Saturday 15 February 2014


She's was on the move and making a nice whitewater wake as the 431' Algoma Tanker ALGOEAST glided past us heading upbound at Brockville's river park last fall. Today, she is also on the move only perhaps not making quite the same headway as the ALGOEAST slowly but surely motors down the middle of the almost completely ice-covered Lake Erie on her way to Nanticoke, Ontario. During the regular navigational season, the journey from Sarnia (where I snapped her last September, below) might take less than a day, however her current transit is expected to take almost 4 days with an estimated time of arrival of just around dinner hour tomorrow at the Imperial Oil refinery dock at Nanticoke. Even though the ALGOEAST was constructed with an ice-strenghtened hull and bow giving her a 1A ice class standard, during her transit to Nanticoke, she has been receiving ice breaker assistance from the CCGS SAMUEL RISLEY since leaving Sarnia Wednesday night. Also tagging along until Windsor was the articulated push tug EVERLAST and her barge, the NORMAN McLEOD.   
When built in 1978 at the Mitsubishi ship yard in Shimonoeski, Japan, she was a single hulled tanker and her name was TEXACO BRAVE. Owned by Texaco Canada of Don Mills, Ontario the BRAVE operated on the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence Seaway, and the Canadian east coast including some routes to the Arctic until 1986. While being owned by Sofati-Soconav of Montreal, her name was LE BRAVE until 1997 when after being bought by Imperial Oil, her name was changed to IMPERIAL ST. LAWRENCE. In 1998, she was purchased by Algoma Central, refitted with updated systems and converted to a double hulled tanker at Port Weller Dry Docks. Since returning to service in 2000, she has been named ALGOEAST and continues to service on the Great Lakes and Atlantic Canada ports from Imperial Oil's Sarnia refinery. While so many other ships have laid up for the winter, the ALGOEAST continues to 'brave-on' through the worst ice conditions on the Great Lakes in 20 years, delivering oil products to help keep our cars running and our economy healthy. Perhaps a different outcome for our lungs!! c);-b
Meanwhile, check out this video of the ALGOEAST and SAMUEL RISLEY motoring (or not) through the St. Clair river ice in January 2009. Pretty exciting stuff, eh!! c):-o

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