Another Cliffs vessel is facing an uncertain future. WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR., four years older than RAYMOND H. REISS, was supposedly retired at the close of the 1980 season and laid up at the Triad Salvage scrapyard at Ashtabula. SNYDER was to be sold to Triad during the winter if no other buyer could be found for her. It seems, however, that the scrap sale has not been completed and we have heard many rumours concerning various uses to which the ship might be put. We sincerely hope that this handsome steamer will escape the torches, but her age will be working against her. Even her "new" Skinner Unaflow engine is now 31 years old!
Early in the 1981 shipping season, Bay Shipbuilding will deliver to Columbia Transportation that fleet's first 1,000-foot self-unloader. We are happy to note that she will be given the interesting and most appropriate name COLUMBIA STAR. She will be generally similar in appearance to BELLE RIVER, LEWIS WILSON FOY, INDIANA HARBOR and BURNS HARBOR, all BayShip products.
The next new vessel to be completed at Collingwood after the delivery of ALGOWOOD, will be the 730-foot straight-decker ordered last year by Nipigon Transport Ltd. She will be launched in late April (the date is not yet certain) and will be christened later. To be named LAKE WABUSH in honour of the iron-mining area in Labrador, the stemwinder will have a raked bulbous bow.
Hull 70 of Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd., due for delivery to Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. during 1983, will be christened CANADIAN AMBASSADOR. She will be a 730-foot stemwinder self-unloader, similar to CANADIAN PIONEER which is presently taking shape on the shipyard's graving dock.
The McAsphalt tug TUSKER is on salt water this winter along with the barge LIQUILASSIE, the latter owned by L. B. Tankers Inc. of Windsor. The intention was to leave LIQUILASSIE on salt water and to have TUSKER bring another barge back to the lakes in the spring. McAsphalt was extremely wise to turn down the chance to tow D. G. KERR across the Atlantic to a European scrapyard. However, on February 6, TUSKER and LIQUILASSIE were on Tampa Bay when, in the ebb tide, they veered off course and struck one of the support columns of the Gandy Bridge. Damage to LIQUILASSIE was minimal but repairs to the bridge will cost some $174,000 and the structure will be closed to road traffic until late March. TUSKER was held pending investigation of the accident but is expected to sail for New Orleans in mid-March. There she will pick up an Exxon barge which will be brought to the lakes in the spring.
The southbound voyage of TRIO BRAVO (JOHN ROEN V) and TRIO TRADO (MAITLAND NO. 1) has proved unfortunate for both. Bad weather forced the tow to put in at Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, on December 24 for shelter. ROEN V went on her way shortly thereafter without the barge, and arrived at Port Everglades in January. She was to be refitted there but sank at her dock on January 21. We have no word on salvage. MAITLAND, meanwhile, was picked up by another tug which also took in tow HILDA, another former carferry and Roen Steamship Company pulpwood barge which was sold for off-lakes use in 1974. We have no idea how HILDA became part of the tow but she, like MAITLAND, was loaded with scrap. In heavy weather, the tow became severely iced and, when between Yarmouth, N.S., and Rockland, Maine, MAITLAND capsized and sank. There was no loss of life. It had been intended that ROEN V would tow MAITLAND NO. 1 in the scrap trade between Port Everglades and Progreso, Mexico, a port near Merida at the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula.
THOMAS F. PATTON and CHARLES M. WHITE cleared Quebec on September 8 in tow of FAIRPLAY IX, bound for Karachi, Pakistan. TOM M. GIRDLER left Quebec on September 16 in tow of HANSEAT. She put in at the island of St. Helena in the South Atlantic and cleared there on October 24, also en route to Karachi.
EUGENE J. BUFFINGTON and J. P. MORGAN JR. arrived at Bilbao, Spain, on October 22. The tug AZNAR JOSE LUIS towed MORGAN from Bilbao on November 7 and arrived with her at Aviles, Spain, on the 8th. The same tug left Bilbao with BUFFINGTON on the 13th for Aviles. Arrival date is not known.
HELEN EVANS and THORNHILL arrived at Mamonal, Colombia, on October 30, diverted from their original destination of Cartagena. The dates reported earlier for their two returns to Halifax were apparently incorrect, for CAPT. IOANNIS S. is said to have left there with them on October 16.
GOVERNOR MILLER and ALVA C. DINKEY left Quebec on October 18 with CATHY B. and arrived at Ferrol, Spain, on November 12. On the 18th, CATHY B. took MILLER in tow and arrived with her at Vigo, Spain, on November 20.
The disposal of inactive tinstackers continues. Two further steamers, JOSHUA A. HATFIELD (1923) and AUGUST ZIESING (1918), both of which are laid up at Duluth, have been stripped in preparation for sale, but no actual transaction has yet been reported.
During 1980, it was supposed that the acquisition of Huron Cement from National Gypsum Company by General Dynamics was proceeding and that the Huron boats would soon sport new colours. We now learn that General Dynamics only took an option on Huron and that this option has been dropped. Accordingly, Huron's interesting fleet will likely retain its present livery.
The 63-year-old tanker AMOCO ILLINOIS, (a) WILLIAM P. COWAN (62), appears to have reached the end of her active career. She sailed from Sturgeon Bay in December and subsequently laid up at Bay City, Michigan. The Amoco Oil Company has now decided that AMOCO ILLINOIS will remain idle at Bay City for several years (to air out her tanks) and that she will then be sold for scrapping. It also seems unlikely that AMOCO INDIANA and AMOCO WISCONSIN will operate more than a few more years each.
