Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 26, no. 5 (February 1994), p. 2

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M A R I N E NEWS 2. In the October issue, when we reported the scrapping in late 1992 of TELCHAC, (a) G R I F F O N (67), (b) F R A NQ UE LI N (11)(87), (c) EVA DE SGA GNE S (89), we noted that there remained in the lakes system only one of the B e a c o n s field S te am sh ip s siste rs hi p m o t o r v es se ls of the mid-1950s, that be ing STELLA DESGAGNES, (a) T E C U M S E H (67), (b) NEW YORK NEWS (III)(86). She was the last of the trio to be built, being Hull 19 out of Port Wel ler Dry Docks in 1956. Later serving the Mohawk, Q & O and Desgag nes fleets, STE LLA DES GA GN ES had been laid up at Mont re al since Se ptember 29, 1992. Now, however, she has been sold for off- la ke s service, just like her other sisters bef ore her. Late in the 1993 season, ST E L L A DESGAG NES was sold to Beam Shipping, of Panama, the sale being fi n a l i z e d on Decem ber 14th. Just before Christmas, the ship was re na me d (d) BEAM BEGINNER, and on Decem ber 30th she depar ted Montr ea l en route to New Orl ea ns and Shanghai, but she only made it to Sorel that day. On the 31st, she made it as far as Trois- Riv ier es, but she was e n co un t e r i n g m u c h trouble in the heavy St. Lawrence River ice, and she and her sisters were always known for their lack of power, esp ec ia ll y in ice. As well, she sust ai ne d damage to her rudder, and the decis ion was to lay her up at T r o is - R i v i e r e s pe nding better condit ion s in the spring. McKeil Marine Ltd. continues to expand its large fleet of tugs and other assor te d equipment. Upbound in the Seaway on De ce mb er 16th was the tu g/s up pl y ve ssel ARCTIC TUKTU (C. 346585), (a) MARY B. VI, wh ich was built in 1972 at New Westmin st er , British Columbia, 160 feet in length, 719 Gross and 379 Net. She la tterly was re gi s te re d at Edmonton, Alberta, and was owned by Arc tic T r a n s p o r t a t i o n Ltd., of Calgary. It is said that she will be used in 1994 to tow an asphalt barge, which we presume to be M c A SP HA LT 401, towed the last several seasons by POINT CAR RO LL of Eastern Canada Towing, Halifax. The St. Lawr en ce canals closed at Christ mas time without any w e a t h e r - r e l a t e d problems, as te mp er at ur es rema ine d above normal until the on sla ugh t of r e c o r d - b re a k i n g cold just after the holiday. The last upb ou nd ship was HALIFAX, which was at St. Lambert on Decem ber 22 and cleared Iroquois Lock on the 24th. The last salty in the system was SOLTA, w hi ch cle ar ed St. Lambert on the 25th. The last co mme rci al transit of the Se aw ay was made by JEAN PARISIEN, w hi ch trans it te d St. Lambert Lock dow nb ou nd on the 26th. It was quite a year for JE A N P A RI SIE N in the Seaway, for she also ope ne d the system, ma ki ng both the first upbo und and first d o w nb ou nd trips in the spring. The last up bo u n d ship was to have been TARANTAU, but two canal tieups, one caused by T A R A N T A U h e r s e l f when she hit the arres ter cable whilst do wn bo un d in the Snell Lock on the 23rd, meant that she could not get down to Sept I l es and back with her load of ore for Ha mi l t o n before the canals closed. She is laid up at Mont re al with her ore cargo, at the dock closest to the Se away entrance, so it appears likely that she will be the first upboun d ship in the spring of 1994. The Welland Ship Canal o f f i c i a l l y closed on December 24th, with AL GO M A R I N E passing do w n b o u n d and C . C . G . S. GRI FFO N mov ing upbound. By special p e r m i s sion, however, C A NA DI AN T R AN SPO RT cleared upbound on the 25th, while SAUNI ER E passed down on the 25th and into the early mo r n i n g hours of the 26th. It is in t e r e s ti n g to note that AL GO M A R I N E and SAUNI ERE both laid up along the west ap pr o a c h wall b el ow Lock Two, awaiting space on the Port W e l ler drydock. The Soo Locks o f f i c i al l y closed their season on Jan ua ry 15th, but the last lock transits were made on the 14th with the do wn bou nd passages of JOHN B. AIRD, A L G O W A Y and CASON J. CALLAWAY. Ice conditions in the St. Ma ry 's River were severe, and the trio required the assistance of U . S. C . G. M A C K I N A W and KATMAI BAY. M A C K I N A W then d e p ar te d for Cheboygan, whi le KATMAI BAY returned to the Soo to assist the ferry SUGAR ISLANDER in the ice. First ship of the "new" 1994 season to arrive at the Ca na di an Soo was the tanker GEMINI, which docked on Jan ua ry 26 with furnace fuel from Sarnia. She was as si st ed up the river by MACKINAW.

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