Thursday 27 June 2013

Chemical/Oil Tanker NORDIC HELSINKI

St. Lawrence Seaway traffic results aren't looking too good with both transits and cargo volumes declining significantly to date. To bring in additional revenue, the Seaway may have to start charging for farm animal usage of their channels for bathing and banking rays just like this northern  New York herd above, enjoying an afternoon dip along the Seaway's south shore.

Now that may seem like a lot of bull, (or holsteins), but another big liquid bulk carrier that passes frequently along the Seaway are tankers like the 450'x66' NORDIC HELSINKI. Built in 2007 in South Korea, I snapped the NORDIC HELSINKI as she squeezed her way out of Iroquois Lock and then trotting along quite quickly near Mariatown, Ontario heading downbound to Montreal to top up on diesel fuel or other gas products. The HELSINKI is owned by Nordic Tanker Marine of Copenhagen, Denmark. Earlier that day, I snapped fleetmate HARBOUR FASHION (Carlz Boats-22.05.13) which though owned by Nordic Tanker Marine, her hull colour was red and flew the flag of Portugal. Though also not a great dane, family dog Tanner wasn't very happy that he couldn't go for a swim in the river like those cows.
But like the NORDIC HELSINKI, his displeasure eventually passed.

Tuesday 18 June 2013

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTINRegardless of her name or bolstered dimensions, the fully loaded RT. HON PAUL J. MARTIN very impressively managed the narrow seaway channel between Iroquois Lock and Morrisburg. 

Self Unloader RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN

What in the world was I thinking? I've had this blog, 'Carlz Boats' for over a year, posted over 200 boat (and whatever) stories which has resulted in about 8,800 pageviews to date, and then one night my former marketing-self says, "Carl, replace the 's' in Boats with a 'z' just like you have in Carlz. It'll look better." By George (or rather, former marketing-self), I think you're right. If it works for 'Cheez Whiz', surely it's got to work for 'Carlz Boatz' too. Budda-bing, budda-boom, I change everything and my  ASRA-S post opened with 'no problemo'. However, if you were one of the 279 pageviews who enjoyed reading my tugboat ST. EVAL post, or any of the other 199 that I made on 'Carlz Boats', you saw 'Blog Removed' when opening it. YIKES!! OOPS!! Change everthing back and FIRE that marketing guy!! Aye-Aye SIR!!.
Well, that was quite a hazzle, I mean 'hassle' but everything's back to normal at Carlz Boats. The name will remain just like the snaps below of the 740' CSL self unloader RT. HON. PAUL J. MARTIN which has bore the name of the former Canadian Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and Senator, since 2000.

However, in 1973 when she was launched at Collingwood, Ont., her name was H.M. GRIFFITH with a length of only 730' and a beam was 75'. In 1999 the GRIFFITH entered Port Weller Dry Docks in St. Catharines, Ont., where her forward section was removed and replaced with a new one that was 10 feet longer and 3 feet wider.

Regardless of her name or bolstered dimensions, the fully loaded PAUL J. MARTIN very impressively managed the narrow seaway channel between Iroquois Lock and Morrisburg. First she dipsy-doodled with the 730' bulk carrier, KAMINISTIQUA (Carlz Boats 31.07.12) which was first named SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER, then LADY HAMILTON and VOYAGEUR PIONEER before sailing under her current long and very hard to pronounced name. Then just after passing us while picnic-ing at Loyalist Park, I snapped the downbound MARTIN again as she positioned herself for the speedy and the high in water upbound straight-deck laker MANITOBA (Carlz Boats 15.12.12) which was previously named MANTADOC, TEAKGLEN and MARITIME TRADER.
Lots of boat action that day but what was really fun to watch, was a pleasure boat motoring all out across the channel, hanging behind the PAUL J. MARTIN's stern for a moment before attempting to pass the lumbering brown hunk of steel only to find this time another hunk of steel, the MANITOBA speedily pushing water dead ahead. "YIKES!! OOPS!!! What was I thinking?", the pleasure boat operator probably said to himself seconds before turning the small boat back to its original course and direction. Been there, done that.

Saturday 8 June 2013

Carlz Boats: Tanker AZRA-S

Carlz Boats: Tanker AZRA-S: While cruising the Caribbean last February, my friend Kevin from nearby Stittsville snapped a nice shot of the 345' Turkish tanker A...

Tanker AZRA-S

While cruising the Caribbean last February, my friend Kevin from nearby Stittsville snapped a nice shot of the 345' Turkish tanker AZRA-S as she heads out from Curacao on a relatively calm sea. The AZRA-S was built in Istanbul in 2007 and while transferring diesel fuel in Basseterre on the island of St. Kitts, she broke free of her moorings due to high winds and rough seas, and ran aground on the seabed just off shore. YIKES!! The last type of ship anyone wants to see run aground nearby is a tanker. It's bad enough to have to view a constant eyesore like the bent and broken remains of a wreck on a beautiful beach like the one my daughter Lauren snapped in Jamaica a few years back, but a greater concern is oil spillage and the ongoing devastating damage it may cause to the marine environment and local economies. Fortunately for the people of St. Kitts, only the stern section of the AZRA-S laid steadfast on the seabed and the tanker was a modern vessel, built with two hulls to help safeguard its cargo. Even if the outer hull of the AZRA-S became breached, the inner one would keep her oil in place. Double hulled construction of tankers has been the requirement since 1993, mandated in the Oil Pollution Act in 1990 as a result of the ongoing environmental damages that were created when the EXXON VALDEZ struck Prince William Sound's Bligh Reef in Alaska in 1989 spilling nearly 750,000 barrels of crude oil. Meanwhile, single hulled tankers were to be phased out by 2010.
With the aid of the St. Croix based tug STORM and being lightened by her sister ship, the AZRA-S was freed to go her merry way after almost three weeks on its seabed berth. Meanwhile, in August 2012, The EXXON VALDEZ was beached at Alang, India and dismantled. Though not a beached eyesore like the snap below, the memories of her environmental destruction in Alaska will remain forever.

