190120 Boatspotting - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

It's possible that I'm just manifesting a strange fascination with transportation methods. 

Here we have Algoma Discovery, above, and Whitefish Bay, below. Both photographed across the eastern gap at the port of Toronto during a Saturday afternoon snowstorm. Both are one-minute exposures because apparently I like making things difficult.

The seawaymax Whitefish Bay was built in 2013, with a gross tonnage of 24430, being 225x25m. If its name sounds familiar it might be because it's a sibling-ship of Baie St. Paul, in the CSL's 'Trillium' class. I've been wanting to get down to the waterfront to photograph it since I saw it in port on my marine traffic app. And why wouldn't I have one of those?

Algoma Discovery is from 1987, with a listed gross tonnage of 23306, being 223m long with a beam of 23m. Boats on the Great Lakes can serve for a half-century, far longer than oceangoing ships. Both of these lakers are Canadian-registered, which makes sense – Algoma Steel is based in Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, and Canada Steamship Lines is in Montreal. And 'Trillium' is a very Ontario name for a Quebec company to choose, so I have to appreciate CSL's broader sense of Great Lakes identity.