Friday, October 26, 2012

And Now the Algoma Provider

Next up is the ship that made this a shipwatching day instead of a going to Belle Isle day.

Before I get into the pictures, a little terminology.  The term "straight decker" refers to a ship that does not have the self-unloading equipment.  When I refer to the classic Great Lakes configuration, this is the type of ship that I should be referring to, as this is the type that has sailed the Great Lakes for a long time.  However, since the self-unloader has been around for a while, I can still cheat and refer to those as classics.

The advantage of the self-unloader is that the port doesn't have to provide unloading equipment for the ship.  Self-unloaders also require less time in port because they unload quicker.  Since a ship sitting in port is a ship that is not making money, the shipping companies prefer the self-unloaders.  As result, straight deckers are getting to be rarer on the lakes.
 Sometimes, circumstances dictate that some older ships come out of service even if they aren't the most efficient.  A less efficient ship is better than no ship and the potential of losing a contract.  I think that is the case with the Algoma Provider.  She was on layup for a while and was pulled out of service this year.
 A friend of mine caught her on her re-maiden voyage.  I was hoping to catch her on that day but I dallied too long and she ended up fueling instead of going where I expected her to go.
 Anyway, every ship has a story and so does this one.
 The Algoma Provider started her life in 1963 as the Murray Bay (this shouldn't be confused with Murray Head).  She sailed for the Canadian Steamship Lines and would be the last steam turbine vessel built for them.
 She is powered by a 9,000 s.h.p. steam turbine that is fueled by heavy fuel oil.  This gives her a speed of about 13 knots (or so).
 She is 730 feet long and can carry 27,000 tons of cargo.
 For 28 years, she sailed under the Canadian Steamship Lines until 1991.  In that year, she sailed under the management of Great Lakes Bulk Carriers Ltd out of St. Catharines Ontario.  This was a consortium of CSL, Misener and Pioneer Shipping.  This lasted until 1993.
 In 1994, she was sold to Upper Lakes with a few other ships.  After a new paint job, she was given the name Canadian Provider.  In 2000, this became the Seaway Bulk Carriers (which was a consortium of Algoma and Upper Lakes).
 For the most part, she only sailed during the grain harvest season and this was dependent upon the size of the harvest.
 In 2004, she collided with another ship in Toronto and remained there until she was towed to Hamilton in 2005.  In 2006, she was towed to St. Catharines and given her 5 year survey.  She returned to active service shortly after that.
 In 2011, the Upper Lakes fleet was sold to Algoma and she was given her current name at that time.  She was put into Layup at that time.
 This year, she is back in service.  And I think it's pretty cool to see a straight decker.  I hoping that I see her at least one more time before she's retired for good.  But who knows what fate lies for her.
 I'm also hoping to see the St. Mary's Challenger which is the oldest ship on the Great Lakes.
 But I guess until then, I'll be content with this ship.
And she sails off.....

1 comment:

Christopher List said...

Great pics. I love 6 and 8. Driving to work Friday I thought the sky was going to be pretty dramatic. And it was.