Tuesday 31 March 2015

Light Icebreaker CCGS MARTHA L. BLACK (Revisited)

Had gangs of fun on Sunday afternoon tracking and snapping the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, MARTHA L. BLACK as she cut her way through an ice covered St. Lawrence River near Upper Canada Village, and then made lots of wake as she motored upbound past Morrisburg, Mariatown's Loyalist Park and Iroquois Lock.
Hearing MARTHA L. BLACK smash through the ice was quite the treat. Apparently on board it sounds like a metal garbage can constantly tumbling in a clothes dryer. YIKE!! Wrong time to grab a few extra Zzzz's 😴 I guess, eh! c):-o

MARTHA passing a permanent marker across from the Battle of Crysler's Farm Park.
Mixture of ice and open water while passing Morrisburg.
Seeing an icebreaker pass by is truly is a sign of spring for any St. Lawrence River boatlubber, but on Sunday many also got to see the Polar-class heavy icebreaker CCGS PIERRE RADISSON also motoring upbound about an hour earlier than MARTHA. I was also hoping to snap her too but MarineTraffic AIS still had her near Eisenhower Lock when she was probably leaving Iroquois. Picked the wrong day to not to go to Iroquois Lock first. DARN c):-()
I don't always snap boats, eh!
MARTHA approaching Loyalist Park.
Lots of turns in this section of the Seaway.
With the ice out and away thanks primarily to the wind, MARTHA continues at a pretty good clip to Iroquois Lock.
MARTHA is perfectly lined up with the original Iroquois Lock at the entrance to the old Galop Canal.
All ahead SLOW approach to current Iroquois Lock

The light icebreaker MARTHA L. BLACK is a High Endurance Multi-Tasked Vessel and her primary mission as a buoy tender is to lay, recover and service buoys using her heavy lifting boom which has a maximum lifting capacity of 20 tons. Built in 1986 in North Vancouver BC, the 272' MARTHA is equipped with a helicopter and a special bow that enables her to conduct ice-breaking and ship escort operations in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers, the Seaway and Great Lakes. When the shipping season was delayed last Spring due to severe ice conditions throughout the Great Lakes, the tough girl ventured all the way to Thunder Bay on Lakes Superior to keep that harbour accessible to lakers and deep-sea bulk carriers arriving to load a bumper-crop of grain at one of the port's many elevators.    

Skipper keeping an eye on the lock wall below.

As quickly as she arrived, the MARTHA L. BLACK was exiting Iroquois Lock and on her way to break up ice at Kingston, Bath and Picton. Once those Lake Ontario harbours have been opened, MARTHA will be returning downbound to continue ice breaking operations on the St. Lawrence River and assist with shipping in anticipation on the St. Lawrence Seaway's official opening on April 2.
While waiting for the snow to melt or Spring flowers to break ground, feel free read more about the MARTHA L. BLACK and my buddy Nathan Attard's great photos of her passing through Port Colborne on the way to the Lakehead last Spring by clicking this link: http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2014/04/light-icebreaker-ccgs-martha-l-black.html. Like what else are you going to do with your time? Maybe go stalking boats? c);-b

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