Marine News

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
Ten Tales Of The Great Lakes
Ship of the Month No. 121 Superior
Great Lakes Maritime History; Bibliography and Sources of Information
Table of Illustrations

The newest Algoma Central Marine self-unloader, JOHN B. AIRD, entered service during June after the completion of the joining of the bow, which was built by Port Arthur Shipyards, to the stern section, which was constructed by Collingwood Shipyards. Christening ceremonies were held at Thunder Bay on June 3rd, but the event was somewhat sombre in tone as a result of the death, two days earlier, of two shipyard workers who were electrocuted whilst working inside one of the vessel's ballast tanks. JOHN B. AIRD commenced her maiden voyage on June 13, when she cleared Thunder Bay with a cargo of coal for Nanticoke. The AIRD (C.802923) was Collingwood Hull No. 224, 730.0 x 75.8 x 46.5, 22881 Gross.

The newest addition to the fleet of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd., the self-unloader CANADIAN AMBASSADOR, was completed by Port Weller Dry Docks Ltd. in early July and was duly accepted by her owner. Her first cargo was Lake Erie coal for Nanticoke and she then headed up the lakes for a cargo of grain. Her first upbound passage at the Soo was logged on July 14, with numerous observers and photographers in attendance. CANADIAN AMBASSADOR is C.802349. Her Gross Tonnage is 24234.42, while her Net Tonnage is 16158.82. It is interesting to note that, while CANADIAN AMBASSADOR is only one of a long series of new hulls turned out by Port Weller Dry Docks in recent years, the shipyard has no additional orders for new ships on its books at this time.

The second of the two new Misener Transportation bulk carriers, which have been built for the company in Scotland, is CANADA MARQUIS, Govan Shipyards' Hull 257. A sistership of SELKIRK SETTLER, which went into service during May, the MARQUIS arrived on the lakes late in July and was promptly put into commission. The third sistership, SASKATCHEWAN PIONEER, which will be operated by Misener for Pioneer Shipping Ltd., is not expected on the lakes until autumn. For the record keepers, SELKIRK SETTLER is C.802345, Govan's Hull 256, 730.12 x 75.95 x 48.0, 21547.90 Gross. We do not yet have the particulars of the MARQUIS.

The workers at Collingwood Shipyards went on strike on Friday, July 1st, and the strike continues at the time of this writing, with little hope of an early settlement. As a result, the July 14 launch of Hull 227. a straight-deck bulk carrier for Canada Steamship Lines, was postponed indefinitely. This development is unlikely to cause much concern for C.S.L. in view of the poor business conditions that have caused many of the company's ships to remain laid up anyway. Hull 227 is the last new construction that Collingwood Shipyards has under firm contract, and many of the yard's workers would have faced indefinite lay-off once the vessel was completed. The strike may thus only be postponing the evil day.

Late on the evening of May 31st, just hours before the Collingwood workers struck the yard, her C.S.L. crew managed to get the newly-converted Lake Ontario Cement Company Ltd. bulk cement carrier STEPHEN B. ROMAN, (a) FORT WILLIAM (83), safely away from the shipyard and out of Collingwood harbour. The ROMAN made her way leisurely down the lakes and arrived at Toronto on July 3rd, whereupon the finishing touches were put to the conversion. STEPHEN B. ROMAN has since entered service on Lake Ontario, carrying cement from Picton to Toronto and Rochester. The ship is painted up in a rather attractive manner; her hull is grey, and the bow rail and quarterdeck are white, with a fine blue line separating the two colours. The name on the bow and the company name (in large letters down the side) are blue. All cabins are white. The stack is cream with a narrow black top, and carries the Lake Ontario Cement insignia in blue and red. Now that the ROMAN is in service, C.S.L.'s lengthened canaller METIS would appear to be out of a job. We understand that METIS has gone into lay-up at Kingston.

We should make a correction concerning the sale of the Upper Lakes Shipping self-unloader CAPE BRETON MINER. We earlier reported that she had gone to Mexican interests as (d) MASAHUA, but it seems that she was actually sold to the Republic of Vanuatu (the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific) and was renamed (d) MALAKUA.

