Saturday 29 December 2012

Carlz Boats: Bulk Carrier BLACKY

Carlz Boats: Bulk Carrier BLACKY: Boxing Day is an extra day off after Christmas Day, where many Canadian herd themselves to shopping malls and big stores for super dea...

Bulk Carrier BLACKY (Revisited)

Boxing Day is an extra day off after Christmas Day, where many Canadians herd ๐Ÿ‘ฅ๐Ÿฎ themselves into shopping malls and big ๐Ÿ“ฆ box stores for super deals or 'bargoons'. However if you're a boat-lubber and there's only a few days left before the Seaway closes for the season, you may instead boot ๐Ÿš™ it down to the St. Lawrence to see remaining salties exit the Great Lakes for warmer or trans Atlantic destinations, and lakers completing transits and discharges before laying up for the winter. Though it was only -11C and -18C in the wind, the drive was quite worthwhile as we saw four different types of ships motoring like a bat ๐Ÿฆ‡ out of hell ๐Ÿ‘ฟ, two going in each direction. Snapped ๐Ÿ“ท here is the 607' bulk carrier BLACKY heading downbound on her way to the Eisenhower Lock, near Massena, NY.
You might even say we were "lucky ๐Ÿ€ ducks ๐Ÿฆ† " to come across what many would suggest is a 'very politically-incorrect' name while actually it's a name of a duck, just like all the other water fowl named green hulled salties that trade the Great Lakes under the Canadian Forest Navigation (CanForNav) banner. Owned by Navarone Marine Enterprises of Athens, Greece ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท  the "down"- bound BLACKY was built in 2008 in China, and flies the flag of Cyprus ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ.
Just like her duck boat fleetmate, SHOVELLER (, the BLACKY frequents Toronto's Redpath pier with sugar from Brazil then usually flocks off to the Lakehead to pick up a load grain.
With my wife Janice and our dog Tanner shivering on the Morrisburg, Ontario dock, the BLACKY passes by in the background on her way to the sunny ๐ŸŒž and hot ๐ŸŒดclimates of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Can We Come Too?? ๐Ÿ˜

Tuesday 18 December 2012

Carlz Boats: Bulk Carrier HELOISE

Carlz Boats: Bulk Carrier HELOISE: On our way back from a weekend in Toronto, we found the 611' Panamanian bulk carrier HELOISE  just above Prescott, ON making good tim...

Bulk Carrier HELOISE

On our way back from a weekend in Toronto on December 9th, we found the 611' Panamanian flagged bulk carrier HELOISE, which means "famous warrior", above Prescott, Ontario making good time downbound on her way to Trois-Riviere, Quebec. Within minutes, she met another bulk carrier, the Algoma Central  owned 730' ALGOMA SPIRIT heading upbound to Hamilton.
Then, no sooner had the HELOISE battled the wake of the SPIRIT, the 479' tanker SHAMROCK JUPITER also registered in Panama speedily met across from Ogdensburg, also on her way to Hamilton. Later in the afternoon we came across the HELOISE again near Cardinal this time meeting another Panamanian flagged vessel, the 479' tanker NORTH CONTENDER sitting high and making her way to Sarnia to pick a load of petroleum products.

The end of this year's navigation season for the St. Lawrence Seaway is coming soon hence every minute is so important as salties and lakers hurry to exchange their cargoes for another, and then get out of the Great Lakes and canal systems before the ice arrives. As of this morning, all three salties have cleared the seaway and are well on their way to ports beyond. Continued safe passage to all until we meet again.

Update - April 26, 2020

The HELOISE was once again rushing to get herself out of the Great Lakes and Seaway before the system closed for the shipping season when I snapped her at Loyalist Park near Mariatown on December 26, 2014. When returning to the Great Lakes the following year, she's be flying the flag of Liberia and named CAPE which  barely covered her previous name in Jeff Cameron's photo of her on the Welland Canal on April 18, 2016. An odd name for sure when called just "CAPE" because most of us would think it was named after a large point extended into the water like Cape Spear or Cape Vincent. In this case though as suggested by Great Lakes ships expert Isaac Pennock, she is named after the Cape Teal which is a duck, or a bird that all bulk carriers owned or chartered to Montreal based Canfornav are named after. A no brainer except all of there other ships are green hulled. Make things complicated for us or what? Regardless of whatever she's called, it good to see she's till operating and currently downbound on Lake Ontario. After all it's not the name that makes the ship, or is it?

