The most serious casualty of the 1979 season (and the worst since the 1975 loss of EDMUND FITZGERALD) occurred on the morning of June 5 when the entire after end of the Halco bulk carrier CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was gutted by fire while the vessel lay in calm seas on Lake Superior about ten miles off Copper Harbor, Michigan. At the time of the fire, the cause of which is still not known, CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was en route from Duluth to Port Cartier with corn. Several lakers, including THOMAS W. LAMONT and LOUIS R. DESMARAIS, and coast guard boats attended at the scene and the fire was extinguished, although it subsequently broke out again and was finally put out by shore apparatus on June 6 after the ship had been towed into Thunder Bay by DOAN TRANSPORT. Of the crew of 25, 19 were removed from the ship at the scene, the injured being taken ashore for treatment. Four bodies were found aboard at that time and two more were discovered after arrival at Thunder Bay. A seventh man died late in June at an Ann Arbor hospital. Although the after end, including accommodations and navigational equipment, was virtually destroyed, Halco has let a repair contract to Ship Repairs and Supplies Ltd., Toronto. In preparation for the tow to Toronto, CARTIERCLIFFE HALL's cargo was removed by the lighter D.D.S. SALVAGER (formerly TECHNO-BALSAM) and was reloaded into BEAVERCLIFFE HALL.
The Hall Corporation has let to Port Arthur Shipyards a contract for the conversion to a self-unloader of FRANKCLIFFE HALL (II), the work to be done during the coming winter. The steamer was built by Davie at Lauzon in 1963 to maximum Seaway dimensions. It is fitting that Port Arthur has the contract, for this yard has been responsible for more self-unloader conversions than any other Canadian shipyard and is well qualified to attend to the work.
During the month of July, Algoma Central Marine sold its straight-deck bulk carrier SIR DENYS LOWSON to N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd., Thunder Bay. LOWSON, one of only four straight-deckers remaining in the Algoma fleet, was built at Collingwood in 1965. She passed up the St. Mary's River late on July 2k and, on her arrival at Thunder Bay, was delivered to her new owner. She is now operating for Paterson as (b) VANDOC (II).
Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. did not place MEAFORD in service this year despite the original intention to operate her until mid-season, at which time she was due for inspection. Moved from her Cousins Terminal winter berth to the north side of the Toronto turning basin during April, MEAFORD began to fit out but, on May 9, work was stopped and the crew paid off. It was said that MEAFORD's condition made further operation impractical and observers expected her to be sold for scrap shortly. Nevertheless, it became evident in early August that MEAFORD had been purchased by the Soo River Company and she has since been fitted out in Pierson colours under the name PIERSON INDEPENDENT. We are pleased that the 73-year-old steamer has gained a new lease on life and we wish her many more years of operation.
The venerable steam carferry CHIEF WAWATAM has been saved from the clutches of those who would have cut her down to a carfloat to reduce operating costs. On July 25, the Michigan State Transportation Commission voted unanimously to spend $500,000 to convert the CHIEF to oil fuel. Plans are being prepared and it is hoped that the work can be done in late fall or early winter. We will miss the plume of coal smoke which has hung over the Straits of Mackinac whenever the CHIEF has made a crossing, but local residents and tourists do not share our views! At least, CHIEF WAWATAM will be assured of continued service.
The Columbia Transportation self-unloader/craneship BUCKEYE, retired in 1978, has been purchased by Lake Services Inc. and will be operated as a barge, carrying stone from Port Colborne to Cleveland and steel products from Lake Erie ports to Chicago. Her machinery has been removed and she will be pushed by the tug OLIVE L. MOORE (late of the Escanaba Towing Company's barge operations) with remote control from the barge's pilothouse. BUCKEYE was scheduled to enter service for her new owner during August.
The Imperial Oil bunkering barge IMPERIAL VERDUN, which has been held for several years as spare boat at Montreal, has been sold to Quebec Tugs Ltd., a subsidiary of the Power Corporation of Canada and affiliate of Canada Steamship Lines. She was drydocked at Sorel in May and has since entered service at Quebec City as (b) SILLERY.