A new Ro-Ro ferry is now on the lakes but its operation has been hampered by complaints received by Canadian federal authorities from unions and from other vessel operators. The Panamanian registered motorship CARIBBEAN TRAILER is owned by Lakespan Shipping Inc., which has been formed for the purpose by Contrast Shipping Line Ltd. (a Swedish firm operating out of Miami) and by Toronto businessman John Ahma, a former trucker. (The present Lakespan firm is in no way related to Lakespan Marine Inc., the defunct company which had tried to operate LAKESPAN ONTARIO in a Ro-Ro service on Lake Ontario.) With the assistance of Newman Harbor Terminals and Transportation Corp., which acquired dock facilities at Windsor from C.S.L. for the new service, CARIBBEAN TRAILER was placed on a route between Windsor and Thunder Bay. When she made her first arrival at the Lakehead on July 30th, however, she was greeted with complaints from the S.I.U. relative to certain foreign crewmen being aboard. The Canadian Transport Commission had waived domestic coasting rules, permitting CARIBBEAN TRAILER to operate between Canadian ports whilst under foreign registry, because no suitable Canadian ships were available for the service. This waiver came under fire from Fednav Group Inc. and Jensen Shipping Ltd., both of Montreal, who argued that their CICERO and JENSEN STAR (FRENCH RIVER), respectively, were suitable for the service, but the authorities disagreed. The waiver is only good for the 1983 season, and CARIBBEAN TRAILER will have to be re-registered in Canada by 1984 if the operation is to continue. It remains to be seen how the union complaints will be resolved.

Over the last several issues, we have commented at length upon the plans for the conversion of NORTHERN VENTURE and HILDA MARJANNE to diesel-powered stemwinders using the sterns of the package freighters CABOT and CHIMO. Upon her arrival on Lake Ontario from Sorel, CABOT was first taken to Hamilton and then, on May 17, she was towed by JAMES E. McGRATH and R. & L. NO. 1 to Port Weller. CABOT was placed on the drydock on May 31 and, shortly thereafter, the cut-down hull of NORTHERN VENTURE was towed over from Hamilton. The job of cutting apart the vessels and joining the stern of CABOT to the hull of the VENTURE required the use of both the drydock and the adjoining graving dock. The old forward end of CABOT, once cut away, was quickly towed away to Port Maitland, where it is to be scrapped by Newman Steel. The VENTURE'S sistership, HILDA MARJANNE, was in operation during the spring, but laid up in early summer in anticipation of her conversion, which is to begin later in the year. It is our understanding that, upon completion of the reconstruction, NORTHERN VENTURE, (a) VERENDRYE (47), (b) EDENFIELD (6l), will be renamed (d) CANADIAN VENTURE, and that HILDA MARJANNE, (a) GRANDE RONDE (48), (b) KATE N.L. (6l), will be rechristened (d) CANADIAN RANGER.

Visitors to the Sarnia area this summer will surely have noticed that the Upper Lakes Shipping self-unloader CANADIAN TRANSPORT has been laid up at the government wharf. The TRANSPORT arrived there on June 30 with severe engine damage, and the ship's crew, together with outside repairers, have been attempting to put matters right ever since. It seems that a contaminent found its way into both the fuel system and the lube oil, and this has caused problems with almost all the interior surfaces of the machinery. We have heard that repair costs will run well in excess of $1,000,000.

Earlier in the year, press reports concerning the reorganization of Halco Inc. and the Chapter 11 filing of the Augsbury Corporation in New York State had led to a certain amount of speculation concerning the health of Halco's lake fleet. But more recent reports indicate that, with the assistance of the Royal Bank of Canada, suitable refinancing has been arranged and Halco will not find it necessary to sell off any of its vessels, or to dispose of Shelburne Marine Ltd. or the company's one-third share of Halifax Industries Ltd. (Halifax Shipyards). Halco is, however, making OTTERCLIFFE HALL, its flagship, available on charter to Misener Transportation for the remainder of 1983 and the 1984 season, thus permitting Halco to fit out one of its idle bulk carriers as a replacement.

