(click on any photo to enlarge!)
above: the frozen Welland Canal as seen on Mar.4, 2010. This part of the canal was not fully drained over the winter of 2009-10, so the ice is seen high up to the canal banks. In the distance is the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway, built in 1963, which carries the QEW highway over the canal.
above: this is the same view, just twenty days later, on Mar.24, 2010! The ice is all gone, and the canal is almost at its normal water level. The Homer draw bridge is seen in its raised position in the distance, waiting for Nadro Marine's tugboat Vigilant 1 to pass on its way southbound up the canal, towards Lock 3.
above: same view, a typical summer vista of the Welland Canal, in July of 2010.
above: Jan.9, 2011 - this winter (2010-11) the canal was drained. Quite a difference from the previous photo, showing the width of the Big Ditch.
(See more photos at Welland Canal re-filled)
above: Mar.7, 2011, the water in the canal is being allowed to slowly rise again back up to its normal levels, in readiness for the shipping season set to begin in the third week of March. The section seen here was opened in 1932 as part of the fourth incarnation of the canal; the first three routes of the canal joined Lake Ontario at Port Dalhousie in west St.Catharines; this current fourth canal route joins Lake Ontario at Port Weller, in east St.Catharines. The Welland Canal opened in 1829, making this its 182nd shipping season.above: Mar.23, 2011 - here the canal is seen at its full operating level. Yesterday, on Mar.22, 2011, was the opening of the canal, with the Peter R. Cresswell (formerly the Algowest) being the first ship to head up (south-bound) towards Lake Erie from Lake Ontario. The Algoeast was the first downbound ship of the 2011 season.
above: Apr.18, 2011 - the Homer Bridge is raised as the Eylul K from Istanbul makes her way up the canal on this cold, snowy day.
above: May 3, 2011 - the Algolake from Sault Ste. Marie heads south up the canal.
above: May 8, 2011 - the southbound Federal Schelde from Bridgetown heads up the canal.
above: Jul.11, 2011 - the Cedarglen of Montreal heads north under the Skyway.
above: Aug.12, 2008 - the Nordic Helsinki from Oslo seen heading north, down the canal, passing underneath the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway.
above: May 19, 2011 the Kurt Paul from St.John's heads up the canal with a load of containers.
above: May 20, 2011, the Algocanada from St.Catharines heads south towards the Skyway.
above: May 20, 2011 - here's a nice view of the Algocanada cruising in still waters...
... and below is my watercolour postcard titled 'Fishing by the Algocanada', showing some kids fishing on a hot August day along the Welland Canal, as the Algocanada looms in the distance:
! Click on any photo to enlarge !
above: Jun.6, 2011 - the BBC Orinoco of St.John's, heading southbound, is tied off at the dock on the west-side of the Welland Canal, just south of the Homer Bridge. A load of wind-turbine blades is seen strapped to her deck. The Orinoco is waiting for a northbound ship, the Atlantic Huron (seen at the far right distance) to make her exit out of Lock Three.above: Jun.9, 2011 - MCT Arcturus of Monrovia heads southbound towards the Skyway and Lock Three in the distance. The MCT stands for Mega Chemical Tankers.
above: Jun.12, 2011 - the MCT Arcturus is seen heading back northbound, having just passed under the Skyway, seen at the far right distance. Note the ship had sat deeper in the water on her way south, and after unloading her cargo, is now sitting higher on the way back north.
above: Aug. 26, 2008 - the Robert S. Pierson of Nanticoke heads northbound, just after passing under the Skyway. This view is looking north-east.
above: Aug.10, 2008 - the Edward M. Cotter from the Buffalo Fire Department shows its powerful spray while visiting from the United States during the Canal Days festival in Port Colborne. Port Colborne is at the southern terminus of the Welland Canal. This view looks eastward across the Canal, from a point just north of where the Welland Canal meets Lake Erie. Lake Erie is just off to the right, out of frame.
above: Mar.10, 2008 - the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin sits frozen into place in the same area where the above photo with the E.M. Cotter was taken. The Martin was tied off here during the winter of 2007-08 along the east-side of the Welland Canal in Port Colborne, just slightly north from the also-frozen-over Lake Erie.
above: Mar.4, 2011 - here the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is seen berthed at the Port Weller Drydock during the winter. This drydock is located right on the Welland Canal immediately south-east of Lock One.
below: Mar.4, 2011 - a wider view shows the shiny Paul. J. Martin at the right; while at the left sitting in the drydock is Algoma Central Marine's John B. Aird of Sault Ste. Marie. Note the canal bed in front of the drydock doors is dry. This area seen in the foreground is the turning basin for the ships as they manoeuvre in and out of the drydock.
above: the same view, as it was earlier on Jan.6, 2011, showing the Martin on the right and the Aird at the left, with the canal full of water in front. Compared to the previous photo, it looks like the Martin was about to get a new paint job.
above: here's the same view, as it was on Jan.29, 2010, looking at the Port Weller Drydock. The CSL Assiniboine, can be seen in the drydock at the left, and the Peter R. Cresswell is seen at the right. Note that the canal bed at this time is dry. The CSL Assiniboine was christened by Jocelyn Hyndman-Goettke (CSL CEO Stuart Hyndman's daughter) at the Port Weller Drydock in June of 2005. The Assiniboine was a remanufactured ship, in that it was formerly the Jean Parisien, which had a new forebody attached to it at the drydock. At the time, this was the fourth ship in CSL's renewal program to have such a forebody replacement.above: Mar.4, 2011 - a view of the rear of the Port Weller Drydocks, showing the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin at the left, and the the John B. Aird at the right.
above: Mar.28, 2011 - the John B. Aird still sitting in the Port Weller drydock
above: Jun.13, 2011 - the John B. Aird heads northbound, having just left Lock Three, which is seen in the upper-right distance.
above: Mar.21, 2011 - the Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is now sitting back in the canal after being let out of the drydock.
above: Apr.22, 2011 - the Algorail now sits in the canal alongside the Port Weller Drydock building. Note the ship's wheelhouse is at the bow.
above: Mar.28, 2011 - the Canadian Coast Guard ship Cape Roger is tied off along the east-side of the canal, just south of Lock One, beside the Port Weller Drydocks, seen in the rear.
above: Dec.1, 2009 - at the Port Weller drydock (Seaway Marine and Industrial), the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Samuel Risley is seen tied off in the canal at the right, while at the left, the Assiniboine is inside the drydock.
above: Jan.29, 2010 - looking south towards the north-gate of Lock Two on the Welland Canal; note an excavator working to clean up an area where a large chunk of the concrete-topped pier along the west-side collapsed into the canal.
above: Jun.14, 2011 the Algowood of Sault Ste. Marie, having just entered the Welland Canal from Lake Erie, heads northbound underneath the raised Clarence St. liftbridge (Bridge 21) in downtown Port Colborne.
