Almost end of the season (Great Lakes Shipping)

imwjl

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I guess all the ships that aren't too long to go through the locks go out to salt water before the freeze so they can make voyages during the Great Lakes off-season?

Where do the 1,000 footers hibernate?

Topic #C - There's a John Hartford song that talks about the Great Lakes, or maybe A Great Lake. He sings, and picks lines on his banjo, no chording all, iirc. Does that ring a bell, or blow a basso profundo horn w/anybody? - anyone know the title of that one?
There's a history of many shipbuilders in the Great Lakes via the proximity to natural resources. The ones left make a lot of military ships that can get through the locks, and they do a lot of maintenance. Some show up in the ports on Marine Traffic map through the winter with their beacons broadcasting "layup".

Some do the maintenance and rebuilding needed but for the first time in a long time some totally new ships have been built. IIRC, the interesting in history was Fairbanks-Morse in Beloit, WI still makes or was making marine engines that get transported near.

The Superior, WI side opposite Duluth and Door County, WI usually have several over the winter.

Replacing a 1970s era GM V-12, V-16 or V-20 two stroke with a more modern straight 6 or 8 (or more) 4 stroke engine in a ship doesn't seem as fast or as easy as putting GM LS4 in a car or truck designed with something else.

An acquaintance (neighbor's son) I knew who worked as a welder in Lake Michigan shipyards gave me the impression winter months were more towards repairs and maintenance or modifications vs new construction. He got a nursing degree in his late 40s feeling he could make it to age 65 welding inside of ships including how much harder the work he did was in the winter.
 

boris bubbanov

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With things all backed up in Long Beach, maybe we'll start seeing even more traffic on the Great Lakes. Someone was telling me, the number of miles traveled from (say Amsterdam) to Cleveland is the same number as to Baltimore. If you ship through SoCal and the mdse all gets stolen in Los Angeles' rail yards, then alternatives start coming into better focus.

I thought the vessels going through the locks at the Welland Canal (Ontario, across from Buffalo) looked huge. Or to this kid, they looked huge. I just didn't realize how big the bigger ocean going vessels could get. And when I was small it was mostly Breakbulk anyway - containers are still a relatively new thing.
 

telestratosonic

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I saw news that the last ship left Thunder Bay Ontario Saturday. Lake Superior is looking rather lonely. The Sam Laud destination says "somewhere warm". Wind turbine haters can relax for a few months because it doesn't appear there are any salties on the way to Duluth.


Some other news covered the likelihood of year round shipping to start. That might be feasible if same levels of ore and minerals shipping remain high.

Any tone chasers in Duluth should be happy with the James R Barker on layup there.

:)
Thanks for posting.

Newfoundlanders have a long history of working on the Great Lakes ships. I have a photocopy of my paternal grandfather's paperwork when he entered Canada at North Sydney, Nova Scotia in December of 1920 on his way to work on the Great Lakes as a deckhand.

Previously Britain's oldest colony, Newfoundland became an independent country in 1917 but reverted back to colonial status in 1935 after falling on hard economic times.

Newfoundland (and Labrador) did not join Canada until 01 April, 1949. I was conceived in Newfoundland two months before Newfoundland became a part of Canada. I like to say that I was conceived in one country and born in another without leaving home, lol.

My grandfather was born at Twillingate, Newfoundland in 1878 and was 42 years old at the time. His forebears came to Newfoundland from the Poole area of Dorset, England in the 1770s.

He was an experienced sailor, having already spent many summers on the coast of Labrador as a fisherman and having made at least one trip to Jamaica as the first mate on a schooner to sell salted cod there.

His wife and a daughter had died the year before of the Spanish Flu.

Most, if not all, Newfoundland fishermen did not see a dollar for their fish from one year to the next because the fish merchants controlled the price of fish and the price of the goods they consumed. Yep, the 'company store'. If one were to secure a berth on one of the Great Lakes ships, it meant they were paid in cash. Having cash in one's pocket meant that one could escape being in perpetual debt to the local fish merchant. Cash from a job on the Great Lakes enabled the family to up sticks and move to Boston, New York, Toronto, et cetera.
 

imwjl

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With things all backed up in Long Beach, maybe we'll start seeing even more traffic on the Great Lakes. Someone was telling me, the number of miles traveled from (say Amsterdam) to Cleveland is the same number as to Baltimore. If you ship through SoCal and the mdse all gets stolen in Los Angeles' rail yards, then alternatives start coming into better focus.

