Friday 14 December 2018

Bulk Carrier NAREW

The dash is on. It's mid December and if all goes well, the Seaway and Welland Canal will be closed for the season just as the ball is dropping in Time Square in New York City. It'll be a nice change from last year when a deep freeze Russian blast from over the top hung over the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway near the end of December causing the seaway channels and most Great Lakes to ice over much quicker than normal. As a result of the untimely "Polar Vortex"the Montreal-based bulk carrier FEDERAL BISCAY got herself jammed in the ice at the entrance to Snell Lock and remained there for almost a week before finally being freed. It was almost another week before the BISCAY and the four other ships that were blocked in the system behind her to clear St. Lambert Lock across from Montreal on January 11.

Laden with grain from Duluth, the 492' NAREW continues to approach my lookout beneath the Windmill Point Lighthouse just east of Prescott, Ontario with the 443' Groupe Desgagnes tanker MIA DESGAGNES about 5 miles to her stern.

Built in 2012 at Sanfu Shipbuilding in Jiangsu, China, the NAREW flies the flag of Liberia though she's actually owned by the Polsteam, short for the Polish Steamship Company of Szczecin, Poland.
At 492' the "handy-size class" NAREW is slightly smaller than the first Polsteam bulk carrier I came across, the 489' NOGAT ( in Havana harbour almost 6 years ago, but is smaller than the IRMA ( which is just under 656'.

With all the buoys and bends on the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes behind her, regardless of what old man winter drops or blows our way from now until the end of 2018, it will be of no concern to the crew of the NAREW as the little big ship continues to make her way toward the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then to Gibraltar with her belly full of wheat from America's midwest.
On probably my last post of the year, I just want to say thanks for reading Carlz Boats and may I wish you all a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Great 2019. c):-D  

Sunday 18 November 2018

Dry Bulk Carrier ALGONORTH

Ships come and go, upbound or downbound, fully loaded or high in ballast. While no ship can sail forever, their names can be repeated time and time again. When the then 730’ straight-deck FRONTENAC entered service in 1968, four others sailed with that name. The American Steamships stern-end self unloading JOHN J. BOLAND is also the fourth to be named after the company’s founder. There’s been three SAGINAW’s to date and if you skim through the pages of your 2018 "Know Your SHIPS" you'll see a slew of others that have a repeated name at least once like the current CSL “Glen’s” CEDARGLEN, SPRUCEGLEN and OAKGLEN (three actually) and ditto that for their Trillium-class self discharging bulk carriers with the exception of the BAIE COMEAU which is the third to bear that name. In Algoma’s current fleet, "twice-namers" go to the ALGOSEA and ALGONOVA,  and soon the newly acquired 472’ tanker, RAMIRA will be the second ALGONORTH in their fleet.
My only opportunity to photograph the first ALGONORTH was on August 5, 2007 while taking in the fun activities on West Street during Port Colborne’s Canal Days festival that year. On that day the 729' 11" gearless bulk carrier approached Bridge 21 from Lake Erie sitting low in the water which probably was a load of grain for the elevators further down on the St. Lawrence River or Gulf.
Built in 1970 at Upper Clyde Shipbuilding in Govan, Scotland for Lambert Brothers Shipping of London, England, the then named TEMPLE BAR was 527’9” and had a cargo capacity of 22,157 tons. In September of 1976 TEMPLE BAR was sold to Nipigon Transport (Carryore Ltd.) of Montreal and two month later she arrived at Jurong Shipyards, in Singapore to be lengthened to one inch less of the then Seaway- max size and converted for service on the Great Lakes. Rebuilt and now with a cargo capacity of 28,750 tons in five holds and eighteen hatches, the TEMPLE BAR left Singapore in April 1977 for the Great Lakes via the Suez Canal.
A few thumbnails from my Canal Days video. Check it out below.
On May 19th she arrived at Port Colborne with a new name, LAKE NIPIGON for a final "pre-working on the Great Lakes" refit which included the installation of a hatch crane, deck winches and the removal of her deepsea strengthening steelwork. After all was completed, the LAKE NIPIGON  became busy like most gearless bulk carriers, hauling prairie wheat to St. Lawrence River grain elevators and returning to the upper lakes for more after having a cargo of Labrador iron ore unloadied at a Hamilton steel mill.
Her name was changed to LAKETON when she was chartered to Misener Transportation in 1984 but it was changed back to LAKE NIPIGON in the following year when she rejoined the Nipigon Transport fleet and that name was kept even when Algoma Central acquired the Nipigon and Carryore fleet in April 1986. However after a refit and having a coat of Algoma navy blue paint applied to her hull at Port Weller Dry Dock, the stern-end bulker re-entered service in the summer of ‘87, as the ALGONORTH. 
ALGONORTH staying far away from the "Grim Reaper" SALVAGE MONARCH tied off by the old coal dock.

