The self-propelled spoil carrier ILE D'ORLEANS, (a) NORMAN B. MacPHERSON (60), (b) LOADMASTER (71), was recently observed to be sunk in the Richelieu River at Sorel where she was being dismantled. Meanwhile, scrapping is also underway at Sorel on SABLE ISLAND, (a) BULKARIER (72). The latter was, of course, a cement carrier for the Canada Cement Company Ltd. for many years and had been dieselized and converted into a sludge carrier in 1972 for the North Traverse dredging project near Quebec City. ILE D'ORLEANS was also used on the same project. Both have gone through numerous changes of ownership in recent years, ILE D'ORLEANS having been most recently owned by the J. P. Porter Company Ltd., while SABLE ISLAND was owned in 1979 by the Richelieu Dredging Corporation Inc.
ARCHANGELOS, the wounded salty that wintered at Port Weller, was taken first to Quebec City after her downbound passage of the St. Lawrence Seaway this spring, and was then moved over to the Davie shipyard at Lauzon on or about April 2nd. It was earlier thought that Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. would get the job of repairing the vessel's grounding damage but, as Port Weller was too busy this spring to handle the work, the contract has gone to Davie.
Bunkering services are now available at Windsor, Ontario, the Sterling Fuel bunkers dock having opened for business on March 29. The company's tanks have a capacity of 23,000,000 gallons and bunker fuel can be loaded aboard vessels at the rate of 400 tonnes per hour. The first boat to use the new service was the Canada Steamship Lines package freighter FORT YORK.
CANADIAN NAVIGATOR was christened at Port Weller on April 19 by Mrs. Frank Miller, wife of Ontario's Treasurer. The recently lengthened and rebuilt vessel, the former ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR, was scheduled to run her trials on April 21. She has since entered service for her owner, Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., passing up the canal on her maiden voyage on April 24.
It would appear that the efforts of the Quebec and Ontario Transportation Company Ltd. to obtain the services of the C.S.L. motorship ESKIMO may have been in vain. Q & O definitely wanted to purchase the ship, but was awaiting the drydocking of the boat in order to ascertain her present condition. In the meantime, interest in the ESKIMO has been expressed by Groupe Desgagnes which, as we understand the situation, currently has the best chance of obtaining the ship.
The Q & O steamer MARLHILL is still lying across the end of the Yonge Street pier at Toronto and it seems unlikely that she will ever turn a wheel again. The boiler damage which she suffered this spring during fit-out would apparently cost some $150,000 to repair and Q & O is unwilling to spend this sort of money on a vessel of her advanced age. Meanwhile, we understand that Victory Soya Mills Ltd. is still looking for a hull to use for storage of soya beans and it is possible that MARLHILL may eventually wind up in this service. If so, let us hope that she is more successful at it than was her former fleetmate, HELEN EVANS, whose storage career was cut short by a leak in her hull last autumn.
The 1979 navigation season was a particularly unfortunate one for the C.S.L. self-unloader HOCHELAGA which, it seemed, was continually plagued with mechanical problems of one sort or another. So far, 1980 has been no more successful for the steamer, for during the month of April, she lost her unloading boom over the side whilst moored at Windsor. The boom was apparently a total loss and HOCHELAGA was taken to the shipyard at Thunder Bay for repairs.
Two Q & O vessels were victims of ice during the early weeks of the 1980 navigation season. MELDRUM BAY sustained damage to her rudder and was taken to the Welland dock for repairs. Meanwhile, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, outbound from Thunder Bay, punched a hole in her bow when she struck blue ice. She took on water but the collision bulkhead held and there was no damage to her cargo. Temporary repairs were put in hand and permanent repairs will be done when the ship is drydocked at Port Weller later in the season. The damage was estimated in the area of $55,000.
The Welland Canal shunter test program received a temporary setback on April 24, when an object was sucked into a thruster on the port side of the forward shunter whilst MENIHEK LAKE was upbound in the canal. A propellor blade in the thruster was damaged and, after removal, was flown to Montreal for repairs. During her forced inactivity, MENIHEK LAKE was tied up at Dock 6 in the canal.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.