above: Jun.15, 2011 - the Eider of Hong Kong is ready to leave Lock Three, heading southbound. A tiny part of the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway can be seen in the far left distance.
above: Jun.17, 2011 - the Vega Desgagnes from Quebec arrives into Lock Three, heading northbound.
above: Jun.16, 2011 - the Presque Isle of Duluth MN. is seen inside the Port Weller Drydock.
below: Jun.17, 2011 - this close-up shows how tight a squeeze these ships have in order to get in and out of the locks. Here the northbound Heloise of Panama is seen exiting Lock Three with merely inches to spare.
above: Jun.17, 2011 - the northbound Heloise seen leaving Lock Three
above: Jun.17, 2011 - the Heloise heads north after leaving Lock Three, with the St.Catharines Garden City Skyway in the distance. The two arms of the Homer Bridge (a draw, or bascule, bridge) are seen in the process of being raised in preparation for the Heloise's passage.
above: Jun.20, 2011 - here the southbound Algowood is just about to enter Lock Three.
above: Jun.18, 2011 - the southbound Canadian Enterprise (L) is sitting alongside the west-wall of the Welland Canal, just north of Lock Two. The Enterprise had pulled over to wait for the northbound Rosaire A. Desgagnes of Bridgetown to be lowered and to leave Lock Two. Here the Desgagnes (R) is seen heading north after leaving Lock Two, passing by the waiting Enterprise, which then continued southbound to enter Lock Two.
above: Jun.20, 2011 - the southbound Pacific Huron of St. John's is seen exiting Lock Two under the raised Carlton St. drawbridge.
below: two historical markers, located near Lock 4, about the Welland Canal and the Twin Flight Locks:
(click on any photo to enlarge!)
above: Jun.19, 2011 - the Norman McLeod heads southbound, just north of the Glendale Bridge
above: Jun.19, 2011 - McAsphalt Marine Transportation's Norman McLeod of Toronto passes southbound under the raised Glendale Ave. liftbridge (also known as canal Bridge 5) approaching Lock Four. The McLeod is being propelled by a separate tug, the Everlast of Toronto, which is seen attached at the stern of the McLeod.
above: Jun.21, 2011 - a barge with the identity A390 is seen passing under the St.Catharines Skyway, heading south towards the Homer Bridge and Lock Three. This barge is being propelled by the tug boat Barbara Andrie, which is seen attached at the barge's stern.
above: Jun.21, 2011 - the Algoma Spirit of St.Catharines heads north after exiting Lock Two. This ship was once based in Nassau, as can be seen in the painted-over steel raised-letters at the stern.
above: Jun.22, 2011 - looking south from Lock Three: at the left, heading south, is the Victoria of St. John's, which had just exited Lock Three. The Victoria is passing the Algoma Navigator of Toronto, seen at the right, which is angling northbound to enter Lock Three. The Glendale Ave. liftbridge is seen raised in the distance.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the Peter R. Cresswell heads south under the Skyway towards the Homer bridge.
above: Aug.27, 2011 - the southbound Peter R. Cresswell is seen exiting Lock Three.above: Jun.29, 2011 - the Federal Patroller of Limasoll heads north under the Glendale bridge.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the above two shots show the Federal Patroller continuing north (keeping close to the west-side of the canal) as another ship, the Birchglen of Montreal, heads south towards the Glendale bridge.
above: Jun.29, 2011 - the Birchglen (formerly known as the Canada Marquis, Federal Mackenzie, and Federal Richelieu) passes under the Glendale bridge; note the puff of black smoke coming from her smaller front stack (seen in the center-right distance)
above: Jun.30, 2011 - the BBC Orinoco (formerly called the Beluga Generation) heads north after exiting Lock Two.
above: Jun.30, 2011 - the northbound Captain Henry Jackman of Sault Ste. Marie is being lowered in Lock Three.
above: Aug.12, 2011 - the northbound Captain Henry Jackman has just entered Lock Two; note that the southend lock doors have not yet started to close, and that the Carlton St. drawbridge is being lowered back down so that waiting cars can cross the canal.
above: Jun.30, 2011 - Niagara Police cordon off a portion of the canal pathway as an orange bodybag lays on the grass. Earlier in the morning, a man jumped off the Skyway into the canal. The St.Catharines Standard reported on Jun.30, 2011:
It's not something police generally want to discuss publicly.
But when two people jump to their deaths from Niagara bridges about 12 hours apart in public settings, it's difficult for them not to acknowledge the tragedy of suicide.
Ontario Provincial Police had to shut down the Niagara-bound lanes of the QEW Wednesday about 8:30 p.m. for several hours after a man jumped from the Niagara St. overpass and was killed.
Thursday morning shortly before 9 another man jumped from the Niagara-bound side of Garden City Skyway.
His body was recovered from the Welland Canal by Niagara Regional Police divers.
One lane of the highway and a section of the pedestrian pathway next to the canal were closed for about three hours as police investigated the death.
"It's a coincidence that we had two incidents back to back. There's nothing to indicate otherwise," said Staff Sgt. Jan Idzenga, commanding officer the Niagara OPP.
Niagara Regional Police were involved in both investigations and said foul play is not suspected.
NRP spokesman Const. Nilan Dave also said there appears to be no connection between the deaths.
Both men were residents of St. Catharines — one in his fifties and one in his sixties.
above: July 1, 2011 - the southbound Shannon Star of Valletta stops and waits along the west-side of the canal, just south of the Homer bridge, while in the right distance, another ship, the Esta Desgagnes of Quebec, exits north out of Lock Three.
above: July 1, 2011 - the Esta Desgagnes heads north towards the raised Homer drawbridge and the Skyway.
above: July 1, 2011 - the southbound Chemtrans Oste of Monrovia has just entered Lock Five.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - at the left, docked at the west-side of the canal, north of Lock One, is the barge St.Mary's Cement II; passing by is the southbound Richelieu.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - the southbound Richelieu is about to enter Lock One. This ship was formerly the Federal Ottawa from Antwerpen. The St.Mary's Cement II is seen in the far left distance.
above: July 5, 2011 - the southbound Mapleglen is about to enter Lock One. This ship was formerly the Federal Maas of Antwerpen. The St.Mary's Cement II is seen docked in the far left distance.
above: July 7, 2011 - the southbound Commencement of Majuro is about to enter Lock Two
above: Aug.22, 2011 - the southbound Songa Sapphire of Majuro enters into Lock Two.
above: July 5, 2011 - the southbound barge St.Mary's Cement II is about to enter Lock Three.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - the barge St.Mary's Cement II is propelled by the tugboat Sea Eagle II, with the tall wheelhouse. Both vessels are from Edmonton, Alberta - one of the hardest ports to reach from the Great Lakes!!
