Tuesday 10 November 2015

Gearless Bulk Carrier PINEGLEN (Revisited)

It was pretty much a "Hell frozen-over" kind of day when I snapped the lifeless 736' CSL bulk carrier PINEGLEN locked in the ice at Pier 36 in Toronto Harbour last February. True the weather conditions weren't as bad as the previous year's ice-age like "Polar Vortex" which made life for those of us living north of the Great Lakes totally unbearable, it was awfully darn cold for anyone out and about Toronto's Queen Quay that day, let alone some idiot boatnerd attempting to pick off his unknowing prey while perched almongst mountainously pilled high snow banks while trying to remain steady in swirling snow and sub zero wind chills. c);-b

It's not my fault. Winter layup is the best time of year to snap a subject as it sits motionless in plain sight for the taking while her crews complete required upgrades and maintainence activity onboard in preparation for the upcoming spring shipping season to commence just a month or so away. Or at least so thought until during my next visitor to Toronto Harbour on Sept 24th, there sat the PINEGLEN in ballast where she's been since December 30, 2014 still waiting for her "Spring" to begin. c):-o
If PINEGLEN had a mind of her own she'd probably be wondering, "What gives?" c):-()
Since the day she was launched in 1985 for N.M. Paterson & Sons of Thunder Bay, Ontario as the PATERSON, this gearless bulk carrier has continuously been busy carrying Western Canada and Ontario grain products to Quebec's St. Lawrence River elevators in Sorel, Quebec City, Baie Comeau, and Port Cartier before returning to Hamilton and upper Great Lakes steel mills with Labrador iron ore.
Just three months after her maiden voyage, PATERSON set her first of many Seaway cargo records with 28,155 tons of grain from Thunder Bay on September 9, 1985. She continued to break Seaway cargo records in barley, iron ore, soybeans and canola even after she was sold to Canada Steamship Lines in 2002 and renamed PINEGLEN when N.M. Paterson & Sons ceased operations.
Regardless of all of her past accomplishments, the situation could have been far worse for the PINEGLEN and her extended end of shipping season layup. As CSL introduced their new state-of-the-art and eco-friendly Trillium-class self-discharging bulk carriers to their fleet just a year earlier, the harsh winds of change became evident as the process of taking older and less efficient ships out of service began. The 730' RICHELIEU, snapped above near Cardinal, Ontario, in late November 2012 and featured on May 2013 (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2013/05/bulk-carrier-richelieu.html), was the first former CSL bulk carrier to motor her way to Aliaga, Turkey for dismantling in August 2013. Her sister ship, the SAGUENAY which I featured on February 5, 2013 (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2013/02/bulk-carrier-saguenay.html) followed soon after. Little did I know that when I snapped the SAGUENAY (below) back on December 26, 2013 near Mariatown, it would be her last Great Lakes downbound passage. c):-(

When launched in 1983, the BIRCHGLEN was specifically designed for St. Catharines' Misener Transportation to service the Great Lakes grain and ore trades while the Seaway remained open, then switching to deep-sea operations during the winter months. Her name then was CANADA MARQUIS and prior to being purchased by CSL in 2003, she spent many more years at sea (and the Great Lakes) like fleetmate MAPLEGLEN when owned by FedNav Ltd of Montreal. Though only a few years older than 30,  BIRCHGLEN and MAPLEGLEN were both the next CSL seasoned veterans to be taken out of service in September and are currently being recycled in Turkey.
For more photos and info about the BIRCHGLEN and MAPLEGLEN, check out these neat Carlz Boats links
 (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2012/08/saltie-laker-birchglen.html), (http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2013/09/saltie-laker-canada-marquis.html) &
(http://carlzboats.blogspot.ca/2014/05/bulk-carrier-mapleglen.html), or NOT!!
Barely visible behind the cranes of Toronto Dry Docks' recently acquired heavy-lift barge COASTAL TITAN, the mature bulker PINEGLEN's extended short term layup continues, just like fleetmates CEDARGLEN in Goderich and ATLANTIC ERIE in Montreal. Two GLEN's that recently became active again since their winter layup began in Montreal last December are the SPRUCEGLEN and OAKGLEN. With only six weeks left in the Great Lakes shipping season, time is running out for PINEGLEN's "Spring" to begin this year****. Meanwhile, here's a Youtube video I found of the PINEGLEN motoring beneath the Glendale lift bridge on the Welland Canal on December 1, 2012 (https://youtu.be/DVmJlkjq8vM). Enjoy her beauty now before her season comes to an end for good. c):-(

UPDATE 1: Within days of publishing this post, not only did the PINEGLEN get underway, but so did her other laid up "GLEN" fleetmates: the CEDARGLEN and OAKGLEN. c):-D As for ATLANTIC ERIE, she remained marooned in Montreal until November 4, 2016 when she left the port under tow and destined for Turkey for dismantling c):-((

UPDATE 2: Unfortunately no big bumper crop of grain will be putting the PINEGLEN back to work this summer as the gearless bulk carrier which has been laid up in Montreal since late December was sold in July. With her name and CSL markings painted over as shown in René Beauchamp's photo below, it's only a matter of time before the former Paterson & Sons laker will take her final voyage under tow for dismantling.
                                                                      Photo by René Beauchamp - August 6, 2017


  1. The Pineglen is currently on the move, south bound through the Welland Canal, and destination status says Thunder Bay. 11/14/2015 14:43

    1. Thanks Charlene. I've updated the post. c);-b