Friday 11 October 2013

Oil/Chemical Tanker SLOMAN HERMES

A little bit of fog was still hanging around yesterday morning as I snapped the 476' upbound oil/chemical tanker SLOMAN HERMES making her way to an empty Lock 3 on the Welland Canal really 'slow', man (pun intended). Just ahead of her though are the St. Catharines 'Garden City Skyway' and the Bridge #4 or formerly known when I was a kid as the Homer Bridge. In 1939, the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW), Canada's first four-lane divided highway which runs from Toronto to Fort Erie, Ontario was opened and at the time the double-leaf rolling lift bridge in then Homer, Ontario managed the traffic adequately.
I suppose it was probably quite a nice drive back then but apparently as the population increased during the post World War II boom in the 1950's, so did automobile and truck traffic, and before long massive traffic bottle necks were created as hundreds of cars and trucks waited twenty minutes or more far too often for a ship to pass by. In 1963, the Garden City (St. Catharines' moniker) Skyway was opened which allowed traffic to make the 90 mile or so journey from Toronto to Niagara Falls, or Buffalo, New York via the Peace Bridge, more freely and faster, at least until the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) became equipped with unmarked cruisers and radar guns. YIKES!! c):-(

Meanwhile back at the blog, the high in the water SLOMAN HERMES which was built in 2012 in China and flies the flag of Antigua-Barbuda, continued to gingerly enter the lock before me (and a hundred or so tourists who arrived by bus) to check out the ship and the Welland Canal viewing centre and museum also located at Lock 3. Though the SLOMAN had lots of room ahead and to her stern in 859' lock, her nearly 79' width didn't leave much room between the tanker's hull and walls of the 80' wide lift lock. Having been risen the required 46.5', and about to make her way to the next upbound locks while on her way to Sarnia for a load of oil, the SLOMAN HERMES made a wonderful backdrop for a snap I really enjoyed taking with Bob Quade (on the right) from Gillett, Wisconsin. Had I nice chat with Bob. It's always nice to meet a new friend and future Carlz Boat enthusiast, just like you. RIGHT? c);-b  

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