2019 Thunder Bay shipping season underway
Mar 30, 2019 06:47AM
● By Editor
From CBC News - March 29, 2019
Thunder Bay's 2019 shipping season is officially underway.
The season's opening was marked Friday morning with the traditional Top Hat Ceremony, which saw the top hat presented to Scott Mogelin, captain of the MV Kaministiqua, the first ship to arrive at the Port of Thunder Bay this year.
"It's great, it's good to be part of that tradition," Mogelin said in the Kaministiqua's wheelhouse while the vessel was docked at Richardson's Current River elevator.
"There's not a lot of ports that do it anymore, so it's neat," he said.
The Kaministiqua arrived in Thunder Bay on Thursday morning, after a voyage that began in Windsor.
Second Officer Marc Boucher said the ship encountered "quite a bit of ice" on the way up.
18 hours in the ice
"We follow the ice tracks, there's not quite as much resistance," he said. "Having said that, we did get stuck just in Whitefish Bay there for a little while, but that's standard operating procedure for this time of year."
Boucher said the Kaministiqua was stuck in the Whitefish Bay ice for about 18 hours.
"We know, generally speaking, what to expect when we get there, where the thick ice is," he said. "We monitor satellite imagery."
The ship also stays in contact with agencies that track ice levels, Boucher said, adding that a United States Coast Guard cutter helped free the Kaministiqua from the Whitefish Bay ice.
Season 'looking bright'
Port of Thunder Bay CEO Tim Heney said he expects a strong shipping season this year.
"About the last five years, we've had pretty strong grain [shipments]," he said. "Since the change to the wheat board, we're up about 25 per cent, seems to be staying there."
"Harvests are larger every year in western Canada, so things are looking bright for the future," Heney said. "We have a lot of good inbound cargo now we've developed, steel, rail, wind turbines. That'll kick off in a couple weeks, and we'll be off and running."