Monday 1 March 2021

Former Bulk Carrier CEDARGLEN: Her Last Downbound Passage

The letters CSL painted amidships, short for Canada Steamship Lines, was the retiring CEDARGLEN's owner for her last 17 years of service, and the remaining piece of my latest Jigsaw Planet puzzle to be put in place from one of several photos I took of her on May 17, 2019 during her last downbound passage.

As CEDARGLEN passes the western entrances to old Galop canal Locks 27 & 28, her tattered look was as common as any ship having to rub up against the rough concrete seaway lock walls, especially one doing for over 43 years.

She was upbound and riding high approaching the Beauharnois Locks on June 27, 2018
It was not unusual to see the CEDARGLEN high in the water, however previously she'd be motoring upbound heading to Thunder Bay or an upper lakes grain elevator to take on a load of grain. On any other downbound passage, the 730' bulk carrier with her unique wheelhouse would make the passage low and laden in cargo to a downriver port.  But this transit was different, motoring empty and high on the CEDARGLEN last voyage under her own power to Montreal, where she'd wait to be towed overseas for dismantling.
She was high in ballast while passing the old Galop Canal Iroquois Lock 25, while slowly approaching the newer Seaway lock on my first rendezvous with the CEDARGLEN on November 3, 2013.

EMS ORE - Stan Ditcham Collection, Boatnerds

When launched in 1959 in Hamburg, Germany, her name was EMS ORE, and along with her eight sisters, the 546' bulk carrier with her sleek deep-sea bow and pilothouse amidships, was especially built to haul Venezuelan ore to Europe which she did for about 27 years. In 1976, EMS ORE along sisters RHRINE ORE and RUHR ORE, were purchased by Montreal's Hall Corporation to carry Labrador ore to Hamilton's steel mills and then prairie grain downbound to St. Lawrence River elevators. When entering service in 1979, the newly named MONTCLIFFE HALL sported a new fore body which lengthened her to 730', the midship pilothouse and cabins were modified and moved to the stern. While her original diesel engine remained, MONTCLIFFE HALL's funnel was made taller,  a bow thruster was also installed along with a controllable pitch propeller.
MONTCLIFFE HALL at Toledo in early 1980's courtesy of the late Jim Hoffman. Sadly gone but not forgotten. 😔

Downbound CARTIERDOC  at MacArthur Lock, Sault Ste. Marie, MI - Photo by Rod Burdick - Date Unknown.

CARTIERDOC passing beneath Bluewater Bridge, Port Huron -1989

When Hallco went out of business in 1988, the MONTCLIFFE HALL and twin sister STEELCLIFFE HALL were acquired by N.M. Paterson & Sons Ltd. of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Soon after her name was changed to CARTIERDOC while the STEELCLIFFE became the WINDOC. The other sister was purchased by Algoma Central and was named ALGONTARIO. Named .for the French explorer Jacques Cartier who discovered the St. Lawrence River Valley in 1534, with the added suffix "DOC" for Dominion OCanada, CARTIERDOC continued the trade routes she was designed for with Paterson & Sons, hauling products from the Great Lakes to lower St. Lawrence River port with returning with cargoes of iron ore for steel mills in Hamilton, ON, Chicago, IL, and Burns Harbor, IN.

Rod Burdick captures a black hull CEDARGLEN loading iron ore at Marquette, MI - May 2005, her first visit there.

When Paterson's marine division ended in March 2002, the remaining active fleet of three ships was sold to Canada Steamship Lines.  CARTIERDOC became known as CEDARGLEN,  the PATERSON became PINEGLEN ( and the MANTADOC, TEAKGLEN ( Their new names had two significant meanings, the "TREE" prefix acknowledged the ship names of the company, Tree Line Navigation which CSL had purchased in 1937 and the suffix "GLEN" for the ships of the Great Lakes Shipping Company like the GLENEAGLES which CSL acquired in 1926.

With her latest new name, CEDARGLEN continued to operate steadily for CSL and was awarded with "Top Hat" honours two years in a row for being the first downbound of the new shipping season at Lock 8 in Port Colborne in 2004 and 2005. On May 16, 2005, CEDARGLEN loaded iron ore at Marquette, MI, for the first time and to fit under the chutes, the end section of her starboard wing bridge had to be removed at a support beam. You can really see the CEDARGLEN's alter bridge in Rod Burdick's photo below.
CEDARGLEN returns to Marquette with current CSL "big red boat" hull in 2013 also taken by Rod Burdick. Another great photo Rod 👍📷👍

While celebrating our 44th Wedding Anniversary at Dewar's Inn on the River near Prescott, I caught the  CEDARGLEN again laden with cargo for a lower St. Lawrence port as she effortlessly glided by our cabin on September 23, 2018.
Despite her impressive 29,515 ton maximum carrying capacity, the recently made in China "newbuilds"which are ten feet longer and almost three feet wider, can carry almost nine thousand tons of cargo more than the hardworking  CEDARGLEN. I really hoped when I saw that she laid up for winter at Toledo's Ironhead Shipyard, that whenever her repairs were completed, the proud CEDARGLEN would be starting her 60th year of moving iron ore and grain on the deep and inland seas again.
It was not to be. There would be no hauling a load of grain to a St. Lawrence River port when she left Toledo on May 15, 2019, and except for being lowered in a Seaway lock,  the CEDARGLEN's next and last stop would be at her homeport, Montreal.

Gliding by channels markers with the eagerness of a newly built maiden, the veteran lady approaches Cardinal...

...and then within minutes no longer a subject for my camera lens to capture ever again.

CEDARGLEN in Molson ad:
Tied off next to the Montreal waterfront landmark,  Molson Brewery plant, was where Stéphane Marceau caught her shortly after arriving from her final passage on May 8, 2019. Oddly enough CEDARGLEN was underway when she was used as an artist rendition in a Molson Canadian beer ad that appear that year too which you can see by clicking on the link below the photo to the right.

With deep-sea tug V.B. HISPANIA leading the way with the OCEAN ECHO II at her stern till Quebec City, the shortened name EDA, left Montreal early on July 21, bound for Aliaga, Turkey as seen in René Beauchamp's photo below. Dismantling of the veteran bulk carrier began soon after being pushed ashore on August 26, 2019. Another great ship, gone but not forgotten.

Thank you Rod Burdick, Stéphane Marceau and René Beauchamp for allowing me to use your photos, and I sadly miss seeing the many beautiful Great Lakes ship photos offered to us by Jim Hoffman, who passed away last fall. We will remember your masterpieces always, Jim. 😔

No comments:

Post a Comment