The Opening Of Navigation
The line of the Welland Canal presents a most animated appearance just now. Everybody having the most remote connection with marine interests is engaged in preparing for the opening of navigation. The shipyards especially present a most lively appearance, and each and all seem to have so much work on hand as will be possible to turn out before Jack Frost relinquishes his grasp on the waters. Last season having been a most profitable one for shippers and vessels owners, the different lake craft have during the winter received, or are now receiving, improvements and repairs, which add both to their durability and bounty, and many of them will come out looking "just as good as new".
At Mr. Shickluna's yard here the S.D. Woodruff and Empire State have been rebuilt, the latter being almost entirely new; and he has a large vessel on the stocks that will probably be launched in time to take her place in the spring let up, probably about Easter Monday.
In addition to these vessels the following are now fitting out, most of them having received repairs, viz: -
George Thurston, Osksey Lass, Welland, St.Andrews, Jessie, James Coleman, Lewis Shickluna, W.H. Merritt, and Sir C. Napier.
At Port Dalhousie there are the barques Gibraltar, Arctic, Canada, Alexander, and Nonsuch; brigs Alice Grover and Arabian; schooners Grand Trunk, Flora Watson, Mary, John S. Clark, Mary Francis, John A. McDonald, Cadet, Theresa, Ayr, and Perseverance; and the tugs John Brown and John Gordon.
Two new vessels, of a first class build, are on the stocks, - one in the yard of Messrs. Donaldson & Andrews, and the other in that of the Messrs. Muirs. We have been unable to ascertain the names of all the vessels lying in the canal above this place, but we believe the following are at Port Robinson, viz: - The Malta, Plymouth, Northern Light, and Plymouth Rock.
Some slight change has taken place in the masterships of the vessels owned by T.R. Merritt, Esq.. Captain C. Ganman takes command of the Sir E. W. Head, and is succeeded in the Shickluna by Captain J. Livingston. We have not learned who succeeds Captain Livingston in the Welland.
Mr. Shickluna has had a force of about 150 men constantly employed in his yard during the winter, and is now adding to the number. The other yards along the canal have also been very busy during the winter, and are making great exertions to do a first rate business during the summer.