Scrapping of the Branch Lines motortanker WILLOWBRANCH, which was begun last autumn, resumed during May. Her remains have disappeared rapidly and it is doubtful that anything will be left by the close of summer. The scrapping is being done by the Affiliated Marine Metal and Salvage Company Ltd., Toronto, an affiliate of Ship Repairs and Supplies Ltd. Her sistership SECOLA, (a) CEDARBRANCH (II), was next in line to be broken up, but she was unexpectedly returned to service during August and is still running.
During the evening of July 21, the salty MAGIC SUN was downbound at the Soo, preparing to enter the Poe Lock, assisted by a local tug. For reasons unknown, she swung her stern towards the wall as she was passing under the C. P. R. lift bridge and struck the upper level of the bridge control house. Nothing much happened to the boat, but the building sustained heavy damage; the bridge controls were knocked out of action and it was not until July 25 that the bridge was back in operation. It is fortunate that the bridge was stuck in the open position, else a marine traffic jam of monumental proportions would have resulted. Only the previous evening, July 20, NICOLAOS PATERAS struck a fender boom in the MacArthur Lock, putting the lock out of service for some hours.
WILLIAM CLAY FORD re-entered service for the Ford Motor Company on June 2 after the completion of her lengthening at Fraser Shipyards, Superior. The new 120-foot midbody was floated from Fraser's small drydock on April 18 and, the following day, was placed in position between the steamer's bow and stern sections. The lengthened FORD looks extremely handsome.
The Soo River Company's bulk carrier HOWARD F. ANDREWS was officially christened on June 8 in ceremonies held at Cleveland, the sponsor being Mr. Andrew's daughter. The gentleman himself, a T.M.H.S. member, retired in May as vice-president, Marine Services, of the Hanna Mining Company, although he will continue to serve Hanna as a consultant.
The old midbody, removed during the winter from the hull of the Branch Lines tanker EDOUARD SIMARD, has been scrapped at Sorel by Omnimar Limited. The reconstruction of the ship was completed during June and she has since been returned to service.
The Interlake Steamship Company's JOHN SHERWIN, which sustained serious bottom damage late last year, was towed from Superior to Sturgeon Bay during the last week of April so that Bay Shipbuilding might complete repairs. The move was necessary because Fraser Shipyards had more work than could be handled and Interlake was very anxious to have SHERWIN back in service. She entered drydock at Sturgeon Bay April 28 and was in service by late May. Her sistership, CHARLES M. BEEGHLY, which struck a pier at Duluth late last season, was repaired by Fraser and went back into service late in June.
The Misener Transportation Ltd. fleet began to receive its new colours this spring. Hulls are now blue and stacks blue with two silver bands; forecastles and taffrails are white. The overall effect is very pleasing. Meanwhile, the company's ROYALTON, which lay idle at Hamilton during 1978, was fitted out in April and sailed from Hamilton on May 5, 1979.
Canada Steamship Lines' HOCHELAGA, chartered for 1979 to Westdale Shipping Ltd., has been plagued with mechanical problems. She was laid up at the Welland dock from May 8 to May 20 for retubing of both boilers and then went to the wall at the Law Stone dock, Humberstone, from May 29 to June 4 for repair of her number four piston and cylinder head. To make matters worse, her starboard boiler was allowed to go dry and, as a result, she was back at the Law dock from June 6 to June 21 for another retubing.
An unusual visitor to the lakes this summer has been POINT COUNTERPOINT II, a 195-foot barge powered by outboard units. The boat, whose home port is Pittsburgh, is equipped with a retractable bandshell, art gallery and workshops. She has been met at each port by her resident performers, the American Wind Symphony Orchestra, which gives concerts aboard.
The excursion steamer BLUE WATER BELLE has now appeared at Toronto in her quest for a port capable of supporting her services. Capt. Albert R. Avery of Mooretown, Ontario, hauled her up from the east coast two years ago and, after refitting her, attempted last year to run her out of Sarnia. Denied proper docking facilities, the service failed and the boat spent last winter at Windsor. The 32-year-old, 168-foot steamer was towed down the Welland Canal on June 24 by LAC MANITOBA and ARGUE MARTIN and arrived at Toronto the following evening. By mid-August, she was still moored in the turning basin being readied for her new duties. We wish her luck; she will need it in competition with other well-established excursion boats.
Even if BLUE WATER BELLE was unable to succeed in the Sarnia excursion trade, another boat has appeared to fill her place, this one being accorded the privilege of docking at Alexander MacKenzie Park in downtown Sarnia. She is DUC D'ORLEANS, a 105-foot wooden-hulled former subchaser (fairmile) which was built at Sarnia in 1944. She is 112 tons Gross, 46 Net, and was formerly operated by the Quebec Waterways Sightseeing Tours Company out of Quebec City. Purchased by 398467 Ontario Limited of Corunna, she was brought to Sarnia and, since early spring, has been running regular excursions downriver to the Stag Island area, her decks lit by rows of blue lights and loudspeakers on the bow blasting forth rock and disco music. The red devil painted on her stack seems quite appropriate...
CANADIAN PROSPECTOR was commissioned in May after her rebuilding at St. John, New Brunswick. Now sporting a laker's bow and full Seaway dimensions, she made her first trip in mid-May. Later this year, ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR will enter Port Weller Dry Docks for a similar conversion. She will emerge in 1980 as CANADIAN NAVIGATOR. Meanwhile, the self-unloader conversion of CAPE BRETON HIGHLANDER is underway at St. John.
The new Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. self-unloader CANADIAN TRANSPORT (II) was christened at Port Weller on April 7, ran her trials on April 19, and was commissioned April 20 when she departed the shipyard, upbound in the canal. She was enrolled at Toronto (C.348360) on April 17, 724.0 x 76.0 x 42.0, Gross 23999 and Net 16172. CANADIAN TRANSPORT is readily discernible at a distance from CANADIAN PROGRESS and CANADIAN OLYMPIC as her entire after superstructure is markedly different.
EAGLESCLIFFE, the former Hall Corporation canaller EAGLESCLIFFE HALL (II), now operating in the Gulf of Mexico, suffered extensive damage in a grounding on February 19. Attempting to negotiate the piers at Aransas Pass near Corpus Christi, Texas, she lost steerageway and veered across the channel, striking both piers. She was put on the dock by the Algiers Drydock Company at New Orleans and she was still there, undergoing repairs, during May.
We had good cause to be pessimistic over the future of KINSMAN ENTERPRISE and HENRY STEINBRENNER (III). Both vessels last operated in 1978 and were then laid up in Toledo's Frog Pond. KINSMAN ENTERPRISE was sold during May to Port Huron Seaway Terminals Inc. for use as a cargo storage hull and will be delivered to Port Huron during the latter part of the summer once facilities have been readied for her. She will, however, retain a useful function, which is more than can be said for her sistership. HENRY STEINBRENNER, first reported to have been sold to Quebec City scrap dealer Bernie Ziff, was instead sold for scrapping at Ashtabula. She cleared Toledo on June 18 behind the G-tug OHIO and was berthed at Ashtabula the following day by IDAHO and KANSAS.
The scrapping of GEORGE M. STEINBRENNER (II) was begun during April by Marine Salvage Ltd. at Ramey's Bend. The City of Port Colborne had planned to mount her forward cabin at Lock 8 as a tourist attraction for the 150th anniversary of the Welland Canal, but the council later had a change of heart and, by early June, the wreckers had stripped out the pilothouse and texas and were cutting away at the STEINBRENNER's forward end.
The Kinsman steamer ALASTAIR GUTHRIE got off to an inauspicious start this season. Lying at the International Multifoods elevator, Duluth, on April 18, loading grain for Buffalo prior to her first trip of the year, she took on water through an open valve in the engine cooling system. Before the influx was halted, she had twelve feet of water in the engineroom and her stern was resting on the bottom of the slip. GUTHRIE's machinery suffered heavy damage but the grain cargo was unharmed. Repairs were immediately effected.
