PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II just exchanged pilots at Trios-Rivieres (Three Rivers), Quebec, Canada, midway between Quebec City and Montreal. We are on schedule to anchor tonight at Montreal around 9 pm. Tomorrow we get an early start to arrive the fist Seaway Lock at 0800 for a “check inspection” to be sure the ship will “fit” in the locks (PRIDE has been through the Seaway many times and remains unchanged so a “check” inspection is permitted). Once cleared to proceed, we do so without pilot and start the “climb” up the remaining length of the St. Lawrence River to Lake Ontario through the locks of the Seaway system. In general, after re-evaluating our fuel situation, it appears we should be able to arrive Oswego Thursday afternoon, barring some unforeseen weather.
The first group of pilots we picked up at Escumins shared the possibility that PRIDE would be slow enough to miss the start of flood current at Quebec City late Sunday night and if so may be required to anchor to wait for the following flood timed for Monday morning. As it turned out, PRIDE was just fast enough that the second group of pilots came aboard at 30 minutes after midnight and guided us through the night without having to stop. But PRIDE is not fast enough to arrive Montreal today before 4 pm to get the required inspection during normal working hours. So we will anchor for the night and proceed again in the morning. If we were in a really big hurry, we could pay out over $650 for an “overtime” inspection late tonight and continue on. But being a not-for-profit company in an economic downturn environment, I do not think it is an unimportant decision to pay out such a fee just to be sure we are on time. Especially as I believe we can be on time even after a night of being at anchor in Montreal.
Meanwhile, PRIDE was passed by LYNX early Sunday and has in turn passed LYNX late last night as LYNX did a prudent thing of going to anchor to wait the Monday morning flood from Quebec City. They will get a night’s rest. They will get to pass Quebec City today in daylight and see the prettier part of the middle section of the river. But it will take about 20-22 hours for them to reach Montreal…so they will arrive just before business hours on Tuesday. A busy day will follow taking care of business such as getting a full Seaway inspection because LYNX has never been into the “system” before. With luck, they may be starting up the last third of the river and through the locks starting sometime mid afternoon Tuesday. Even with the later departure, they should be able to arrive Oswego Thursday afternoon as well…baring any strong contrary weather we have not yet heard may occur.
Weather today here is a moderate summer day of low 70’s with low humidity as a result of a cold front that passed through the area last night. We have clear skies and light winds from the northwest. This third group of pilots likes to steer for themselves, so the crew is free to do maintenance.
Considering we will anchor tonight we will go to “all hands” this afternoon and get more maintenance done. Tomorrow we will probably remain all hands till sometime in the afternoon…so maybe a lot of maintenance can be done.
Jan C. Miles, Captain aboard Pride of Baltimore II