Thursday 23 May 2013

Carlz Boats: Chemical/Oil Tanker HARBOUR FASHION

Carlz Boats: Chemical/Oil Tanker HARBOUR FASHION: Despite facing strong headwinds with gusts up 60 kph, the 469' tanker HARBOUR FASHION motored along quite fashionably as she pass...

Wednesday 22 May 2013

Chemical/Oil Tanker HARBOUR FASHION

Despite facing strong headwinds with gusts up to 60 kph, the 473' tanker HARBOUR FASHION motored along quite fashionably as she passed us at Windmill Point by near Prescott, Ontario on May 12. Built in China in 2011, the HARBOUR FASHION is owned by Nordic Tanker Marine of Copenhagen, Denmark, though she flies the flag of Portugal. Her home port is Madeira which is located on the small Portuguese island of the same name which is situated closer to Morocco than Portugal.

With the bulk carrier ALGOMA SPIRIT  minutes ahead, the FASHION looked pretty impressive as I snapped her managing the wind and white caps like a professional model prancing her goods for new markets and onlookers along the way to the Great Lakes, on this runway called the St. Lawrence River.  

Saturday 18 May 2013

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader CSL ASSINIBOINE (Revisited)

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader CSL ASSINIBOINE (Revisited): Hee-Haww!!! What a ride the 740'-ish CSL ASSINIBOINE was experiencing while motoring up-bound near Morrisburg, Ontario last Su...

Self Unloader CSL ASSINIBOINE (Revisited)

Hee-Haww!!! What a ride the 739' 10" CSL ASSINIBOINE was experiencing while motoring upbound near Morrisburg, Ontario last Sunday. Combine the Seaway's maximum speed of 12 knots/hr (13.8 MPH) with wind gusts of up to 64 klicks/hr  (40 MPH), and the answer to a Jeopardy question to what it feels like when a wave makes contact with the rounded bow of the CSL ASSINIBOINE, the reply might be, 'What is 'blunt force trauma', Alex? c):-()

Past spring winds have not been kind to CSL ASSINIBOINE. Sometime overnight on March 3, 2012, high winds caused her to break loose from her holdings and collide with the ALGOWOOD ( which was tied off to the opposite wall at the entrance to the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, Ontario. Fortunately, neither ship sustained major damages due to the collision.

No collisions occurred last Sunday and the wave action was reduced significantly as the big self unloader passed by Mariatown's Loyalist Park during her approach to Iroquois Lock. Hey, nice pic of me trying to catch up by my better half, Janice. Happy Mother's Day! c):-D
CSL ASSINIBOINE was originally built at Davie Shipbuilding at Lauzon, Quebec and when launched in 1977, she was 730 feet long, could carry 27,890 tons of cargo and her name was JEAN PARISIEN.

In 2004, she was given a new forebody (the section from the bow to the superstructure) at Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines, Ontario. Once removed, the old forebody was to towed to Marine Salvage in Port Colborne and later scrapped. Re-christened CSL ASSINIBOINE in July 2005, the length of new self unloader was extended to 739' 10" long, her cargo capacity was to expanded to 36,768 tons and the new vessel was good to continue to battle choppy lakes and Seaway channels for an additional 25 years.

Meanwhile, whether you're an 'out of the closet' boat-ludder or not, next time you're at Iroquois lock to snap a few pics at that long, huge structure that's made of steel, with colourful pipes and wires everywhere, and generally floats by you real slow, be sure to visit the Lockview Gift Shop. They've got a lot of neat Seaway memorabilia there, post cards, a chip stand, CLEAN washrooms and the ice cream tastes great and is inexpensive. Note of warning, if you're boat-lubbing (OR NOT) with puppy in the car, be sure to leave some of the cone for him or be prepared for those 'dogly' hate stares or payback looks. I hate it when that happens!!

Saturday 11 May 2013

Carlz Boats: River Barge WICOMICO

Carlz Boats: River Barge WICOMICO: If the rust and rugged worn-out look, so perfectly shown in my friend Jim's photo taken recently in Salisbury, Maryland is any ind...

River Barge WICOMICO

If the rust and rugged worn-out look, so perfectly shown in my friend Jim's photo taken recently in Salisbury, Maryland is any indication, one might believe the end of the line maybe near for the river barge WICOMICO. Now let's not jump the gun here because on that day, the rake bow  WICOMICO was actually just sitting easy banking rays while a large hydraulic excavator being careful not to put a hole in her, gingerly scooped out a load of stone from her deep hold and onto a nearby conveyor. From there the stone is piled on the dock and ready for use in construction, road repairs or other applications in and around this Delmarva Peninsula community.
Unfortunately, unlike so many other ships that I have researched in this blog, there's not a lot of background information about barges like when or where they were built, who owns them, or how big are they? I did read in an article in the Salisbury Daily Times, which said hopper barges like the WICOMICO can be as long as 285 feet and 54 feet wide and according to the Delmarva Water Transportation Committee,  one fully loaded barge carries the same amount as 150 tractor-trailers. Also over two thousand of these large trucks would be needed per day or over one hundred thousand annually to transport the same products. Now that's a lot of wear and tear on area highways, not to mention the environment impact and safety aspect of having all those trucks on the road. Definitely something for everyone to think and talk about, but when push comes to shove, it's off to another market along the Wicomico River for the barge WICOMICO, leading the way for the pushboat at her stern and continuing to make herself a useful cost effective dry cargo vessel for her owner and the communities that appreciate the services she provides. A lot like life in general for all of us, eh?

