Sunday 30 September 2012

Carlz Boats: Paddle Boat P.S. DECOY

Carlz Boats: Paddle Boat P.S. DECOY: Here we were standing at a lookout at Kings Park overlooking the majestic skyline of Perth, Western Australia, and as I panned with my bi...

Paddle Steamer DECOY (Revised)

Here we were standing at a lookout at Kings Park overlooking the majestic skyline of Perth, Western Australia, and as I panned with my binoculars along the shoreline of the very wide Swan River below us for a moment I couldn't believe my eyes. In fact I thought to myself, 'is that a paddle boat down there?' It certainly was and as I tried to focus in to see the it's name, P.S. DECOY, but what stood out more on what appeared to be an authentic side-wheeler paddle boat, were the words "FOR SALE" c):-(( . Sure enough as shown clear as day on my photo from atop Kings Park and this one showing her docked along the south shore of the Swan, the proud steamer DECOY was on the market. 
While researching this little beauty's background, I found that there was a paddle steamer named DECOY that was built in Scotland in 1878 and shipped in crates for re-assembly in Melbourne along  the Yarra River. From there she began her career as a tow boat for barges along the Murray River and ports along the South Australia coast. Apparently in 1905 she changed owners and was used to transport miners along the Great Australian Bight to Fremantle bound for the goldfields of Western Australia. Soon after a second deck was added to carry passengers for the excursion river trade along the Murray until 1932 when the ship was then gutted and turned into a houseboat. 
So is the impressive looking paddle boat I photographed last week in Perth, WA a replica of the famous excursion and tow boat or is it the "Real McCoy"? c):-o Beats me, but if you're in area, you may call the number below the 'for sale' signs (9534 7338) to find out for sure, and please feel free to let me know, okay! c):-D

 May 18, 2018 - Well, no one ever updated me about her goings on, but while waiting for another kidney stone to pass today, I read that the DECOY we saw in Perth in 2012, was actually a replica of the "Real McCoy" and built in 1986 in Fremantle, the Indian Ocean seaport located just down the Swan River. Paddle Steamer DECOY is powered by a salvaged and restored 1905 Ransome Sims and Jefferies twin cylinder steam engine, which was totally rebuilt in 1986 with a new oil fired burner and maxitherm boiler fitted. While she was up for sale back during our visit down-under, P.S DECOY is still active and operating as an excursion and party boat that cruises along the beautiful Swan River. Looking forward to seeing her again during our next visit to Perth, Western Australia. Meanwhile, she has a "Jazzy" 🎷🎺🎹 Facebook page. Check it out: ( )  

Friday 21 September 2012

Carlz Boats: Excursion Boat JAGUER II

Carlz Boats: Excursion Boat JAGUER II: He he,,  Hey hey!! I've been married 38 years TODAY!! So what should we do for a little  excitement on this special day? The Mrs. has talk...

Excursion Boat JAGUER II

He he,, Hey hey!! I've been married 38 years TODAY!! So what should we do for a little excitement on this special day? The Mrs. has talked about a European river cruise for our 40th anniversary so this year why not an excursion around the bay on the JAGUAR II. Well that's not going to happened because the last time I heard the JAGUAR II was situated along the west wall in Port Dover ON as shown in the above photo taken by my BIL Mark. If you GoogleEarth Port Dover, you'll see her there along the wall all by her lone self. Sorry skipper but you'll have start your three hour cruise without us because the wifey and I still confined to quarters near Perth, Australia more than 9,813 nautical miles away. Meanwhile many visitors of Canada's largest city may have enjoyed an excursion around Toronto Island on JAGUAR II. Like any marriage, there are good times and there are bad times but if you have faith in each other things can work out for the best. Such appears to be the case for the 29 metre JAGUAR II which was built in 1968 in Louisville LA, when I found her tied off to the tugboat SALVAGE MONARCH on a cold day in January 2009 at Ramey's Bend in Port Colborne, a place that is more known for breaking ship apart than offering a safe haven. Two years later she found sitting pretty and proud in Port Dover. Life can be good if you work it. Enough blogging, time to go walkabout. 

Wednesday 19 September 2012

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader ALGOWOOD

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader ALGOWOOD: There's nothing worse for a boat lubber like me than driving all the way down to Port Colborne and see a not single ship pass through t...