In the May issue, we commented upon the sale to Mexican interests of the Paterson canaller TROISDOC (III). We reported that her new name was (c) KAPA, but we have since learned that the new name was spelled incorrectly. We now know that TROISDOC left the lakes under the name (c) KOBA. Meanwhile, one of TROISDOC's original sisterships has recently been reported as lost. EL SALINERO, (a) CALGADOC (II)(75), had been owned and operated by Transportacion Maritima de Yucatan S.A., of Progreso, Mexico. The vessel, which had been built for Paterson in 1956 as Hull 158 of Collingwood Shipyards Ltd., is reported by the World Ship Society to have foundered in a position 18.44.30 N., 103.59 W., off El Paraiso, whilst on a voyage from San Carlos to Salina Cruz on September 21, 1982. Although EL SALINERO had recently operated in climes far removed from her native lakes, a few of our members had been able to catch glimpses of her during her various visits to the New Orleans area. Now she has become just another in the long series of former canallers that have been lost whilst operating on salt water.

We regret to report the death at Ottawa, on 11th August, of Senator Norman McLeod Paterson, the founder of the shipping company that today is known as N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd., Thunder Bay, and which is this year celebrating its 75th year of operation. Senator Paterson died only one week after reaching his 100th birthday. He had been appointed to the Canadian Senate on February 9, 1940, by Prime Minister W. L. Mackenzie King, and he retired from the Senate as late as July 18, 1981, at the age of 97. The Senator had been pre-deceased by one of his sons, John N. Paterson, who had been vice-president and general manager of the firm up until his passing about two years ago. The president of the firm is now D. S. Paterson.

Last issue, we mentioned that Le Sault de Sainte Marie Historical Sites Inc. had called for scrap bids on its aging and rather decrepit steamer FAVORITE. The former Great Lakes Towing Company wrecking tug was in dreadful condition when she was towed to the Soo from Cleveland back in 1972, and she had deteriorated steadily ever since, with the historical group unable to expend the large amount of money that would have been necessary to do even a partial renovation. The successful bidder for the tug was one John Southward of Muskegon, Michigan, who originally said that FAVORITE would be taken to the village of DeTour, at the mouth of the St. Mary's River, for scrapping. The Seaway Towing Inc. tug CHIPPEWA took FAVORITE in tow on the morning of July 29 and headed downriver with her, at which time Southward was saying that the old wrecker would be taken to Muskegon for survey, and that she might possibly be taken to salt water as a research vessel. Quite frankly, we can think of no ship less suited for such work than FAVORITE. Thirty years ago, her condition might have warranted such a move, but it certainly does not today.

Laid up during mid-July at the east end of the government wharf at Sarnia was the diminutive motorship HANCOCK TRADER, which was undergoing repairs to her bow plating. In the December, 1982, issue, we reported that the vessel had recently been purchased by Baffin Enterprises Ltd. of Frobisher Bay, and had been re-registered at Toronto for Canadian service. In the interim, we have received several requests for information about the ship, and we are pleased to report that our enquiries have yielded some interesting detail. HANCOCK TRADER was purchased from Salta Shipping Corp. Ltd. of Georgetown, Cayman Islands, for which she had operated since 1978 under British registry (373689). Prior to her purchase by Salta in 1978, she had been owned for five years be Rederiet Lauritz Staerke I/S, and managed by R. Staerke Kristensen of Marstal, Denmark. HANCOCK TRADER, (a) MARCO (73), (b) LAURITS STAERKE (78) was built in 1967 by Martin Jansen Schiffswerft u. Mfbk. at Leer, West Germany, as its Hull 79. She is 154.2 x 32.2 x 18.3, 300 Gross and 168 Net.

The Pioneer Shipping Ltd. stemwinder SENNEVILLE, downbound with a cargo of grain, ran aground near Cornwall Island in the St. Lawrence River on August 3rd. Part of her cargo was lightered out on August 4 in an effort to refloat the motorship, and the efforts finally proved successful. SENNEVILLE was taken to Montreal for unloading and was then to be examined for damage.

