Wednesday 30 November 2016

Self Unloader JOSEPH L. BLOCK

Photo by Nathan Attard 29.11.16
Photo by Nathan Attard 29.11.16
The Americans are Coming!!
The Americans are Coming!!
No it has nothing to do with the actions of many U.S. residents who on the Presidential election night, overwhelmed the Canadian immigrations website so much with requests to move to Canada that it crashed the system almost immediately. No, again, this post is not about a surge of our neighbours to the south "getting out of Dodge" but instead the use of the Welland Canal and the other Canadian and American St. Lawrence Seaway locks and channels to get U.S. iron ore from mines in Minnesota and Michigan, down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City where it will be loaded on huge Panamax-size bulk carriers and exported to Japan and China.

Photo by Nathan Attard 29.11.16
Photo Nathan Attard 29.11.16
As mentioned in a recent article in Boatnerd.com's 'News Channels' by the Chamber of Marine Commerce, many American 1000 footers have been transporting the ore to Conneault, Ohio, where it would be loaded then shipped down the St. Lawrence on Canadian self unloaders. However in this case, the 728' American self unloader JOSEPH L. BLOCK will be delivering her cargo of ore pellets from Two Harbours, Minnesota, directing to the Port of Quebec herself, and in doing so, passing through waters that apparently she's never transited before. c):-D
In this first series of impressive photos by "my man in Port Colborne", Nathan Attard captured the JOSEPH L. BLOCK tied off at Wharf 16 near the old coal dock apparently banking rays in the late afternoon sun while Seaway inspectors gave her the once over, a routine activity for first-time transits of the 44 km (28 mi) Welland Canal, (a.k.a. "the ditch") and Seaway system below Lake Ontario. Once cleared to get underway on her unusual voyage, Nathan also snapped the BLOCK as she passed beneath Bridge 21 and while continuing to make her way towards Lock 8. Great reflections there, Nathan!! c):-o
Photo by Nathan Attard 29.11.16
Photo by Nathan Attard 29.11.16
Though currently owned by Central Marine Logistics of Griffith, Indiana, the JOSEPH L. BLOCK was built in 1976 at Bay Shipbuilding in Sturgeon, Wisconsin for the Inland Steel Company of Chicago, Illinois and named after their former Chairman of the Board, Joseph Leopold Block. With a cargo capacity of 37,200 tons, the BLOCK was specifically built to trade iron ore from Escanaba, located along the south shore of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, to Inland's steel mills at the other end on Lake Michigan at Indiana Harbor (East Chicago), Indiana.

Once again, thanks my friend for the great pics. You da man, Nathan, You da MAN
Nathan with another American self unloader,  JOHN J. BOLAND in the background - 18.09.14

Sunday 20 November 2016

Fish Tug COSLEY BROS


Hot diggety-dog, look at this big girl coming in from Lake Erie's Long Point Bay to unload her catch at Port Dover on September 20th. She's the 54' fish tug COSLEY BROS and instead of the usual white superstructure or house with a red, black or blue trim like one more often might see painted on  a Great Lakes fish tug, COSLEY BROS is almost completely ORANGE above her waterline. Don't get me wrong because orange works for so many things like pylons, and freefall lifeboats like you see at the back of all salties or tankers, or even the hard-shelled inflatable life-raft canister that's secured just beyond the COSLEY BROS's pilothouse amidships. Orange is a great colour because it stands out perfectly in daylight or in a light beam, in rough dark seas or even calm ones like when the proud fish tug gracefully made her way past Port Dover's harbour piers. Named for owner Frank Cosley's two sons, Pete and Paul, the then Port Dover based COSLEY BROS  was built in 1949 at Stephen G. Powell's shipyard near Royal Canadian Air Force Station Dunnville along the Grand River half way between the town of Dunnville and Port Maitland. No. 6 Service Flying Training School, as it was known during the Second World War British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was one of several air bases located along the Lake Erie shoreline and Southern Ontario which trained pilots advanced techniques to prepare them for wartime action overseas or for duty in RCAF Home Defence squadrons. Before the airfield was sold off in 1964, it had been used as a repair depot for RCAF base Trenton (on Lake Ontario). During Sunday drives to Dunnville or along the Grand River, I still recall seeing Lancaster bombers and other aircraft that had been stored or "mothballed" there near the runway. Now that was really cool!! c):-o

Meanwhile, back to the boat blog, soon after being built, the Cosley brothers took over the business from their dad and the fish tug which was then painted red to the top of the bulwarks and her house was silver. Kind of like an airstream trailer that floated, or NOT!! c):-)

Anyhow, in 1977 the Cosley brothers sold the COSLEY BROS to the Weaver brothers of Port Stanley. While the name was kept, her hull was painted black and her house remained silver. Then for a time she was grey and while being rebuilt in the early 2000's, she was coated with an orange primer. After a while, her owners got to like the new colour scheme which is why the COSLEY BROS remains orange to this day. Hey, here's another benefit of being painted orange, it hides the rust real good!! (Got that: Algoma Central).