Self Unloader ALGOWOOD

There's nothing worse for a boatnerd like me than driving all the way down to Port Colborne and see not a single ship pass through the canal all weekend long especially during Canal Days. That was not a problem this year and one familiar sailpast participant was the 740' self unloader ALGOWOOD which offered more than one interesting photo op. 
First I caught her slowly creeping out of Lock 8 along the east wall while passing her Algoma Central fleetmate, the gearless bulk carrier ALGOMA GUARDIAN, which was waiting her turn to enter the lock and then continue her way downbound. I then got her pass beneath Bridge 21 which I use to ride up with my dad when he worked on the Seaway, and then I got her again that day making the bend passed the IMS boneyard at the Canal's Lake Erie entrance.

That would be the third time that I've photographed the ALGOWOOD in just over a year. The first being on a snowy January 2, 2011 during winter layup near Ramey's Bend in old Humberstone, and then I got her again motoring downbound on July 29th on the  upper St. Lawrence River, near Prescott, Ontario. 

The ALGOWOOD was launched in October 1980 at the Collingwood Shipyards in Collingwood, Ontario, the community that the ship was named after. With cargos such as coal/coke, aggregate, slag, iron ore, salt, fertilizer, grain products and more, the ALGOWOOD is able to operate on coastal waters and the Great Lakes just like when after the usual ceremonial Canal Days salutes, she continued along her way upbound into Lake Erie. Meanwhile, I'm still in Australia to visit family so lookout for upcoming posts from the port of Fremantle in a Carlz Boats near you. Oh YAAA c);-b

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Carlz Boats: Cargo Vessel MÉLISSA DESGAGNÉS

Carlz Boats: Cargo Vessel MÉLISSA DESGAGNÉS: After seeing the ALGOSEA and HHL AMAZON pass us by below Iroquois Lock, we decided to head on down to catch a couple of upbounds at the Be...

General Cargo Vessel MELISSA DESGAGNES (Revisited)

After catching the ALGOSEA and HHL AMAZON motoring downbound below Iroquois Lock, we decided to head on down to catch a couple of upbounds at the Beauharnois Locks east of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. What a disappointment. Not only were there no upbounds anywhere in sight but there would be no place to view them anyway with all the fences and locked gates located all around the locks. I'm sure 9/11 had something to do with all the restrictions and rightfully so as that horrible day had just past it's eleventh anniversary. 

The good news is we were able to catch up to the 355' general cargo ship MÉLISSA DESGAGNÉS before she passed under Pont Valleyfield Bridge. We didn't have a lot of time because she was really pushing water before and after she made her way under the last bridge before entering Lake St. Francis.
Her name was ONTADOC when built in 1975 at Collingwood Shipbuilding for N.M. Paterson & Sons of Thunder Bay. Especially designed for deep-sea trading, the ONTADOC was the largest such vessel in the Paterson fleet at the time.
With the Paterson emblem displayed on her bow and flag flapping in a light breeze, the then ONTADOC waits her turn on a Welland Canal wall in this photo by Wayne Huggins of St. Catharines in the 1980's. Wayne believes her rustic appearance gives her character and shows to all she's a hardworking ship. I tend to agree. 
 Known to carry a variety of cargoes throughout the Great Lakes from steel to grain and corn, she loaded benonite in Chicago in August 1979 delivered it to Holland. To better service Arctic communities, two cranes were added in 1989. Since being purchased in 1990 by Désgagnés Transportation, the busy MÉLISSA DESGAGNÉS can be seen regularly along the Great Lakes, the Seaway and Atlantic seaboard.
Update: March 11, 2020:

It began to appear that the MÉLISSA's usefulness might be coming to an end when the versatile bulk carrier remained in layup at Quebec City when the 2016 shipping season on the Great Lakes began. However instead of being hauled away for scrap, the hardworking girl was sold that August to D&D Maritime of The Bahamas and flagged Tanzanian.
Renamed ETHAN, the new owners hired a group of workers to refit her for trading in the Caribbean however before the work was completed, the company ran into financial difficulties. Along with outstanding Port of Quebec City docking fees, the company was unable to pay the wages for the hired hands so they all left in 2017 except for two who remained on board and lived on ship. While continuing to work and hoping to be paid fully, the two squatters did occasionally receive money from D&D for necessities, but the local non-profit group for out of work mariners, "La Maison du Marin", also provided food, warm clothing and internet.
CBC Quebec photo
Seized by the Port of Quebec City, the former Paterson cargo vessel was auctioned off, selling for $150,000 (about a quarter of its asking price) to an unknown African company. With the two workers paid for their efforts, the ETHAN, flying the flag of Togo, left Quebec City on December 21, 2019 and is currently docked at Veracruz, Mexico. Her story continues for another day. Will keep you posted.

