While we were in Port Colbourne for several days, we were fortunate to be passed by several interesting ships, a mixture of salties and lakers.
The CSL Laurentien is one of the oldest of the “new” generation of lakers. Unlike the classic previous generation, she has all of her accomodation and deckhouse spaces aft (along with the self-unloading gear). Built in 1977, she was rebuilt in 2001 and had a completely new, boxier, much more modern fore-section added. It’s absolutely fascinating that she had originally been built as part of a program where laker-sized bulkers would take coal from a port, out to a larger ocean bulker, which they would then load. 1
The Laurentien was joined by the Assiniboine, heading the other direction (towards Lake Erie). Like the previous ship, she was also built in the Collingwood shipyard (in 1977) and also later modified with a completely new bow section at the Port Weller Drydock. She was rebuilt in 2005, and then received the name Assiniboine, after the river in Saskatchewan in Manitoba. 2
Here we have the Polsteam ship Juno, with the Port Colbourne pilot boat alongside (removing the Welland Canal Pilot and taking them the Lake Erie pilot). Polsteam is the Polish flag carrier, although all their ships are registered in other tax-convenient nations. I’ve done ship assist jobs for the Juno a few times these past two seasons. They often bring salt or sand into Hamilton or Toronto harbour, sometimes steel, and they often leave with grain. While it may look like the Juno is empty- she’s actually close to max seaway displacement here (27 feet).
The BBC Leda was the next ship to pass by. I’ve actually seen BBC ships much more often this year, in a down-year for traffic on the Great Lakes, more than last season. These are smaller freighters, for example the Leda here is 45m shorter than the Juno above, although they are the same breadth. Leda is actually one of the larger BBC ships I’ve seen- they usually only have two cranes instead of three and are about 20m shorter (such as the BBC Everest). Usually these ships come into the Great Lakes either bringing or removing specialist project steel cargos (such as wind turbine components).
The G3 Marquis looks like- and is- one of the Equinox class lakers that have been built in the last 10 years or so for Algoma. In this case, she was built in China, and without the self-unloading gear of some of the other ships. Originally built for the Canadian Wheat Board, she has been dedicated to the Great Lakes wheat routes since her delivery in 2015. When the Canadian Wheat Board was sold and privated to become Global Grain Group, she was renamed. She frequently visits Hamilton Harbour and the G3 grain terminal there.3
Amoenitas is another “heavy lift” yet relatively small freighter, indeed quite similar to the BBC ships though of a different style and construction. Here you can see she really is riding rather high/light, and indeed she was downbound to the Ocean after delivering a cargo of windmill parts to somewhere in the upper Great Lakes.
Here we have a fantastic video of the Amoenitas upbound through Port Huron, Michigan, which is at the bottom of Lake Huron opposite Sarnia, Ontario.
The final interesting ship that passed us while we were docked was the Jana Desgagnes. The Desgagnes group is one of the major Canadian shipping lines, and you might know them from a recent discovery show that highlighted their work in Canada’s far north- or from the collision in Montreal with the USS Indianapolis last year, a ship that our company escorted through the Welland Canal. The Jana Desgagnes is one of their tankers, as you can see from the piping and manifolds on deck.
Speaking of US Navy warships, I leave you with a photo of the USS St Louis, the reason that we were in Port Colbourne. I very much you have enjoyed this series of posts.