Thursday, March 31, 2022

A Stop at Fish Point

 I was hoping to catch the Alpena and CSL Tadoussac on Wednesday.  The Alpena arrived in the middle of the night and I don't think Del Ray is open.  The CSL Tadoussac is waiting in Lake Erie to enter the Rouge River.  I'm not sure why she is waiting down there but it makes it difficult to catch.  So I ended up heading up to Fish Point.  I was hoping that I would see some snowy owls as people are still seeing them up there.  Barring that, some other birds.

I was able to see a few red winged blackbirds.  This one posed for me.
Many people consider the robin as the spring bird but many have a tendency to stay behind for the winter and unless you see a group of them, when you see the "first" bird of spring, it is usually one  that stayed behind.  
Red winged blackbirds tend to migrate early and come back early.  As a result, when they arrive, it is usually spring but it didn't feel like spring either yesterday or today.
These are a fairly common denizen at Fish Point.
But they like to head for the weeds if you get too close.

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Catching the Algoma Innovator

 The next ship was one of the oddities on the Great Lakes.

The Algoma Innovator was the other ship that was coming up.
She was the second new build on the Great Lakes with her boom mounted forward.  The first one was the Manitoulin which is owned by Lower Lakes.
This configuration lets her go into ports that other ships can't and makes her more versatile.
She was followed by the Algoma Intrepid with this configuration.
She will be soon be followed by Interlake Steamships Mark Barker.  The Mark Barker is supposed to launch this year, I think.
The Mark Barker will be the first new American build in a while.
Anyway, this will be a more common sight on the Great Lakes.
She was heading up to Goderich.
It was still cool to see her.
And I switched to my drone.
The water was fairly smooth for me.
And that gave me a nice reflection.
Her wake looks pretty cool.
She continues up.
It wont take her that long to get to Goderich.
One more before heading home.

The Algoma Strongfield Makes an Appearance

 I was hoping to catch the Alpena yesterday but she wasn't cooperating with me on a time.  I was also hoping to catch the CSL Tadoussac but she also wasn't cooperating with me.  I saw that there were two ships that would be passing the St. Clair River at roughly the same time, so I decided to go catch them.

First up was the Algoma Strongfield.
I think the Algoma Strongfield was going to be used by the Canadian Wheat Board but something happened so Algoma took her over.
At any rate, she is one of the newer Chinese builds.
She is also one of the straight deckers which means she is pretty much used for the grain trade.
As such, she was heading up to Thunder Bay where she will pick up a load of grain for somewhere.
With the situation in Ukraine, Canadian farmers might have to pick up the slack which means that these ships may be busy.
At any rate, it is nice to see them as I think they are picking up winter wheat for somewhere.
It was a fairly nice day as well.

The best beam shot I could get.
A shot of her pilot house.
One more.
And she continues on her way.
I headed up to Port Huron next.
I wanted to use my drone.  Although there were a ton of seagulls here.
She makes the turn for Lake Huron.
I kind of like the light on this one.
the bowshot.
And she makes the turn.
And I switched to my drone.
I was happy to use my drone.
but it seems that I'm a little rusty at Port Huron.
That will change.
the beam shot.
She continues on to Thunder Bay.
If all goes well for her, she should be there by March 31.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

The Bristol Bay Heads Up to Lend a Helping Hand

 As I said in the last post, there is a nice sheet of ice over Whitefish Bay.  I think I read somewhere that it is 12 feet thick.  It is causing some trouble for the ships that are trying to start the season.

The Bristol Bay is normally stationed in Detroit.  She is across from Belle Isle at the end of McNichols Street.
She is a Coast Guard tug but can be used for ice breaking.  She has a bubbler near her bow that is used to push the ice up and away.
She is also used for buoy tending.  When she is doing that, she is pushing a barge.
But at any rate, she is heading up to Whitefish Bay to lend a helping hand up there.  Currently, there is the Mackinaw, Griffon and a couple of other ships.
She might be used for other spots where there is ice, like the St Marys River.
At any rate, she is pretty nice looking.
I love this shot with a pair of swans in front.
More of the beam shot.
She continues on her way.
I was hoping that I would catch her as as she passed under the Blue Water Bridge but she ended up stopping where the Hollyhock normally docks.  I think she took on fuel and got some rest for her crew.  She ended up continuing today.