below two photos: Aug.31, 2011 - the southbound barge St.Mary's Cement sits raised in Lock Three, ready to exit; this barge is propelled by the tugboat Petite Forte of Hamilton.
above: July 7, 2011 - the southbound Federal EMS of Limassol is seen just after exiting Lock Seven.
above: July 7, 2011 - after exiting Lock Seven, the Federal EMS (R) continues southward; while the Atlantic Erie (L) passes by, heading north towards Lock Seven.
above: July 7, 2011 - the northbound Atlantic Erie is just about to enter Lock Seven.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - the northbound Sten Aurora of Bergen is seen arriving into Lock Seven.
above: Jul.5, 2011 - seen from the stern, the northbound Sten Aurora is almost fully into Lock Seven.
above two photos: Jul.13, 2011 - bow and stern views of the Paul J. Martin heading south just before the Skyway.
above: Jul.7, 2011 - the northbound Rt. Hon. Paul J. Martin is approaching Lock Two.
above: July 6, 2011 - the Birchglen (formerly Federal Richelieu) is making her northbound approach towards Lock Two. Note the puff of black smoke coming from her forward stack.
above: Jul.7, 2011 - the Canadian Olympic of Toronto heads north under the Skyway.
above: Jul.7, 2011 - the Algobay heads north after leaving Lock Four. Note the railroad bridge in the right distance is being lowered. The St.Catharines Glendale General Motors plant is in the left distance.
above: July 8, 2011 - the Quebecois of Toronto is seen heading southbound, just before the Skyway. This ship's wheelhouse is at the bow.
above: Jul.10, 2011 - the John D. Leitch of Toronto heads north from Lock Two.above: Jul.13, 2011 - the Gordon C. Leitch (formerly the Ralph Misener) heads south under the St. Catharines Skyway. I didn't know at the time, but it turned out that 2011 would be the last shipping year for this vessel. It was built in Montreal in 1968, and was decommissioned at the end of the 2011 season. It was then renamed the Don for its final trip, where it was towed across the Atlantic ocean, in Aug. 2012, to Turkey to be scrapped. So this is one of the last photos taken of this ship in Niagara.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the northbound Pineglen arriving into Lock 3. Note the Canada geese non-chalantly paddling in the lock as the ship approaches; and note the seagull in the upper right corner.
above: Sept.9, 2011 - the Pineglen heading south towards Lock Two.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the southbound Songa Sapphire of Majuro is ready to exit Lock 3.
above: Jul.13, 2011 - the northbound Algocape is being lowered in Lock 4; meanwhile the railroad drawbridge is raised prior to the ship's exit. (I didn't know it at the time, but this was the final year that Algocape would be in the Welland Canal; by Dec.2011 she was retired, and by Aug.2012, she was being cut up for scrap in Aliaga, Turkey. Built in Lauzon, Quebec in 1967 as the Canada Steamship Line's Richelieu, the 225.5m ship was renamed as Algoma's Algocape in 1994.
As an aside, what's kinda weird is the above photo of the Algocape, and the previously-above photo of the Gordon C. Leitch, were both taken on the same day, on Jul.13, 2011, within minutes of each other. The Algocape was heading north from Lock 4, while at the same time, the Gordon C. Leitch was heading south towards Lock 3; so, these two soon-to-be-doomed ships - which would both end up as scrap in Turkey - actually passed each other that day!)
below: Oct.5, 2011 - here is a closer view of how the above railroad draw bridge across the Welland Canal looks like when it is raised. There are two sets of tracks on this bridge.
above: Sept.28, 2011 - the southbound Algolake of Sault Ste.Marie cranks her engines approaching Lock Seven.
above: July 12, 2011 - the barge John J. Carrick heads south towards the Skyway, being propelled by the tugboat Victorious of Toronto.
above: Jul.14, 2011 - the southbound CSL Laurentien is seen docked at the west-side of the Welland Canal, north of Lock One.
above two photos: Jul.14, 2011 - a closeup of the Algomarine as she exits north out of Lock Three; and a wider photo showing the Algomarine, loaded with 25,000 tons of salt bound for Toronto, approaching the Homer Bridge in the distance, which is seen in the process of being raised.
above: Jul.14, 2011 - the northbound Algosteel approaches the entrance to Lock Two.
above: Jul.14, 2011 - the northbound Vancouverborg heads towards the raised Homer Bridge.
above: Jul.17, 2011 - the northbound Canadian Enterprise heads into Lock Two.
above: July 22, 2011 - the southbound English River from Montreal is docked along the west-side of the canal, north of Lock One.
above: Jul.18, 2011 - the southbound barge Alouette Spirit leaves Lock Seven
above: Sept.8, 2011 - here the Alouette Spirit is heading south towards the Skyway, being propelled by the tug Wilf Seymour.
above: July 22, 2011 - in the distance, the Peter R. Cresswell heads north, passing by the Algoma Spirit of St.Catharines, which is docked along the west-side of the canal, slightly north of Lock Three.
above: Jul.21, 2011 - the southbound barge Endeavour is docked just north of Lock Three.
above: July 23, 2011 - the northbound Tuscarora from Monrovia inside Lock Two, waiting to be lowered.
above: July 24, 2011 - the southbound Thalassa Desgagnes of Quebec is tied off along the west-side of the canal, slightly north of Lock Two.
above: Aug.10, 2011 - the Federal Fuji of Nassau exits southbound out of Lock Two. The raised Carlton St. bridge is seen at the left.
above: Aug.14, 2011 - the southbound Algoeast of Toronto is about to enter Lock Two.
below: Aug.17, 2011 - the northbound Tim S. Dool approaches the entrance to Lock Two.
above: Aug.17, 2011 - the northbound Tim S. Dool has almost fully entered Lock Two.
above: Aug.18, 2011 - the southbound Nordport of Limassol is about to exit Lock Three.above: Aug.21, 2011 - looking northwards along the canal, standing just north of the Glendale Bridge. The ship at the left is the Canadian Transport of Toronto, heading northbound towards Lock Three, after having just passed under the Glendale Bridge. At the right, the Algobay passes by heading southbound, having just left Lock Three.
above four photos: top two photos taken Sept.13. 2011; lower two photos taken Aug.18, 2011 - showing bow and stern views of the northbound Montrealais of Toronto, after passing under the Garden City Skyway.
below: Mar.1, 2011 - looking southwards into Lock Three. Repairs on the lock were made during the winter shut down of the canal. Concrete is being piped down to workers,who are seen at the bottom of the lock, where the north door of Lock Three normally closes.
below two photos: Aug.26, 2011 - fore and aft views as the northbound CSL Niagara of St.Catharines passes under the St.Catharines Skyway, heading towards Lock Two.
