of the weekend, Algoma Harvester, made up for missing bow shots of the Buffalo.

23-Harvester-6-28-15-dlShe is a new ship herself, having arrived on the Lakes from her builders in China last summer. She is the second ship in Algoma’s Equinox Class, which will eventually consist of eight vessels. The shipyard in China where they are being built, Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries, is experiencing some financial troubles, and are behind on their construction.

24-Harvester-6-28-15-dlBut Algoma Harvester must continue on her way, so adieu to her.

That was all from Engineer’s Weekend. But, I still have some catching up to do, as I have done other boatwatching this summer. I’ll have another post within the next week!


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