Today will be my final post from my Engineer’s Weekend trip. In yesterday’s post, I left off with the tug W. I. Scott Purvis at Essar Steel.
Our next stop after the Essar Steel plant was the Essar export dock, where the saltie Federal Columbia was moored.
The ship’s four deck cranes, which have a lifting capacity of 35 tons apiece, were actively loading the vessel as we maneuvered around her – here, you can see one crane lifting a large container into her cargo hold.
Federal Columbia is one of FedNav’s newer vessels – she was just constructed last year, and visited the Lakes late in the 2016 season before the closing of the Seaway.
Here, you can see her unique bow, which is designed to increase the vessel’s efficiency.
After taking on a partial load here, Federal Columbia would depart and head for Duluth to top off her holds with wheat.
We spent plenty of time maneuvering around the vessel, giving everyone aboard the Le Voyageur plenty of photo opportunities.
We then headed a little further upriver for wider shots, and to meet the next vessel in the river.
HHL Amur was slowly making her way down the river and towards the locks.
The 2007-built vessel is a frequent visitor on the Lakes, and has made several trips to Lake Superior in the past few years.
Here’s a close-up of her bow – notice how her name is written at an angle to convey an image of speed.
The ship’s owners, Hansa Heavy Lift, are from Germany, although the ship is flagged in St. Johns, Antigua.
There isn’t really much to say about HHL Amur – her career thus far has been basically the same.
Here’s a wide shot showing Federal Colombia at the Essar export dock while HHL Amur passes on her way to the locks.
We then picked up speed, and caught up to HHL Amur, all while the skies became more and more threatening.
It hadn’t yet started raining, although the threatening clouds made an excellent backdrop.
The ship was traveling rather slowly at this point, presumably waiting for the lock to be made ready for her transit. After grabbing our last shots, we increased speed and headed back down the river via the Poe Lock. We then sped downriver at 13 knots to meet the next vessel heading upbound.
Just above Six Mile Point, we met the CSL Niagara steaming up the river.
We were treated to a salute from the Niagara‘s captain, and her crew seemed to enjoy the attention from our cameras!
CSL Niagara was built in 1972 as J.W. McGiffin.
Over the winter of 1998-99, the ship was given a new forebody that was slightly larger than the previous one. She was also given a new self-unloading system. These upgrades increased her cargo capacity, and probably extended her career as well.
She was given her current name in early 1999, after the conversion was complete.
As we followed the vessel upriver, the setting sun glinted off her hull.
As CSL Niagara headed off into the sunset, our cruise came to an end, and we headed back to the dock. After not seeing any vessels during the day, the traffic during the cruise more than made up for it.
That will conclude my photos from Engineer’s Weekend 2017. I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit the St. Clair River area, as well as return to Sault Ste. Marie, and I hope you enjoyed reading this saga!