Monday 7 October 2013

Self Unloader ALGOWAY (Revisited)

While her fleetmate ALGORAIL was busy discharging a load of stone at the Esso Imperial Oil dock in Sarnia, Ontario, the 650' ALGOWAY motored by us near Port Huron on the U.S. side of the St. Clair River. Both are self unloaders and I recall them making their way through the Welland Canal back when I lived in Port Colborne over 40 years ago. So they have been around for quite a while and have remained useful and efficient because unlike the huge Canadian seaway-max size 740's  and American 1000 footers, the 'WAY' and 'RAIL' are medium size or river-class bulk carriers that were specifically designed for 'short haul' trades destined to the smaller ports primarily located on the upper four Great Lakes: Erie, Huron, Michigan and Superior though from time to time she may have ventured down the ditch, (a.k.a. Welland Canal) to Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River below.

Both were built for Algoma Central Corp. of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario at the former Collingwood Shipyard with the 640' RAIL being launched in 1968 and the WAY in 1972. A third member of the team, the 646' AGAWA CANYON was also built in Collingwood and launched in 1970. Unfortunately, the CANYON was sold for scrap in 2010 and towed to Turkey for dismantling. YIKES!! Meanwhile, her versatile sisters continue to deliver needed supplies of salt, stone, coal, fertilizer, sand, grain and more to such U.S. ports as: Marysville, Saginaw, and Ferrysburg in Michigan; Lorain, Sandusky, and Toledo in Ohio; and Ontario ports like, Kingsville, Meldrum Bay, Midland, Parry Sound and nearby to us, Johnstown. During our recent "Whirl wind tour to The Soo and Back", I was looking forward to snapping the ALGOWAY while heading upbound through a narrow channel on the St. Mary's River across from St. Joseph Island. However, when we arrived at Sailor's Encampment Drive to snap her, the ALGOWAY was no where to be seen. 'NO WAY'!! (Sorry, pun was intended there). Was my "MarineTraffic app WRONG AGAIN?  Not this time, in fact the WAY was making her way along the other side of St. Joseph Island heading to Thessalon, which is a cute little village with a wonderful view of Lake Huron's North Channel and a community that we had motored through along the Trans Canada highway on our way to snap the WAY somewhere else. That's it. I've said way too much, so ALGOWAY and leave you alone now!! Hehehe! c);-b

Update - March 20, 2020:

It's been way too long since I lasted updated this post and in the five years that's passed the river-class sisters ALGOWAY and ALGORAIL continued to work hard and with that, they also began to show their age. With newbuild stern-ender replacements on their way, the straight-deck self unloaders in the Algoma fleet were on their way out. Their ends were near when I photographed the pair again looking lake ward on December 29, 2018, at the Marine Recycling Corps yard in Port Colborne and when I caught them again 5 month later, the breaker's torch had already removed stern engine and accommodations section. Three years earlier, the WAY's working life was extended, when the boom of the ALGOMA PROGRESS which was been scrapped, replaced the ALGOWAY's which had been damaged while unloading salt in Thassalon on November 28, 2014. For 50 years the ALGORAIL and slightly younger ALGOWAY moved cargo which kept the economy going and road safer in winter. Way to go, you served us well. 

1 comment:

  1. certainly very hard working boats and did a great deal of "Punt jobs" on them. he original bucket elevators were very noisy
    and no chance of sleep for the forward crew when discharging!!!