Monday, 22 July 2013

Bulk Carrier IRMA


'One big mother of a ship', (or something like that), is what I thought to myself when I first saw the upbound 656' Polish bulk carrier IRMA round the bend near Morrisburg last Sunday afternoon. Built in 2000 in Ichihara, Japan and flying the flag of Cyprus, the IRMA is one of 67 bulk carriers owned by the Polish Steamship Company, now known as Polsteam of Szczecin, Poland.
IRMA is the second Polsteam bulk carrier that I have snapped to date. The first being the NOGAT (http://carlzboats.blogspot.com/2013/01/bulk-carrier-nogat.html) in Havana, Cuba.
Pretty hot day there too but regardless, the IRMA was motoring pretty impressively and pushing water real good on a fairly calm seaway channel as she passed us at Loyalist Park near Mariatown, but was all ahead 'Dead Slow' as she made her way through Iroquois Lock. Watch the IRMA in action on this neat video: http://youtu.be/RH6Ue7rUpsY

Hey, if you have an extra 2 months of holidays to get rid of and about $6,000US in your pocket, POLSTEAM offers 'semi-liner' Trans-Atlantic and Great Lakes cruises on bulk carriers like the IRMA from April to November. As Johnny Carson of the 'Tonight Show' use to say, 'I did not know that.' Their ships depart from Holland near Amsterdam, cross the Atlantic, motor up the St. Lawrence River and Seaway, Lake Ontario, get lifted to the level of Lake Erie via the flight-locks of the Welland Canal and then open water to Cleveland, Ohio.  After a port visit there, it's off Burns Harbor, Indiana (Gary)on Lake Michigan. Cool, eh!! The return to Europe are called 'Tramp' voyages which is even more cool because port stops aren't certain until just before the return sailing and may include port stops in the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Black Sea or the Baltic, or NOT. You'll know when they know so passengers are asked to be flexible. One way cruises to just the Great Lakes or Europe are also available. Their operators are standing by (sitting actually). Does it get any better? 
It sure does, because when you  board the IRMA to see the world, and wonder 'what do you see?' You'll see a bunch of seas, and perhaps a family of Ospreys nesting on a special perch that was built and erected by Seaway workers at the west end of Iroquois Lock, just like those lads on IRMA's bridge got to see their way to, CLEVELAND. Probably the best looking birds they had seen since leaving Holland SEVEN  DAYS EARLIER. Meanwhile I snapped possibly an osprey 'your turn to watch the *@#%! chicks' shift change while one of IRMA's crane pods passed them by. Halee's Lockview Gift Shop located above the east end of Iroquois Lock has an even better selection of Osprey photos and shipping trinkets for bird and boat watchers alike. So stop by if you're in the area. I'm sure Elizabeth will appreciate your visit. You can mention this blogpost, or NOT!!

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