The 1969 ore shipping season has finally come to a close. Six ships of the U.S. Steel fleet maintained operation well into January but all are now in winter quarters. ENDERS M. VOORHEES laid up at Milwaukee on January 9th while the A.H. FERBERT and ARTHUR M. ANDERSON arrived at the same port on January 12th. Along with CASON J. CALLAWAY which laid up on January 13th, these ships had delivered ore cargoes to the ports of lower Lake Michigan. The last two ships of the fleet in operation, IRVING S. OLDS and PHILIP R. CLARKE, managed to fight through the ice in the St. Clair River and arrived at Lorain, Ohio, on January 14th. They will spend the winter there.
The small steel carrier YANKCANUCK of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, has been in the news frequently lately as a result of her numerous battles with St. Clair River ice which has been measured at up to 50 inches in depth. With the help of the U.S. Coast Guard, she managed to make two round trips between the Soo and Windsor in January but finally had to give up and went to winter quarters in the lower harbour at the Soo, arriving there on January l4th.
Labrador Steamship Co. Ltd., which operates the maximum-sized ships V. W. SCULLY and A. S. GLOSSBRENNER, has now opened its own office in Montreal. Labrador is a Canadian subsidiary of Pickands Mather & Co.
The Kinsman Marine Transit Co., Cleveland, has let it be known that its carriers KINSMAN VENTURE (1906) and LACKAWANNA (1908), have been retired from service. The latter ship is suffering from boiler problems and we understand that some of her equipment has been placed aboard the WILLIAM J. OLCOTT, a former U.S. Steel carrier which has laid idle at Milwaukee for the past ten years and which was purchased by Kinsman recently. The OLCOTT is now at South Chicago for a major refit prior to entering service.
Ill fortune continues to plague the veteran carferry GRAND HAVEN. She was moved around to the scrapping berth at the United Steel & Refining Co.'s dock at Hamilton late in December and demolition had commenced when the vessel was gutted by fire on January 12th. The spectacular fire rather conveniently removed unwanted cabins and woodwork from the ship and city firefighters fought for two hours to extinguish the blaze.
Shell Canada Ltd. has decided to rename all but one of the ships in its fleet prior to the opening of the 1970 navigation season, and with the change will go the last reminders of the Canadian Oil Co.'s operations. W. HAROLD REA will become EASTERN SHELL (II), WHITE ROSE will sail as FUEL MARKETER (II) and the present FUEL MARKETER will start the year as RIVERSHELL (III). We hope the latter vessel will not suffer the same fate as the last ship of that name.
The Hon. Robert J. Corbett (R) has introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives legislation which would extend the life of the DELTA QUEEN as a cruise ship until November 1st, 1972. The QUEEN is presently operating under legislation which would force her retirement as of November 1st, 1970. Perhaps the new owners of the Greene Line are having second thoughts on the cost of building a replacement for the aging QUEEN.
Two lakers wintering in Hamilton harbour have suffered minor fires recently. On January 17th, the Reoch self-unloader, LEADALE, was undergoing some repair work when a welding torch ignited an accumulation of coal dust. Three days later, the wooden casing around freshwater tanks on the JOHN E. F. MISENER ignited and firemen, summoned by a resident of a local high-rise apartment house, soon extinguished the blaze.
The Canadian Pacific organization seems to be continuing what appears to be a drive towards eliminating passenger services from its rail and water routes. It has been announced that several bids have been received on the 1957-built EMPRESS OF ENGLAND and that C.P. is negotiating her sale. She will be withdrawn after an Easter cruise to Spain and her sale will leave only one deep-sea passenger liner under C. P. operation, the 27,284 ton EMPRESS OF CANADA.
The Reoch self-unloader NORDALE is being converted from coal to oil fuel at Toronto. Judging from the huge clouds of inky smoke she has been producing the past few years, the conversion will be a great improvement.
FEDERAL COMMERCE - ANOTHER FIRST. When the M. V. GIANNIS N, a large bulk carrier of Greek registry, arrived in Montreal on January 26th, it marked the first time a ship of her size has come into the Port of Montreal during the winter. She is on long term charter to Federal Commerce, and arrived from Newport, Wales, with 1400 British vehicles on board. After unloading at Montreal, she will return to Newport with a cargo of iron ore, which it will load at Seven Islands, as part of Federal Commerce's contract with the British Steel Corporation.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.