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.

Sunday 16 December 2012

Carlz Boats: Ore Carrier STEELTON

Carlz Boats: Ore Carrier STEELTON: Everyday we see motorists going too fast, running a red light and carrying on without incident. Other times a collision occurs and som...


Carlz Boats: HMCS CAPE SCOTT: It was the summer of '69. Sorry, no six string bought at a '5 & Dime', but I was standing along the rail of the high masted Argentine sai...

Saturday 15 December 2012

Carlz Boats: Straight Deck Laker MANITOBA

Carlz Boats: Straight Deck Laker MANITOBA: There was all kinds of activity last Sunday along the Seaway as lakers and salties hurried along to the next port to discharge or pick u...

Classic Straight-decker MANITOBA (Revised)

There was all kinds of activity last Sunday along the Seaway as lakers and salties hurried along to the next port to discharge or pick up another load before the Seaway closes officially for the season at the end of the month. Topping up her holds at the huge grain elevator at the Port of Johnstown Terminal near Prescott before heading further down river was the 607'9" classic straight-decker MANITOBA. Currently owned by Lower Lakes Towing of Port Dover, the MANITOBA went into service in 1966 as the MANTADOC and was owned then by N.M. Paterson & Sons of Thunder Bay, Ontario. When CSL took over ownership of her on 2002, she was renamed TEAKGLEN, and then her name was changed again to MARITIME TRADER in 2005 when she was purchased by Voyager Marine of Ridgeville, Ontario. Regardless of her many names, she has remained a useful carrier of dry cargo like grain and canola seed for over 46 years and counting.
Speaking of grain elevators, during the summer of 1971, I worked at the Government Elevator in Port Colborne (shown down below) which is located next to the then Maple Leaf Mill at the southern entrance to the Welland Canal. Port Colborne's is a large facility but probably half the size of the Johnstown terminal which has been a massive landmark along the St. Lawrence since 1932.  
During that hot summer, we mostly emptied boxcars laden with grain onto a hopper that sent it to the silos located somewhere in the building. A simple process would be to devise a system that would allow the boxcar to be partially tilted on one side for a quick empty, but instead, once the spillage was completed after the huge steel door was rolled away, other workers like myself entered the boxcar from the roof hatch and with huge shovels in hand commenced tossing the grain into an auger that was jammed into place to speed up the discharge process. Once there was enough head room, an electric shovel was brought into the mix which worked great to push the grain forward but was a real hassle to drag behind you while trudging through the loose and shifting grain beneath your feet. 
On one occasion, a straight-decker like the MANITOBA, only much smaller docked at the elevator and after the unloading arm (which consisted of several steel bucket to lift or 'elevate' the cargo into the silos), and a bulldozer was lowered in the hold, we then climbed down to do our thing only on a much larger scale. It was especially hard and hot work that day, and after getting home, I recall rewarding myself for my efforts with a few barley sandwiches. Yes, I believe they were "Carlsbergs" c):-D

Friday 7 December 2012

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader ALGOSOO

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader ALGOSOO: It was on one of those hot and hazy days last summer when we snapped these pics of the 730' self unloader ALGOSOO making good time pu...

Self Unloader ALGOSOO

It was on one of those hot and hazy days last summer when we snapped these pics of the 730' self unloader ALGOSOO making good time pushing water out on Lac St. Frances on her way upbound to Snell Lock. Built by Collingwood Shipyards and launched in 1974, the ALGOSOO was the last traditional straight deck style built on the Great Lakes and instead of having her self unloader equipment and boom situated immediately behind the ship wheelhouse like most straight deck self unloaders, the SOO's are located near her aft accommodations quarters. Good luck trying to grab a few extra Zzzz's while unloading such cargoes as coal, coke, aggregates, slang, iron ore, salt, fertilizers, sand and even grain products.
From Skip Gillham's and Alfred Sagon-King's book: "CANADIAN FLEETS Along The Seaway"
Port Colborne's fire department had to come aboard the ALGOSOO in 1986 and 1998 to extinguish fires that caused extensive damage to her self unloader conveyor belts on both occasions. No need for any fire crews last summer as she went smokin' by us near Lancaster, Ontario.