A Whole Bunch of Laid Up Ships

This past weekend, I returned from my trip to the St. Clair/Detroit Rivers and Sault Ste. Marie. Being able to finally visit the St. Clair River to boatwatch was definitely one of the highlights – it offers some excellent angles! But we started our trip a little farther south, in Toledo, Ohio, where we stopped for a short time to check out the vessels in the harbor.


First, we did a little exploring to see how close we could get to the laid-up American Valor, and the results weren’t bad. The Triple-A class vessel has been in layup since 2008, with little hope of entering service anytime soon. She isn’t visible here, but Lower Lakes’ Manistee is docked just in front of the Valor, also in layup.


We then headed across the river to a park that offered pretty decent views of the docks. I was surprised to find the barge Sarah Spencer laid up so close to the CSX coal dock – I was expecting her to be a little farther downriver.


Sarah Spencer was built in 1959 as Adam E. Cornelius, a powered steamer for American Steamship Company. She was converted to a barge in 1989, and served various owners until 2005, when she and her tug were listed for sale. She has remained in layup at Toledo since.


Jane Ann IV, the tug that pushes Sarah Spencer, was built in 1978, and was mated with the barge in 2000.


Of course, right as I was getting to the rest of the vessels in port, the sun disappeared. That’s CSL Laurentien on the left, taking on coal at the CSX dock. St. Clair is on the right, also in layup.


CSL Laurentien, built in 1977, was really the only active vessel in Toledo when I visited besides McKeil’s Evans Spirit, which I was unfortunately unable to get shots of.


St. Clair has been in and out of service for the past few years as demand requires – she has not yet entered service in the 2017 season.


Here’s a closeup of St. Clair‘s bow and CSL Laurentien‘s stern.


After our stop in Toledo, we drove up to Port Huron. The next morning, we headed down to the St. Clair River, where we found the US Coast Guard cutter Hollyhock at her dock.


Hollyhock is a sister ship to the cutter Alder, which is based out of Duluth. Hollyhock measures 225 feet long, and entered service in 2003.


Shortly after we arrived, the first vessel of the day entered the river: Lee A. Tregurtha.


The historic vessel was built in 1942, and served in World War II before being converted for Great Lakes service.


The vessel was downbound from Lake Superior with iron ore pellets on this trip.


Over the winter of 2015-16, Lee A. Tregurtha was fitted with exhaust gas scrubbers at Bay Shipbuilding, which reduce emissions released into the atmosphere by up to something like 90 percent.


The sun didn’t make these stern shots any better, but the angles were perfect.


And with that, the Tregurtha continued on with her journey.IMG_4749

Next, we crossed the international bridge into Canada, and headed for the harbor in Sarnia, Ontario, where we found Lower Lakes Towing’s Ojibway in layup.


The classic vessel was built in Bay City, Michigan, in 1952 as Charles L. Hutchinson. She served various owners before being acquired by Lower Lakes in 2007, when she was given her current name.


Like many others, the vessel has been in and out of service for the past few years as demand requires. There certainly wasn’t a lack of activity aboard the ship, so I’m assuming she’ll be re-entering service in the near future.

That will close today’s post. Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of my photos from Port Huron, and then Sault Ste. Marie is next! Stay tuned!


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