The New Kid

I previously promised a strong start to my 2016 boat-watching adventures. January 16th proved me right. on that day, there were 4 ships making daytime passages of the bluewater area, and i choose to take advantage. First stop: Marine CityDSCF0565

My first ship of the Year was the newest on the lakes, Lower Lakes Towing’s Manitoulin.


Originally built as a tanker in 1991 at Uljanik Shipyard in Pula, Croatia, and visited regularly as the A)Treslsi, B)Euro Swan, and C)LaLandia Swan, before being converted to a bulk carrier at Chengxi Shipyards in Jiangyin, China from ’14-’15


of note, the CSL trillium boats were built by Chengxi Shipyards, and Algoma is currently building several equinox class vessels at Uljanik Shipyard.DSCF0567

her forward unloading boom allows her greater flexability at unloading ports compared to other vessels



She is taking her last load of the year, a grain cargo from Thunder Bay, Ontario to Toledo, Ohio, where she would unload over the next few days. She would then head up to Sarnia for winter lay-up.DSCF0577.JPG

There’s more to come still! will update next week!


Dix Street

On December 26, 2015, I ventured to the main branch of this very blogs namesake, the rouge river, to photograph the old Boblo Boat Ste. Claire, as well as the Kaye E BarkerDSCF0456

the Ste Claire is docked at the former Detroit Lime Dock located at the Dix Street Bridge. after sitting for years in the Nicholson slip, it was moved here in November so it could have continued restoration efforts and structural work doneDSCF0473

the restoration team has made significant progress in the last few years. although the boat looks in terrible shape, progress is being made.

her lower deck has been fenced in to prevent unwanted boarding’s. she also has a nice looking gangway that was built by volunteers.DSCF0492

Here comes the boat I’ve been waiting for!DSCF0499

the Kaye E Barker is the only AAA boat built with a three deck pilothouse, giving her a unique profile


her normal route of trade is iron ore from Marquette, Mi to AK Steel in Dearborn,mi, which is just up the river from the Dix street bridgeDSCF0517

not even docked yet, the crew is busy removing the hatch covers.DSCF0521

the 1952 built classic has just cleared the draw span of the Dix street bridge


The Rouge Complex awaits.


the barker, a former ford boat, makes her final turn into the slip where she will unload over the next six hours before going to Toledo, Ohio to load coal for Essar-Algoma in the Canadian Soo, before going back to Marquette.


this would prove to be my last boat of 2015. it was a little bit of a slow year, but was finished off with a strong December showing. I’m trying to get caught up on my photos, so my next few posts might be out of order. Here’s to an exciting 2016 of boat watching!

Peir C

Peir C was where my fun began. There wasn’t much to see on B or D, so i will start here.


Ultimate Joy is an Ocean Alexander yacht. She is registered here in Petoskey, and this happens to be my first time seeing her, so either she is brand new, or was recently purchased by her owners, or it might not be here that often.


The next boat, which is behind Ultimate Joy, is Tresor. She’s registered in Miami, but she might not even go there.


Looking at the above satellite image,that might be her in sturgeon bay, Wisconsin. I’m not 100% certain thats her.


Speaking of which……


There appears to be multiple boats here from sturgeon bay yacht club. however, i will note that there were 4 yachts here with the SBYC Burgee, but two of them had harbor springs as their ports of registry. this all could have something to do with taxes, or the owners residency. I’m not sure however.


One of those is MOJODSCF9368

the other is Flying Lady


My next stop is peir B. The only intesting thing here is the DNR boat Rick Asher


Pier D was disapointing. nothing big there. just some smaller boats. if you like that, then that’s cool with me.


I’ll leave you here for now. My next stop was the other side of the bay to visit some old friends, and make some new ones.

Petoskey Stones

No rocks to see here….. just some boats. I visited the Petoseky Municipal Marina on July 29, and noticed a few large boats, so i figured it wouldn’t hurt to take some pictures and share some with you


first stop is Pier A. this is where we find the Lifeboat of the cement carrier JB John, a cement carrier that operated out of the Penn-Dixie plant to the west of here, in what is now the village of bay harbor, where many hard working people in emmet county had year round employment. now its home to summer homes of the wealthy.


I tried to get a picture of the plaque here, but the lighting was very crappy. i can tell you that it was donated by the son of theĀ  ships final Chief Engineer, and in 1997, the boat was fully restored.


Her interior doesn’t look like its fared well against northern Michigan winters, and has probably seen better days


This is just Pier A. I still had to visit B,C,and D, So there will be more to come in the near future. I will leave you with a picture of this cute little cabin cruiser.


There are some stones back there, so I guess that kinda fits into the title…….

I’m Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thats right, after nearly 4 months of this sitting somewhat dormant, I have returned.

along with completing my freshmen year of college, i was working a seasonal job, so my opportunities to go boat watching were almost non-existent. this past week, i however ventured back to northern michigan, where i was able to finally catch some boats. these included 1 salty, 2 thousand footers, 3 classic freighters, 1 730’er a cruise ship, 2 smaller tugs, at least 10 fairly large yachts, numerous smaller craft, and an articulated tug/ barge combo. to put that into perspective, in the previous 7 months, i had only caught 2 ships.

im going to post some teasers now, and will get into more detail later. if you can identify most of the ships here, and the 1 tugboat, then you might get a shout in my next post.

DSCF9412 DSCF9378 DSCF9413 DSCF9420 DSCF9432 DSCF9431 DSCF9426 DSCF9357 DSCF9447 DSCF9451 DSCF9461 DSCF9526

Summer throwback #6

Yet another throwback. this time i share my adventures from Rogers City, Mi


To my suprise, the Tug/Barge combo Defiance and Ashtabula were in port loading stone. I say i was suprised because i almost never go boatwatching because theres a chance to see a particular boat. I like to leave everything to chance. with that said, i dont always see ships when i go boatwatching either.


The Basic Marine tugboat Nickelena must have heard i was coming, and is hiding behind some Air ducts it would take to southern Michigan, which were fabricated by Moran iron works in onaway, mi.


I’m nice,and I don’t bite.


a view of the activity at the port of calcite.


the row of blocks in the previous picture hold a variety of sizes of stone, and signs list the uses for the various sizes.

More to come soon!

Summer throwback #5

Back to harbor springs.


Seaquest was still in town. I don’t think she would leave until just before Labor Day. But some other boats have joined her. The above picture is from the 28. All other photos are from the 30th of July

_DSC0050 _DSC0050

this is Thunder. she has not 1 or 2, but 5 helm chairs


Palmer Johnson’s captivator


Anna Pointment. Those coordinates would place her homeport in waukegan, Ill.



Hourglass comes from Mattawa, Mi.


Pier Pressure



I think i will keep it at this. There was a lot more from Harbor Springs from that day that will be saved for another post. the Summer throwback series now has 5 posts, and i could honestly make at least another 3.