CARTIERCLIFFE HALL will not be coming to Toronto for repairs and it seems apparent that reports to the effect that Ship Repairs and Supplies Ltd. had secured the repair contract were, in fact, erroneous. Likewise, she will not be going to Prescott as had also been reported by certain sources. Instead, the ship has been towed to Collingwood where repairs will be undertaken by Collingwood Shipyards Ltd. It will be most interesting to see what the ship will look like once she is ready to resume service, for virtually her entire superstructure will require replacement and we would imagine that Halco will take advantage of the opportunity to modernize the accommodations and navigational areas. In fact, the old bridge structure had been cut away before CARTIERCLIFFE HALL was towed out of Thunder Bay in early September.
Contrary to previous reports, the veteran sandsucker C. W. CADWELL is not being dismantled at Hamilton. Purchased earlier in the summer by Evans McKeil Work Boats Ltd., Winona, Ontario (the operator of such tugs as ARGUE MARTIN, STORMONT and LAC MANITOBA), she was towed to Hamilton late in July. Since then, work has commenced on the conversion of the diminutive vessel into a crane-equipped bulk freighter. Part of the work will involve the removal of her Fairbanks Morse engines (received second-hand from SAM McBRIDE) and the installation of General Motors diesels. We are extremely happy to hear that our longtime friend CADWELL will not be scrapped, but we wonder just what McKeil will do with a craneship only 154 feet in length.
FUEL MARKETER (II), now serving as a school for divers, was towed to her new berth in Toronto Harbour on August 24. She now lies across the face of the Spadina Quay area, facing east, between Toronto Elevators and the Spadina Avenue slip. Her hull is a pleasant royal blue colour with black boot-top, her cabins white, and her stack red with a white ball and red maple leaf. "Canadian Underwater Training Centre" is neatly printed in large black letters across the bridgewings and pilothouse front. Her cabins have all been unsealed and refitted, and windows and doors have been cut at various intervals into the sides of the trunk. FUEL MARKETER is ballasted down to the same level at which she would float with a normal cargo load aboard, and from the eastern end of the harbour, it looks quite as if she had just come in the Western Gap and was crossing the Bay to head down the ship channel to unload.
Ever since the old steamer CAYUGA went out of service on Labour Day of 1957, various interested parties have talked of reinstituting a boat service between Toronto and the Niagara area. For a short period of time, two hovercraft were tried on the route but they were far from successful. Two years ago, CAYUGA II was operated between Toronto and Niagara-on-the-Lake but, the vessel being manifestly unsuitable for open lake travel except in the best weather conditions, she was soon relegated to Toronto charter and excursion service. She was back on the Niagara run during 1979, doing much better but still not the proper type of boat for the route.
From May through October 1980, a new service between Toronto and Youngstown (just across the river from Niagara-on-the-Lake), will be operated by Royal Hydrofoil Cruises. The one-way fare will be approximately $15 (ouch!) and four trips per day will depart from Toronto's Pier 27, foot of Yonge Street. On the route will be three 225-passenger hydrofoils to be named QUEEN OF TORONTO, PRINCE OF NIAGARA and PRINCESS OF THE LAKE. These vessels were originally built to run between Copenhagen and Malmo and they later turned up on a short-lived and unsuccessful service from Florida to the Bahamas. By mid-September, the first of them was already at Port Dalhousie and the second was in the St. Lawrence River en route. We wonder how long they will last on Lake Ontario...
The Gulf Oil Canada Ltd. tanker GULF MACKENZIE appeared at Toronto on August 22 for the repair of bow damage suffered earlier in the year. The work was done in the turning basin and the 1977-built motorship departed Toronto on the evening of September 4th.