The date is June 4, 1983, as JAMES E. McGRATH and R. & L. No. 1 tow NORDALE up the Welland Canal en route to a new scrapyard at Port Colborne. Photo from Bridge 5 by the Editor.
In the May issue, we mentioned that the third Westdale steamer, the 1929-built NORDALE, (a) STADACONA (II)(69), was still lying idle at Toronto after having been stripped of much of her equipment last year in anticipation of a scrap sale that did not materialize. Shortly after that item appeared in print, however, we learned that NORDALE had recently been sold for dismantling and it was assumed that Marine Salvage Ltd. was the buyer, for preparations were soon begun for a tow to Port Colborne. NORDALE, suffering none too kindly the ministrations of the tugs JAMES E. McGRATH and R. & L. NO. 1, was taken out of Toronto harbour via the Eastern Gap shortly after 2:00 a.m. on June 4, and she was towed up the Welland Canal later the same day. True, NORDALE was delivered to Port Colborne, but she was not placed in the Ramey's Bend scrapyard of Marine Salvage where the scrapping of LEADALE (II) is in progress, Instead, she was taken to the outer harbour at Port Colborne and was tucked away, stern-in, along the east shore just behind the end of the wharf which used to form the face of the now-demolished Algoma Steel plant. There, scrapping operations began almost immediately, the job being done by a consortium of interests which includes Marine Salvage as well as Newman Steel, the firm that has recently been scrapping ships at Port Maitland, Ontario. At last report, the dismantling of NORDALE was well advanced.

Although the future does not look particularly good for the former Ford Motor Company motorship JOHN DYKSTRA (II), (a) BENSON FORD (I)(83), at least we can report that the 59-year-old bulk carrier seems, for the moment, to have eluded the scrapyard. The ship was retired at the close of the 1981 season, and has since been stripped of much equipment, notably many engine parts which will be used to keep the engine of her sistership, HENRY FORD II, in working order. Late this spring, it became known that the BENSON/ DYKSTRA had been sold to one G. Sullivan of Milwaukee, who is apparently the brother of the Sullivan who has been involved in the operation as a barge of the former Columbia craneship BUCKEYE (owned now by Upper Lakes Towing Co. Inc., Escanaba). On June 23, the BENSON/DYKSTRA was towed from her Rouge River berth to the old Semet-Solvay plant on the Detroit River, to be readied for her new career and additional engine parts removed. We understand that this vessel is also to be used as a barge, but in what capacity we do not know, for she has no deck equipment as does BUCKEYE. It will be interesting to see what happens to her. Meanwhile, of course, the Rouge Steel Company has been operating BENSON FORD (II) in Ford colours during 1983, this steamer being the former (a) RICHARD M. MARSHALL (57), (b) JOSEPH S. WOOD (II)(66), (c) JOHN DYKSTRA (I)(83).

The P. & H. Shipping Division of Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd. has had its problems in 1983 with WILLOWGLEN, the former JOSEPH X. ROBERT. Mechanical difficulties culminated in a tow up under the Blue Water Bridge behind the TUG MALCOLM on June 16. WILLOWGLEN was subsequently taken to the old Law stone dock at Humberstone for repairs. We understand that the problems were set to rights with the assistance of parts "borrowed" from the idle SPRUCEGLEN and PINEGLEN, and that WILLOWGLEN was back in service by early August. Earlier, on June 2, WILLOWGLEN had grounded at Thunder Bay whilst backing away from an elevator. Her fleetmate BIRCHGLEN tried to assist but ran aground herself in the process. BIRCHGLEN, the former JOAN M. McCULLOUGH, was soon refloated, but it took six tugs until June 3rd to free WILLOWGLEN. P. & H. has been operating BEECHGLEN, BIRCHGLEN, WILLOWGLEN, OAKGLEN and CEDARGLEN this year, although the latter laid up at Toronto on August 8th for a brief respite.

On May 21st, four odd-looking Great Lakes Towing Company tugs made their way down the Welland Canal. They were HILLSBORO, which was towing PINELLAS, and PASCO, which was towing POLK. As these names meant nothing to observers, enquiries were begun. It seems that Great Lakes Towing had decided to wind up its affiliate, the Admiral Tug and Barge Line of Cleveland, and to transfer four tugs to another affiliate, the Greater Gulf Towing Company of Tampa, Florida. Admiral's SAIPAN (the former MAINE) and TARAWA (the former MARYLAND) have become HILLSBORO and PASCO, while the G-tugs MISSOURI and FLORIDA have been renamed POLK and PINELLAS, respectively. The new names were chosen to honour counties of the Tampa area, where the four tugs will be operating. The remaining two Admiral tugs, TULAGI and MIDWAY, have reverted to their earlier names of SOUTH CAROLINA and WISCONSIN, respectively, and have been returned to Great Lakes Towing colours.

