Saturday 7 March 2015

Self Unloader ALGOMA NAVIGATOR (Revisted)

When I snapped her in Toronto harbour on February 22, the weather looked about as bleak as the 729'11" ALGOMA NAVIGATOR's future. This is the second year in a row that I've found her berthed for winter along the north face of Pier 51. It's a good place for the NAVIGATOR to be, almost completely hidden behind the long white bubbled roof of Soccerworld's indoor pitches while surrounded with an ice covered harbour. 
It could have been much worse like fleetmate ALGOMA PROGRESS which I snapped on a more pleasant day near the end of March last year  at Pier 35 as the PROGRESS is currently being cut up for scrap by International Marine Salvage in Port Colborne. YIKES!! c):-()
When launched in 1968 her name was CANADIAN PROGRESS. Check out her story:
When launched in 1967 at the J. Redmond & Sons Shipyards in South Shield, England, her name was DEMETERTON. Built as a deep sea bulk carrier, the 599'11" DEMETERTON could carry 21,105 tons of dry cargo. To this day she remains powered by a Doxford 9,680 hp diesel engine. In 1969 she was lengthened to 646'11" which increased her capacity to 25,500 tons. In 1975 she was purchased by Upper Lakes Group, renamed ST. LAWRENCE NAVIGATOR and commenced hauling iron ore on the St. Lawrence River, coal from Vancouver to Hamilton and grain to Gdansk, Poland in 1977. She was lengthen to her current dimensions and had her capacity increased to 31,600 tons when a new cargo and bow section was added to her "saltie" stern and accommodations section in 1980 at Port Weller Dry Docks. She also received a bow thruster and new name, CANADIAN NAVIGATOR. In 1997, Port Weller Dry Docks installed her 260' discharging boom and self unloading equipment that allowed the NAVIGATOR to unload at a rate of 4,000 tons per hour.
Upbound CANADIAN NAVIGATOR approaching tie-up wall below Lock 8 in Port Colborne. Photo taken by Great Lakes Pilot - Captain Graham Grattan on July 27, 2010
When Upper Lakes was sold to Algoma Central in 2011, her name was changed to ALGOMA NAVIGATOR and despite her age, she continues to be useful hauling a variety of cargoes such as coal, coke, slag, stone, iron ore, salt, sand, fertilizers, gypsum and grain products, but for how long. Her end may be near as Algoma Central plans to introduce 4 new energy efficient and environmentally friendly Equinox-class self discharging bulk carriers to their fleet in 2015 and 2016. Despite her modifications and experiences, it's just a matter of time before the NAVIGATOR sets her final course to the cutter's touch as she gets replaced by the eager-beaver new kids on the block. And that's a plight that none of us getting on in age looks forward to experiencing anytime soon. Know what mean? c):-o
Downbound ALGOMA NAVIGATOR motors by Cardinal's river park and Casco starch plant in July 2012. 

Her last winter layup, Montreal - February 15, 2016
My first winter visit to the Old Port of Montreal to see what was laid there on a very cold February 15, 2016, also turned out to be the last time I would see and photograph the ALGOMA NAVIGATOR. 
Her last winter layup, Montreal - February 15, 2016
 NAVI leaving Montreal June 16, 2016 - photo by Rene Beauchamp 
Update: April 7, 2020

In the coming months the former British-built deep-sea bulk carrier then converted into a Great Lakes self unloader would have her name and Algoma's emblem painted over and then towed overseas for scrap. The then named NAVI reached the beaches of Aliaga, Turkey for dismantling on July 27, 2016. Another one gone but not forgotten, c):-((

1 comment:


    183+ images of ULS ships - watercolour, oil, drawings & graphics

    If someone could post these links to [Ships of the former Upper Lakes Group]on Facebook it would be appreciated