The U.S. Steel Corp. intends to use its reactivated IRVIN L. CLYMER almost exclusively in the salt trade after she is placed back in service in 1981. CLYMER is wintering at Superior, where she is being refurbished by Fraser Shipyards. Her holds will be lined with a special vinyl coating to reduce corrosion from the salt. The reactivation of CLYMER is a particularly happy event, coming as it does after many years of idleness.
A new company, Rideau-St. Lawrence Cruise Ships Inc. of Kingston, has been formed to operate a cruise service between Montreal, Alexandria Bay and Kingston, and thence up the Rideau River to Ottawa. It is hoped that its first boat will be launched in August and operational by September, 1981. CANADIAN EMPRESS will be all-aluminum, with a length of 108 feet and capacity for 32 staterooms. The contract for her construction, said to be worth more than $1,700,000., has been let to Algan Shipyard Ltd., Gananoque. CANADIAN EMPRESS will be diesel-powered, but will carry a steam whistle and her cabins will be modelled after such early Rideau steamers as RIDEAU KING. Her furnishings will be authentic to the turn of the century.
The Mohawk Navigation Company Ltd. has now passed into history after many years of lake service. The company, whose two ships, SILVER ISLE and SENNEVILLE, were repainted in somewhat unusual colours during 1980, is now known as Pioneer Shipping Ltd. and is an affiliate of Pioneer Grain.
Halco's MONTCLIFFE HALL, (a) EMS ORE (77), suffered considerable damage to her accommodations in a fire which occurred at her winter berth at Sarnia on February 26. The fire, which allegedly started with a welder's torch, will probably keep the ship out of service until at least June. MONTCLIFFE HALL is a sistership to CARTIERCLIFFE HALL which, on June 5, 1979, suffered a serious fire in her after cabin. Seven lives were lost in that accident.
The old metal-sheathed wooden freight shed on Toronto's Pier 6, foot of York Street, was severely damaged in a spectacular fire early in the morning of February 15. Most of the shed was destroyed and only the end closest to Queen's Quay was saved, although that section will be demolished shortly. Damage was also occasioned to the tug/whatever EMPIRE SANDY which was lying in the slip at the time. The once-handsome old building, which had not been used for marine purposes since C.S.L. pulled its package freight services out of Toronto in the early 1960s, was latterly used as a construction office for the Harbourfront developments of the Campeau Corporation.
The Metropolitan Toronto Parks Department carferry ONGIARA, which normally maintains winter ferry service to the Toronto Islands, was out of service from shortly after New Year's until February 23, forcing residents and island visitors to travel via the Island Airport ferry MAPLE CITY and a special bus service on the Island. The withdrawal of ONGIARA was supposedly due to heavy ice on the Bay, together with the necessity of repairs to the rudder and wheel at one end of the double-ended vessel.
NORDIC SUN is the name chosen for the U.S.-owned tanker which will accompany the Canadian-owned SUNCOR CHIPPEWA on the upcoming Sunchem Shipping Inc. service between Sarnia and Rotterdam. Service will begin during 1981.
Several Canadian tankers are worthy of mention. Neither NORTHERN SHELL nor JAMES TRANSPORT has yet been lengthened, although the midbody for NORTHERN SHELL is being built by Vickers at Montreal. JAMES TRANSPORT collided with EDOUARD SIMARD in early February and the SIMARD was drydocked at Vickers for repairs. ARTHUR SIMARD has also been drydocked, but for the repair of bottom damage suffered in a recent incident on Lake St. Peter.
By early February, repairs were well under way at Port Weller on the collision damage suffered by QUEDOC last autumn. The damaged steel on her forward end had been cut away in preparation for the fitting of new plates and cabin detail. Another Paterson boat in trouble late in 1980 was KINGDOC, which grounded at Pugwash, outbound with salt, on December 8. She was refloated on December 9 with the assistance of the tug POINT VALIANT.
The on-again-off-again shipyard project planned for Port Robinson by E. S. Fox Ltd. is still under consideration. There is much opposition from local residents and a final decision is expected from the regional authorities during the month of March.
The most recent owner of the cut-down, former Lake Michigan carferry PERE MARQUETTE 21 has been Coordinated Caribbean Transport of Miami, Florida, which operated her in a ro/ro service as (b) CONSOLIDATOR. Unfortunately, CONSOLIDATOR ran foul of Hurricane Jean off the coast of Honduras, and the barge foundered on November 12. No lives were lost in the accident.
MATHILDA DESGAGNES, the former ESKIMO, which was purchased during 1980 by Groupe Desgagnes, will be kept busy on salt water for the next three years. She will be running between Quebec and Algeria, carrying milk powder for the Canadian Dairy Commission, and Desgagnes is even looking for another ship of about the same size to help with the contract.
The dismantling of the salty PHOTINIA was begun at Kewaunee shortly after the New Year. PHOTINIA has done considerable travelling around Lake Michigan, all in search of a scrapyard, since she was rendered a total loss in a stranding off Milwaukee several years ago. PHOTINIA long operated into the lakes under the flag of the Stag Line of North Shields, England.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.