Wednesday 15 August 2012


I felt like a kid again as I saw the downbound ALGOMA MONTREALAIS glide past us just after sunset near Prescott, Ontario on Canada Day. The last time I recall seeing her she was simply known as the MONTREALAIS. She had a black hull then too, but her stack was light blue and displayed the unique Papachristidis Co. logo which was the Greek letter pi, '∏'. 
Built in 1962, she was the fifth largest bulk carrier on the Great Lakes, and the first of six 730-foot straightdeckers for the Montreal based company that had a fleet of ocean-going freighters. In 1972, the MONTREALAIS was sold to Upper Lakes Shipping of Toronto, who kept her name but her stack displayed the 'white diamond' ULS logo on a red & black background just like the JAMES NORRIS's ( However, when Algoma Central purchased her in 2011, the prefix "ALGOMA" was added to her name while her stack bow became adorned with Algoma Central's "Bear" logo . Meanwhile, Papachristidis went on to expand his saltie fleet of primarily huge tankers, one of which, the HELLESPONT FAIRFAX, you may recall seeing featured on the Discovery Channel program, 'SUPER SHIPS'. Though she may not be the world's largest double-hulled tanker like her distant sister the HELLESPONT FAIRFAX, the old MONTREALAIS, was a 'Super Ship' in my eyes, and it was really nice to see her motoring by instead of being towed overseas for scrap. 

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