Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Finally Caught the Pierre Radisson

Last year when the ice levels on the Great Lakes were pretty thick, the Canadian Coast Guard called the Pierre Radisson and Des Groseilliers into service.  Both are classified as Medium Arctic icebreakers for the Canadians.  I was unable to catch either of them as they went up while I was as work and they came back down while I was at work.
 This year, only the Pierre Radisson was required and she was called up as soon as the Welland Canal was opened.  She was probably up on Lake Superior for a couple of weeks and now she is heading back to her home port of Quebec City.  She normally operates on the other side of the St. Lawrence Seaway and in the summer she is up in the Artic.
 She is named after Pierre Radisson who was a fur trader that proposed the route later used by the Hudson Bay Company.  There is a book documenting some of his works but there are probably some exaggerations.
The ship was built in 1978 in Vancouver, British Columbia.  She is considered as a Medium Class Arctic Icebreaker.  She will occasionally carry a helicopter.  I will have to say that it is a shame that the United States does not have a proper icebreaker operating in the Great Lakes.  The Mackinac, Alder and Hollyhock are fine but need assistance in thicker ice.  If the past couple of winters are any indication, they are probably going to continue to need some help for a while.  Also, we could take a cue from the Canadians and design said icebreaker so that it can go through the Welland so that it can work in the Arctic in the summer.  It's not like we don't need another icebreaker up there either.

But I guess our Congress would rather twiddle its thumbs and throw blame around.

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