WILLIAM A. McGONAGLE is now in service for the Kinsman fleet, her new colours proudly displayed on her stack even if the rest of her needs a good paint job after her years of idleness. After a lengthy fit-out, she departed Duluth on May 9 with her first cargo, grain for Buffalo. There seem to be no immediate plans to rename the ship.
It is said that the Kinsman steamer GEORGE D. GOBLE is not in good condition and that the company may soon be forced to withdraw her from service. This surprising bit of news (GOBLE is only 55 years old) is followed by word that Kinsman has purchased from U.S. Steel the idle AUGUST ZIESING, a steamer seven years older than GOBLE. ZIESING will allegedly be commissioned as soon as a crew can be found for her. The acquisition of ZIESING seems a bit odd considering certain recent rumours about the future of the Kinsman fleet.
After lying idle at Humberstone since her retirement in November 1975, AVONDALE was sold this spring to Spanish breakers. She was pulled from Ramey's Bend and taken down the Welland Canal June 22-23 by CATHY McALLISTER and G. W. ROGERS, her destination being Quebec where she was to be readied for the overseas tow. Meanwhile, Marine Salvage also resold FERNDALE to Spanish interests and she departed the foot of Yonge Street, Toronto, on June 29 in tow of CATHY McALLISTER. Both steamers cleared Quebec on July 6 behind the Polish tug JANTAR. We frankly doubted the ability of either veteran to withstand heavy weather on the Atlantic, AVONDALE because of the extensive fire damage caused to her bow by vandals, and FERNDALE as a result of the rather nasty hog which she had developed of late.
In the May issue, we gave brief details of Detroit's new firetug, CURTIS RANDOLPH. The vessel, 74' 8" x 22'2" x 9'2", was built as Hull 9422 by Peterson Builders Inc., Sturgeon Bay, and ran her trials on April 19. She made the trip to her home port under her own power, arriving at Detroit May 6 amid much fanfare. Painted a beastly shade of chartreuse (as, apparently, are all Detroit firetrucks today), the new tug is now in service, trying hard to fill the spot previously occupied by the famous JOHN KENDALL. CURTIS RANDOLPH is named for a rookie Detroit fireman who was killed in October 1977 whilst fighting a fire of incendiary origin.
Hull 722 of the Bay Shipbuilding Corporation was christened FRED R. WHITE JR. on May 8 by Mrs. White. The self-unloader ran her trials May 22 and 23 and, on May 26, began her maiden voyage to Escanaba for a cargo of ore. The WHITE, owned by the Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Company, is, in our opinion, the best-looking of the stemwinder self-unloaders yet built by the Sturgeon Bay shipyard.
On July 11, in ceremonies at Sturgeon Bay, the yard's Hull 719, a 1,000-foot self-unloader, was christened INDIANA HARBOR by Mrs. Fred G. Jaicks, wife of the board chairman of the Inland Steel Corporation. Similar in design to BELLE RIVER and LEWIS WILSON FOY, she was built on order of the American Steamship Company and will operate in the ore trade for Inland Steel. BoCo's ST. CLAIR has operated in this service during 1979.
On April 16, Bay Shipbuilding laid the keel of Hull 720, a 1,000-footer ordered by Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Bay is also constructing a 728-foot self-unloader for BoCo which is due out in 1980, and Hull 724 is a 635-foot vessel ordered by the same fleet for delivery late in 1980. It is said that Columbia Transportation has given Bay Shipbuilding a contract for a 1,000-footer and, if so, this would be the yard's Hull 726.
Despite earlier prospects to the contrary, U.S. Steel has in operation the same number of vessels that it ran during 1978, the new EDWIN H. GOTT taking the place of WILLIAM A. IRVIN. Particularly surprising was the reactivation of B. F. AFFLECK and HORACE JOHNSON, both of which were thought to have run their last. Late in the spring, WILLIAM A. IRVIN was taken to Fraser Shipyards at Superior for inspection and certain repair work was done, low ore stockpiles and the prospect of curtailed winter navigation necessitating the movement of more ore during the regular season. We understand that the handsome IRVIN will be placed in service as soon as a crew can be found for her, no small problem due to the effects of winter navigation on summertime crew availability.
For six years, the U.S. Steel self-unloader IRVIN L. CLYMER has languished in idleness at Rogers City. The current demand for tonnage has now prompted the "Steel Trust" to take another look at CLYMER and it appears that she may be refurbished and returned to service. IRVIN L. CLYMER was built in 1917 by the American Shipbuilding Company at Lorain and was repowered in 1954. For many years, she served the Bradley fleet as (a) CARL D. BRADLEY (I)(27) and (b) JOHN G. MUNSON (I)(51).
Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. reactivated its idle package freighter FRENCH RIVER this year after giving her a substantial refit at Port Weller and Hamilton. She cleared Hamilton on her first trip on April 17 and commenced container service between Montreal and Hamilton. We have since received unsubstantiated reports to the effect that FRENCH RIVER has again laid up.
The strike which closed the Lorain yard of the American Shipbuilding Company for almost a year was settled on July 1st. This labour dispute severely affected several shippers who had contracted with AmShip for conversions and new construction. The operators involved were forced to look elsewhere for their shipyard work and AmShip is likely to suffer severe penalties on its delayed contracts. Meanwhile, AmShip has expressed interest in the Erie Marine yard at Erie, Pennsylvania, as a replacement for the Lorain facility. There is competition for Erie Marine, however, in that interest in the yard has also been shown by the famous firm of Burmeister and Wain of Copenhagen.
It was announced May 3 by Michigan governor William Milliken that a shipyard will be constructed at Ontonagon to build four tugs and barges for Lake Michigan carferry service, the yard to be ready in 1982. The new carfloats are to operate from Frankfort to Kewaunee and Manitowoc to replace the ferries now run by the Ann Arbor, in an effort to reduce the cost of the subsidized service. An operating agreement has been reached between the Michigan Transportation Department and Lake-Link Transportation Company Inc., Escanaba. We wonder how the carfloats will cope with heavy winter ice...
The Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company Ltd. has stuck to its decision not to fit out HELEN EVANS in 1979. The veteran steamer, which wintered at Toronto's Queen Elizabeth Docks near the foot of Sherbourne Street, was unloaded at Victory Mills in April and then was moved to the south side of the Leslie Street slip. None of her equipment has been removed but she continues to lie in ordinary. We hold out little hope for her future.
After being cannibalized for parts at the Davie Shipyard, Lauzon, the former Q & O steamer HERON BAY (II), renamed HERON B., has been scrapped by the shipyard. This is the first time that Davie has tried shipbreaking and may well be an experiment to keep the yard active in times when new contracts are scarce. Meanwhile, PIC RIVER, since renamed PIC R., remains at Strathearne Terminals, Hamilton, awaiting the torch. Both she and HERON BAY were retired during 1978 along with SHELTER BAY (II). The latter steamer went to Goderich last autumn with storage grain and was sold to the Goderich Elevator and Transit Company Ltd. for use as a storage barge. She was briefly renamed SHELTER B. (perhaps unofficially) but has since been rechristened D. B. WELDON (II).
With the acquisition of SHELTER BAY, Goderich Elevator and Transit has disposed of another of its old storage hulls, K. A. POWELL (II), the former ELMDALE, a veteran of 70 years. POWELL's career as a storage barge was cut short due to her poor condition and she was sold for scrapping at Thunder Bay. Towed from Goderich on May 22, she passed up at the Soo May 24 behind W. J. IVAN PURVIS. Cutting is now well underway. That K. A. POWELL should be scrapped after only a few years of storage service is all the more surprising in that LIONEL PARSONS has served in the same capacity since 1968 and R. G. SANDERSON since 1963, both without drydocking in the interim. It is rumoured that LIONEL PARSONS, the former AGAWA, may be scrapped in 1980.