Nice snaps above of the COSLEY BROS approaching Port Dover's twin bascule hydraulic lift bridge eh? Well actually the big orange fish tug had already motored passed the up reaching spans that actually opened for the first time in 1971, but because she couldn't turn around in narrow Lynn River channel beyond, her skipper had no choice but to slowly run her astern beneath the bridge to get back to the outer harbour and the fish processing plants.
All that in your face fish tug action sure can make you hungry and boy were we surprised to see that Arbor's  Foot-Long Hot Dog stand was still in town. Back when my better half, Janny was growing up in Ancaster, Ontario, near Hamilton, her parents would drive down to Port Dover and stop into Arbor's, which has been in business for 85 years, for their foot long hot dogs, just like my parents did when we visited Port Dover when I was a kid. How neat is that, eh?
My Arbor's foot-longer was smothered in ketchup, mustard, relish and onions while Janny's was just mustard, jalapenos, and a sprinkling of hot peppers that were red, yellow and of course, ORANGE!! c);-b

Thanks again Shaun Vary for your input and a special thank you to Betty Powell, who's  late night Facebook comments were greatly appreciated. c):-D





Sunday 6 November 2016

Saltie-Laker SELKIRK SETTLER

Misener Transportation Postcard of SELKIRK SETTLER - Photographer Unknown
Whenever I have a moment I'm either reading or listening to a murder mystery book and whether it's Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch, or J.A. Jance's J.P. Beaumont or Louise Penny's Chief Inspector Armand Gomache, the author at some point in the novel will have their homicide cop character say, "there's no such thing as a coincidence".
It may have appeared as a normal everyday sail past below Iroquois Locks on August 14, 2014 when I snapped the SPRUCEGLEN as she motored upbound in ballast on her way  to Thunder Bay to pick up a load of grain while the fully loaded straightdeck OJIBWAY  motored  downbound to discharge her cargo of grain in Sorel, Quebec. What's unusual though is when the current CSL owned sternender was launched at Govan Shipyards in Glasgow, Scotland in 1983, she was known as the SELKIRK SETTLER. If you're interested in Canadian history, as I am, you will know it was a very important name as it acknowledged the enduring efforts of a group Scottish immigrants that came to Canada in 1812 via Hudson's Bay to settle in the Red River Valley which is north of current day, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Their two month crossing of the Atlantic Ocean and Hudson's Bay, and then paddling the swift rivers against the current was both long and strenuous for these future wheat farmers. To make matters worse, when arriving at their final destination in August 1812, their promised new settlements had not been completed and since the planting season had ended, the first group of European "SELKIRK SETTLERS" may not have survived their first winter had they not been taken in by the aboriginal Saulteaux band which were descendants of the "OJIBWAY" First Nations Peoples. Coincidence or WHAT c):-()
Whether considered a coincidence or NOT, the uniqueness here is the selection of names Misener Transportation of St. Catharines chose for their new class of gearless bulk carriers or "Saltie-Lakers" which were specifically designed to haul prairie grain to the lower St. Lawrence River grain elevators in such ports like Sorel, Quebec City and Baie Comeau while the Seaway was opened, and during the winter months, transport the grain and other products products to various overseas ports in Europe, Russia and along the Mediterranean.  After the SELKIRK SETTLER came the CANADA MARQUIS (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2013/09/saltie-laker-canada-marquis.html) named after a specially designed grain that when it was introduced in 1911 it became known then and still today as "the best wheat variety in Canada". This high quality wheat that when baked gives the loafs more volume is grown throughout the country and continues to be exported all over the world.
The third sister which sailed under the Pioneer Shipping banner and red/orange coloured hull, was named SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER for the many different nationalities from around the world who immigrated to Canada and settled in what is now known as Saskatchewan from 1870 to 1930 and who transformed the "the last of the west" into the "world's granary". c):-o

