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Michipicoten Tow, May 2003

The Michipicoten tow departed Fraser Shipyards in Superior, Wisconsin on the evening of May 2, 2003. The big tug Roger Stahl pulled the vessel from the Duluth Harbor and set course across Lake Superior. The tow arrived at the Soo Locks early on the morning of May 5 and stopped to wait for weather in the lower St. Marys River that evening.

The Michipicoten tow arrived downbound at the Blue Water Bridges about 3 p.m. on May 7. It was docked at Sarnia's Government Dock by 4:15 p.m. The tow was lead downbound through the fog by the big tug Roger Stahl on the bow and the tug Patricia Hoey on the stern. The Patricia met the tow in lower Lake Huron that morning to assist through the swift current and help turn the Michipicoten.

Crews had started work on the vessel in Superior and will spend the next few weeks preparing the Michipicoten for her new career under the Canadian flag sailing for Lower Lakes Towing. The Michipicoten's registration was changed from U.S. to Canadian, under Canadian regulations the vessel must meet the same standards at a newly built ship. This includes extensive and costly work upgrading the interior spaces to meet strict fire codes.

Michipicoten is expected to enter service at the end of May and will primarily trade between Marquette, Mi. and Algoma Steel in the Soo. Aside from her primary route, she is expected to make occasional trips to the lower lakes.

Onboard the Stahl as the tow departs Duluth. Bobby Frederickson


Tow departing Duluth by Glenn Blaszkiewicz

Clear of the dry dock.

Roger Stahl takes the bow.

Kentucky pulls the Michipicoten stern first.

Close up of tow.


y passing.

Roger Stahl on the bow.

Close up of the Stahl.

Name on the bow.

Out bound.
Tow Departing Duluth by Franz VonRiedel

Stahl has arrived and the tow is on the move at Howard's Pocket.

Tugs Roger Stahl and Kentucky line her up near the coal dock.

Close up of Roger Stahl with a bow line.

Making the turn at East Gate.

Passing the Canadian Olympic in the front channel.

Lining up for the canal and passing Northern Pacific No.2.

On board the big Gaelic Tugboat Company tug, these photos were taken during the tow of the Michipicoten. by AB Bobby Frederickson.
Upbound Mate Bill Palmer splices a new 60 foot shock line for use between the tug tow wire and the tow.

Shift change meeting in the galley at 2355 (see clock), L to R, engineer  Tim Mullins, Chief engineer Jim Storen, Mate Bill Palmer.

Tug Stahl stopped for supplies at the Soo Wharehouse Co.

Michipicoten in drydock receiving the finishing touches as the Stahl  waits.

Looking out of the tug Stahl's pilot house door at the drydock gate being removed.
Lengthening the tow wire in Lake Superior outside Duluth.

Outbound at Duluth Ariel bridge.

Mid Lake Superior, dead calm.

Michipicoten and the Stahl departing the Poe Lock at the Soo.
Downbound the Soo Locks. Lee Rowe

Michipicoten slips through the darkness above the locks early Monday morning.

Sunrise silhouette below the locks.

Downbound at Mission point after locking through.

Roger Stahl pulling from the bow.


Tug Missouri working the stern.

Stern view.

Tow continues down river.
Tow Arriving in Sarnia.  Pictures by Andy Severson, Dave Wobser and Neil Schultheiss

Tow arrives through the fog above Lights 1 & 2 in lower Lake Huron.

About to entering the St. Clair River.

Roger Stahl on the bow.

Patricia Hoey guides the stern.

Roger Stahl blows a master salute approaching the Blue Water Bridges.

Turning the Michipicoten below the Black River.

Heading upbound for the Government Dock.

Roger Stahl eases the bow into Sarnia's harbor.

Lining up for the Government Dock.

Close up of the Stahl.

Coming along side the dock.

Capt. John Wellington surveys the dock from the Stahl's bridge wing.

Another view.

Stahl reaches the end of the dock.

Lines are secured.

Crew members watch from above.

Crane carries a crewmen up to release the tow line.

Disconnecting the shackle.

Capt. Wellington was pleased with the tow's success.

Tow line released.

Roger Stahl departs for home.

Close up.

Crew returns to work on the Michipicoten as the Stahl departs.

Bow view of the Michipicoten.

Stern view.


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