The Gaelic Tug Boat Company, Detroit, has purchased yet another tug to add to its growing fleet of tugs operating out of Detroit and Toledo. The latest acquisition is the 95.5-foot LIMESTONE, which has been bought from the United States Steel Corporation, which used her at Rogers City, Michigan. The diesel-powered LIMESTONE, which was built in 1952, has been renamed WICKLOW by Gaelic. Meanwhile, Gaelic has advertised for sale its 40-year-old, 81-foot tug TIPPERARY (II).

The salt water vessel PRESIDENT HARRISON, which had been a unit of the U.S. Maritime Reserve fleet of inactive vessels, arrived at Sturgeon Bay on April 28 after the long tow from Newport News, Virginia. Original plans called for Bay Shipbuilding to convert the boat into an auxiliary craneship for the U. S. Navy, but we understand that subsequent inspection of PRESIDENT HARRISON has indicated that her condition may not warrant the expense entailed in such extensive reconstruction, and that the project may be cancelled. What we cannot understand is why, if PRESIDENT HARRISON is in such bad condition, no one bothered to take note of that fact before the expense of such a long tow was incurred.

Last autumn, we reported the sale of the Toronto excursion steamer CALEDONIA, (a) LAVIOLETTE, (b) BLUE WATER BELLE, to Montreal interests for use in the excursion trade there. It has now been confirmed that the ship has been renamed (d) VILLE MARIE II by Montreal Harbor Cruises Inc., which is not operating her but rather using her as a floating bar and restaurant as well as a wharfboat for its two small excusrion [sic], MISS OLYMPIA and M.V. CONCORDIA. VILLE MARIE II is moored at Victoria Pier.

When the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway retired its 1896-built tug EDNA G. from service at Two Harbors, Minnesota, some time ago, it was assumed that the veteran steam tug faced the prospect of being scrapped or, at best, relegated to use as a static display on the Two Harbors waterfront. In late June of this year, however, local students were at work with shovels and buckets, removing some fifteen tons of bunker coal from the tug so that she might be inspected for condition, probably at Fraser Shipyards in Superior. It seems that the City of Two Harbors has developed a desire to put EDNA G. back in service, not as a working tug but rather as an excursion vessel making local tours. The D.M.&I.R. agreed to make EDNA G. available to the city if she could pass inspection and if adequate funding could be obtained, and the city had a letter of intent from the railroad regarding a five-year lease of necessary dock space. We have heard nothing more on the subject and, although we would very much like to see EDNA G. back in steam again, we question whether she could ever be suitable for excursion service.

There has not been a major accident in the Welland Canal for several years now, but that situation was very nearly altered on May 2k when the Nipigon Transport Ltd. motorship LAKE NIPIGON grounded in Port Colborne harbour as a result of mechanical difficulties. LAKE NIPIGON was blocking most of the shipping channel, so the canal was closed to traffic for one day. Tugs finally pulled the ship clear and she was able to complete her passage of the canal on May 27th.

During the latter part of June, the Michigan legislature authorized an appropriation of $300,000 to provide part of the funds necessary for the drydocking and recertification of the Straits of Mackinac steam carferry CHIEF WAWATAM. But in late July the CHIEF was still lying idle at Mackinaw City, with State and Boat Company officials still arguing over terms for the proposed docking at Bay Shipbuilding, Sturgeon Bay, and on the manner of financing further operation of the 72-year-old, coal-fired ferry. It does appear, though, contrary to earlier predictions, that CHIEF WAWATAM may yet see some additional service.

In the May issue, we mentioned that the veteran Goderich grain storage hull R. G. SANDERSON had been sold to Western Metals Corp., Thunder Bay, and was upbound at the Soo on April 24 in tow of W. J. IVAN PURVIS, en route to the Lakehead for scrapping. The other two old Goderich storage barges, LIONEL PARSONS and D. B. WELDON (II), were not long in following, both of them also having been purchased by Western Metals. The PURVIS arrived at the Lakehead with PARSONS on June 3, and on June 11 she brought in the WELDON. The departure of these veteran ships from Goderich leaves the idle SPRUCEGLEN as the only hull available for grain storage at the Lake Huron port, but we understand that even she will not long remain there if Goderich city officials have their way. It seems that the local authorities have taken exception to the use of old steamers in their port for storage purposes, although as shipping observers, we would have thought that seeing any kind of ship in port was better than seeing none at all...