For the next 25 years ALGONORTH continued in the same grain and ore trade that she had done since entering the Great Lakes 11 years earlier, but she did have more than her share of misfortunes such as groundings, making contact with a Toledo bridge in 1992 and then a dock there in 2011 than spilled 3,500 barrels of diesel fuel into the Maumee River. In August 1994 she collided with the saltie RIXTA OLDENDORF in the Beauharnois Canal, a fire broke out in a hold while wintering at the Redpath Sugar dock in Toronto in February 2005 and almost 6 months to the day a fire on Lake Superior caused an engine room blackout. Anchors dropped to prevent her from drifting, the Gravel and Lakes tug ROBERT JOHN was eventually dispatched to tow her back Thunder Bay. Due to a delay of parts, her stroke of bad luck or lack of stroke there of, forced the ALGONORTH to operate with only one engine after her starboard engine crankshaft seized up in June 2006.
Photo by Matt Carlson - July 13, 2012
The hardworking lady continued to lumber along for a few more years before her big Dutch built Werkpoor engine would be shut down for good on January 1, 2009 at the former Agricore United grain elevator slip at Thunder Bay, a place where she had been a fixture for more than 30 year carrying over 30 million tonnes of grain from that port's elevators.

Matthew Carlson, who was painting the tug, POINT VALOUR was definitely at the right place at the right time on July 13, 2012 when he captured the ALGONORTH being pulled out of the old Agricore United slip by the Sault Ste. Marie based Purvis Marine tug ANGLIAN LADY. Once beyond the dark shadow of the grain elevator exposed were the old girl's designed for deepsea trading big bulbous bow and above a long swatch of black paint spread sloppily over her name and Algoma's bear emblem. Anytime I had seen the built in 1953 in Southampton, England tug, she was pushing or pulling a company barge, but on the day, after a stern line was released to the Thunder Bay Tug Service's tug GLENADA at the entrance to the Lakehead's harbour, the 132' ANGLIAN LADY lead her nameless scrap-tow into Lake Superior.
Photo by Matt Carlson - July 13, 2012
Most everyone presumed the former bulk carrier would be taken to the new owner, Marine Recycling Corporation's ship breaking yard in Port Colborne, but they had enough work there, so instead the end of her last voyage was also her homeport, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, arriving there for the final time on July 19, 2012.
Algoma Central photo of homebound crew at Goteburg, Sweden

The hard steel of the original ore and grain carrying ALGONORTH maybe gone but her name, which referred to Algoma's railway route "NORTH" from Sault Ste. Marie, is also being re-used and now appearing on Algoma Tankers Ltd.'s seventh vessel, currently motoring at 13.2 knot in the Celtic Sea south of Ireland making her way to Canada. The "new" ALGONORTH was built in 2008 and has a 16,958 dwt liquid bulk cargo capacity, which is slightly less than fleetmate, ALGOSEA. Got to love the company's "Name The Tanker Contest" choice and we all wish her Atlantic transit crew posing in a photo I found on Facebook ship-watching group, The Prescott Anchor, a speedy but safe journey home.
Thank you Matthew Carlson for putting down that paint roller long enough to take these  great pics, and to you George Wharton for the well written backgrounder.  Here's my video of the ALGONORTH passing beneath Bridge 21 in Port Colborne during Canal Days on August 5, 2007. Enjoy!! (

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Classic Straight-decker MANITOBA (Final Voyage)

Is there life after death? Well, I believe there is simply from an out of life experience that happened to me about 10 years ago and I'd be happy to tell you about it but this is a boat blog eh! However one thing I will say right now about that subject is for a ship that's currently about half way across the Atlantic Ocean on her way to Turkey for dismantling and had been technically sitting on "death-row" in Montreal since early 2016, the classic straight-decker MANITOBA certainly appeared to be full of life when I snapped her at Loyalist Park near the St. Lawrence River hamlet of Mariatown and at Iroquois Lock on May 19, 2013.

