Sunday 28 December 2014


The last time we ventured down to the St. Lawrence River on Boxing Day there was all kinds of snow on the ground, the temperature was -11 celsius and in the wind, it felt more like -18. BRRR c):-o Well rested and with our tummies full after a great Christmas dinner at our daughter's in Kanata, and with the daytime temperature hovering around +6 celsius, it was all systems go for our last trip down to the river for 2014.

For most Canadians though, whether the weather on Boxing Day is stinking cold or balmy like it was on Friday, it's not a big issue because for the most part they're just mulling around or standing in line at a big box or shopping mall store in climate controlled comfort while snapping up "deals of a lifetime" during the biggest Canadian sales event of the year.
Boxing Day falls on the day after Christmas and though when it started in mid 1800's as a day when British employers would give their workers or servants special gifts of food or money in a "BOX", today in Canada and many other commonwealth countries, "Boxing Day" is a sales holiday much like "Black Friday" is in the United States after their Thanksgiving where retailers will dramatically drop prices throughout the store.
However in recent years, retailers have expanded the sales event to "Boxing Week" which allows more time to burst your budget, or for boatnerds like ourselves the opportunity to snap the many down bound salties that are frantically attempting to make it out of of the St. Lawrence Seaway before it closes for the winter on December 31st, much like the bulk carrier BLACKY was doing when I snapped her passing the Morrisburg dock and my shivering spouse, Janie and TannerDog 2 years ago. See more about the BLACKY here:, or NOT c);-b
Meanwhile, back at the blog, it certainly was uniquely mild when I snapped our first boat find of the day, the 607" FEDERAL MATTAWA below the Battle of Crysler's Farm Park near Morrisburg, but the wind was howling and I nearly lost my hat. c(:-() In fact earlier in the day, wind gusts were reported to be as high as 60 mph causing many boats to seek shelter in Prince Edward Bay west of Kingston until the winds dropped to a safer speed to navigate the narrow Thousand Island section of the upper St. Lawrence River. Wrong time of year to be blown aground, eh. c):-O

The bulk carrier FEDERAL MATTAWA was built at the Wenchong Shipyards in Guangzhou, China in 2005. Though she flies the flag of Malta, the MATTAWA is German owned but chartered to Fednav of Montreal, Quebec. Fednav is Canada's largest ocean-going dry bulk shipping company and manages over 100 owned or chartered ships throughout the world. They are also the international leader in shipping on the Great Lakes, as well as the Canadian Arctic. Feel free to check out my post about their icebreaking bulk carrier, the ARCTIC, a ship that would have been handy last winter when that "Polar Vortex" locked up the Great Lakes of ice real good. That link is:
Fednav ships that we see along the Seaway and Great Lakes are generally well maintained, and after their word mark prefix, "FEDERAL" each ship features the name of an international port like or a Canadian river like the "MATTAWA" which flows into the Ottawa River about 300 km northeast of here. On another breezy and balmy day last September, I snapped the MATTAWA as she motored past Windsor, Ontario on the Detroit River in the snaps below.
Meanwhile, the FEDERAL MATTAWA has since cleared the Seaway and is well on her way to Ghent, Belgium, with her load of "Boxing Day Bargains" or NOT! c);-b

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