As Skip Gillham said in his 1989 publication of "Canadian Fleets Along The Seaway" - "These ships have carried grain to Cyprus, USSR, Morocco, and England. They have taken potash to France and Belgium and returned from Europe with steel for the Great Lakes...they handled winter navigation on the Baltic moving European grain from Hamburg, West Germany to Leningrad. They were now able to get a year round return on their investment instead of the ice shortened nine months on the lakes."  While it appeared things were looking up for Misener's saltie-lakers, Canada's grain exports via the Great Lakes and Seaway continued to decline during the late 80's. To cut costs, the country of registry for SELKIRK SETTLER was changed to Isle of Man in 1987. The same occurred soon after for her other saltie-laker sisters and instead of a proud Canadian flag flying from their sterns, they all flew the flag of the Isle of Man, a small island in the Irish Sea. Then in 1991 both the SELKIRK SETTLER and CANADA MARQUIS were sold to Federal Navigations of Montreal and while being owner or under charter with Fednav, their names were changed several times and flew a variety of other flags of convenience.
The once proud bulker named for Canada's first prairie wheat farmers was named FEDERAL ST. LOUIS and flew the flag of the Bahamas when owned by Fednav's Detroit, Antwerp and London divisions in 1991. In the following year, she was changed to FEDERAL FRASER and flew the flag of the Philippines, Hong Kong and Panama as the ocean trader which still visited the Great Lakes regularly, continued to be sold off from one southeast Asian owner to another while still operating under a long term charter with Fednav. In 2001 her name was changed again to simply FRASER, a name she continued to bear when purchased by Canada Steamship Lines in October of 2002.
Reflagged Canadian, the FRASER arrived at Quebec City in December 10th and not before leaving the next day with a load of sugar for Redpath's in Toronto, the bulk carrier was re-registered Canadian and named SPRUCEGLEN.
Two months later, her former  saltie-laker sister CANADA MARQUIS which then sailed as the MACKENZIE, was purchased from Fednav and renamed BIRCHGLEN (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2012/08/saltie-laker-birchglen.html). Both vessels followed CSL's naming pattern for their gearless bulk carriers like the PINEGLEN and CEDARGLEN with tree motif prefix reflecting back to CSL's 1937 acquisition of Tree Line Navigation Company and their 1926 purchase of the Great Lakes Shipping Company which included the suffix "GLEN" in their name.
Like when she arrived for her first winter layup in Toronto in December 2002, SPRUCEGLEN was probably laden with sugar when I snapped her sitting low in the water at Toronto harbour's berth 514 first last February and then again in April (both snaps above). However when I captured her again in June (below), she was sitting high in ballast and tied off to the Algoma self unloader ALGOSOO at the Section 35 dock. It's a mystery? c);-b

Though SPRUCEGLEN initially continued to operate deepsea during the winter months like she had done as the Misener saltie-laker, SELKIRK SETTLER, more recently her winter layups have extended well beyond the opening of the shipping season and the St. Lawrence Seaway in the spring. Actually such was the case again this year for all of CSL's other dry bulk carrying "GLEN's". Each laying in wait for work to come along in Thunder Bay and Montreal which is a far cry better than motoring to Turkey for dismantling which was the case for fleetmates  MAPLEGLEN and BIRCHGLEN (the former CANADA MARQUIS) in September 2015. c):-((
Being cut apart by a breaker's touch will just have to wait little longer as the SPRUCEGLEN and her remaining saltie-laker fleetmates (CEDARGLEN, PINEGLEN, and OAKGLEN) all got underway in later August to haul another bumper crop of prairie grain to lower St. Lawrence River elevators just like they were designed to do many years earlier. c):-D
As for the ALGOSOO? Well, that's another story and it will to be told soon in an upcoming Carlz Boats. c):-((

KAMINISTIQUA at Port of Johnstown - April 23, 2016. Her story:
https://carlzboats.blogspot.com/2012/07/salty-laker-kaministigua.html
UPDATE: January 3, 2020: The BIRCHGLEN or former CANADA MARQUIS continued to move grain from the Lakehead to the Lover St. Lawrence River terminals until 2015 when she was towed to Turkey for dismantling, however the third Misener "Saltie-laker" SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER is currently operating for Lower Lakes Towing as the KAMINISTIQUA and is wintering at Port Weller Dry Dock while having her bottom repaired from a grounding near Beauharnois by Hamilton's Heddle Marine.
Downbound at Iroquois Lock - May 19, 2013. About my first rendezvous with the BIRCHGLEN check out:
https://carlzboats.blogspot.com/2012/08/saltie-laker-birchglen.html

Here's a couple nice pics taken by Jeff Cameron of St. Catharines in 1991 of the upbound former SELKIRK SETTLER, and then named FEDERAL ST. LOUIS passing beneath the Garden City Skyway while approaching Lock 3. Proudly displaying the large red "F" and partial maple leaf  πŸemblem on her stack that hull colour was still Misener Transportation "Blue" instead of "red" like all other FedNav bulk carriers that we see along the St. Lawrence Seaway and Great Lakes. Thank You Jeff. Great photos as always. πŸ‘πŸ“·πŸ‘



Saturday 29 October 2016

Fish Tug JAMES D


Soon after watching the upbound 730' ALGOMA TRANSPORT rise up and then exit the Welland Canal's Lock 7 from our balcony at The Inn at Lock Seven on the evening of September 18th, I sent a note to fellow boat watcher and my go-to-guy for Great Lakes commercial fishing info, Shaun Vary, that though we were on our way to the blue waters of the St. Clair River, my wife Janie and I had planned to visit Port Dover the next day. Shaun said that the trawlers were pretty much finished for the year, but if we're in Port Dover by around 2 pm, I might be able to snap a boat or two coming in after their day of fishing pickerel on Long Point Bay.

Well Shaun was almost dead on the mark because soon after we arrived along the pier of the Lake Erie port at about 1 o'clock, in came the fish tugs. First in was a beauty of a boat, the 70' JAMES D. which was built by in 1957 by the master boat builder, Ralph Hurley of Port Burwell for Lionel Hurley and Jim MacDonald of Ferroclad Fishery at Mamainse Harbour on Lake Superior.


Run by Captain Jim, the JAMES D was one of the first to respond to the search call when the 729' EDMUND FITZGERALD went down during a severe storm on Lake Superior on November 10, 1975. During her effort in the search, JAMES D recovered a lifeboat and other wreckage, and though we all know now that there were no survivors when the huge American ore carrier sank, I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for the fish tug's crew when they came across the floundering lifeboat with no one on board. As pointed out by Shaun, it's easy to understand why the JAMES D is considered the most admired Great Lakes fish tug of all times.

Currently JAMES D is owned by Dave Ryerse of Port Dover's Lynn-Dover Foods and run by Eric Ryerse. Also coming in off the bay were the fish tugs COSLEY BROS and BB MILLER and the gas-well rigs tug ANDREA MARIE. Each will be featured soon in an upcoming Carlz Fish'n Ships.
Meanwhile, my last posting about the former fish tug, SLO-MOE has been very popular with over 650 page views to date from all over the world. Oh YAAA!!  c):-o I also received some wonderful comments on the Facebook group "Great Lakes Fish Tugs (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1529435500649241/) from Clancy Fuller who worked on the SLO-MOE in Kingsville in the 60's and Robert LaBlance who worked on her in the 80's for Captain Fats. I've also updated the post with a photo of the now-named SILT-PRINCE motoring out of Port Burwell. The pic was submitted by her current skipper, Ryan Dougherty and taken by SILT-PRINCE's owner, Mike Scruton. Check it our now: http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2016/10/former-fish-tug-slo-moe.html And thank you again Shaun Vary for your input. It was greatly appreciated as always. c):-D

Friday 14 October 2016

Former Fish Tug SLO-MOE


We came across this immaculate little beauty in Port Burwell, Ontario on Lake Erie during our 2014 "Back to Our Ol'Stomping Grounds Tour". The 112 hp and 45' SLO-MOE was originally built as a fishing tug by Russel Brothers Limited of Owen Sound in 1949. According to Shaun Vary's Notes" on the Russell Brothers of Owen Sound "Steelcraft" site: (http://stevebriggs.netfirms.com/osmrm/xslomoe.htmlSLO-MOE was originally a Kingsville fish tug... She was fished by the Moody Family, and later, Ed Siddall on Lake Huron. Ed Siddall then converted her to a workboat, and sometime in the '90's, to her present configuration as a tug. Three years after Ed died, the SLO-MOE was sold to Dave MacAdam also of Goderich in 2009 who motored down to Lake Erie for work opportunities.
While our former family dog Tanner enjoyed a good itching under his collar by my wife Janice, the going no where fast SLO-MOE continued to look as lonely as the Maytag repairman and for sale again while parked on the west wall of this cute little port. In 2015 she was sold to Mike Scruton Marine Services of Port Dover, Ontario and after 66 years of having the same name during her days fishing on Lake Huron and working as a tug, she was given another equally uninspiring name, SILT-PRINCE. Regardless of her name, the former Lake Huron fish tug continues to churn up work in the contracting trade on Lake Erie,

While on our way to the blue waters of the St. Clair River on September 19th, we decided to pop into Port Dover to snap a few fish tugs that may have been tied off in the harbour and if luck had it, perhaps get a few pics of the SLO-MOE, or rather SILT PRINCE which as I last read was now based at Port Dover. Having not seen her in the harbour, we decided to check out the inner  harbour beyond the bridge and there mostly hidden amongst the sailboat riggings and pleasure boats at the marina, was the SILT  PRINCEGotcha!!

On the other side of the Lynn River, I found her laid up with other members of Scruton Marine fleet, like SILT KING, SILT MASTER and the cute toot, LEF DOVER.
Though idle, SILT PRINCE and her fleetmates appeared to be well maintained unlike the rusting relics tied off near the old Gamble shipyard a little further upstream in the background of the photo at the bottom. Not a lot of TLC for those girls for some time now. Very sad c):-((



BTW, for more information about Port Dover, like the history of this fishing community or things to do there, check out this site: http://www.escapetodover.com/ You'll be glad you did!! c):-D
Got another photo of the SILT-PRINCE (former fish tug SLO-MOE) taken by her owner, Mike Scruton. In this snap to the left, the cute little toot is motoring out of Port Burwell harbour. According to Shaun Vary, the tall post towering above the SILT-PRINCE's wheelhouse and bow is called a spud and it's used as an anchor when dredging or flushing. Ryan Dougherty, who sent me the photo and has been running her for the last two years, mentioned that the SILT-PRINCE was repowered over this past winter with a V12 '71 Detroit engine, which I'm certain came to good use when she won Port Dover's Tug Pull contest on June 25th. No stopping this girl, OH YAAA!!
Also, getting out of the way of the SILT-PRINCE in the photo, is the 62' workboat SILT-MASTER which started out as the fish tug IRENE LLOYD and then later in life, the LORI B. Last night, while looking through my Port Maitland snaps, I found a pic of the LORI B locked in the ice there in February 2009. That photo and her story will be featured soon in an upcoming Carlz Fish'n Ships. Sorry, you'll just have to wait for it with a baited breath. Oooo, that was bad!! Sorry, NOT!! c):-D

Sunday 18 September 2016

Classic Straightdecker OJIBWAY

Well Hello!! We haven't seen many like you up this way anymore. We see all kinds of salties and Great Lakes tankers, bulk carriers, and self unloaders but almost all are "sternenders" with their pilothouse and accommodations superstructure as one unit above the engine room at the stern.

True we have seen some forward pilothouse self unloaders like your fleetmates, MISSISSAGI or SAGINAW and converts like the ALGOSTEEL motor by, but even most of that style of laker has been or are waiting to be dismantled once scrap prices rise, while others have been laid up for most this season due to a lack of cargoes. No, OJIBWAY, you are special. You are a "classic straightdecker" and now that you are underway again after your 5 year inspection, you are the last Canadian-flagged straightdecker in service. Unbelievable!

Built in Cleveland in 1869, the R.J. HACKETT was considered the first "laker". Unlike the other vessels of the day which were mostly sailing schooners or steam powered freighters with a wheelhouse amidships, the R.J. HACKETT though much smaller at 208', looked very much like the OJIBWAY. She had a deckhouse with galley and crew quarters sitting aft, a second deckhouse containing the captain's cabin and pilothouse at the bow which gave the captain better vision and quicker reaction to dangers in the water or when maneuvering through channels and locks, but more importantly in the middle was a long and wide hold which maximized cargo volume and hatches that were spaced perfectly for ore dock chutes. Being far more easier to move cargo, the innovative straighdeck design of the HACKETT became the most common type of vessel on the Great Lakes over the following 25 years, and the basis for nearly every bulk carrier built on the Great Lakes over the next 100 years. She was a classic. 


Back in August 2014 when I snapped these photos, OJIBWAY is seen here slowly but surely making way along the approach wall towards Iroquois Lock. No, there's no lack of confidence on the skipper's part but instead many years of experience and the knowledge that when entering Iroquois from the west, you can never be too cautious. It's simply not as easy as it looks. It's one thing to have to deal with the pull from the passing upbound FEDERAL ASAHI, as she picks up speed, but the current from the adjacent water-level control dam can easily draw the laden 642' OJIBWAY's stern into the middle of the channel, and who needs that? 
It was 26 years ago when the gearless bulk carrier had an incident that could have met her end. Then she was 25 miles off course and hard aground on the rocks off Isle Royale. Fortunately after being freed and towed to Thunder Bay, her damages were repaired and completed during winter layup before the new 1991 shipping season commenced. Her meeting with the breaker's touch would have wait until a later date.


When launched in 1952 at Defoe Shipbuilding Company of Bay City, Michigan for Pioneer Steamship Company her name was CHARLES L. HUTCHINSON and though there were a few modifications for the original Leon Fraser-class, she was a U.S. Steel "Super" or "Double-A" straightdecker built to haul iron ore from Duluth to steel mills in the lower lakes.


However, sometimes like us all, you do what you do to stay useful like when sailing for the Ford Motor Company as the ERNEST R. BREECH, she primarily became a grain carrier during a slowdown in the steel industry in the mid 1980's, loading in Duluth and then taking her cargo to Buffalo, New York. While there were rumours that dismantling was imminent, in 1988 she was sold to Kinsman Lines and resumed the Duluth to Buffalo grain trading route as the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT.
Life was good for the company and crew of the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT until in 2000, when self unloaders began being used to haul grain and instead of requiring shore side unloading arms to scoop their cargo into the elevator, self unloaders simply discharged the grain with their conveyer booms into hoppers.c):-()
While at the time it was considered that hauling grain to Buffalo was only suited for straightdeckers like the KINSMAN INDEPENDENT and her fleetmate, KINSMAN ENTERPRISE, however soon after an unloading hopper was installed at Buffalo's General Mills Frontier Grain Elevator in 2002, the KINSMAN ENTERPRISE was sold for scrap and the INDEPENDENT started a period of long-term layup in Buffalo. Meanwhile, the grain delivery service was given to Oglebay Norton Marine's veteran self unloader JOSEPH H. FRANTZ.
While it could have been so easy to take the aging straightdecker to International Marine Salvaging for scrapping just a short distance up Lake Erie, KINSMAN INDEPENDENT was instead towed to Hamilton when purchased by McKeil Work Boats in September 2004. In May of 2005, she was purchased by Voyageur Marine of Ridgeville, Ontario and when the renamed VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT left on her maiden voyage to Thunder Bay just six month later, she had been re-energized with a new General Electric turbo-charged diesel engine, a new propeller shaft and a new control pitch propeller system. c):-D

She remained the VOYAGEUR INDEPENDENT when Lower Lakes Towing Ltd. of Port Dover, Ontario purchased her in August 2007, but she was given the name OJIBWAY, after one of the largest First Nation's Peoples north of the Rio Grande on February 29, 2008.
Like then, the straightdecker OJIBWAY continues to work in the grain hauling trade which has allowed Lower Lakes to seek new trade opportunities for their self unloader fleet.

Though it appeared self unloaders would make gearless boats like the passing SPRUCEGLEN and OJIBWAY obsolete when hoppers started being installed at grain elevators in 2000, both ships remain active today. Now isn't that ironic. c):-o

As the OJIBWAY approached and made her way through Iroquois Lock, I couldn't help but notice a different flag flying from the foremast behind her pilothouse, and as I zoomed in I could see it said "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP". For anyone who has read about the War of 1812, "DON'T GIVE UP THE SHIP" were the famous last words shouted by the dying commander of the USS CHESAPEAKE, James Lawrence in 1813. After his death, fellow officer and friend Oliver Hazard Perry had a women in Erie, Pennsylvania stitch the phrase in bold white letters on a large blue ensign which was flown during the victorious Battle of Lake Erie against the British also in 1813. It was very much an appropriate phrase at the time perhaps has a similar meaning today. Though not a battle cry per se, but rather a notion to the powers that be to not let the "Classic Straightdecker" design as we know it, be lost forever. In other words, "Don't Give up this type of Ship!" Food for Thought!! c):-)