Sunday, 5 April 2020

Manitoulin Delivery trip from China to Montreal. October 1 to October 16, 2015

Waaay back in 2015 I was fortunate to be hired as part of the delivery crew for Lower Lakes Towing's Manitoulin.  The trip was from the builder's yard in China to the Great Lakes.  This posting covers the first two weeks of the journey.

To enlarge a photo, click on it.

Above:  One of the two pilots we carried down river.
This fellow was relaxing while his compatriot piloted the ship.
He was not a fan of being photographed though.
Above & Below:  One of the many smaller ships that were constantly on the go up and down the river.  A lot of these craft were family-owned.
Below:  The Manitoulin was built on the Yangtze River and we sailed downbound to the sea.

Above:  Chinese Coast Guard.
Below:  River current against a buoy.
Below:  The tanker Chang Wang Zhou, registered in Nan Jing.
Despite the numbers of ships in the anchorage a great number of other ships plowed through the area at speed.  Quarters were close at times.
Below:  Loos like a dredger.

Above & Below:  Cargo ship Wan May.
Gross Tonnage:  91,387
Deadweight:  176,460
Length:  292m
Beam:  45m
Below:  Chemical carrier Silver Star.
According to Marine traffic this ship has been decommissioned or lost.
Below:  Video of part of the anchorage.
I thought there were a lot of ships here until we got to the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal.

In 2014 Lower Lakes purchased the tanker Lalandia Swan from Uni Tankers of Denmark.  The cargo section was removed and a newly built, self-unloading cargo section was constructed and attached.  This work was done at Chengxi Shipyards in Jiangyin, China.

The original ship was built in 1991 in Croatia.  The bow section was built in 2014-15 in China.

The Manitoulin was christened September 28, 2015, sailed in early October and arrived in Montreal in late November.

Above and Below:  Original crew for the delivery.  In these photos the ship is anchored at the mouth of the Yangtze waiting for clearance to depart China.

Above:  Ferry.
Above & Below:  This craft brought a few of the company personnel on board and took away our passports until we were all cleared to depart.

Above & Below:  More in the anchorage.
Above & Below:  Aileen.
More on this ship, Click Here.

Above:  HHL Fremantle.  A youTube video showing thes ship in action, Click Here.
Below:  One of the SITC ships.  Their website, Click Here.

Above:  Hawse Pipe cemented and burlapped for the ocean passage.
This closes the hawse pipe around the chain to prevent shipping water into the focsle.
Hawse Pipe:  Tube through which an anchor chain is led overboard from the windlass.
Spurling Pipe:  Tube leading from forecastle (focsle) deck to the Chain Locker.

Below:  One of the many facets to preparing the ship for an ocean passage.

Above:  Looking back from the top of the unloading gear.

Initially we sailed south to Davao in the Philippines.
Once there we topped up on potable water, fuel and some food.
We were not allowed ashore during our brief stay.
Above:  before entering the port we were tempted by locals selling "The best" jewelry and other items.
Below:  One of the tugs sent out to us.

Below:  Line-handling boat.

Above:  Tug base.
Below:  View of the wharf with a tin shanty-town right outside the fence.

Above:  Backing out for another job.
Below:  The watering gang.

Above:  View across the harbour.
Below:  Fuel delivery for the Manitoulin.

Above & Below:  Inside the wheelhouse of the Manitoulin.

Above:  Just about the farthest south we went.  We were required to cross the Pacific at about 6 degrees north latitude to avoid possible bad weather at higher latitudes.  Not being allowed to follow a Great Circle route increased our sailing time.
Below:  Radio room.  

Above:  Second Mate deep into course plotting.
Below:  Well worn controls.

Above & Below:  Deck shots  You can clearly see the clamps that ensure the hatch covers are well secured.  The Manitoulin was also required to carry several thousand tons of gravel during the ocean passage.  The ship did not have additional strengthening so this ensured the ship was a bit deeper in the water and stiffer, which would somewhat help to prevent hull damage caused by flexing in the ocean. Finally, the ship had wave height limits, again to prevent damage as "Lakers" are not built to withstand ocean stresses.

Above & Below:  The Manitoulin's aft mast is hinged and hydraulically controlled so it can be lowered if necessary to pass under a bridge that would otherwise be too low.  "Air Draft" is the term used for the distance from the water to the very tippy-top of the ship.

Above & Below:  Hinge and hydraulics of the mast.
The Captain showing how small the working space is at the base of the mast.

Below:  Oct 9.  Rolling and creaking across the ocean.

Saturday, 4 April 2020

CGS Stonetown - Weathership in 1955

These photos were given to me by Brian & Lois Thrupp of Goderich, Ontario several years ago.

After WW2 the passenger aircraft replaced the passenger liner for travel across the world's oceans.  With the advent of this service, good weather forecasting became necessary.  Actual weather observations taken on a regular basis had to be performed from various areas of the oceans in order to develop forecasts.  OWS, Ocean Weather Stations, were created in 1946, including Ocean Station Papa that was manned by Canada.

The first Canadian Weather ships were old Canadian Navy frigates.  The Stonetown was one of them, and Mr. Thrupp sailed on her.
 October 1955, arriving on Station Papa.
Taking Captain Linggard to visit the St Catharines. 
Meeting with the other weathership, St Catharines.

 Do you recognize any of these men?

 Dipping the flag to fleetmate.  This would be the Blue Ensign.  

The Blue Ensign was approved by the British Admiralty in 1868 for use by ships owned by the Canadian Government.  Carr's "Flags of the World" says "The Blue Ensign is charged with the shield in the fly", and that the Blue Ensign "is worn as a Jack for the distinguishing purposes when at anchor, or under way and dressed with masthead flags."

 Jack Scarlett releases weather balloons.

 Rough weather in 1955.
Station Papa, named after the code word for the letter P in the phonetic alphabet.
It is located in the North Pacific at 50 north and 145 west and has a water depth of 4200 metres.

Weather ships were stationed there from 1949 to 1981.  In addition to being a beacon for aircraft and a weather station they provided search and rescue services for mariners and aircraft.

 Station Papa is 850 nautical miles from Victoria, BC, the ships' home base and each stint would last six weeks until relieved by the second ship.

 Stonetown at the dock in Esquimalt, BC.
December 1955, Mr. Thrupp's last day on the Stonetown.
For much more information on this service please visit: