D’Arcy Jenish (author of The St. Lawrence Seaway: Fifty Years and Counting)

Making the voyage

Our voyage aboard the MV Algomarine began at the Port of Montreal late on a Saturday afternoon in July 2007 and ended early the following Thursday morning when the 730-foot laker docked at the Port of Thunder Bay. In four-plus days, the ship had travelled some 3,000 kilometres inland and ascended over 500 feet on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway. The captain and crew of 24 – with my son and I aboard as guests – had traversed the seven locks on the St. Lawrence and the eight that comprise the Welland Canal and expertly navigated the Great Lakes and the rivers that connect them – affording us a spectacular voyage on one of the world’s most important inland waterways.

In a typical 285-day season, some 3,600 ships sail these waters – most of them lakers but many of them ocean-going vessels shipping cargo from around the globe. Ontario, Quebec and eight American states border the Seaway, which directly and indirectly supports over 225,000 jobs. Equally important, as American president Dwight Eisenhower said during the June 1959 opening of the St. Lawrence section, the Seaway represents “a magnificent symbol of the achievements possible to democratic nations peacefully working together for the common good.”

Photo courtesy of D'Arcy Jenish

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