For several years now, several of the idle steamers of the Cleveland-Cliffs Steamship Company have been rumoured to be under consideration for use in the on-again-off-again service of Seaway Lines Inc. Nothing much has ever come of this whole matter, despite plans to have several boats running in a container service from the Great Lakes to the St. Lawrence River. One development has taken place, however, that being the transfer on December 31, 1982, of CADILLAC to Craig Maritime, and of CHAMPLAIN, WILLIS B. BOYER and WILLIAM P. SNYDER JR. to American Bulk Shipping. Both of these firms are affiliates of Seaway Lines. During late spring, the four vessels, all of which are laid up at Toledo and spent 1982 idle there as well, had their Cleveland-Cliffs insignia painted out and their ports of registry changed to Los Angeles, California. We are not optimistic, however, that this minor alteration will ever result in any significant change in status for any of the four steamers.

It would appear that much less Hydro coal will be shipped to Lake Ontario from Lake Erie ports in times to come. With an excess of available generating capacity for electrical power, Ontario Hydro is in the course of closing down two of its thermal generating plants, namely the Richard L. Hearn plant on the Toronto ship channel, and the Lakeview generating plant west of Toronto. The Hearn plant, which has burned a combination of gas and coal in recent years, is already being mothballed, and we understand that the big Lakeview facility is to be shut down next year. Coal for both plants was brought in by ships of Upper Lakes Shipping Ltd. and Canada Steamship Lines.

It has been many years since the handsome white package freighters of the Great Lakes Transit Corporation were a common sight on the lakes. Forty years have elapsed since the famous fleet went out of operation and the last of its ships were either scrapped or rebuilt for wartime service on salt water. This being the case, we tend to forget that these steamers were so extensively rebuilt that many of them operated for quite a few years more on salt water after the war. What may well have been the last of them was recently reported to have been scrapped, although in her latter years she would scarcely have been recognizable as the graceful steamer she once was. Scrapped in May, 1982, was a section of the double bottom of HAMINA, which had been serving since 1955 as a mooring pontoon in the outer harbour at Flushing, Holland. HAMINA was better known on the Great Lakes as (a) NORTH STAR (II)(28) and (b) H. A. SCANDRETT.

The news is exceptionally good as regards the Chessie System Inc. carferries on Lake Michigan. Readers will recall that Chessie had earlier been permitted to abandon routes from Ludington to Milwaukee and Manitowoc, and the railroad planned to discontinue its final route, from Ludington to Kewaunee, later this year. Two Ludington businessmen, Glen Bowden and George Towns, set out to keep the ferries running, however, and they assumed control of the Chessie boats on July 1st. The last operating Chessie ferry, CITY OF MIDLAND 41, sailed from Ludington for Kewaunee on her first trip for the new company, the Michigan-Wisconsin Transportation Company, at 9:30 a.m. on July 1, and plans called for BADGER to be reactivated on July 8 to begin passenger and auto service between Ludington and Milwaukee. The new firm also purchased the third Chessie ferry, the long-idle SPARTAN, but she will not operate in 1983. If the new service succeeds, and there is every reason to expect that it will, the new company will consider giving SPARTAN the extensive mechanical repairs that she requires. We salute the new carferry service and wish the new company every success in ite [sic] efforts.

But if the news is good for the former C & 0 ferries, it is anything but good for the ferries previously operated by the Ann Arbor Railroad. That service was terminated in April, 1982, as a result of squabbling between the Michigan Interstate, which ran the defunct Ann Arbor, and Michigan state legislators. Since then, VIKING, ARTHUR K. ATKINSON and CITY OF MILWAUKEE have remained idle, while arguments over their future continued. This spring, Penn Central Railroad, which actually owned her, sold VIKING, (a) ANN ARBOR NO. 7 (64), to Peterson Builders Inc., and she arrived at Sturgeon Bay, in tow from Frankfort, behind the tug AMERICAN VIKING, on May 11. Peterson stated that "no specific plans have been made for VIKING at this time. She is available for lease. Her equipment will be checked, operated, and then preserved for storage if she is not leased soon." We have heard nothing further.

