Friday, April 29, 2011

The Mississagi

My last ship of the night was the Mississagi. This is another classic lake freighter. She is also currently owned by the Lower Lakes Towing Company so has the same scheme as the Ojibway.
The Mississagi like so many other freighters was built at the Great Lakes Engineering Works in River Rouge, Michigan in 1943. She is one of the Maritime Class of ships.

She began her career as the George A. Sloan for the U.S. Steel Corporation and was operated by the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. She was named in honor of the director and member of the finance committee of the U.S. Steel Company. She was used to carry iron ore to the various U.S. Steel steel mills. Occasionally, she was used to carry slag and coal.

Even though her design was approved by the Coast Guard, her deck cracked on her first trip on Lake Huron and her deck was subsequently strengthened. The Coast Guard ordered all other ships of her class to be strengthened in a similar fashion.

In 1966, she was acquired by the Bradley Transportation Company which was owned by the Michigan Limestone Division of U.S. Steel. At this time, she was converted a self unloader. She was then moved back to the Pittsburgh Fleet as the U.S. Steel Corporation merged the fleets. She was used to carry various cargoes.

In 1984, she was equipped with a 4,500 horsepower diesel engine and a bow thruster.

In 2000, she was laid up pending sail to the Lower Lakes Towing Company. In 2001, she was finally sold and renamed the Mississagi. She now carries mostly stones, aggregates, sand, coal, salt and grain found on the lower lakes.

I'm glad that some companies keep these old ships around. Makes for a nice history of the lakes.


She is 620 feet long and can carry over 15,000 tons of cargo.

Seagulls....Again...

Just some seagull pictures as I was waiting for the next ship.





I kind of like this shot.

The Ojibway

My next ship of the evening was the Ojibway and that was the main reason I decided to go shipwatching last night. This is one of the classic lake freighters.
The Ojibway was built by the Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, Michigan in 1952. This was the main reason I wanted to see her because I'm from Bay City and I know where Defoe used to be.


The ship was powered by a high and low pressure steam turbine each rated at 2000 horsepower. The engines were originally built by the Bethlehem Steel Company in 1941 for the ocean vessel Alcoa Protector. That ship was sunk by the Japanese in 1943 but the engines were recovered from the wreck and used for this ship. These engines were set up to burn oil and this ship has been an oil burner her whole career.


She was built based on plans used to built ships for the U.S. Steel "Super" or AA Class developed in 1942.

The main difference between the Ojibway and those ships is that she has a more modern pilothouse with captain's quarters behind the Texas deck.


She began her career with the Pioneer Steamship Company and was originally named the Charles L. Hutchinson. She spent the early part of her career hauling iron ore from the mines in Duluth to various steel mills.


When the Pioneer Steamship company went out of business in 1961, she was sold to the Ford Motor Company. At this time she was renamed the Ernest R. Breech and was mainly used to haul iron ore to Ford's Rouge River Steel Mill.


In 1980's, Ford started to use her to haul grain. In 1987, her career with Ford was over and she was rumored to be headed to the scrap heap. But in 1988, she found new life with the Kinsman Lines as the Kinsman Independent. She resumed her career as an iron ore carrier.


In 1990, she ran aground near Isle Royale and based on the cost to repair her, it was rumored that once again she was headed to the scrap heap. But she was towed to Thunder Bay and repaired.


In 2005, she was renamed the Voyageur Independent after being sold to the Voyageur Marine Transport Line. She was hauling grain at this time. She was also fitted with diesel engines. In 2008, she was sold to Lower Lakes Towing Company and renamed the Ojibway. She still carries grain.


She is 642 feet long and can carry over 20,000 tons of cargo.

Even More Shots of the Detroit Skyline

I kind of liked the sky that was backdropping the city, so I took some more pictures of the Detroit skyline.




I think I really like this one.

The John G. Munson Again

I decided to go shipwatching again last night. It was still pretty windy along the Detroit River but I didn't lose any hats as I didn't take any with me (I went right after work). My first ship of the night was the John G. Munson and I wasn't sure if I would be down in time to get a shot of it. Turns out, I was in time to get a shot of it moving down the river. If I had stopped by the Tri-Centennial Light instead of Belle Isle, I might have gotten a side shot of it.

Since I had taken a picture of this before, I guess I didn't care as much.
A stern shot of the John G. Munson with part of the Windsor skyline in the background.

The ship moving a little further down the river.

Just a shot of the Ambassador Bridge with the ship about to pass through.

A shot of the Ren Cen with the ship on the side.

My last shot of the John G. Munson. As you can see, it was a little overcast.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Sinking of the M Hat...Part II

So as I said in my first post of the evening, it was pretty windy. It didn't seem that bad at first but the wind kept picking up. I thought I was far enough on the shore that my hat wouldn't blow in the river. I guess I was wrong.
This time I got a shot as the hat was bobbing in the water. Unfortunately, it flipped over pretty quickly, so I couldn't get the shot of the M as it was bobbing in the water. Oh well.

It seemed close enough to the shore, that I thought I could grab it. So I put my camera down and found a stick to attempt a recovery because I figured I could wash it.

Sadly, it was just out of reach and my feet got wet as I lost my footing a little bit. So I just let it drift away.


So this is the second Michigan hat that the Detroit River has claimed from me. This one went on the train with me last year and all of my Michigan games. I will miss it but I will get another and start its journeys again.

The Lake Ontario Ship

My last ship of the day was the Lake Ontario.
I kind of like this shot because it has an almost painting quality to it. The ship and the lighthouse are kind of hazed over by the mist. You can see how rough it is on Lake St. Clair. It was also pretty windy.

She is a bulk cargo carrier. I don't have alot of details on her as she is not listed in boatnerd and the other details I've found are pretty sparse.

She was built in China at the Guangzhou Wenchong Shipyard in 2003.

She has two 6 cylinder diesel engines. Not sure what the power is though.

Her length is almost 600 feet long.

She is operated by a company out of Germany.


She's not a bad looking ship. I'm guessing she plys the oceans as well.

A Pair of Ducks

Again, I was still waiting for my next ship......
So a mallard and his squeeze.

Another Set of Shots of the Livingstone Lighthouse

I had a little wait for my next ship, so I decided to take a couple pictures of the William Livingstone Lighthouse again.






As I've said before, it was designed by Albert Kahn and was built for a large figure in the shipping industry. It is of the Art Deco style.

A Buoy

The shipping channels are marked with these bouys.
If the green buoy is on your port side (left), that means you are entered the channel or heading upriver. The buoy on the other side is red.

Thalassa Desgagnes

The Canadian Olympic was a little late according to the schedule, so I thought I had a little bit of time before the next ship. Little did I know, I didn't. As I was getting in my car to get to the better part of the island, I saw her coming down the river. I then stopped and managed to get some pictures of her.
Next up was the Thalassa Desgagnes which is owned by the Desgagnes Company.

She is a tanker that is 441 feet long.

She can carry over 9,000 tons of cargo.

I think all of their ships have the last name of Desgagnes.

I didn't have much time for taking pictures.