I thought the vessels going through the locks at the Welland Canal (Ontario, across from Buffalo) looked huge. Or to this kid, they looked huge. I just didn't realize how big the bigger ocean going vessels could get. And when I was small it was mostly Breakbulk anyway - containers are still a relatively new thing.
As far as I know the Seawaymax size limit remains the barrier.

I believe it's been 1970s since container ships small enough to pass through the St. Lawrence Seaway did so. IIRC, the Soo locks are larger than the Seaway locks. Still, the St. Lawrence Seaway facilitates a lot of shipping. Duluth is 19th largest US port by tonnage but hardly by TEUs.

 

imwjl

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Lake Superior has become pretty much no traffic in recent days with little at all on the lakes now. I see someone caught the Munson going into layup. The Munson is an older "boat" but was re-powered from steam turbine to diesel a few years ago so probably has years more life.

I noticed some European ships by Montreal, and I believe some oil tankers go from Gulf Of Mexico to the seaway year-round.

 

imwjl

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This one entertained me for a few reasons and they guy has some other posts that are interesting. The speed up videos make the 1000 ft "boat" seem more normal. One of his sped up videos shows how much a 1000 ft ship full of iron ore will still rock in a Lake Superior storm.

Someone mentioned the last one off of Superior for the season. There's very little traffic on the Great Lakes now.

 

jimd

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I don’t know how they get those big ore boats down the Cuyahoga River here in Cleveland but they do. I will be glad if/when Erie freezes over because right now we are getting pounded with lake effect snow.

I was in Duluth once. I liked it, but it was June. Not sure how I’d feel this time of year. My wife ran the Grandma’s Marathon there. The people were great and really came out for the race. It will always be a special place because the wife was trying for an Olympic Trials qualifying time. She dropped out of an earlier race because it wasn’t going well and the Grandma’s people were kind enough to let her in and give her another shot. She did her best time there and made the trials.
 

JL_LI

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I remember the locks in Sault Ste. Marie and how narrow Great Lakes Freighters had to be to fit in them. I admire the skill of the captains, pilots, and crews maneuvering them in the locks and the skill not to capsize in a storm.
 

billy logan

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1647449052881.png

This photo is of a sister ship (spoiler alert) of the one that sank.

A harrowing and tragic Great Lakes story from May, 1891 - from the recent New York Times -
shipwreck-lake-superior.html
 
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imwjl

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I saw that.

The lake will wake soon. Last night my daughter and I returned from the tip of Keweenaw skiing Boho and a friend and I were at Lutsen and Duluth the week prior.

There's still a lot of ice. Keweenaw has 280 inches of snowfall to melt and more will probably fall. Marine Traffic site shows some tugs likely breaking ice where it was totally frozen two weeks ago. Some traffic is moving on Lake Michigan and some is near towards Sault Ste Marie.

The mightiest of horns James R Barker did layup in Duluth/Superior as did other 1000 footers. The sun and heat wave is somewhat north so I predict the canal YouTubers will have a mighty horn blow soon.

Some will be angry with my idea, but I'd like a well timed with work coverage one more major snow dump for some more Boho skiing.
 

O- Fender

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I was born a few hundred yards from the Welland canal and grew up seeing laker boats going in and out of Lake Erie from our front window. My brother still lives there and does welding repairs on them.

I miss the place.
Where the Welland Canal meets Lake Erie, you say?

Sounds like I'm living in your old neighbourhood. I'm a bit further than a few hundred yards from the canal.
 

billy logan

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Time for a hearty sea shanty? - WARNING - they mention fearful injuries. And the language had me clutching my pearls.
This song has nothing to do with the Great Lakes, they mention Halifax and Montego Bay and American gold; I stumbled on it using keywords from howardio's post #22. But no way do I feel cheated!!!


still looking for a John Hartford + banjo song where he sings about a Great Lake - picking only single-note lines on his banjo- no strumming of chords. Anybody?
 

Dan Miller

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And back on topic, the Seaway is supposed to open at the and of the month. When I left for vacation ten days ago, t River was stilled socked in with ice. I expect to see the Canadian ice breaker shortly after returning home.
 




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