Monday 4 April 2016


What a difference a week makes. I can't say how often this past winter that we've had beautiful warm days, then the usual Great White North snow and cold conditions, then followed right back with balmy temps, over and over again. It was a pleasant +5 Celsius on Easter Sunday when I got my first shot away across from the recently restored former windmill and lighthouse of the tug & barge combo SALVOR & LAMBERT SPIRIT as they approached barely visible through the shoreline sumachs and other foliage at the Battle of the Windmill Park near Prescott, Ontario. The only clouds were on the horizon and the St. Lawrence River was as flat as a pancake. It was a great day to be alive and I thought to myself, very thankful that another winter has passed us by. And now here we are a week later, a sunny -8C and -19 in the wind. I know, it could be worse like having a whack of snow show up again, which is exactly what happened yesterday in Central Ontario and Toronto. HeeHee!! c):-)) Well, I can't laugh too loud because we're supposed to get another 12 centimetres of snow too on Wednesday. YUKE!! c):-() "Weather, schmeather!!!" is all I can say and as long as you have packed some gloves and a wind breaker, who really cares what the weather is like this time of year, because "Boat Watching Season" is BACK!!. Oh YAAA!! c):-D
When launched in 1968 at Avondale Shipyards of Avondale, Louisiana for Interstate Ocean Transportation, LAMBERT SPIRIT's name was KTC 115 and she was a 10 hold tanker barge.
At some point the 393' KTC 115 was sold to K-Sea Transportation of Staten Island, New York and that name remained even after McKeil Marine of Hamilton, Ontario purchased her in 2003. 
It seems that even from the beginning KTC 115  was joined to the tug SALVOR, except perhaps when on July 27, 2004 a chain securing the starboard face wire failed when the SALVOR experienced some steering problems causing her mate to break free and run aground on the north side of American Narrows near Alexandria Bay, New York. Oh NOO!! c):-( 
The downbound 120' SALVOR and her fully loaded barge with 9,117 metric tonnes of liquified calcium chloride were heading for Montreal, Quebec and since the KTC 115 was only single-hulled, a portion of cargo was spilled into the St. Lawrence River when a starboard tank was torn open. The spill was unrecoverable and investigators judged that it posed no threat to the environment. c):-o 
Soon after the incident, KTC 115 was converted into a dry bulk carrier and her name was changed to LAMBERT SPIRIT. Meanwhile, SALVOR was fitted with a JAK® coupling system which improves the connection between the tug and her barge while improving manoeuvrability and sea-keeping. 
When launched in 1963 at Jakobson Shipyard of Oyster Bay, New York her name was ESTHER MORAN and she provided harbour and coastal towing services for Moran Towing of New York City until 2000 when she was purchased by McKeil Marine and renamed SALVOR. Like her owner, the twin-screw 5,760 horsepower SALVOR is based out of Hamilton, Ontario
With a cargo capacity of 9,800 metric tonnes, the flat deck cargo barge LAMBERT SPIRIT has removable bin wall access points for side loading and her steel deck has been customized for a variety of lashing configurations, making her completely versatile and capable of carrying any range of dry bulk commodities.   
I'm not 100% certain what LAMBERT SPIRIT was carrying as she and the powerful tug SALVOR glided by on their way to Cornwall on the gorgeous Easter Sunday morning but it sure was a perfect day to capture my first downbound of the season. I wonder what the weather's going to be like for my first upbound? More of the same would be nice. c);-b 

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