Saturday 4 May 2013

Carlz Boats: Seismic Survey Ship VANTAGE

Carlz Boats: Seismic Survey Ship VANTAGEOwned by CGGVeritas, the 307' VANTAGE is a Viking-class high-capacity 3D seismic vessel.

Seismic Survey Ship VANTAGE

I could be wrong but I thought when people take a winter Caribbean cruise, they do it to relax and bank rays by the pool, schmooze with the ship captain at dinner and try their luck at the casino or in a game of shuffleboard. WRONG-O!! - for John & Carmel from up at Paterson Lake and Kevin from nearby Stittsville who have all done a wonderful job snapping shots of some pretty interesting boats during their cruise last February. Another great example is seismic survey ship VANTAGE that John (or maybe Carmel) snapped while their ship, CARIBBEAN PRINCESS was docked in Oranjestad, Aruba. Owned by CGGVeritas, the 307' VANTAGE is a Viking-class high-capacity 3D seismic vessel. No, 3D glasses are not required for viewing this great looking ship with a helipad large enough for Super Puma and Sikorsky's S-92 helicopters. And neither does this ship head out looking for earthquakes, but instead seismic surveys are used to locate and estimate the size of offshore oil and gas reserves. To carry out such surveys, ships like the VANTAGE tow multiple air-gun arrays that emit thousands of high-decibel impulses to map the seafloor. Built in Bergen, Norway in 2002, the VANTAGE can tow ten streamers of 6,000 metres ideally suited for 3D & 4D surveys. She is also equipped with advanced integrated geophysical acquisitions and inboard processing systems. 

Pretty complicated stuff for a neophyte like myself but according to a recent Associated Press article, many island countries in the Caribbean are very keen on obtaining a 'black-gold bonanza' if a rich offshore deposit can be found. Such a find would ease import demand and diversifying their economies. Apparently Cuba is especially concerned because with Hugo Chavez recently deceased, there's been threats that the preferential terms provided by Venezuela's PetroCaribe program could be cancelled under the new regime. Currently Cuba is providing doctors and teachers in exchange for Venezuelan crude that's refined across from Old Havana. However oil refining can also be done in Trinidad and Tobago which is much loser to Venezuela than Cuba.

Though the air may not be cleaner or easier to breathe anytime soon for Cubans living in the high-rise apartments east of the Havana refinery (below), their lively-hood may be very much at risk if Cuba's pristine beaches that draws millions of European and Canadian tourists annually, becomes cluttered with oil rig platforms or blacked from a big spill. And who needs that when you already have so little. 

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Carlz Boats: Bulk Carrier RICHELIEU

Carlz Boats: Bulk Carrier RICHELIEU: CSL bulk carrier RICHELIEU as she was motoring at a good speed upbound near Cardinal, Ontario.

Bulk Carrier RICHELIEU

Hey, what a beauty of a day here in Ottawa. Got up to 25C or 75F and more of the same is forecasted right through the weekend. About time, eh! Anyhow, if I recall, it was pleasant but not that warm on November 25th when I snapped these shots of the 730' CSL bulk carrier RICHELIEU as she was motoring at a good speed upbound near Cardinal, Ontario.
When built in Belgium in 1980, she bore the name FEDERAL OTTAWA and was used to carry steel into the Great Lakes and returned overseas with grain products such as wheat, flax, peas, and soybeans as well as potash and bentonite. In 1995 her name was changed to LAKE ERIE and was registered in the Marshall Islands. In 2008, the bulk carrier was sold to Canada Steamship Lines and in the following year, they changed her name to RICHELIEU, the third CSL vessel to bear that name. Incidentally, the gross tonnage for the RICHELIEU is 22,734 tons and according the St. Lawrence Seaway's website, a bulk carrier like the RICHELIEU can move enough wheat to make bread for everyone in New York City for nearly a month and can carry as much cargo as three 100-unit trains or 870 truckloads. Huh, I did not know that.

 Update - April 28, 2020:

The RICHELIEU continued to haul prairie grain to St. Lawrence River elevators for another month after I took my pics. However her arrival at Pier 56 North at Montreal on January 1, 1913, for winter layup, also marked the end of her trading on the Great Lakes. Design as a saltie-laker, RICHELIEU's last passage under her own power, would be to cross the Atlantic and Mediterranean  for dismantling at Aliaga, Turkey, She arrived there on August 28, 2013, and 3 months later, so would sister SAGUENAY on November 30th.    
Meanwhile, here's a couple of beautiful photos of the then FEDERAL OTTAWA as the upbound bulk carrier wearing her original FedNav colours approached the Welland Canals Lock 1 on April 22, 1990 by Jeff Cameron of St. Catharines.

BTW, to view thousands of Great Lakes ship photos both modern and vintage, be sure to checkout or for photos of ships from elsewhere around the world. You'll be Glad You Did!!