below: Aug.26, 2011 - the southbound Chestnut of Limassol is seen exiting Lock One.
above: Aug.26, 2011 - the Chestnut continues south towards Lock Two, after having just left Lock One; in the far right distance another ship is seen inside Lock Two - this is the northbound CSL Niagara seen earlier on Aug.26, above.
above: Aug.27, 2011 - the southbound Orsula of Majuro (formerly named the Federal Calumet) exits Lock Two.
above two photos: Aug.31, 2011 - fore and aft views as the southbound Sarah Desgagnes of Bridgetown approaches the Skyway.
below: Sept.6, 2011 - the Canadian Coast Guard ship Limnos is docked at the west-side of the Welland Canal, slightly north of Lock One, in St.Catharines. Also docked here, seen in the left distance, is the Canadian Multi-Role Patrol Frigate HMCS Montreal.
above: Sept.6, 2011 - closer view of the 134.1 metre-long Halifax Class Frigate HMCS Montreal FFH 336. She stopped in St.Catharines and was open two days for tours.
above two photos: Sept.6, 2011 - looking towards the bow of the HMCS Montreal; this view faces south, in the distance is Lock One.
above: Sept. 6, 2011 - aft view of the HMCS Montreal docked in St.Catharinesabove: Sept.7, 2011 - the barge Norman McLeod, propelled by the tug Everlast, is seen with the HMCS Montreal in the distance.
above two photos: top, Sept.8, 2011; bottom, Sept.15, 2011 - the ESSROC Stephen B. Roman of Toronto heading south approaching the Skyway.
above: Oct.6, 2011 - the Stephen B. Roman heads north, about to leave the canal into Lake Ontario; the Port Weller 'lighthouse' seen in the right distance.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Federal Pioneer arrives at the mouth of the Welland Canal from Lake Erie; at the far left, sitting along the east-side of the canal, is the Canadian Leader, which is being scrapped.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Federal Pioneer has just entered the canal from Lake Erie, and is approaching Port Colborne's Clarence St. bridge. Tied off at the west side of the canal is the tall ship Niagara.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Catherine Desgagnes of Montreal is tied off along the west side of the canal in Port Colborne.
above: Sept.9, 2011 - the Federal Pioneer of Limassol heads northbound under the raised Clarence St. lift bridge in Port Colborne; in the left distance is the Catherine Desgagnes from above. The huge structure in the left distance is the Robin Hood flour silo.
below: Sept.9, 2011 - the northbound Algoma Transfer of Toronto is docked at the east-side of the canal, just north of the Robin Hood silo in Port Colborne.
above: Sept.9, 2011 - the southbound St.Mary's Cement II is docked along the east-side of the canal, across from the massive Robin Hood silo in Port Colborne.
above: Sept.28, 2008 - two views of the BBC Elbe southbound at Lock One, carrying wind turbine parts.
above: Jul.14, 2010 the northbound Redhead sits in Lock Two.
above: Jul.22, 2011 - the Cape Rescue at the west-side of the Welland Canal, north of Lock One in St.Catharines.
above: Sept.14, 2011 - the Algo Discovery sits inside the Port Weller drydock.
below: Sept.15, 2011 - the downbound Spruceglen of Montreal is exiting Lock Three.
above: Sept.15, 2011 - stern view as the downbound Spruceglen - formerly known as the Selkirk Settler out of St.Catharines, the Federal St.Louis (Nassau), and the Federal Fraser (Panama) - continues northbound out of Lock Three. The Skyway and Homer Bridge are in the distance.
above: Sept.15, 2011 - the Spruceglen pulls over to dock at the west-side of the canal, just south of the Homer Bridge, which is seen in the distance. A crewman is seen being lowered down by hoist onto the dock in order to tie the ship to the bollards. A lasso just won't do here.
above: Sept.14, 2011 - the southbound Cedarglen waiting in Lock Eight while taking on supplies.
below: Sept.22, 2011, approx. 6pm - the Cedarglen (formerly the Ems Ore, rebuilt later to become the Montcliffe Hall, and later the Cartierdoc) here is heading northbound out of Lock Three, carrying a load of coal to Quebec city.
above: a closer view of the Cedarglen's bow shows that it was once called the Montcliffe Hall, of Hall Corporation Shipping, Toronto.
above: Sept.22, 2011 - the northbound Cedarglen's wheelhouse passes through the Lock Three exit
below: also on Sept.22, 2011, at about 2pm, the Heloise of Panama was heading southbound up the Welland Canal, here seen on her way towards Lock Two.
below: Sept.22, 2011 - at the same time as the southbound Heloise was approaching Lock Two, the northbound Algoma Guardian of St.Catharines was inside Lock two, being lowered.
below: Sept.22, 2011 - by 6pm, the southbound Heloise had made it out of Lock Two, and is now seen in the distance passing under the Homer Bridge (coming towards the camera), while the northbound Cedarglen , at the right, is seen just leaving Lock Three.above two photos: Sept.22, 2011 - show the southbound Heloise, at the left, still moving, keeping close to the west side of the canal, while the Cedarglen passes by, continuing north.
above: Sept.22, 2011 - at 6:20 pm, the southbound Heloise is about to enter Lock Three, while in the distance the northbound Cedarglen is seen passing the Homer Bridge.above two photos: Oct.5, 2011 - the Federal Yoshino of Majuro heads south after leaving Lock Two
above two photos: Sept.28, 2011 - the southbound Algosoo of Sault Ste. Marie approaches the Skyway and the Homer Bridge.
above: Oct.11, 2011 - the northbound Mississagi of Nanticoke as she approaches the Homer Bridge
above two photos: Oct.8, 2011 - the Algoma Guardian of St.Catharines (formerly named the Omisalj, and then the Goviken of Nassau) heads north out of Lock Two.
below: Oct.27, 2011 - the Barbro of Valetta heads southbound, approaching Lock One; she is passing by two ships seen docked at the left, at the west-side of the canal. Closest to the camera is seen the aft of the north-facing tug Petite Forte, which is connected to and which propels the barge St.Mary's Cement. Farther in the left distance is seen the south-facing Lyulin.
above: Oct.27, 2011 - closer view as the southbound Barbro heads into Lock One.
above two photos: Oct.28, 2011 - the northbound barge Niagara Spirit is seen entering Lock Two, propelled by the tug John Spence of Hamilton. In the upper shot (barely seen in the far right) the English River is heading southwards towards the Skyway.
below: Oct.28, 2011 - the southbound Canadian Enterprise is seen leaving Lock One; just across the canal (to the right of the ship's bow, out-of frame on the east-side of the canal) is the location of the Port Weller Drydock.
above: here is the same bow-side view of the Canadian Enterprise, as seen on Dec.8, 1979, the day of the ship's christening by Maureen McTeer, Prime Minister Joe Clark's wife. The Canadian Enterprise was actually built at the Port Weller Drydock! Photo from the Niagara Falls Library archives.
above: Aug.1, 2010 - the Lynx, a Baltimore Clipper reproduction tall ship, takes on visitors at Port Colborne, Ontario.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the upbound CSL Saguenay is raised and ready to exit Lock One, waiting for the bridge to open. The Lakeshore Rd. drawbridge (or bascule bridge), with its massive counterweight, is seen reflected in the foreground ice.
above: closer view of the Saguenay (formerly the Federal Thames) with the drawbridge structure in the foreground.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the southbound Saguenay exits Lock One.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the Saguenay continues south, passing the northbound Canadian Olympic, which was waiting to enter Lock One.
below: Dec.11, 2011 - the Canadian Olympic heads into Lock One, while the southbound Saguenay is seen in the far right distance.
above: Dec.11, 2011 - the northbound Canadian Olympic of Toronto enters Lock One.
above two photos: Dec.15, 2011 - fore and aft views of the northbound Algoma Navigator of Toronto (formerly named the Canadian Navigator) entering Lock Two. Note, at the left, some construction work being done beside the Carlton St. drawbridge; the crane would be used that day to unload a pre-fab building off a truck and place it beside the bridge.
below: Dec.16, 2011 - the pre-fab building seen in place, just on the south-side of the Carlton St. bridge; the little buidling was installed on Dec.15, 2011.
below: Dec.13, 2011 - in the foreground, the site is being readied for the pre-fab building. (the St.Mary's Cement barge is heading south in the distance)above: Dec.16, 2011 - the same view, after the new building was craned into place.
above two photos: Dec.16, 2011 - fore and aft views as the southbound Algoeast of Toronto (formerly the Texaco Brave 1976-86; Le Brave 1986-97; Imperial St.Lawrence 1997-98) exits Lock Two. below: the original welded raised letters of the Texaco Brave can be seen beneath the current painted letters.
above two photos: Dec.22, 2011; top - the northbound Federal Yukina is seen after exiting Lock Three; the big climb (and descent) which the ships travelling the Welland Canal must make to negotiate the Niagara Escarpment can be seen by looking at the elevation of the Escarpment in the center left distance. Bottom - the Yukina is about to pass by the Homer Bridge.
below: Jan.4, 2012 - the Welland Canal's 2011 shipping season officially ended on Dec.26, 2011, where ships were given until until Dec.30 to exit; the last ship to travel the canal was apparently a coast guard ship. Draining of the canal was started the next day; below is the view on Jan.4, 2012, looking south towards the Skyway, where the banks of the big ditch are being revealed again. The center of the canal isn't yet frozen, but at the banks ice has formed, which cracks and drops as the canal water levels slowly drop beneath it.
above: Jan.5, 2012 - same view, next day: the canal water level continues to drop; the ice which was seen along the bank edges over water yesterday, is today seen laying on the muddy canal bottom, as the edge of the stream has significantly receded towards the center..
above: Jan.5, 2012 - the canal is drained using control gates located at the sides of the locks; here, looking northwards, is the sluice gate which is at the east side of Lock One. The water level in the portion of the canal north of Lock One is essentially at the level of Lake Ontario.
above: Jan.5, 2012 - this view looks northwards at the south-end gate of Lock One; the north-end gate is seen in the far distance.
above: Jan.5, 2012 - in the foreground the canal bed is seen drained; sitting in the drydocks for the winter are three vessels: at the right is the orange barge McCleary's Spirit of Hamilton; at the left in the distance can be seen the white wheelhouse of the English River, and in front there is a tug, probably the McCleary's tug William J. Moore.
above: by mid-March 2012, the water in the canal has been refilled. The three ships are still inside the drydock. The shiny McCleary's Spirit has been repainted, and looks more red now, whereas before was more orange.
below: date not known, pos 1970's; looking at the south-side of the Homer bridge. The canal is drained and an excavator is working down in the canal bed. Note that only one wing of the bridge is raised.
above photo from Niagara Falls library photo archives
above: Jan.10, 2012 - same view; the canal has been drained, and again, as is the case every year, heavy equipment excavators are sent in to dredge and shore up portions of the canal.
above: looking east across the canal as the excavator dredges the canal bed; the Skyway is at the left and the Homer Bridge is at the right.
above two views: Jan.10, 2012 - looking southwards towards the Homer Bridge, as equipment dredges the canal bottom.
above: looking northwards as heavy equipment dredges the canal bed, just north of Lock Three.
above: Jan.10, 2012 - a look into the drained north-end of Lock Three. The workers seen standing at the bottom show the cavernous scale of the lock.
below: Feb.4, 2012 - looking northwards at the south-gate of Lock Two, as construction work takes place around the massive lock doors. You can see the deep drop into Lock Two at the upper left. The steel beams of the Carlton St. bridge deck are seen running along the top.
above two views: Jan.11, 2012 - winter maintenance continues throughout the drained Welland Canal; here is the view looking southwards from the deck of the Carlton St. drawbridge, which is located directly south of Lock Two. Crews are working on the canal bed; at the right, a large concrete saw is cutting into the wall. Note the long wooden pier which runs along the right (west) side here; the same pier area is seen in the next photo below:
above: Jan.11, 2012 - Some of the thousands of wooden supports which make up the piers along the canal are seen reflected in the pools of water remaining in the drained canal bed. This is the same area as seen in the previous above photo, along the west side of the canal, just south of Lock Two. Northbound ships, heading here into Lock Two, will often align their approach by scraping their bows along the top of the piers, as can be seen by all the scuff marks running along the top.
below: Dec.13, 2011 - looking (in a NE direction) at the area directly east of Lock Two, where the sluice gate 'pond' area is located. Here the pond is seen filled, at its normal working level; while on the east-side of the pond, crews are seen, busy hammering home a line of new steel casings:
above: Jan.11, 2012 - this is the same view of the same Lock Two sluice pond, now drained. The now-exposed control gates are seen at the left; and those new steel casings which were seen being installed last month, are now fully hammered into place, and just the tips of the new steel shoring can be seen running in a row along the top right. Now that the water has been drained, the slope of the shore has been revealed, and crews are installing new steel mesh in place to stabilize the slope.
above: Jan.11, 2012 - looking in a NW direction: Lock Two runs at the far left of the photo, beyond the building; in the center of the photo are the east-side sluice gates. Workers are seen fastening the mesh to stabilize the slope. The tips of the new row of steel pilings are seen along the right.
above: Feb.4, 2012, same view - a cover of rubble stone has been placed on top of the steel mesh; the mesh is connected to the new steel pilings by heavy steel chains.
