Disappointment in Sturgeon Bay

This past weekend, I made my usual winter visit to Sturgeon Bay to photograph the layup fleet. However, I made two very unfortunate mistakes: forgetting my telephoto lens at home, and not giving myself enough time to properly photograph the shipyard!


So, using only the standard lens on my camera, I got the best shots I could of the layup fleet. There are a total of 14 vessels at the shipyard this winter, making for plenty of work for the yard crew to complete in the next few weeks.


The weather is another reason I couldn’t get the shots I wanted – normally, the ice between where I stood and the shipyard was plenty thick enough to walk on, allowing me to get some great angles. However, the ice was basically nonexistent this weekend thanks to the recent bout of warm weather.


Docked in the “Footers Row” this year are, from left to right, Mesabi Miner, Edwin H. Gott, and Walter J. McCarthy Jr. The Miner is currently in the process of having exhaust gas scrubbers installed (similar to her sister James R. Barker last winter), while Edwin H. Gott is sporting a fresh coat of paint. The tug just to the left of the McCarthy is Lower Lakes’ Invincible, in long term layup at the shipyard.


A total of four Lower Lakes vessels are laid up at the shipyard this winter – Manitowoc is on the right in this photo. Not visible from this angle is her sister Calumet, in drydock, along with the tug Victory. Her barge, James L. Kuber, is tucked in farther to the right.


This is the closest shot I could get of Manitowoc. Cason J. Callaway is visible here between Manitowoc and Indiana Harbor. Next to her are John G. Munson and James L. Kuber.


Indiana Harbor is rafted outside of James R. Barker, which I unfortunately couldn’t get any shots of. The bow of Joseph L. Block is visible just behind Indiana Harbor – her fleetmate Wilfred Sykes, as well as American Courage, are both tucked behind the 1,000 footers.

So that was all for my short Sturgeon Bay weekend. The 2017 shipping season has already begun, with Pathfinder/Dorothy Ann‘s departure from Cleveland last week. Crews of American Steamship’s vessels will begin reporting this week, with other companies to soon follow. I hope to return to Sturgeon Bay soon, and hopefully before the layup fleet departs so I can post some better photos!


One thought on “Disappointment in Sturgeon Bay

  1. Great Lakes Comercial Fishing June 19, 2017 / 1:30 PM

    I was lucky enough to watch the come in for layup. The last one in as expected was the Joseph L. Block. That was 11:00 pm Dec,17th. Hope you have better luck next time you’re here.


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