The Q & O steamer GOLDEN HIND, (a) IMPERIAL WOODBEND (54), was drydocked at Port Weller on June 27 for the repair of serious bottom damage suffered the previous week in a grounding in the Richelieu Rapids near Quebec City. She was still on the dock a month later.
The 83-year-old motorvessel BLACK RIVER was inspected at Goderich on July 18 and, although not drydocked for full inspection, she was granted an extension of her certificate until October 18. It is not known whether Q & O will drydock her at that time or rather retire her from service, but we gather that BLACK RIVER is in good condition for her advanced age.
The American Steamship Company's stemwinder CHARLES E. WILSON grounded on May 17 on South Graham Shoals in the Straits of Mackinac whilst en route from Escanaba to Trenton with ore. Freed on May 19 after lightering, she was docked briefly at St. Ignace for inspection and then went on her way.
An early-season casualty was the Columbia steamer ASHLAND which struck a pier at the Duluth north entry on May 9 after losing steerageway in heavy ice. She punched a hole two feet by four in her bow and also lost an anchor. Repairs were completed by Fraser Shipyards. The same company's steamer G. A. TOMLINSON (II) was involved in a collision, with a barge at Cleveland on May 24 and put a ten by six foot hole in her bow. Repairs were put in hand by G & W Welding.
Early in the year, it was thought that the Columbia straight-decker THOMAS WILSON would not fit out and might be in line for a very extensive refit in the near future. Nevertheless, WILSON did enter service during May and is still running. Springtime rudder repairs on her fleetmate, MIDDLETOWN, were completed at Port Weller, because of the strike against AmShip's Lorain yard, and she departed the shipyard on April 17. Meanwhile, we continue to hear rumours that Columbia may be considering self-unloader conversions for both MIDDLETOWN and COURTNEY BURTON. Such a conversion would undoubtedly ruin the appearance of the handsome BURTON, (a) ERNEST T. WEIR (II)(79), but nothing could make MIDDLETOWN look worse than she already does.
The Amoco Oil Company is said to be considering the construction of two new tankers for lake service. The company presently operates three handsome old steamers, AMOCO ILLINOIS (1918), AMOCO WISCONSIN (1930) and AMOCO INDIANA (1937), all of which boast beautiful deep-toned steam whistles.
The Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway's steam tug EDNA G., a veteran of 1896, was drydocked during April by Fraser Shipyards, Superior. Despite rumours to the contrary, she was repaired and placed back in service at Two Harbors, but it may not be long until this floating museum piece is replaced, probably by G-tugs. EDNA G. is becoming excessively expensive to operate and she has insufficient power to handle the larger bulk carriers.
FUEL MARKETER (II), idle recently at Toronto, has received a new lease on life and will serve as a diving school at Toronto's Harbourfront Park. Purchased by instructor Robert Landry, she was moved on May 15 to the east side of the turning basin for a refit. Much of her pumping equipment has been removed and her tanks converted for diving within the hull and through openings in the bottom. FUEL MARKETER has been painted a royal blue but, by mid-August, had not yet been moved to her Spadina Quay berth.
C. W. CADWELL, idle at Toronto ever since she was repowered with the Fairbanks Morse diesels removed from the Toronto Island ferry SAM McBRIDE, was moved from her berth in the northwest corner of the turning basin on May 10 so that FUEL MARKETER, moored inside, might be moved away. The little sandsucker was pumped out and it was hoped by observers that Equipment House Ltd. might still put her in service. All hopes were, however, in vain for on July 25, the McKeil tug STORMONT towed C. W. CADWELL to Hamilton where, presumably, she will be dismantled.