Although business conditions now look somewhat better and there may be hope for recovery from the recent depression, many lake ships still remain idle, with little hope of reactivation in the near future. We could not possibly attempt to list all of the changes in the U.S. and Canadian fleets since the opening of navigation, for we simply cannot keep track of them all. Perhaps, however, as an indication of how bad things have been, we might briefly look at the lay-up scene in Toronto harbour. On the west wall of the turning basin are CONDARRELL and CONGAR, while CONALLISON is on the north wall (and SILVERDALE was alongside her until August 5). On the east side of the basin are WHEAT KING and SEAWAY QUEEN. On the north side of the Leslie Street slip, just off the basin, are FRANK A. SHERMAN and RED WING (the latter having arrived on June 17), while PINEGLEN and FERNGLEN are on the south side of the slip. GORDON C. LEITCH and R. BRUCE ANGUS are moved back and forth to Victory Mills frequently, but they may usually be found lying across the end of the Cousins Terminal, Pier 35. GEORGE M. CARL is at the Queen Elizabeth Docks between Parliament and Sherbourne Streets, while ELMGLEN and CEDARGLEN (the latter arrived August 8) are across the end of Pier 27 at the foot of Yonge Street. As well, ENGLISH RIVER occasionally lays up for short periods in the Polson Street slip. In fact, so many boats are lying in the turning basin area that there is no room for a large ship to turn there, and any large vessel entering the ship channel must back out through the narrow draw of the Cherry Street Bridge when departing. A few of these laid-up ships may eventually go back into service, but some of them will never do so.

The veteran passenger steamer CANADIANA, idle for two decades, and which latterly has rested on the bottom of Collision Bend on Cleveland's Cuyahoga River, was finally raised early this year. The tug JIGGS (the former PATRICIA McQUEEN) towed CANADIANA out of Cleveland on June 21 with the aid of the G-tug NEW JERSEY, and deposited her at Ashtabula. We understand that she is not to be broken up in the local scrapyard there, but rather will be "refurbished", possibly in connection with yet another scheme to use her as a restaurant facility.

In our May issue, we reported that the new Upper Lakes Shipping salt-water self-unloader, delivered to the fleet in April by Korean builders, had been named NELVANA. We did not comment at that time upon the derivation of the name, but as we have received several enquiries, perhaps we should now do so. NELVANA is the second ship of that name to serve the Upper Lakes fleet, but readers will be forgiven if they cannot recall the first, for she was nothing more than the company yacht. NELVANA (I) was built in 1963 at Port Weller, and was 53.4 x 16.4 x 7.3, 61 Gross and 550 h.p. She was one of several yachts used by Upper Lakes over the years for officials' personal use and corporate entertaining.

The Metropolitan Toronto Parks and Property Department's island ferries are looking much better this year thanks to a minor change in colours. Gone are the black bulwarks that were tried in an effort to prevent scuffing of the white paint when boats rub on the tire fenders at the docks, and the end bulwarks are now white once again. Meanwhile, we understand that plans are afoot to fit bowthrusters in TRILLIUM to make her more manageable. The installation of the machines, which will vent up the inside of the funnel, is apparently to be done next spring at Port Colborne. Metro is also planning to build a more suitable berth for TRILLIUM at the city terminal.

Last issue, we reported on the refurbishing of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club launch and tender HIAWATHA which, at 88 years, is the oldest passenger vessel operating on the Great Lakes. The restored HIAWATHA was officially recommissioned on May 21, and has since been operating on a rather more regular basis than she has in recent years, for she has latterly been second boat on the route, the main launch being the somewhat larger KWASIND. HIAWATHA even served as "royal barge" for the July visit of H.R.H. Prince Philip to the R.C.Y.C. island premises. HIAWATHA no longer bears the blue-and-white livery that she had worn for so many years. Her hull is now black with a fine white stripe and red boot-top, with the name in fancy gold letters on the bow just above a gold stripe that runs down the side at the level of the fender strake. The restored cabins are white with dark brown trim, and the stack is yellow with a silver band, and sports the blue-and-white R.C. Y.C. pennant about mid-height. We had originally been given to understand that KWASIND would not be given these colours until 1984, but it must have been thought that the "fleet" would look better if both tenders were painted in the same manner, for KWASIND was completely repainted in the same livery by mid-summer.

The operators of the Toronto harbour pilot tug service, Waterman's Services (Scott) Ltd., have added another tug to their fleet. Joining TERRY S. and COLINETTE is the tug DUCHESS, which we understand the Scotts purchased from Thunder Bay owners. The advent of DUCHESS will allow the Scotts to keep two tugs available at Toronto (for what little salty trade there is at the port these days) while leaving COLINETTE free to service the port of Oshawa as may be necessary.


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