Engineer’s Day 2017, Part I

I concluded yesterday’s post with the last of my photos from Port Huron. We spent the day Thursday driving up to Sault Ste. Marie, and arrived late in the evening.


There were no vessels in the locks, however Algocanada was moored across the river in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, unloading.


This year’s Engineer’s Day had almost no vessels passing through the locks during the day. Joseph L. Block locked up early in the morning, but we didn’t arrive in time to see her. The next vessel to pass through the locks, Spruceglen, didn’t arrive until after the open house portion of the day had ended.


I was down near Mission Point to catch the vessel heading downbound.


Spruceglen was built in Scotland in 1983 for Misener Transportation of Canada as Selkirk Settler. She carried various cargoes on both the Great Lakes and to destinations across the Atlantic Ocean.


She was sold to a divison of Fednav Inc. in 1991, and renamed Federal St. Louis. Her name was changed the following year to Federal Fraser. She changed owners numerous times, all while remaining under charter to Fednav. Her name was shortened to Fraser in 2001.


In October of 2002, Canada Steamship Lines acquired the vessel from Fednav, and she was given her current name. She has operated for them since.


So anyway, Spruceglen headed away and down the St. Marys River.


Shortly after Spruceglen passed, we boarded the Soo Locks tour boat Le Voyageur for the annual Boatnerd cruise. Our first stop was on the Canadian side of the river, where the cruise ship Victory I was docked.


Victory I was most recently known as Saint Laurent, and was operated by Haimark Cruise Lines.


Many remember Saint Laurent‘s June 2015 collision with the Eisenhower Lock in the St. Lawrence Seaway, which caused significant damage to the vessel and forced her operators to file for bankruptcy. Her current owners purchased her in early 2016, when she was given the name Victory I.


The ship cruises the Great Lakes for most of the summer season, before heading south into the ocean for the winter.


As we approached the Canadian Lock to make our upbound passage, we passed the moored Canadian Coast Guard vessel Constable Carriére.


The unique vessel is a member of the Hero Class of patrol vessels built for the Canadian Coast Guard between 2012 and 2014. Constable Carriére was launched in 2013 by her builders in Nova Scotia, and measures 140 feet long and 23 feet wide.


Earlier in the day, during the U.S. Coast Guard station’s open house, the vessel was open for tours, and I was able to climb aboard her and see how she operated.


After locking upbound, we explored the docks of the Algoma Essar Steel plant. This is Purvis Marine’s barge PML 9000, which was docked loading steel coils.


Docked near the barge was the tug W. I. Scott Purvis. The historic tug was built in 1938 in Sorel, Quebec.


Since the tug’s duties include moving barges around, I assume the tug was waiting for PML 9000 to finish loading.

And that’s where I’ll end – for now. I have one more post to finish this saga tomorrow, so stay tuned!




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