Crane Barges and other bote thingies

So sometime last week I blahgged about an extremely exciting event involving a couple of dredges and some tug botes traversing the Upper St. Marys River over to the back bay. One of them was the CB Nicolet and I didn’t think too much about that except the “CB” stuck in the back of my mind because I didn’t know what it meant. Was it somebody’s initials?

Yesterday we were on our little Sault Ste. Siberia mini-tour and as we got to the end of Ashmun Street, there was what looked like the Paul Bunyan (with its crane) parked at the lower end of the Soo Locks. I remember the Paul Bunyan going by the moomincabin when I was a kid, making its slow way over to the back bay. Anyway, it wasn’t in its usual parking place, which is Brady Park. But then we drove down through Brady Park and there were three bote-like thingies (with cranes) parked there and one of them was none other than the CB Nicolet.

Seeing the Paul Bunyan up close and personal (and in the “wrong” place) got me googling, which was tricky because if you just google “Paul Bunyan”, you know you’re gonna get a bunch of stuff about, well, Paul Bunyan. And Babe the great blue ox. This was a bote and I couldn’t find it on MarineTraffic (I dunno why). Eventually I found not only the Paul Bunyan bote, I also learned that it is a CB and that CB means Crane Barge. And Crane Barges are not dredges. They are barges with cranes mounted on them. I suppose I couldda asked my Old Cabin cousin (a former Corps of Engineers contractor) what CB meant but I hadn’t formulated a question yet (plus I didn’t remember she used to work for the Corps🐽).

The pic? Last evening we took a LOVELY cruise in the newly title-transferred putt-putt motorbote Bill’s Bote out to the shipping channel where we had the good fortune to encounter two freighters passing. The lake freighter (background) is upbound (the land behind it is Canada). The salty (foreground) is downbound. In moominbeach dialect, a “salty” is an ocean-going bote. Lake freighters aren’t built for ocean travel but salties can handle the Great Lakes. Salties need to have a Great Lakes pilot onboard to traverse the St. Marys River and if you embiggen, you can see the pilot bote clinging to the side of the salty.

So that’s your bit of Great Lakes bote trivia for today. You’re welcome.

3 Responses to “Crane Barges and other bote thingies”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Interesting. I can see why you call them salties. I’ve always considered the Great Lakes (the biggest ones) a lot like oceans. I embiggened and saw the pilot boat. I would not want to be in it next to that huge ship.

  2. Deb Burling Says:

    I was interest to seethe red vessel hanging off the tower after embittering. Reminds me of the RNLI rescue boats in England that launch down a big ramp.

  3. Pooh Says:

    Your cousin and former Corps of Engineers contractor did not know CB meant Crane Barge, and was calling them dredges when they were in the Back Bay. I did get the opportunity to ride the MVS Mississippi, which is a huge barge. It’s purpose is to host the Mississippi River Commission for their meetings. It has a huge conference room and elegant dining room for the big wigs. They offered rides a couple of time for the worker bees. Once, a bus took us down to Cape Girardeau, and the MVS Mississippi brought us back up the river to St. Louis. It was an overnight cruise. The other cruise took us upriver to Alton, Ill. with a lock-through the Chain of Rocks canal, which bypasses the main river.