Sunday 27 July 2014

Straight-decker ALGOMA MONTREALAIS (Final Voyage)

There's just no stopping her. Her life has been rejuvinated. When the shipping season ended last December, the MONTREALAIS, which is French for "Montrealer", berthed for winter in Montreal, the city where this traditional straightdeck bulk carrier was built in 1962. Everyone who's been tracking ships along the Great Lakes, were certain her sailing days were over, that she'd be towed overseas and scrapped like so many other Papachristidis and Upper Lakes Steamship's "Canadian-named" classics. While other uniquely designed 'Great Lakes' straightdecker with their wheelhouse and accommodations forward, have been repowered to diesel to extended their life, ALGOMA MONTREALAIS remained a steamer.
Then the worst winter in 35 years arrived which virtually halted normal winter and spring ship movement due to thicker than normal ice conditions west of Port Colborne. Shipments of iron ore, grain and other essential cargoes became delayed by over a month and despite the extra costs to operate a "steamer", it was ALGOMA MONTREALAIS size and just under 29,000 ton cargo capacity that extended her life and usefulness once again when she set sail on June 29 destined to Superior, Wisconsin to pick up a load of iron ore (

In less than 30 days, ALGOMA MONTREALAIS has been doing what she does best, move cargo like talconite iron ore pellets to a Hamilton, Ontario steel mill, then carried a load of cement back up to Duluth, Minnesota and now she's laden with a load of grain destined for the overseas grain elevators in Baie Comeau, Quebec. Since her late season departure, the MONTREALAIS has become somewhat of a media event as Boatnerds everywhere have been actively tracking and snapping her movement in Superior/Duluth, the Soo, Port Huron, and Welland Canal. I final got a chance to snap her last Thursday night as she glided downbound beneath the International Bridge near Prescott, then past pleasure crafts and the corn starch plant in Cardinal, and finally transiting Iroquois Lock way past my bedtime. Where ALGOMA MONTREALAIS will be heading next? Who knows, but boat-crazies like myself will keep you posted again, and again... c);-b

As new fuel efficient Equinox-class bulk carriers came into service, the extended life of the original Papachristidis classic straightdecker came to an end in May 2015, when she was renamed MONT, and scrap-towed to Turkey where she was dismantled. Gone but not forgotten. c):-(

No comments:

Post a Comment