The Interlake Steamship Company is presently awaiting the strike-delayed delivery of Hull 909, a 1,000-foot self-unloader being constructed by the American Shipbuilding Company, as well as the conversion this winter of ELTON HOYT 2nd. In addition, Interlake had an option on another 1,000-footer to be built at Sturgeon Bay by the Bay Shipbuilding Corporation. This would have been Pickands Mather's fourth 1,000-foot carrier but, as we now learn, will not be completed to Interlake's order. With the date rapidly approaching when Interlake will assume full responsibility for the ore shipping requirements of the Republic Steel Corporation, it has been decided that P.M. needs tonnage faster than Bay Ship could deliver. Accordingly, the construction option has not been exercised and, instead, Interlake will bring to the lakes this autumn MORMACGLEN, a "C-3" class freighter from the fleet of the affiliated Moore-McCormack Lines. During the winter, she will be given a new forebody and converted into a self-unloader, 824 x 74, with her boom and pilothouse forward. It is thought that the Interlake option at Bay Ship has been taken over by the Columbia Transportation Division, Oglebay Norton Company, and this may be the "Hull 726" to which mention had been made earlier. This vessel, which will cost Columbia $50 million, is slated for delivery in May 1981.
Columbia Transportation has decided to launch a substantial program of self-unloader conversions in order to update some of its larger vessels. Until this program is completed, Columbia cannot consider the retirement of its older boats, with the exception of G. A. TOMLINSON which, allegedly, may be retired at the end of 1979. The present schedule calls for the conversion of COURTNEY BURTON during the winter of 1980-81, ARMCO in 1981-82, and RESERVE in 1982-83. There have been rumours to the effect that MIDDLETOWN may also be considered for conversion, but Columbia does not appear to have any formal plans for such work at this time. All things considered, the futures of ASHLAND, WILLIAM A. REISS and THOMAS WILSON with Columbia do not look so bright at the present. The worst of this trio is the WILSON, which will soon be due for her five-year inspection and which urgently needs engine work as well as a new tanktop and sidetanks. Further operation of this vessel would appear to be extremely unlikely unless some other operator should acquire her services.
The certificate of K. A. POWELL (II), (a) CLIFFORD F. MOLL (33), (b) STANDARD PORTLAND CEMENT (60), (c) ELMDALE (77), was surrendered and her registry closed on July 23rd. The storage barge (and former steamer) is in the course of being dismantled at Thunder Bay.
The former Lake Ontario cement-carrying electric motorvessel CEMENTKARRIER has now been renamed (b) GENERAL KARRIER. The hull, cut down at Toronto during the summer of 1978 by Ship Repairs and Supplies Ltd., is now owned by Three Rivers Boatman Ltd., Trois-Rivieres, P.Q.
The Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company Ltd. has finally decided to dispose of HELEN EVANS and has called for scrap bids on her. We understand that a certain well-known shipbreaking firm has expressed interest in acquiring the 73-year-old steamer. Closing date for the submission of bids was September 30, so we should soon be aware of the identity of the successful bidder.
ROYALTON, whose reactivation this spring was one of the high points of the 1979 navigation season, has been a victim of the current uncertain business conditions. She arrived back at Hamilton on September 10, but there is no suggestion that this is anything more than an early winter lay-up. It is expected that ROYALTON will be active for a good many years to come.
The towing and salvage fleet of McQueen Marine Ltd., Amherstburg, has now been dispersed with the cessation of its operations. The tug ATOMIC has been purchased by Great Lakes Marine, while ABURG will be converted to a yacht by a Windsor purchaser. BUOY TENDER will serve at Bob-Lo Island, while the lighter T. F. NEWMAN has been acquired by McAllister Towing and Salvage Ltd. The other equipment has gone to various purchasers.
The month of August saw a successful result to one of the most historically significant salvage efforts ever undertaken on the Great Lakes. The operation terminated in the recovery, from the wreck of the steamer INDIANA, of her vertical reciprocating steam engine, boiler, rudder, steering quadrant, and Ericsson square-bladed propeller. The INDIANA, 349 Gross tons, was a passenger and freight steamer built in 1848 at Vermilion, Ohio, and lost on Lake Superior in 1858 in the vicinity of Crisp Point, Whitefish Bay. At the time of her loss, INDIANA was operating under charter to the Union Steamboat Line, the lake shipping affiliate of the Erie Railroad. The wreck was discovered by divers in 1975 and, in 1979, the remains were still in very good condition considering their 121 years under water. During the past summer, the salvage of the machinery was undertaken by U.S. Navy divers with the assistance of personnel and equipment supplied by the Corps of Engineers. The recovered items were donated by the State of Michigan to the Smithsonian Institute which will restore them and place them on display in Washington.