With KATMAI BAY now on station for the U.S.C.G. at the Soo, the aging NAUGATUCK, decommissioned June 15, has been put in reserve at Cheboygan along with KAW whose place at Cleveland has been taken by RARITAN. ARUNDEL will replace OJIBWA at Buffalo and OJIBWA will serve at the reserve training centre at Yorktown, Virginia. Meanwhile, BRISTOL BAY was christened at Detroit on June 16, MOBILE BAY is due at Sturgeon Bay in October, and BISCAYNE BAY, launched March 17 at Tacoma, will arrive at St. Ignace during November. NEAH BAY and MORRO BAY are expected in the lakes during 1980.
The heavy-lift motorvessel PAUL BUNYAN left Sturgeon Bay on July 4 after delivery by Peterson Builders to American Heavy Lift Shipping. The second such ship built by Peterson, she called outbound at Hamilton for a cargo consigned to Puerto Rico.
Shortly after 1 a.m., July 13, the 67-year-old ferry KWASIND made the last crossing of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club launch service from the island clubhouse to the York Street slip, Toronto. In the morning, KWASIND began using as her city terminus the new facilities prepared for the club at the foot of Parliament Street. The old dock, with its historic shed, is in the way of the Campeau residential development which will require the partial filling in of the slip. The 71-foot KWASIND is the regular R.C.Y.C. launch and is backed up by the 56-foot HIAWATHA. The latter, built in 1895, is the oldest passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes.
The wooden goelette GEORGES HEBERT, sold to foreign interests early in 1978 and removed from her home waters of the St. Lawrence River, was lost in the Gulf of Mexico in early June. She was loaded with stone at the time of her demise, not the sort of cargo which she was used to carrying in other times.
Death came on May 15 to Richard E. Dwor, proprietor of Marine Salvage Ltd. Mr. Dwor had long been involved in the scrapping of ships and he had also served as a broker in the resale for operation or scrapping of certain vessels. The firm is continuing operations under the direction of his son.
The hull of RAPIDS QUEEN was floated to its final resting place during the first week of May. Purchased in 1978 by the Queen City Yacht Club, Algonquin Island, Toronto, she now lies with her stern close to the corner of the clubhouse and her bow pointing northeasterly towards the tip of the west pier of the Ward's Island ferry dock. Her hull has been freshly painted black, her bulwarks white with red trim, and the remaining bits and pieces of deck equipment are now red. A mast has been erected on the bow to carry floodlights to illuminate the narrow channel, and an opening has been cut in the after rail to accommodate a walkway from shore. Picnic tables have sprouted on deck and pots of flowers have been added as decoration.
The registry of the 95-year-old carferry LANSDOWNE was closed on April 23 with the notation that the hull, latterly used as a container barge, had been sold to U.S. interests. The purchasers are the parties who had earlier proposed the use of LANSDOWNE as a restaurant on the Detroit waterfront. Refurbishing of the steamer has begun but is progressing very slowly.
DRUMMOND ISLANDER, the smaller of the two carferries running across the St. Mary's River from DeTour Village to Drummond Island, is to be renamed BUSTER B. BAILEY in honour of the island's senior political leader and longtime supervisor. Meanwhile, DRUMMOND ISLANDER II blew an engine on June 17 and required replacement of the engine.
The last three "Marindus" boats built at Sorel by Marine Industries Ltd. have now been disposed of and, no doubt, a great sigh of relief has gone up from the shipyard. MARINDUS RIMOUSKI, MARINDUS TROIS-RIVIERES and MARINDUS QUEBEC were delivered in May to Nedlloyd Bulk B.V., Netherlands, which renamed them AMSTELSLOT, AMSTELSLUIS and AMSTELSTADT, respectively. Nedlloyd will operate them under charter, their ownership to be retained by Marine Industries. The other three vessels are still under the Liberian flag and, unless a buyer can be found in the interim, they will be purchased in September by Karageorgis S.A., Greece, which originally ordered all six boats.
