Tuesday 9 July 2013

Bulk Carrier ALGOMA GUARDIAN (Revisited)

Here's my last batch of snaps from Canal Days 2012 in Port Colborne, Ontario last August. Here we have the upbound 740' Algoma Central self unloader, ALGOWOOD  (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2012/09/self-unloader-algowood.html) slowly making her way out of Lock 8 while heading towards Bridge 21, while passing fleetmate ALGOMA GUARDIAN which is tied to the west wall waiting her turn to enter the lock and continue downbound.
 Though it may appear that the low in the water ALGOWOOD is sliding along the wall, there's at least a good foot clearance there. Not 100% certain on that, though this is a section of the Welland Canal where most anyone can be upfront and personal with a passing ship if you accidentally trip on a untied lace**. Enough said. (**Not an issue anymore as a tall fence was erection all along the wall in 2015)

With the ALGOWOOD clear of her stern, the 729' ALGOMA GUARDIAN which was built in 1987 in Rijeka, Croatia, casts off and positions herself to enter the lock once the south-end bridge is raised. Unlike the east wall which remains a straight continuation of the lock wall, both west walls (located at either end of the lock) are indented to make it easier for large lakers and salties to exit the lock without having to make potentially dangerous turns or manoeuvres. To prevent a ship from striking the cement abutment or 'knuckle' at the lock entrance, floating 'arresters' were developed and secured to the wall at both ends (just in front of the GUARDIAN'S bow in photo). By slowly hugging the bow section along the arrester and keeping the ship's mid-section parallel to the wall, the ship is guided and positioned for a mid-channel entry into the lock. Or, as in the case of the ALGOMA GUARDIAN, you turn the rudder hard to the starboard, switch on the bow thrusters and budda-bing with no budda-boom, the ship glides over to the east wall for an ahead slow entry into the lock. Either way works. It's your call!!

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