Sitting high in ballast and kicking up a nice wake as the advancing MANITOBA motored against a strong current which made her to appear to be eager to get back on up and into the Great Lakes to pick up another load of grain and then motoring her cargo back down to a lower St. Lawrence River grain elevator in Sorel, or Quebec City, an ongoing activity for the  gearless bulk carrier since going into service over 50 years ago.
When she was built in 1966 at Collingwood Shipyards in Collingwood, Ontario, her name was MANTADOC, and the second vessel to bear that name for owner N.M. Paterson & Sons of Thunder Bay, Ontario. With the exception of the company's next new-build, the 736.5' stern-ender PATERSON in 1985, and the 605' SENATOR OF CANADA, which also honoured the company founder who became a member of the Canadian Senate in 1940, the Paterson vessel's names all honoured various Canadian cities and provinces followed by the suffix "DOC" for "Dominion Of Canada". The MANTADOC honoured the province the Paterson family eventually settled in, Portage La Prairie, Manitoba and where N.M. Paterson grew his grain trading business. In the late 60's, she was just one of several straight-deck bulk carriers with her wheelhouse forward that plied the Great Lakes but the MANTADOC she was especially unique because with an overall length of just under 608', her size allowed her to manoeuvre windy rivers and service smaller port where the seaway-max'ers couldn't go.

When Canada Steamship Lines took over the Paterson fleet in 2002 her name was changed to TEAKGLEN, and then her name was changed again to MARITIME TRADER in 2005 when she was purchased by Voyager Maritime Trading. She joined the Lower Lakes Towing of Port Dover's fleet in 2011 and was named MANITOBA, which in the Ojibwa language, "manidoobaa" means the "straits of Manitou", - the Great Spirit".  

This wasn't the first time that the 607'11' bulk carrier sat idle at the Port of Montreal with an uncertain future. While named TEAKGLEN for CSL, she was laid up in Montreal for most of 2002 until finally in the fall she picked up a load of grain at Quebec City for Goderich. Her layup days technically continued while being used for grain storage for the Goderich Grain Elevator Ltd. for a few more years. In 2005 it looked like her sailing days were over for good when while being towed by the veteran tug EVANS McKEIL to the then IMS ship-boneyard in Port Maitland for dismantling, the scrap-tow's journey ended at Sarnia where she was hooked up to the Purvis Marine tug AVENGER II and taken to Thunder Bay. At Thunder Bay she was put  into dry dock for her 5 year inspection and after a fresh coat of blue paint was applied to her hull, the veteran bulk carrier returned to service as the MARITIME TRADER for new owner, Voyager Marine Trading of Ridgeville, Ontario..

Of course when I took these snaps, she was wearing the Lower Lakes Towing Company's colours, however the Voyager Maritime blue is very much visible in my close-ups above and below where the LLT's grey hull had been rubbed off from making contact with approach walls, a common occurrence for most ships while transiting Welland Canal and St. Lawrence Seaway locks like Iroquois here.
And away she goes !!!

She seemed to be full of vigour eleven months later when I snapped the MANITOBA for the last time and also at Loyalist Park on April 19, 2014. Almost two years later to the day and after wintering in Hamilton, the classic grey lady again looked eager to get her new shipping season underway, when my ship-watching friend James Chapman, of Massena, NY captured the MANITOBA in this wonderful series of photos while approaching Eisenhower Lock near the Copeland Cut and further down below on the Wiley-Donero canal on April 17, 2016.
Photo by James Chapman