The C.S.L. package freighter FORT YORK ran into a spot of trouble at the Soo on August 12. Upbound out of the Canadian Lock and heading for the Algoma Steel plant, she was confronted with a tanker moored in the slip where she was intending to dock. As a result, FORT YORK attempted to make the end of the wharf but, in the process, she was caught in the current and carried downstream into the rapids. As a precaution against further damage, FORT YORK was intentionally grounded, but when the tug W.J. IVAN PURVIS was attempting to refloat her, the stern of the package freighter struck the end of the northwest pier of the canal, punching a large hole in her side near the engineroom. The damage was above the waterline. FORT YORK was eventually rescued by the PURVIS, with an assist from STE. MARIE I, and the next day she sailed for Thunder Bay where, it was anticipated, repairs would be put in hand.
The parent company of the Medusa Cement organization has decided not to proceed with any plans to convert PIONEER to a bulk cement carrier. In fact, the steamer is presently for sale (with a $4,000,000 price tag attached) to anyone who might want her. It should be remembered, however, that she is chartered to the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company for the duration of 1979 and also for the 1980 and 1981 navigation seasons.
Four Canadian sailors from the C.S.L. self-unloader TARANTAU were arrested at the Michigan Sault by U.S. Customs officers in connection with an incident occurring on August 19, wherein a taconite pellet was dispatched from a slingshot aboard TARANTAU and struck a window aboard a 53-foot motoryacht on Lake St. Clair. The wife of the yacht's owner was in the immediate vicinity of the fractured window at the time and narrowly escaped serious injury.
KINSMAN ENTERPRISE is now docked at Port Huron Seaway Terminals where she will be used as a cargo storage hull. The 73-year-old steamer, which served the U.S. Steel fleet for 59 years as (a) NORMAN B. REAM, arrived at Port Huron on August 23 in tow of TUG MALCOLM and BARBARA ANN. Since her arrival all references to the vessel's name have been obliterated.
Despite the misfortunes encountered during her first effort to clear the port of Toronto on August 18 (see Page 14, Mid-Summer issue), PIERSON INDEPENDENT is now in service. She departed Toronto on August 20, en route to South Chicago for a load of soya beans consigned to Victory Mills, Toronto, but on the way stopped below Lock One, Port Weller, for additional mechanical repairs. Unexpected problems were encountered with the ballast system and it took several days' work before she could transit the canal under her own power. Such problems are, however, to be expected when one purchases a 73-year-old steamer! Regardless of her advanced age, PIERSON INDEPENDENT is a fine-looking boat, her appearance at the present being more attractive than at any earlier point in her long career.
It seems that the gremlins got to our Mid-Summer issue and ate the article which we had prepared on the sale and reactivation of IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD. This news item was all ready to go, but somehow never appeared in the final version of that issue. In any event, IMPERIAL COLLINGWOOD was sold in early summer' to the Greater Sarnia Investment Corporation and, in mid-July, was renamed (b) SEAWAY TRADER. Refitted in the North Slip, Point Edward, she was specially strengthened for the coastal service in which she will mainly operate. She was downbound in the Welland Canal on her first trip, September 8 and 9. Her operator has latterly been identified as Metro Marine Transport, Moncton, New Brunswick, but this information has yet to be confirmed.
The cranebarge BUCKEYE and tug OLIVE L. MOORE appeared at Clarkson, Ontario, on September 1st to load cement clinker. BUCKEYE's hull is a blue-black colour while her cabins are a bluish-gray. The tug, controlled from BUCKEYE's pilothouse, fits into a light steel notch-frame on the former steamer's stern. The barge is without her stack and half of her mainmast, but other-wise looks quite good. Her operations to date have been successful and indications are that she will have little difficulty keeping busy.
We have received confirmation that FRENCH RIVER was laid up on May 31 alongside FORT HENRY near the Kingston elevator. It is said that C.S.L. is seeking a buyer for FRENCH RIVER as well as for the older ship. The reactivation this spring of FRENCH RIVER on the Valleyfield - Hamilton container service lasted only 45 days and the experiment was obviously something less than a resounding success.
In the Mid-Summer issue, we mentioned a report to the effect that the Kinsman fleet had purchased from U.S. Steel the idle straight-deck bulk carrier AUGUST ZIESING, although we did indicate that such a report should be taken with a few grains of salt. In the interim, we have heard from another source that no such sale has been consummated. Judging from past experience when dealing with the acquisition of vessels by Kinsman, such "rumours" often float about for months before any definite confirmation one way or the other is forthcoming. We have no alternative but to wait and see what happens.
The former steam tanker LIQUILASSIE was back in service this summer, hardly recognizable in her new rig as a barge equipped with notched stern for pushing. She made two trips to Toronto during the early part of the summer, the first under the care of Malcolm's BARBARA ANN. Unfortunately, this tug proved unsuitable for the job in that her pilothouse is not high enough for her officers to see over the deck of the barge when it is light. On the second trip to Lake Ontario, she was pushed about by that ugly of uglies, TUG MALCOLM. LIQUILASSIE has even made a trip to Lake Superior, she and TUG MALCOLM passing upbound at the Soo on August 16 en route to Thunder Bay.
Another strange visitor to Lake Superior during August was the St. Lawrence Cement Company's ROBERT KOCH which passed upbound at the Soo on August 21. This diminutive, English-built motorship usually stays on the run between Clarkson and Buffalo, but her recent peregrinations were caused by problems at the company's Clarkson plant. As she was unable to haul for her owner, she made a special trip from Picton to Thunder Bay for the Lake Ontario Cement Company whose cement cargoes are normally carried by METIS.
One of our local spies advises that, during the summer months, several students were busying themselves by painting a mural of the steam package freighter SUPERIOR on the side wall of a downtown commercial building in Wallaceburg, Ontario. SUPERIOR, (a) PARKS FOSTER (29), ran for many years to Wallaceburg under the colours of Northwest Steamships Ltd. and was a familiar sight along the River Snye, SUPERIOR is also featured on the stationery used by the Wallaceburg and District Historical Society. All of this sets us to wondering how downtown Toronto would look if some of the owners of old buildings would paint murals of freighters or old Lake Ontario passenger vessels on their walls instead of some of the eyeshocking "art" that has recently become the rage.
In the Mid-Summer issue, we mentioned that the U.S. Steel Great Lakes Fleet had repaired WILLIAM A. IRVIN and would return her to service provided that the additional tonnage was required and that a crew could be found for her. We were quite aware that the rigours of winter navigation could produce serious crew-availability problems but we were unaware that these difficulties were so severe. On August 24, B. F. AFFLECK passed up the Soo Canal and HORACE JOHNSON followed the following day, both steamers bound for lay-up at the American Lakehead. That these boats should be laid up during a period of demand for ore to supply stockpiles which must last through the winter, is indeed strange, but their withdrawal has been forced by a shortage of deck officers and engineers. AFFLECK and JOHNSON are, of course, two of the most "fringe" vessels in the tinstack fleet and it is natural that they would be the first to go to the wall. EUGENE W. PARGNY, HOMER D. WILLIAMS and JOHN HULST have also joined them in lay-up but this is because U.S. Steel will not be sending its "Supers" down the Seaway as earlier planned, and will not need the older trio to fill their places on the upper lakes.
Meanwhile, U.S. Steel has decided to divest itself of the burden of looking after so many idle vessels cluttering up the Duluth - Superior harbour. The corporation will shortly be selling for scrap six more of these steamers, the group including EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON and ALVA C. DINKEY. Our guess is that THOMAS F. COLE, J. P. MORGAN JR. and PETER A. B. WIDENER would also be involved and perhaps D. G. KERR as well.
