Sunday 28 July 2013

Self Unloader CSL TADOUSSAC (Revisited)

Seeing 730' CSL TADOUSSAC inching her way into Iroquois Lock last May brought back fond memories of when our family visited the community and this ship's namesake, Tadoussac, Quebec during the summer 1980. Our new Jeep Cherokee got quite a work out during that vacation which included being ferried across the Saguenay Fjord to the quaint and picturesque little village which is also  Canada's oldest settlement. Ferries are needed because the channel is too deep for bridge construction. Depths range from 700  to 900 feet along the 105 kilometre fjord and is regularly visited by cruise ships because of the fjords rugged beauty and whale watching.
Meanwhile, when launched at Collingwood Shipyards in 1969, TADOUSSAC was the last Canada Steamship Lines self unloader built with a forward wheelhouse and the first to be built with stern mounted self unloading equipment, like fleetmate FRONTENAC ( which was added on 5 years after being built as a straightdecker bulk carrier. In winter of 2000, the TADOUSSAC entered Port Weller Dry Dock where after all things were done, she received updated self unloading equipment, her centre section was rebuilt and widen by about 18" on each side to within an inch of the Seaway's maximum width of 78', and the company prefix 'CSL' was added to her name when she was rechristened in March 2001.    
If you can't take the heat, then get out of the engine room and what better place is there to enjoy a smoke and see the rest of the world move by than from the engine room hatch door located just feet above the waterline. The sailor in the snap above got a first hand view of it all - the slow and tight passage through Iroquois Lock, the smooth as glass and motionless channel below the lock and the sail past with FedNav bulk carrier FEDERAL KUSHIRO near Mariatown.

When I first snapped the CSL TADOUSSAC in January 2003, she was sporting a grey coloured hull and was going no where anytime soon as she laid somewhat encased in ice and berthed for winter in Port Colborne. It was two years after her 'modernization' refit and though it was a dull winter day when I took the snap, you can easily see her new bulging hull just above the 'ice'-line which was extended into her bow section. Despite her age and bulging gut, the TADOUSSAC continued to be useful throughout the 2014 shipping season and not laying-up for winter at Thunder Bay, Ontario until January 17, 2015. However as her gearless and self unloading fleetmates got underway in the spring, CSL TADOUSSAC stayed put and has remained in long term layup status in Thunder Bay to this date. While others have been cut apart by the breaker's touch in Port Colborne and overseas, at least her presence suggests there still may be a future for this classic laker. I guess only time will tell.

Yes there is life after a presumed death for this grand classic straight-decker. Her long term layup in Thunder Bay ended in the 2018 shipping season mostly working in the upper lakes but I did get to snap CSL TADOUSSAC today (December 9, 2019) motoring beneath the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge bound for Quebec. More pics to follow soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment