In the April issue, we mentioned the two new large bulk carriers owned by Federal Commerce & Navigation Co. Ltd., the M/S FEDERAL SCHELDE and FEDERAL ST. LAURENT, which are at present unloading their cargoes of steel at Detroit and Chicago. When you receive this copy of the SCANNER, another large bulk carrier will be in the Lakes. The M/S ROLWI of 33,000 tons DWT., 709 ft. over-all length, unloaded 20,000 tons of Rhur steel at Cleveland. This cargo was loaded at Antwerp. The largest ocean going vessel to transit the Seaway in 1967 was the French bulk carrier, M/S HERMINE out of Dunquerque. From all appearances the CAPE BRETON MINER and the ONTARIO POWER set a pattern for large ocean type bulk carriers for Seaway operation, with a 75-ft. limit on breadth.
The Montreal Gazette of April 15th, carried an interesting article concerning the retired Canadian Pacific Great Lakes passenger vessel, ASSINIBOIA. High School students in Sault Ste. Marie want to purchase the vessel and convert it into a centre for students and senior citizens in the Northern Ontario city. The sister ship, KEEWATIN, now is used as a Maritime Museum and restaurant in Saugatuk, Michigan. Have heard rumours to the effect that some citizens are trying to have the ship removed as they claim it is an "eye sore". Apparently, they can't be ship enthusiasts.
The Welland Canal opened April 1st. The first down bound vessel was the MANITOULIN, followed by none other than the TARANTAU. The CANADIAN CENTURY was the first to proceed up. The less said about this ship the better.
The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker, N.B. McLEAN, was stationed at Port Colborne in case any ship needed assistance through the ice. She has since proceeded up the Lakes. The two U. S. Coast Guard icebreakers, EASTWIND and MACKINAW, have had their problems clearing a channel through the ice at Buffalo. The CAROLINE SMITH seen in the Lakes for some years, has been sold to Norwegian interests and renamed SLEMBE. Also, the British tramp, TYNEMOUTH, a familiar sight in the Canal and Seaway, has been sold to Taiwan buyers. Guess we have seen the last of her.
Over the recent Easter week-end, your Editor while in Montreal, had an opportunity to look at the new RALPH MISNER being built at the yard of Canadian Vickers. From my observation she is somewhat different in appearance than any of the self-unloaders presently in the Lakes service. A bulbous bow and a rather smooth-lined lake bow, not as bluff as most, a very neat appearing bridge. The unloading mechanism travels on a deck track and therefore does not have a long boom but unloads each hold as she moves up and down on the track. The stern is of the transom type but in my opinion, rather handsome. The stack is fairly large with a tapered top. The rear housing is well proportioned. With many new innovations such as bow thruster, this vessel has been fitted with the largest Kort Nozzle steering and propulsion system yet built. The Conflow unloader will be one of the real innovations of this ship. The christening is set for June 1st and trials will be run the latter part of May.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.