Maritime History of the Great Lakes

Scanner, v. 30, no. 1 (October 1997), p. 2

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Editor's Logbook - cont'd. 2. feature articles. We hope that we can count on your continued support in the years ahead so that our publication can go out to all our members for at least another thirty years. In the New Member Department, a hearty welcome goes out to Doug Niles, of Penetanguishene, Ontario. We are pleased to have you with us as a member of the Toronto Marine Historical Society. * * * * * * * MARINE NEWS After many months of eager anticipation, we now have seen the appearance on the Great Lakes of a major deep-sea passenger vessel. Hapag-Lloyd's COLUMBUS completed earlier this year by the Mathisa-Werft Wismar shipyard, at Wismar, Germany, was upbound in the Seaway on September 18th, with a full complement of 386 passengers. This particular trip, from Montreal to Chicago with stops en route, was the first of three 9 to 10-day cruises that COLUMBUS will make on the lakes this autumn. She also will do an overnight positioning cruise from Port Colborne to Toledo, October 10-11, and she will be back on the lakes in 1998 for an extended season of seven cruises. COLUMBUS is an attractive ship, and she created a lot of attention when she entered Toronto Harbour at 7: 30 on the morning of September 19th. She is somewhat slab-sided, with her lifeboats carried in recessed openings on Decks 3 and 4, but this is a necessary feature in view of the amount of ca­ nalling COLUMBUS will have to do. The ship's hull and superstructure are mostly white, with a blue and orange stripe at deck level. The smokestack is blue and orange. Those who visited aboard COLUMBUS at Toronto were impressed with her compact but attractive interior. COLUMBUS departed Toronto before sunrise on Saturday, September 20th, so that she could pass through the Welland Canal during daylight, but a number of delays occurred which extended her passage time. The fine weather which had accompanied her arrival at Toronto deteriorated into rain during Friday, and the bad weather blew out with high winds on Saturday. The winds were such that COLUMBUS had to circle around in Lake Ontario off the entry to Port Weller for several hours until conditions improved. Also contributing to COLUMBUS' delayed entry into the canal was a collision between the tug ANGLIAN LADY and her barge, PML 2501, with the CSL self-unloader NANTICOKE below Lock 1 of the canal. Most of COLUMBUS' passengers were off on a tour to Niagara Falls once COLUMBUS actually got into the canal, but her upbound passage was further delayed by two power outages on the waterway and mecha­ nical problems at Lock 6. As a result, the transit of the upper reaches of the canal was made in darkness. We wish COLUMBUS well in her lake travels and look forward to her return to our waters in 1998. It appears that another vessel of similar size will be built for Hapag-Lloyd to facilitate future lake operations. Perhaps Hapag's success will encourage other operators to send passenger vessels into the lakes. The fact that COLUMBUS has come into the lakes in 1997 is particu­ larly significant in that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the re­ tirement of the Georgian Bay Line's steamer SOUTH AMERICAN, which was the last of our traditional Great Lakes overnight passenger ships. SOUTH AMERI­ CAN'S final lake trip, from Detroit to Montreal, took place in mid-October, 1967. The collision between the Purvis Marine Ltd. tug and barge and the NANTICOKE below Lock 1 at Port Weller on September 20th really was a non-event, in that the tug and barge simply were sucked off the tie-up wall and scraped the passing freighter. Damage was minimal. However, it became evident to Seaway officials, during the passage of the tug and barge through Lock 1, that the master of ANGLIAN LADY was significantly impaired and the vessels were diverted to the shipyard fit-out wall above the Lock to ensure that a more serious accident would not occur. The tug's master was relieved (per-

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