Friday 7 September 2012

Self Unloader SAGINAW (Revisited)

On the wall, and then off the wall. No, I'm not describing my odd sense of humour, but instead, as shown in one photo that I took during Canal Days 2012 in Port Colborne, the skipper of the SAGINAW is using his bow-thrusters to position the 659' self unloader on to the upper east wall to guide her into Lock 8 with complete ease. And then in the bottom photo, the ship's big engines are pounding and churning the water to push her off the east wall and position the SAGINAW into the middle of the channel as she makes her way under Bridge 21 and then into the outer harbour to participate in the Canal Days ceremonial salute.

For many years it never ceases to amaze me how close some people will get to view a passing ship along this section of the canal. Up above and including along the St. Lawrence section, all locks and approaches are fenced off way back. It would drive my dad nuts when he saw people standing so close like the lad in the plaid shirt in the photo below. He had every right to be concerned because as a lockmaster at Lock 8, he was there too often when emergency crews tried to fish out the poor soul who ventured beyond the 'too close for comfort' zone. It was not a pretty sight for him and a hell of a way to learn a lesson.
However that has all changed now as fences that only stretched along the walls of Lock 8 in Port Colborne, have now been added below the lock north to the stone dock and above the lock towards Bridge 21. c):-() Though some may believe it's an extension of all of the security protocols that were put in place after 9/11, it more likely is simply a liability issue. Regardless, the metal barrier will not stifle from us from snapping our beloved boats, but we will have to be far more creative to get the perfect capture. What will be, will be.  c):-D

Her name was JOHN J. BOLAND when built in 1953 at Manitowoc Shipbuilding in Manitowoc, WI for the American Steamship Company of Buffalo, NY.   In 1999  639'3" classic self unloader was sold to Lower Lakes Towing Company of Port Dover, ON and renamed SAGINAW.   

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