Saturday 23 April 2016

River Meet (1): Dry Bulk Carrier FEDERAL CARIBOU

What a difference a couple of weeks makes, eh? When I was down to the St. Lawrence River late in the afternoon on April 4th to snap my first and second upbound of the new shipping season, the 656' FEDERAL CARIBOU  and  641' TECUMSEH, respectfully, along with downbound, 507' FRASERBORG, it was sunny, still above freezing and but a little chilly in the wind. It was quite the opposite during the ten days that followed which included two significant snowfalls, and a return of "Polar Vortex" bitter cold nights and daytime windchills that would make false teeth rattle. c):-() In fact you might say since Spring became official on paper at least on March 20th, the weather's been more up and down than a toilet seat in the sole bathroom of a co-ed dorm. c):-o Well worry no more because the weather gurus are now saying "During mid to late April, we're going to see a pattern reversal....a transition from winter weather to early summer weather." With at least three bouts of  beautiful +22C or 72F warm days since, it  seems the weather guys and gals may finally have it right. About time, eh!! c):-() Yes, the down side is before I know it, I'll be out cutting the grass and pulling weeds c):-( , or maybe simply snapping more "In-Your-Face" boat action like my recent river rendezvous with the CARIBOU, FRASERBORG and TECUMSEH. More of the latter would be GREAT!! c):-D

I didn't think I was going to make it to the river to snap the new FedNav Laker-class dry bulk carrier FEDERAL CARIBOU as she made her maiden voyage into the Great Lakes. The southbound 416 or "Veterean's Memorial Highway" from Ottawa was pretty busy with homebound commuters but but I did arrive in time to see this Canadian-owned beauty glide past Chimney Island and then proceed beneath the Ogdensberg-Prescott International Bridge in Johnstown, Ontario.

Pushing a constant white wake away from her ice strengthened bow and the river's channel buoys, this frisky red-hulled doe seemed to be showing off her stuff as she motored past me at Windmill Point. Built at Oshima Shipbuilding of Oshima, Japan and flying the flag of the Marshall Islands, the CARIBOU just entered service this year.

Based in Montreal and with a fleet of close to 100 ships operating world-wide, FedNav  currently has 35 Laker-class dry bulk carriers active on the Great Lakes throughout the shipping season and like FEDERAL CARIBOU each are immaculately maintained and a display a "Proudly Canadian" image when photographing them. While many are named after world cities, rivers ( and seas, I've started to notice a new naming theme amongst FedNav's lakers - names that focus on the Arctic, with its regions like YUKON and BAFFIN, its seas and bodies of water like BEAUFORT, BERING and HUDSON, and elements of the Inuit peoples' livelihood and survival with HUNTER and now CARIBOU, the mighty animal with herds that still roam from Alaska to Labrador offering the peoples of the North an important source of food, clothing, shelter and tools. An amazing story with ship's names. Way to Go FedNav!! c):-D

FEDERAL CARIBOU continued along  making her way to Picton located in Prince Edward County to unload steel at the bulk terminal dock there. However not before a textbook "port-to-port meet across from Prescott with the multipurpose general cargo carrier FRASERBORG. 
Since my first meet with her along the River, FEDERAL CARIBOU has continued her maiden Great Lakes voyage with a stop to discharge cargo in Windsor and is currently approaching Duluth where she will probably pick up a load grain. As for the FRASERBORG, well that's another story. To be continued....

Page Viewer's Gallery:

A few years of rubbing the Seaway lock wall is showing as FEDERAL CARIBOU is towed outbound on the Maumee River in Toledo, Ohio in this photo by Jim Hoffman on August 4, 2019 

Hey to see more Great Lakes and ocean-going vessel photos, be sure to check out this great website: You'll be glad you did.

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