above: same view, by mid-March, 2012 - the water in the canal has been refilled; the tips of the steel pilings have now been covered with concrete capping, and a new steel safety railing has been added at the right.below: Jan.17, 2012 - here is the view, looking north-east, while standing at the south-end of Lock Seven; as can be seen at the right (to the south), the canal is still full of water here. There are three barriers seen here: at the right bottom, this first safety barrier is stopping the water from heading north into Lock 7. Further to the left, the lock cavity is seen drained; there is a second pie-shaped safety-wall seen at centre-left, with its tracks visible at the bottom; and a third barrier is at the far left, also with its tracks visible.
above: Jan.17, 2012 - this is the same Lock 7 safety barrier seen previously; this view looks south, showing that the canal water-level south of the safety barrier has remained at its normal level. This safety barrier does not move or swing away, and is not there during the operating season - its component beams are craned and bolted into place for the winter season.
above: looking eastwards across the canalway, in the foreground is the now-drained access into Lock 7. That temporary first safety wall is at the right; the pie-shaped second safety-barrier is at the left. This pie-shaped barrier gate is a permanent part of Lock 7, but it is not normally used during the regular summer shipping season, it usually remains open, tucked into the sides of the concrete lock walls. The yellow pipe at the far side running up the wall is a temporary sump pump outlet which is draining the lower areas.
below: Jan.17, 2012 - looking a bit farther to the left - that pie-shaped barrier gate can be clearly seen at the right (this is the east-side wing). It is seen on its trackway, protruding out from where it normally resides, recessed in the concrete wall. A bit of the opposite west-side wing gate is seen along the left of the photo.
above: July 7, 2011 - this is the same view as previously, while the canal is under operation. The same control tower is seen in the distance. Only the tips of the lock gates, which are now tucked into the canal wall while the ship passes, can be seen above the water. The northbound ship that is about to enter Lock 7 is the Atlantic Erie of Halifax.
below: Jan.17, 2012 - at the left is the west-side wing of the pie-shaped barrier gate; it is seen sitting within its recess, out of the way, as it normally does during the regular season. In the centre can be seen the south-end doors of Lock Seven, these are the actual working lock doors which operate during the shipping season. The east-side lock door (at the right) is open, parallel with the sides of the lock; while the west-side lock door is seen protruding into the lock cavity. You can see that just beyond those doors, the floor-level drops off significantly, as that is where the ships sit while being lowered/raised on their passage. The north-end doors of Lock 7 are in the far distance.
above: July 7, 2011 - this is the exact same view as previously above; the same pie-shaped gate is seen at the bottom left in both above photos. This is the normal operating water level for northbound ships which enter Lock Seven. The water is being held at this level by the north-end gates of Lock Seven, which are in the far distance.
above: Jan.17, 2012 - a closer view of the west-side pie-shaped barrier at Lock Seven. The normal water level here during the regular season would be slightly below the catwalk floor, as seen previously above.
above: Aug.28, 2012 - same view as previous five above photos; here, the northbound Laurentien is seen lowered way down within Lock Seven, while the water level is at this time being held back by the south-end lock gates. The same pie-shaped barrier is seen at the bottom left.
below: Mar.7, 2012 - slowly the water is trickling back into the Welland Canal (check out the same view, as it was exactly a year ago, on Mar.7, 2011, earlier in this post)
above: Mar.14, 2012 - same view; the canal water level continues to rise, with just several feet more to go.
below: Mar.7, 2012 - looking eastward across the canal, where in the distance the shallow pond area is dry.above: Mar.14, 2012 - same view, the rising water level of the canal has covered the shallow area.
above: Mar.22, 2012 - the Cuyahoga of Nanticoke heads southbound out of Lock Three.
Today was the opening day of the 2012 Welland Canal shipping season, marking the canal's 183rd year of operation. (First opened on Nov.30, 1829)
On Mar.22, there were two ships - both heading downbound - which were named as being the "first" of the year to pass through the canal: Capt. Rob Dominaux of the barge/tug Alouette Spirit/Wilf Seymour, received the ceremonial Top Hat at Lock 3; yet, at Lock 8, another Top Hat was presented to Capt. Sean Jowsey of the barge/tug John. J. Carrick/ Victorious.
below: Mar.22, 2012 - after their Top Hat recognitions, the Alouette Spirit and the John J. Carrick continued northbound down the canal. Here, just after noon, the Alouette Spirit, festooned with flags, is seen heading northbound, approaching Lock One.
below: July 5, 2012 - the upbound Ojibway leaves Lock Two.
above: Apr.14, 2012 - the downbound Arubaborg of Delfzijl angles in for her approach into Lock 2.
above: Apr.25, 2012 - at the right, the Algosteel sits in the drydock at Port Weller; while at the left, sitting low, is the HMCS Athabaskan, which arrived in late March for an extensive overhaul.
above: Jun.23, 2012, the upbound Songa Jade passes under the Garden City Skyway, heading towards the Homer Bridge and Lock Three.
above: Jun.30, 2012 - looking southwards along the Welland Canal, from the top of the Garden City Skyway. In the foreground, the upbound Saguenay from Montreal is just squeezing herself into Lock Three. Further in the distance the Glendale Lift Bridge can be seen crossing the canal, and further back, the steps of Locks 4, 5, and 6 rise up as they take the canal up the Niagara Escarpment.
above: Apr.25, 2012 - the southbound Algosea passes under the Glendale Lift Bridge, approaching Lock Fourabove: Aug.13, 2012 - HHL Amazon of Monrovia heads south, approaching the Glendale Lift Bridge.
above: Aug.7, 2012 - the Edenborg of Delfzijl heads north towards the rising wings of the Homer Lift Bridge.
above: Aug.10, 2012 - the upbound Algosoo of Sault Ste.Marie passes under the raised Homer Lift Bridge, heading towards Lock 3, while the Spruceglen is seen in the right distance, heading north, having just exited Lock 3.
above: Aug.28, 2012 - the northbound barge Great Lakes, with its tug Michigan in the rear, sit tied off on the west side of the Welland Canal, directly north of Lock Two.
above: Aug.28, 2012, the upbound Sichem New York of Singapore heads into Lock One.
above: Sept.3, 2012 Canadian navy ships HMCS Moncton (in left distance) and HMCS Summerside head north out of the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario.
below: Dec.11, 2008 - the northbound Federal Katsura of Panama enters Lock One.
above: Dec.11, 2008 - the Federal Katsura heads north into Lock One, past the Port Weller Drydock in St.Catharines. Looking closely at the center right, you will see the engineless-remains of the doomed ship Windoc sitting inside the drydock. The Windoc was built in 1959 in Hamburg, W.Germany, and was originally named the Rhine Ore.
below: Dec.11, 2008 - looking at the Port Weller drydock: this is the Windoc sitting inside the drydock, seen with her stern removed.
above: Dec.11, 2008 - a closer view of the Windoc, looking at her cross-section.