Photo by James Chapman

Photo by James Chapman

Photo by James Chapman

Photo by James Chapman

Photo by James Chapman

Photo by James Chapman
Photo by Joanne Crack - June 10, 2017
Photo by Joanne Crack - June 10, 2017
The MANITOBA arrived at Montreal later on April 17, 2016, but there was not a lot of information as to why she would start a long term layup near the Old Port's Section 26. Over the years it has not been uncommon to see a former hardworking laker, tie-off at that same dock and within days have her company identity and name painted over in preparation for a long scrap-tow journey to Turkey for dismantling. Such was not the case for the MANITOBA then or when Joanne Crack of the Facebook ship-watching group, The Prescott Anchor snapped her from the deck of the St. Lawrence Cruise Lines ship, CANADIAN EMPRESS over a year later on June 10, 2017, still sitting high and proud in name and Lower Lakes Towing's colours and emblem on her stack just above the tall and long span of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
Photo by René Beauchamp - March 2018 
Moored behind the wide Algoma ocean-class self unloader ALGOMA INTEGRITY, ( the MANITOBA looked like another winter layup and capable of getting underway when René Beauchamp photographed her this past March.  
Photo by Stéphane Marceau - July 15, 2018
Ditto that when Stéphane Marceau snapped her behind the CSL gearless sternender OAKGLEN which sat idle all summer waiting for the mad dash to commence to transport prairie grain down to St. Lawrence River elevators before the shipping season ended.
There appeared to be some hope for the MANITOBA when it was announced other veteran long term layup carriers were given a new lease on life like the wheelhouse forward self unloader CSL TADOUSSAC which just returned to service this shipping season after being laid up in Thunder Bay since January 2015. Even former American Steamship Company self unloader, ADAM E. CORNELIUS which after also being laid up since January 2015 at Huron, Ohio, has returned to service this season as the ALGOMA COMPASS when purchased by Algoma Central last winter.
Photo by René Beauchamp - August 3, 2018
However luck and time ran out for the MANITOBA and her proud Paterson fleet past, when her Canadian registry was officially closed on July 31st. Three days later, two Group Océan tugs towed her to the port's Section 56, the old Canadian Vickers Shipbuilding dry docks to prepare for her oversea journey to Turkey for dismantling.

Photo René Beauchamp - October 14, 2018

Photo René Beauchamp - October 14, 2018
Another classic laker makes her way to her end as René Beauchamp captured the scrap-tow NITO near Sorel-Tracy on October 14th with the tug OCEAN DELTA in the lead position and OCEAN ECHO II at her stern. Hats off to her Panamanian owner for simply whiting-out her former name at the bow and wheelhouse instead block it all out including her First Nation's peoples unique emblem on her stack with hideous black paint. Her departure leaves us with couple of "only ones" - "Only One" former Paterson fleetmate remaining, the CSL owned CEDARGLEN, and "Only One" gearless straight-decker remaining operational on the Great Lakes, her former fleetmate OJIBWAY. As time goes on, soon there will be none.

Photo René Beauchamp - October 14, 2018
My Tanner and the MANITOBA at Mariatown on March 29, 2013
- both gone but not forgotten.

Thank you James Chapman, Joanne Crack, Stéphane Marceau and René Beauchamp for allowing me to use your photos in this post. You're being there at the right time has been so helpful time and time again. 
We all know that the internet is great  resource for so many things but if you want real backgrounder information about ships sometimes it's a book that really tells you what you want to know and more. 
The Ships of the Paterson Fleet
By Gene Onchulenko and Skip Gillham is a treasure chest of information that was news to me like the MANITOBA's predecessor, the MANTADOC (1) was also laid up and used for grain storage in Goderich. There's also great snapshots by photographers that are still showing off their photographic skills today on many Facebook ship-watching groups like René Beauchamp, Marc Deese, and Ron Beaupre just to name a few. If you see a copy in a new or used book store, snap it up or to check out it's availability and price at Amazon, click here ('ll be glad you did c):-D  

Page Viewers Photo 👍📷 👍Gallery:

I fully understand Meghan Moran Swenson's love for this favourite ship of hers, which while named the MARITIME TRADER, is seen photo 📷 bombing 👋 her wedding picture taken beneath the Thousand Islands Bridge on Wellesley Island on August 12, 2006. I love 💖 it and also like Ol' Glory fluttering in background too in this wonderful photo and memory. Thanks again for sharing Meghan. 

....And thanks Nathan Attard for snapping the upbound MANITOBA at Port Colborne while making her way to Lake Erie and then probably on her way to Thunder Bay for another load of grain. Nice pics Nathan as always 👍📷👍!!