The Algonorth, was photographed last week approaching the waterfront at Morrisburg. Although she appears comparably bright and shiny new, she is actually approaching her 45th year of service. The ship was initially constructed as a deep sea bulk carrier.
This bulk carrier was launched September 1st, 1970 as the Temple Bar for Lambert Bros. Shipping Ltd., London, England. Her original dimensions were 160.86m loa x 22.91m beam x 13.08m deep; 22,513 mt capacity. On September 7th, 1976; the Temple Bar was sold to Nipigon Transport Ltd. of Montreal, QC, after which she arrived at Jurong Shipyard Ltd. in Singapore on November 13th, 1976 for lengthening and conversion for Great Lakes service.
The vessel was originally powered by 2 Ruston 6,000 b.h.p. V-12 cylinder diesel engines. In 1974, the Temple Bar was repowered with 2 - 9 cylinder, 6,000 b.h.p. diesel engines giving the vessel a speed of 16.1 m.p.h. Her current dimensions allow the vessel capable of carrying 26,159 tons at the new Seaway draft of 26' 06". She is also equipped with a 1,000 h.p. bow thruster.
The vessel is currently at port Halifax, CA, and her next destination (scheduled to arrive May 26th, is Sarnia, CA.
On April 9th, 1977, the Temple Bar departed Singapore in Canadian registry arriving at Montreal, QC on May 13th, 1977, having sailed to Canada via the Suez Canal. On May 19th, 1977, she sailed on her maiden voyage up the Welland Canal to Port Colborne, ON for a refit, the installation of a hatch crane, deck winches, and the removal of the deep sea strengthening. While locking through the Canal, she was renamed Lake Nipigon.
On May 24th, 1983; the Lake Nipigon was noted to have grounded off of Port Colborne, ON. After being released the next day with bow and bottom damage, the bulk carrier proceeded to Montreal for repairs. She was chartered to Misener Transportation and renamed Laketon in 1984, and was then returned to Nipigon Transport in December of 1985 and assumed her original name of Lake Nipigon. In April of 1986, Algoma Central Corp. acquired 4 bulk carriers; the Lake Nipigon, Lake Manitoba, Lake Wabush, and the Carol Lake
Algoma renamed the Lake Nipigon as the Algonorth in 1987 with the carrier entering service following a refit and paint at Port Weller Dry Docks, St. Catharines, ON. The vessel's new name assumes the fleet prefix "Algo" with "north" referring to Algoma's railway route north from Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
On November 14th, 1992; while departing Toledo, OH with a load of soybeans, and being assisted by tugs New Hampshire and Oregon, the Algonorth got caught in the swift currents of the Maumee River while attempting to line up with a drawbridge. Her bow struck the drawbridge supports and her stern swung across the channel striking the loading Great Lakes carrier, the Murray Bay (today sailing under the name Algoma Provider). No injuries and no serious damage to either vessel resulted. The Algonorth was freed from her strand the next day with the additional assistance of tugs Louisiana, Wisconsin, and Malcolm.
On August 2nd, 1994, the Algonorth was noted to have been in collision with the salty Rixta Oldendorff, in the Canal de Beauharnois section of the St. Lawrence Seaway. There was minor damage to both vessels but no injuries. The Algonorth was upbound in the system at the time, bound for Hamilton, ON with iron ore.
On July 30th, 1995, the bulk carrier was in collision with the barge Medusa Conquest being pushed by the tug Susan Hannah in Lake St. Clair. Only superficial metal damage to the starboard side of the Algonorth was suffered.
On December 20th, 1999, the bulker became stuck on the bottom of Sarnia, ON's harbor after loading grain bound for Sorel, QC. She was freed the next day with no resulting damage.
More recent notable incidents include the discovery on January 29th, 2004, a 19' 07" (6.0m) crack in her hull while drydocked at Pascol Engineering, Thunder Bay, ON. The cause was attributed to the extremely cold temperatures combined with the usual hull stress of a vessel being in a pumped out condition.
On February 21st, 2005, a smoldering fire was discovered in a storage cargo of sugar while the Algonorth was in winter lay-up at Redpath Sugar in Toronto, ON. The fire was quickly extinguished by the Toronto Harbour firefighters with the loss of approximately 5 tons of sugar and no vessel damage.
On August 19, 2005, a fire on Lake Superior affecting 3 electrical panels caused an engine room blackout forcing the Algonorth to drop anchor to prevent drifting in Lake Superior. The fire was ably contained and extinguished by the crew with no resulting injuries. Gravel and Lake Services tug Robert John from Thunder Bay took the bulker in tow back to Thunder Bay, ON for repairs. The Algonorth had departed Hamilton, ON on August 16 and was in transit to Thunder Bay when the fire took place.
January 2000 saw the Algonorth sail under the new management of Seaway Marine Transport, St. Catharines, ON, a continued partnership of Algoma Central and Upper Lakes Group combining the bulker fleet of Seaway Bulk Transport with the self unloader fleet of Seaway Self Unloaders providing for the more effective and profitable utilization of the combined fleets. Cargoes for the Algonorth continue to be focused primarily on the iron ore trade from Gulf of St. Lawrence ports to lower Great Lakes ports, and grain products from upper Great Lakes ports back to elevators along the St. Lawrence River.
On May 10th, 2006, the Algonorth laid up at Pier 10 in Hamilton, ON, to assess mechanical problems. With a seized starboard engine crankshaft, parts availability range from 4 to 8 months. Operating on one engine, the Algonorth departed Hamilton on June 13th, 2006 bound for Thunder Bay to resume her season.
- with files gathered from https://www.vesselfinder.com; http://www.boatnerd.com; https://www.marinetraffic.com;