Friday 7 June 2013

Carlz Boats: Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger OCEAN TRAVERSE NOR...

Carlz Boatz: Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger OCEAN TRAVERSE NOR...: Just as the best gifts come in small packages, so maybe true for the 65' Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD . The...

Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD

Just as the best gifts come in small packages, so maybe true for the 65' Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD. The first of it's kind for usage along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, the OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD was built in 2012 by Ocean Industries shipyard in L'isle-aux-Coudres, QC. Though only 42 feet wide with a draft of 14 feet, OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD can load 5,500 cubicmetres per hour of sediment from it's suction dredge which is lowered from her starboard side to a maximum depth of 30 metres or approximately 98 feet. Once fully loaded, her content can be blasted from her huge bow-mounted nozzle directly to a designated area that needs shallowing or pumped ashore to make an instant beach. Or, in deeper waters, her complete hull is opened up from her keel, allowing her cargo to drop freely to the depths of 'Davy Jones' Locker'. Rrrr!  If you want to see the OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD in action, go to Ocean's YouTube post at: ''. The first few minutes or so are pretty dry, but the rest of the video is very much worth watching though you may not want to rush out for a slushy anytime soon after. It's your call. 
Meanwhile, I snapped these shots of this overgrown Hoover/Dyson/Dirt Devil/ShopVac water pistol as she passed the Old Windmill near Prescott, Ontario last Sunday afternoon. The downbound OCEAN TRAVERSE NORD was moving at a pretty good clip for a motorized barge on her way to above Trois Rivieres, Quebec where this week 'She Sucked and Chucked Shucked Seashells to the Seashore'. Good luck saying that three times real fast!!   

Saturday 1 June 2013

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader ATLANTIC ERIE (Revisited)

Carlz Boats: Self Unloader ATLANTIC ERIE (Revisited):Though there still maybe ample space forward and astern for the 736 foot ATLANTIC ERIE to fit from gate to gate, her width is just less than 76 feet which doesn't leave a lot of room for error in an 80 foot wide lock.

Self Unloader ATLANTIC ERIE (Revisited)

It was truly a hot that day in July when the CSL self unloader ATLANTIC ERIE ( first motored by us low in the water across from Mariatown's Rideau Terminal (sans the pile of roads salt while heading upbound towards Iroquois Lock.

However, it was quite the contrary last week when I came across the ERIE, again heading upbound but this time being lifted in the  Welland Canal's Lock 7 in Thorold, Ontario where it was only 12C and, if you were silly enough to be standing in the wind, the temp felt more like 5C. BRRR!! Though we're generally a polite lot, Canadians are known to continually complain about the weather. AND RIGHTFULLY SO, because just the day before, it was 26C and then WHAMMO, a mass of cold air from the Arctic blasted it's way through. Not Nice!! Meanwhile though, I did get a few good snaps here of the 736' ATLANTIC ERIE as she was slowly being lifted higher and higher, revealing more and more of her huge hull, bow section and eventually the ship's name.
The 28 mile (44km) Welland Canal with its 8 locks allows ships to be lifted (or lowered) 326 feet over the Niagara Escarpment. The north end Lake Ontario entrance is Port Weller while the southern entrance on Lake Erie is Port Colborne, which where I'm from. All locks (except Lock 8) are 859 feet long, 80 feet wide, 30 feet deep and the average lift is 46.5 feet. Once the lock reaches it's maximum height, the gates are open and then the ERIE is free to make her way another 7 miles (11.2 km) to the 1,380 foot Lock 8 in Port Colborne where she maybe lifted again a foot or two to adjust with Lake Erie water levels.

So all ahead full and away we go, right? Not quite! Though there still maybe ample space forward and astern for the 736 foot ATLANTIC ERIE to fit from gate to gate, her width is just less than 76 feet which doesn't leave a lot of room for error in an 80 foot wide lock. Maximum speed for this high in the water self unloader was 'All Ahead Dead Slow'. Inch by inch, foot by foot the massive steel hull scraped her way out of the lock and into the wider channel ahead where she met the 2' wider fleetmate, CSL NIAGARA as she prepared to enter Lock 7 on her way downbound to Quebec City.

There's a really neat observation area at the south end of lock with bleaches and large openings in tall steel fence to make it easier for boat-lubbers like me to snap away during the 50 minutes or so for a ship like the ATLANTIC ERIE to be lifted and exited out of the lock on cold windy days in May, or like today where it was 36C and a humidex reading of 40C. But last week in the cold I was not alone. Snapped to the left are a nice family from Invercargill, New Zealand, which is located on the southernmost end of the country's South Island. Though I wasn't happy with the frigid temps, I was told that cooler temperatures were not unusual for them as I have since found out the average daytime highs in Invercargill range from 14C in January (summer there) to 5.2C in July. Cool!! Or Not.

Regardless, later in the evening and while munching away on a mess of wings at Don Cherry's Sports Grill by the marina in Port Colborne, I caught another snap of the ATLANTIC ERIE in the distance beyond the outer breakwall making her way through a wide open Lake Erie to a destination unknown. Now is that a coincidence, or just EERIE??