ABOUT THE ILL-FATED SHIP "WINDOC"
above: Sept.9, 2011 - three ships are seen tied up at the mouth of the canal in Port Colborne, along the east-side wall, directly north of Lake Erie.At the far left is the Canadian Leader, (see video).
In the center, tied off to the Canadian Leader, is a rusty smaller blue-painted vessel, the K. R. Elliott.
Interestingly, the Canadian Leader's red chimney stack was at her rear, but her wheelhouse was way up at her bow: it is seen in the center of the photo, behind where the smaller K.R. Elliott is.
From this angle, though, that wheelhouse (which belongs to the Leader) looks as though it might be part of that third ship, whose bow is seen at the very far right, facing Lake Erie - but actually, that third ship has no wheelhouse whatsoever!!
This is because this ship is the infamous doomed Windoc, whose wheelhouse was sheared off in a disastrous collision with the Allanburg Bridge on Aug.11, 2001!
In the next photo below, the Windoc, still in the same place, is seen from a different angle: this photo looks at the ship from the east, from the mosquito-infested Nickel Beach. Clearly, looking at the right, the Windoc's stern has been totally removed.
This is a ship graveyard.
[What is also eerily interesting about my above photo is that there is an uncanny tie between the Canadian Leader and the Windoc, which now both sit here at the scrapyard dock.
The connection is that the Canadian Leader was the FIRST SHIP in line to go through the temporarily-raised Allanburg bridge, two days after the Windoc accident!!
As coincidence would have it, the Canadian Leader happened to be the first of 25 ships that were backed-up waiting at various points of the canal to get through the bridge. The further irony is that the Canadian Leader passed by the Windoc, which would have been still-smouldering and grounded in the canal. The Windoc was never to work again, while the Leader still remained a working ship for some time longer - yet both have ended up beside each other in the same place, ten years later, as scrap!!]
(click on photos to enlarge!)
below: Sept..9, 2011 - a closer aft view of the Canadian Leader.above: Sept.9, 2011 - a closer view of the K. R.Elliott, which is the blue ship tied off the starboard of the Canadian Leader.
below: Aug.31, 2011 - a bit of the K. R. Elliott's bow is seen at the far left; at the right is a closer view of the Windoc's starboard, showing large sections of steel being been cut out and removed from her hull.
above: Aug.31, 2011 - a closer view looking towards the bow of the Windoc, as workers are seen on the deck dismantling the ship.
above: a closer view of the bows of the K.R. Elliott and the Canadian Leader.
above: Skip Gillham writes about the Windoc in the May 21, 2011 St.Catharines Standard.
below: Aug.12, 2001, photo by R.Bobak: here is the Allanburg Bridge (also called Bridge 11) of the Welland Canal, the day after the Windoc hit it - or more precisely, the bridge was lowered onto the moving ship.
This is looking at the south-side of the bridge; the Windoc was heading northbound (to the right) as the bridge was unexpectedly lowered before she fully passed and cleared the bridge.
Here a small boat is seen making its way under the bridge while engineers on the boat inspected the girders. Considering the spectacular nature of this collision, it is amazing that the damage, as seen in the center of the bridge, was not worse; the bridge survived, but the Windoc's wheelhouse was destroyed.
above: this is the same view of the Allanburg Bridge, on an icy Feb.10, 2010. If you walk to the center of the bridge, some scarring can still be seen in the steel beams on the southside. The damage to the bridge was set at about $780,000; the bridge was repaired and reopened to traffic on Nov.16, 2001.
below: Aug.12, 2001, photo by R.Bobak - while the inspectors were examining the bridge, as seen in the previous shot, at the same time, farther down the canal on the north side of the bridge, the Windoc was still burning - a day after the crash.
This photo looks north, while standing in front of the Allanburg Bridge, on the east-bank of the Welland Canal. The bridge is directly to the left, just out of frame.
The Windoc is seen in the centre-distance with smoke pouring out of her while fire crews kept hosing her down. The ship, after having had her wheelhouse completely destroyed by the bridge collision the day before, had continued to float - out of control - for about a mile north until she finally grounded, on fire, along the west bank of the canal. Here a continuous crowd of spectators made their way down the east-side of the canal path to watch the spectacle.
above: the same view looking north, Mar.17, 2011; the bridge is just to the left, out of frame.
above: an Aug.1978 aerial view of the Allanburg Bridge, looking from the west-side of the Welland Canal towards the east-side in the distance. The Windoc was heading north, which is towards the left in the above view. After the collision with the bridge, the Windoc grounded along the west-side of the canal further out along the left, out of frame. Photo from the Niagara Falls Ont. library archive.
You must have seen the You Tube video of the Windoc event - if not, see how it happened !!!!
By Jan.10, 2003, the Niagara Falls Review summarized what happened on the night of the Windoc collision, after much of the subsequent legal wrangling subsided:
Operator on pain killers, wine when Windoc struck, investigation finds
The operator who lowered a
Seventeen months after the Windoc smashed into the Allanburg bridge Aug. 11, 2001, the safety board released its report Thursday on its investigation into the fiery collision.
Investigators determined human error of the lone bridge operator - not a mechanical malfunction of the bridge or an error of the ship's crew - was a primary cause for the disaster, which closed shipping on the
for two days. Welland Canal
"The Windoc was visible from the control room of the bridge. It is likely that the operator's performance was impaired at the time of the accident," investigator Paul van den Berg said at a news conference in
Before being called in to work an overtime shift Aug. 11, the bridge operator had taken pain killers for a recurring back ailment and consumed between two and four glasses of wine, the safety board said in its report.
"The investigation revealed that the bridge operator was on his scheduled day off," said van den Berg. "He had taken Darvon-N tablets that morning to relieve back pain. He had also consumed several glasses of wine around lunch time."
The operator received the invitation to work an overtime night shift between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., but made no mention of the medication or alcohol he had consumed, said the report.
But authorities couldn't state conclusively whether the operator was impaired because no drug or alcohol testing was conducted after the collision.
Investigators had no reason to initially suspect intoxication as a contributing factor, said Camille Theriault, safety board chairman.
"However, more and more as they got into the investigation there were definitely some signs that pointed toward the possibility of impairment and that it was a factor in this accident," he said.
Shortly before he dropped the bridge into the Windoc's path, the operator's speech was slurred in taped telephone conversations he had with the controllers in the Seaway's Traffic Control Centre, according to the report.
The operator accidentally called the control centre at 8:50 p.m. while trying to reach staff at Lock 7, but had trouble understanding he'd made the mistake. This exchange was conducted over a speaker phone, and before hanging up, the two controllers on duty made comments about the way the operator sounded.
