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!

Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr. sold, renamed

The tug/barge combo Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr, operated by American Steamship Company, has officially been sold to VanEnkevort Tug and Barge Inc. The barge will be renamed Erie Trader, while the tug will be named Clyde S. VanEnkevort. Earlier this week, workers at the Donjon Shipyard in Erie, PA, where the pair is laid up for the winter, were applying the new names to the hull.

The pair were constructed at Donjon’s Erie yard in 2011, and entered service in May 2012 under charter to American Steamship Company. The charter has not been renewed, however, allowing VanEnkevort to purchase both vessels from their owner. Lakes Contender/Ken Boothe Sr. are also near-sisters to Great Lakes Trader/Joyce L. VanEnkevort, which was built in 2001 for VanEnkevort.



Both photos above show Lakes Contender and her tug at the Donjon shipyard in Erie after they were completed. (Courtesy of boatnerd.com)


This photo, taken by Ken Newhams of the Duluth Shipping News, shows Great Lakes Trader in the Duluth harbor.

Manitowoc arrives Sturgeon Bay

Lower Lakes Towing’s river class self-unloaded Manitowoc arrived in Sturgeon Bay on Saturday, January 28, for winter layup. She joins her sister Calumet, as well as fleetmates James L. Kuber/tug Victory and Invincible, which are already in the shipyard. Manitowoc is the 14th and presumably final vessel to lay up for the winter in Sturgeon Bay.

More Arrivals at Bay Shipbuilding

I just returned from Sturgeon Bay earlier this afternoon, after spending a short weekend there. I was looking forward to bringing home many photos, however, the weather had other ideas. The fog was so thick, I barely got to see the layup fleet at all. I was disappointed, but I’ll hopefully be able to make another trip later in the winter. The shipyard was very busy, however. The barge James L. Kuber arrived on January 16, and was moored to John G. Munson. Her tug Victory laid up near her fleetmate Invincible. Joseph L. Block arrived on Friday, January 20, and Lower Lakes’ Calumet arrived on Saturday. Edwin H. Gott was in the drydock, where workers were busy sandblasting and repainting her hull. Sturgeon Bay has a total of 13 vessels laid up now. They are, in order of arrival, tug Invincible, American Courage, John G. Munson, Mesabi Miner, Wilfred Sykes, Indiana Harbor, Edwin H. Gott, James L. Kuber and tug Victory, James R. Barker, Cason J. Callaway, Walter J. McCarthy Jr., Joseph L. Block, and Calumet.

Sturgeon Bay Arrivals

James R. Barker struggled through thick ice in the bay of Green Bay for nearly 24 hours before she was able to reach the channel in Sturgeon Bay on Wednesday, January 18. The Selvick tug fleet had cleared the channel earlier in the day, but it was still ice-choked. The Barker finally made it to the vicinity of the shipyard and laid up for the winter. Around the same time, Great Lakes Fleet’s Cason J. Callaway arrived via the ship canal and passed through the three bridges on her way to the shipyard. On Thursday morning, Walter J. McCarthy Jr. arrived via the canal, becoming the ninth vessel to lay up. Hopefully a few more will arrive within the next few days before I head up to Sturgeon Bay!

Duluth’s final vessel of the Season Arrives

Lee A. Tregurtha passed through the Duluth Ship Canal and under the lift bridge just before 2:00 on Monday afternoon, January 16, becoming the last vessel to arrive Duluth for the 2016 season. There are a total of nine vessels laid up in Duluth/Superior this winter, plus American Victory and Edward L. Ryerson, which are in long-term layup. At Port Terminal’s various berths are American Spirit, American Century, Roger Blough, and Philip R. Clarke. Paul R. Tregurtha is at Midwest Energy, and Arthur M. Anderson is at CN. Herbert C. Jackson and Lee A. Tregurtha are berthed in Fraser Shipyards, while Burns Harbor is in Superior at the Lakehead Pipeline dock.

More Layup Updates

With the Soo Locks now officially closed for the season, ships are laying up quickly. Philip R. Clarke and Arthur M. Anderson kept each other company as the traveled up Lake Superior, and arrived Duluth on Sunday, January 15. The Clarke laid up in the Port Terminal slip across from American Spirit, while Arthur M. Anderson headed to the CN Dock for the winter. Fellow Great Lakes Fleet vessel Roger Blough arrived Duluth before sunrise on Monday morning, and laid up at Port Terminal’s berth 4. There are now a total of eight ships laid up in Duluth, with Lee A. Tregurtha expected to become the ninth and final vessel of the layup fleet. The Tregurtha will arrive later today, January 16, and will join fleetmate Herbert C. Jackson at Fraser Shipyards.

In Sturgeon Bay, Edwin H. Gott arrived on January 15, and will move into drydock for her five-year inspection this week. So far only six vessels are in Sturgeon Bay, however that number should be growing within the next two weeks.

I’ll be heading up to Sturgeon Bay this weekend, so I should be able to get some shots of the layup fleet.