The Toronto Island ferries, operated by the Metropolitan Toronto Parks Department, entered service this spring with a change in colours. A new parks commissioner was recently appointed and parks equipment has now been painted dark blue instead of the traditional green. Consequently, WILLIAM INGLIS, SAM McBRIDE, THOMAS RENNIE and ONGIARA now sport blue trim. The three larger ferries have white stacks with a blue top, while the carferry ONGIARA has her diminutive stack painted all blue. As usual, hulls are black and superstructures white, except for the sections of the bulwarks adjacent to bow and stern gangways which are painted black in the forlorn hope of avoiding scuff marks from "dolphins" and rubber fenders. TRILLIUM, however, sails on without change. Still in her original colours, she runs private charters almost every night of the summer. To the chagrin of many, she is provided with but a single crew and hence cannot be used to her maximum potential nor made available for public excursions.
C.C.G.S. DETECTOR, latterly the dowager queen of the Canadian Coast Guard fleet, has been sold out of service but will be preserved for posterity. The steamer, 140 feet long and 584 Gross tons, was built in 1915 at Sorel. She was sold early in 1979 to Capt. Luc Harvey of St. Jean Port Joli, P.Q., who operated the excursion boat JACQUES CARTIER at Trois-Rivieres. He resold DETECTOR to a consortium at L'Islet-sur-Mer; a channel was dredged into the grounds of the marine museum there and DETECTOR was hauled into it so that she could be drydocked for permanent display. It was anticipated that DETECTOR would be open to visitors during the current summer season.
In the May issue, we mentioned that EDWIN H. GOTT lost her stern anchor at the Soo on her first downbound trip. This incident occurred on April 23, not as previously reported, and also involved the loss of 300 feet of chain.
The former Paterson canal motorship MONDOC (III) was renamed (b) CORAH ANN after her acquisition by Jamaican operators during January. She sailed from Halifax during February on her first trip for her new owner and has since made several return trips to that port.
CONCRETIA has arisen from her muddy grave at Kingston and, if all goes according to plan, will operate once again. The concrete-hulled steamer, built 1917 by Montreal Ship Builders Ltd. and probably their only boat, was 132.0 (o.a.), 126.0 (b.p.) x 22.2 x 10.1, 320 Gross and 176 Net. She operated 1919 through 1931 for the Department of Marine and Fisheries as a lighthouse tender and supply ship on Lake Ontario and the upper St. Lawrence but lay idle in the Toronto ship channel from 1931 until 1937. In 1937, she was sold to Pyke Salvage, reduced to a barge, and her engine was placed in SALVAGE QUEEN. Pyke donated her in 1952 to St. Lawrence Brigantine Inc. for use as a dock but she proved unsuitable and was beached south of H.M.C.S. Cataraqui dockyard. This spring, she was raised from the Barriefield mud by civil engineer Frank Belenguer and partners. By 1981, she is to be converted into a "three-masted barquentine" with 13 working sails, 6,000 feet of canvas, on 85-foot masts, and full guest facilities. CONCRETIA may be the last major concrete-hulled vessel afloat anywhere.
The Welland Canal prototype shunters S/VM TP-1 and -2 have been kept busy moving MARINSAL up and down between Port Weller and Thorold and out onto Lake Ontario. Fitted fore and aft on the old steamer and matching the shape of her straight stem and counter stern, they bear little resemblance to the final product which will appear should the test units pass muster. The shunters are powered by 3,600 h.p. Alco diesels controlled from MARINSAL's pilothouse. MARINSAL, her pilothouse front rebuilt with a large "picture window", her hull still red and cabins white but stack blue with a black top, looks almost as if she were still under her own power. She still blows her deep steam whistle, albeit with compressed air!
Earlier reports concerning Welland Canal improvements were rather optimistic. Certain work will be done when possible, but it is unlikely that Bridge 5 could be removed in the near future, as the elimination of that structure would involve not only the Seaway Authority but also the Province of Ontario, Regional Municipality of Niagara, and City of St. Catharines. With so many politicians involved, it would be a miracle should a decision ever be reached! Widening may be carried out on the old section of the upper level but any such project would likely include only the area between Port Robinson and Allanburg and would probably not get underway for at least a decade.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.