"Less than two minutes later, the accident occurred," the report states.
Van den Berg said the master of the Windoc sounded a few blasts of the ship's whistle to alert the bridge operator and called the traffic control centre.
But it was too late.
The collision sheared off the wheelhouse and funnel. A fire ignited inside the ship moments after the crash and burned for 22 hours, destroying the engine room and crew quarters.
None of the 22 crew was injured, including the helmsman who remained inside the wheelhouse as it was ripped off over his head.
The collision closed the
Welland Canal to shipping traffic for two days and put the out of commission for three months. Allanburg Bridge
Immediately after the crash, the bridge operator seemed unable to comprehend the severity of the incident, according to the safety board report.
When he first was contacted by seaway traffic controllers minutes after the accident, the operator indicated a vessel had struck the bridge.
It took traffic controllers several more attempts to reach the operator by phone 10 minutes later. When asked whether the Windoc was on fire, the operator reported there was "a small fire" aboard the ship, said the report.
The first Niagara Regional Police officer on the scene and the seaway area co-ordinator found the bridge operator sitting in his darkened control room apparently in shock.
The bridge operator's likely impairment wasn't the only safety deficiency singled out by the Transportation Safety Board.
Investigators determined the seaway hadn't properly identified "safety-sensitive positions" to make certain they were staffed with capable personnel.
"The system in place to ensure that these individuals occupying those positions were competent and fit for duty was inadequate," said van den Berg.
In addition, it wasn't uncommon for bridge operators to complete an entire 12-hour shift without ever speaking to a supervisor in person.
"Bridge operators spend a significant amount of time working alone and with little opportunity for management to ensure they can consistently perform their job function in an appropriate and safe manner," said van den Berg.
The seaway needs to bring in backup monitoring systems - such as infrared technology to detect the presence of vessels beneath bridges - to prevent future collisions, Theriault said.
The safety board also criticized the seaway's initial handling of the canal disaster. "The corporation's response to the accident was conducted in an ad hoc basis, which hampered co-ordination and deployment of responding personnel and equipment," said van den Berg.
Seaway spokeswoman Sylvie Moncion said she couldn't discuss the safety board's report because of the corporation's court battle with N.M. Paterson and Sons, the former owner of the Windoc.
However, she said the seaway is planning to review its safety- sensitive positions to ensure "all of the people in those jobs meet the requirements."
As well, she said management have developed a workplace alcohol and drug policy that has been endorsed by the Canadian Auto Workers union, which represents Seaway employees.
"It doesn't include mandatory drug and alcohol testing, but if we feel there is an employee who has a problem, then we would be able to take appropriate measures at that point," she said."*
Bill Currie of the St.Catharines Standard reported in 2001 on an ironic twist between an earlier ship also named Windoc, which had also been owned by the Paterson Co., and which also hit a bridge on the Welland Canal, back in 1938, eerily similar to what would happen to the next Windoc in 2001:
"For the second time in the 171-year history of the
Both were called Windoc.
The original Paterson-flagged ship called the Windoc collided with Bridge 20 in
on Oct. 2, 1938. The 1,300-ton rail bridge came down while the ship was passing beneath it, smashing a large section of the stern tower, the stack, one of its masts, the lifeboats and causing a fire. Port Colborne
By uncanny coincidence, the Allanburg lift-bridge did similar damage Saturday night to the latest Windoc, also owned by N. M. Paterson and Sons Ltd.
Both incidents resulted in no crew injuries, but extensive damage to the stern sections of the ships.
Great Lakes shipping historian Skip Gillham, who recently co- authored a book on the Thunder Bay-based Paterson company, said it has been the only shipping firm to have experienced this kind of collision with the centre section of a lift-bridge.
"Can you imagine being in the pilot house and seeing the bridge coming down?" Gillham said. "I just thought the coincidence was absolutely incredible."
A Standard account of the 1938 crash said the bridge operator lowered the Canadian National Railway bridge because he thought he saw the lights of an approaching train. Meanwhile, the Windoc captain decided to increase the speed of the ship to try and avoid the collision, but struck the bridge hard as it fell. The bridge crushed the superstructure into a twisted mass of metal.
Gillham has a picture of the aft section of the original Windoc after the collision.
"It's just a tangle of stuff," he said.
This weekend's collision sliced the top of the wheelhouse and a fire burned out the stern section well into Sunday before it was extinguished.
In both cases, Gillham said it would have been impossible for the vessels to avoid the collisions by slowing or reversing engines.
While there have been many ship accidents in the canal -- although no others where a bridge came down on a ship -- the weekend collision recalls one of the most serious accidents in which a vessel collided with a lift-bridge.
On Aug. 25, 1974, the U.S. ore carrier Steelton struck Bridge 12 in Port Robinson. The bridge was being raised too slowly as it was struck by the bow of the Steelton. Half of the bridge toppled into the canal. The bridge was never replaced.
The latest ship to carry the name Windoc was built in 1959 by Schlieker-Werft in
. It was launched as the deep-sea ore carrier Hamburg, West Germany Rhine Ore for Transatlantic Bulk Carriers Inc., of . Monrovia, Liberia
Eighteen years later, Halco, Ltd. of
Montreal bought the vessel and had it rebuilt for Great Lakes service at Davie Shipbuilding in Lauzon, Que. The cost to rebuild the ship with a lengthened bow and cargo section was about $9 million.
As part of that reconstruction, the mid-ship pilot house was moved to the stern and it was re-named Steelcliffe Hall.
The Steelcliffe Hall joined the
fleet in 1988 when she was renamed Windoc and it served as a grain and ore carrier. Paterson
The original Windoc was built in 1899 by Globe Iron Works in
, launched as the M.A. Hanna for Cleveland Steamship Co. It was sold to Interlake Steamship Co. in Cleveland in 1916 and renamed Hydrus. Paterson Steamship Ltd. purchased the ship in 1926 and renamed it Windoc. It served the company until 1967 and was scrapped in Cleveland the following year. Italy
The Windoc's strange tale continued:
Eventually, by early September 2001, the Windoc was finally pulled north by four tugs, out of the Welland Canal into Lake Ontario, and towed to Hamilton Bay, where she sat moored at Pier 8 over the winter - but on Mar.9, 2002, a storm hit Hamilton, with winds reported up to 120 kph and waves at 2.5 m. Astoundingly, the Windoc - unmanned, empty and without any power, like a ghost ship - broke free of her moorings and was cast adrift during the night, rolling around Hamilton Bay, until she finally grounded in a sandbar!!
...and so, ten years after the Windoc's fateful collision, by the summer of 2011, both the Windoc and Canadian Leader were sitting in Port Colborne, waiting to be scrapped.
Thanks for visiting Right In Niagara; see also my related post, Welland Canal Refilled.