Sunday 9 March 2014


September 20, 2013
When I snapped the 406' tanker DARA DESGAGNÉS at the Shell refinery dock near Corunna, Ontario last September, I could not help but recall Bill Cosby's 1968 stand-up comedy routine, '200 MPH'. In it, Bill had just received his new 'American-built' Shelby Cobra Super Snake CSX 3303 roadster that could do over...200 MILES PER HOUR!!! Not like those 'fer'n' cars back then that could only do 180 mph, tops. Hey, you need speed like that to get to work in 2 minutes or less, eh?. Before his emotionally and physically stimulated test drive, Bill Cosby was amazed with all of the Cobra's 'Chrome Pipes' coming out of the engine, rapping all the way around the car forming into a Roll Bar. EXHAUST Pipes - 18 inches long. Pipes...PIPES...and look at all the PIIIIPPES!!! in this SNAP. Anyhow, I guess you had to be there but if you still have that one on vinyl (and a TURNTABLE), go listen to it tonight. It's hilarious right to and especially the ending.
September20, 2013
Meanwhile, back at the boat blog, the built in 1992, the DARA DESGAGNÉS was sitting high in the water and appears ready to take on a load of oil or refined fuel. Like her DESGAGNÉS sisters, ESTA and JANA, DARA was built in Wismar, Germany and as per Canadian law, she is double-hulled, multi-grade cargo flexible and her bow is ice-strengthen allowing excellent manoeuvrability when motoring through winter ice conditions along the Gulf and St. Lawrence River, in Atlantic Canada ports and early spring passages in the Great Lakes. For each of these DESGAGNÉS sisters, the bow design is similar to most ice-breakers or even the bulk carrier ARCTIC, (below with ESTA in Montreal-Est last spring) which allows them to slide on top of the ice which breaks up due to the shear weight of the reinforced ship's bow. (
Montreal-Est Suncor oil dock - June 9, 2013

At Windmill Point - July 10, 2016 
Though most lakers that ply the Great Lakes carrying a variety of dry bulk cargo remain laid up mostly due to the over abundance of ice on most lakes and passageways, all but one of Algoma's tanker fleet stationed on the Great Lakes this winter has remained underway shuttling oil or its by-products between Sarnia, Windsor and Nanticoke (located a significant distance beyond Long Point) on Lake Erie, which currently is almost entirely frozen over. To keep the fluids and of course, the economy going, Canadian and American coast guard ice-breakers appear to have performed superbly while working around the clock in the their effort to escort each ship and their cargo to market without incident. Last Wednesday, the Algoma tanker, ALGOCANADA finally arrived in Sault Ste. Marie with a much needed cargo of fuel oil. A trip that would take about 6 hours during normal weather conditions, took almost 8 days due to the ice choked St. Mary's River.
Ice-breaking tug USCGC KATMAI BAY (WTGB-101) at
Sault Ste. Marie, MI homeport - September 18, 2013
Unlike the DESGAGNÉS sisters, the ALGOCANADA has a bulbous bow which is great for speed and mobility in open water, however the design offers nothing but resistance when motoring through brash or jammed solid lake and river ice. USCGC KATMAI BAY (WTGB 101) was with the ALGOCANADA for the whole passage north to the Soo while it appears another American cutter, NEAH BAY also arrived to assists her.
CCGS GRIFFON at Port Colborne
March 8, 2006
Meanwhile, out in Lake Erie this weekend the CCGS GRIFFON has been busy assisting the ALOGEAST and ALGOSEA creep along one at a time from Long Point to Nanticoke's Esso refinery, while the the American cutter USCGC HOLLYHOCK (WLB-214) was stopped and waiting off Cleveland for the ALGOEAST's return. Then as planned the HOLLYHOCK escorted the ALGOEAST back to the Detroit River where the Algoma tanker then became monitored by the Canadian ice-breaker CCGS SAMUEL RISLEY, and her American counterparts during the EAST's upbound journey through the ice choked Lake St. Clair and the St. Clair River to Sarnia. Meanwhile the GRIFFON doubled back to Long Point to assist the ALGOSEA when she was ready make her upbound passage home. and so it goes all winter long. c):-b

USCGC HOLLYHOCK (WLB-214) at Port Huron, MI
homeport - September 21, 2016
Whew, talk about a modern day game of "Snakes and Ladders" for both of our country's ice-breakers. While we all know the Canadian and American coast guards make a great team and do their best all winter long to keep commerce flowing (no pun intended), ship owners have to thank their lucky stars that these mighty ice smashing ships are there for them time and time again. However as Archie Campbell on HeHAW would say, "the 'storal of the moral' is if you know fool well Lake Erie freezes every year, save oil and toil on the goil, and start using "winter-ized" self-ice breaking tankers like the DESGAGNÉS sisters, Oh boy-o, Oh boy-o, Oh boy-o"!! c):-o In fact I DARA for anyone to "Just Do IT!!". Fuel for Thought c);-D

No comments:

Post a Comment