CANADIAN ENTERPRISE was removed from the graving dock at Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. on August 18 and was moored alongside the fit-out wall for completion. The next construction on "the shelf" (as the graving dock is known) will be the new forward end for ST. LAWRENCE (CANADIAN) NAVIGATOR.
The steamer PATERSON arrived at Toronto Elevators on September 1 with a cargo of grain from Sarnia and cleared, light, on September 4. As far as we are aware, this was only the second visit PATERSON has ever made to Toronto. She was here once before, more than ten years ago, with a cargo of coal.
The Ann Arbor Railroad System (Michigan Interstate Railway Company) has exercised its option to purchase CITY OF MILWAUKEE from the Grand Trunk Milwaukee Car Ferry Corporation. Ann Arbor had earlier obtained the services of the 48-year-old steamer on a charter-purchase option deal when Grand Trunk discontinued its Lake Michigan carferry services. Ann Arbor is also operating its own VIKING, (a) ANN ARBOR NO. 7 (64), and is presently spending some $750,000 to refit and return to service its long-idle ARTHUR K. ATKINSON, (a) ANN ARBOR NO. 6 (59). Meanwhile, there is considerable doubt as to whether the State of Michigan will proceed with plans to construct at Ontonagon a shipyard designed to build several tug/barge combinations to replace the Ann Arbor carferries. Much thought has been given of late to the question of how barges would cope with Lake Michigan's winter ice conditions.
For many years, Canada Steamship Lines Ltd. was known for the interesting names which it gave to its vessels, each boat's name having some peculiarity which designated it as belonging to a particular class. Recently, however, C.S.L. has adopted the practice of naming ships for important personages in its corporate structure. This undoubtedly is flattering for persons so honoured but produces rather uninteresting names for boats. For this reason, we are particularly pleased to hear that the self-unloader building at Collingwood for C.S.L. will be named GLENEAGLES (II). We are not sure why the company has chosen this particular name, but perhaps it honours the many years of faithful service which the original GLENEAGLES gave to the fleet.
The U.S. Steel Corporation is the defendant in a multi-million-dollar libel action instigated by the Bay Shipbuilding Corporation. Bay is alleging that certain "Steel Trust" officials made derogatory public comments concerning the workmanship involved in the construction of EDWIN H. GOTT, and that the comments have damaged Bay Ship's corporate image. We presume that this latest bunch of sour grapes has arisen from that unfortunate maiden voyage of the GOTT last February, an escapade about which enough has already been written and said.
For a good many years, the vessels of the Algoma Central fleet have been amongst the best looking of all Canadian lakers. The adoption of the blue hull colour improved the appearance of the company's boats immeasurably. A few years ago, however, we noticed (with a rather jaundiced eye) that the then-new ALGOLAKE had lost her white quarterdeck, the blue paint being extended to the upper edge of the shell plating aft. In the interim, we have seen more intrusion of blue upon white until now most of the fleet's self-unloaders have lost their white forecastles and quarterdecks. Much of the appeal of the A.C.R. colour scheme lay in the contrast between the blue and white, and this has been lost now that only the cabins are white. Indeed, the new livery does not flatter the famous Algoma bear, whose appearance on the ships' bows is now less impressive with the solid blue background.
BLUE WATER BELLE emerged from the Toronto turning basin on the evenings of August 17 and 18 to run charters on the Bay and out into Lake Ontario. In the not-so-early morning hours of August 19, however, (and to which the writer can personally attest for she blew the wrong signal for the Cherry Street bridge on her beautiful chimed whistle and woke Ye Ed. from a very sound sleep) she disappeared back down the channel and there she remained until the end of the month. She ran an evening charter on August 31 and was advertised in the local press as scheduled for trips on September 1, 2 and 3 from which the public might view the annual C.N.E. air show. The first of these trips, on Saturday of the Labour Day Weekend, was operated without problems but, on Sunday, she experienced mechanical difficulties, delayed the start of the air show as she was unable to clear the Western Gap outbound in time and was finally ordered by the authorities to return to the harbour. She was escorted back to her dock by the small tug F. M. STING and was temporarily tucked away in the Spadina Avenue slip and then towed back to the turning basin that evening. She did not run again until she took out a charter on the evening of September 15th.