Friday 7 September 2012

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader SAGINAW

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader SAGINAW: On the wall, and then off the wall. No, I'm describing my odd sense of humour, but instead, as shown in one photo that I took during Canal...

Self Unloader SAGINAW (Revisited)

On the wall, and then off the wall. No, I'm not describing my odd sense of humour, but instead, as shown in one photo that I took during Canal Days 2012 in Port Colborne, the skipper of the SAGINAW is using his bow-thrusters to position the 659' self unloader on to the upper east wall to guide her into Lock 8 with complete ease. And then in the bottom photo, the ship's big engines are pounding and churning the water to push her off the east wall and position the SAGINAW into the middle of the channel as she makes her way under Bridge 21 and then into the outer harbour to participate in the Canal Days ceremonial salute.

For many years it never ceases to amaze me how close some people will get to view a passing ship along this section of the canal. Up above and including along the St. Lawrence section, all locks and approaches are fenced off way back. It would drive my dad nuts when he saw people standing so close like the lad in the plaid shirt in the photo below. He had every right to be concerned because as a lockmaster at Lock 8, he was there too often when emergency crews tried to fish out the poor soul who ventured beyond the 'too close for comfort' zone. It was not a pretty sight for him and a hell of a way to learn a lesson.
However that has all changed now as fences that only stretched along the walls of Lock 8 in Port Colborne, have now been added below the lock north to the stone dock and above the lock towards Bridge 21. c):-() Though some may believe it's an extension of all of the security protocols that were put in place after 9/11, it more likely is simply a liability issue. Regardless, the metal barrier will not stifle from us from snapping our beloved boats, but we will have to be far more creative to get the perfect capture. What will be, will be.  c):-D

Her name was JOHN J. BOLAND when built in 1953 at Manitowoc Shipbuilding in Manitowoc, WI for the American Steamship Company of Buffalo, NY.   In 1999  639'3" classic self unloader was sold to Lower Lakes Towing Company of Port Dover, ON and renamed SAGINAW.   

Monday 3 September 2012

Carlz Boats: Tanker ALGOSEA

Carlz Boats: Tanker ALGOSEA: On Canada Day weekend, we got the above snap of  the upbound chemical tanker ALGOSEA pushing water across from the Old Windmill near Pr...

Algoma Oil/Chemical Tanker ALGOSEA (Re-Visited)

On Canada Day weekend, I got the above snap of the upbound Algoma oil/chemical tanker ALGOSEA 
pushing water across from the Old Windmill Lighthouse near Prescott, Ontario. Now it's Labour Day weekend and here, my wife and recent boatlubber  Janice, snapped the ALGOSEA again, this time navigating the narrow seaway channel near Mariatown. Sitting much lower in the water than the last time we saw her, the ALGOSEA gracefully motored passed us at Loyalist Park while making her way to Montreal. 

The 475' chemical tanker was originally known as AGGERSBORG, when built in 1998 at Alabama Shipyards in Mobile, Alabama. Designed for deep-sea transit, the ALGOSEA currently transports petroleum and chemical products along Canada's east coast, St. Lawrence River, and the Great Lakes. I wonder when and where we'll see her again.

Update - December 2, 2023:

While I did catch the ALGOSEA many times since, the hardworking tanker has recent been sold to Burlington-based McKeil Marine. Renamed KATHY McKEIL, she's currently making her way out of the Great Lakes bound for an unnamed shipyard in China where the vessels will be converted into a dry bulk carrier. That'll be an interesting changes but at least she'll continue to show her use for a few more years.

Pictorial Update:

While most winters, ALGOSEA continued to operate hauling cargo between Sarnia and Nanticoke, during the winter of 2013 I caught her encased in ice at Port Colborne.

During our St. Clair River road trip in September 2016, I caught ALGOSEA at Sarnia from the Port Huron side if the river.
My friend Jim Moyer of Salisbury, MD caught ALGOSEA approaching Lock 4 during visit to the Welland Canal in 2012.

I caught ALGOSEA meeting veteran Algoma fleetmate, the gearless bulk carrier TIM S. DOOL near Maitland on September 23, 2022.
ALGOSEA was making a nice wake while approaching Iroquois Lock on July 2 of this year.

ALGOSEA was passing beneath the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge on August 1, 2014....

....but still approaching the long suspension bridge in my last photo of ALGOSEA on July 28th.