Monday, April 3, 2017

Saying Farewell to an Old Friend

So one of the boats that made me decide to go boatwatching on Saturday is the subject of this post.
 Sometime on Friday Evening/Saturday Morning the John B. Aird would have loaded salt in Goderich, Ontario.  As it turns out, this will be her last load.
 After you've watched the boats for a while, you start to get attached to many of them.  Especially if the boat is as young as the John B. Aird.  She was built in 1983 and given the longevity of lake boats, you would expect to see her around for a while longer.  However, Algoma Central has been on a building spree lately and have been scrapping some of their older vessels.
Granted, Canadian boats tend to not last as long as American boat because they do end up going to the more brackish waters at the mouth of the St. Lawrence Seaway.  They also tend to travel through more canals as they have to traverse the Welland Canal more often.  Many of the larger American boats can't even fit through the Welland Canal and will therefore will not see those brackish waters.
Anyway, the John B. Aird is slated to be scrapped next.
 So this will be the last time that she will pass St. Clair.  I was kind of hoping to catch her a little further up but I didn't get moving quickly enough.
 So she will continue down to Lake St. Clair and then pass Detroit.  I think she stopped at one of the points in the Welland Canal to offload excess fuel and other things.
 After passing St. Catharines on the northern end of the Welland Canal, she will continue into Lake Ontario.  I think she passes through a couple of locks as she passes through the St. Lawrence River.
 This portion of her journey will end as she arrives in Montreal.  There she will offload the salt that she picked up in Goderich.
 Prior to getting towed, the rest of her fuel will be removed and ballast will be added.  I believe her name will be painted over.
Her tow will take her to Turkey where she will be smashed on a beach and then broken up by a bunch of people there.  I'm just glad that I got to see her under her own power.  Scrap tows tend to be depressing.

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