The Texaco Canada Ltd. tanker TEXACO CHIEF (II), something of a stranger to the lakes, arrived in Toronto on September 1 and went to the north wall of the Leslie Street slip in the turning basin for a refit. There she spent some two weeks, her place being taken at mid-month by TEXACO BRAVE (II). Meanwhile, it is said that Texaco will have built in the Far East (Japan?) another tanker for lake service, the new ship to replace TEXACO WARRIOR (II). If this report should be true, we hope that the new tanker will be better looking than TEXACO BRAVE which was built for the company in 1977 in Japan.
A shot in the arm for the economy of the Michigan Sault came with the U.S. Coast Guard's announcement that U.S.C.G. MACKINAW would be given her annual refit by the Sainte Marie Yard and Marine Company, Sault Ste. Marie, instead of at the AmShip yard, Lorain. The work began about August 13 and should be completed by October 4th.
Bay Shipbuilding's Hull 719, INDIANA HARBOR, passed upbound at the Soo on her maiden voyage on August 30, somewhat later than originally anticipated. Meanwhile, work is progressing on Hull 720, a 1,000-footer ordered by the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. It is said that this ship will be christened BURNS HARBOR, but we must remember that this name was originally suggested for the ship that eventually entered service as LEWIS WILSON FOY. We would think it somewhat premature to speculate on the name at this time.
Several issues back, we reported the loss by collision of the Polish motorvessel ZAMOSC. It is now our sad duty to mention the loss of another salty which has frequented the Great Lakes for many years. This time around, it is the Yugoslavian MAKARSKA, which sank in the Mediterranean in early August after a collision. The engine-aft, bridge-amidships MAKARSKA, her hull painted a bright blue, was a sistership of ALKA and SPLIT, the latter two vessels still trading into the lakes on a regular basis.
Another notable salt water vessel lost recently was the motorvessel SEA ROVER, owned by the Pella Shipping Company Ltd., Cyprus, which sank some eight miles off Punta Cornacchia on April 7 whilst en route to Jeddah from Civitavecchia. This ship was built in 1951 for the famous German firm of Sartori and Berger and, from the time of her construction until 1963, she sailed as GEHEIMRAT SARTORI. From 1963 until 1971, she operated under the name STOLTENHORN. GEHEIMRAT SARTORI and her sistership, KONSUL SARTORI, ran into the lakes for many years under the colours of the Hamburg-Chicago Linie and were, if our memory serves us well, the first German-flag salties to trade into the lakes following the end of the Second World War.
Montreal played host on August 27 to the passenger vessel MARDI GRAS, (a) EMPRESS OF CANADA, which called there during a cruise which also included stops at Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Quebec City. The trip was sold out and Carnival Cruise Lines will bring her back to Montreal next August on another cruise out of Boston. It is entirely possible that, in 1980, Montreal may also be visited by Carnival's two other boats, CARNIVALE, (a) EMPRESS OF BRITAIN, (b) QUEEN ANNA MARIA, and FESTIVALE, (a) TRANSVAAL CASTLE, (b) S. A. VAAL. If FESTIVALE comes to Montreal, she will be the largest passenger vessel to call at that port, but she can only claim that record if she arrives before August 28. On that date, Montreal will host the P & O liner ORIANA during a special cruise which will take her from Southampton to New York, Boston, Montreal, Quebec, Corner Brook, and return. While P & O boats will not be seen in Montreal on a regular basis, Carnival vessels may call there frequently in the future; the company's new 28,000-ton boat being built in Denmark (and rumoured to be named FIESTA) will probably be based in New York and run summer cruises to the Maritimes and the St. Lawrence River.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.