| St. Marys River
Jeff and Greg Barber
Great Lakes Fleet Page
Vessel Feature - Salarium
By Todd Davidson
The Nanticoke was launched on December 18, 1979, constructed by
Collingwood Shipyards for Canada Steamship Lines Inc. She has been
strengthened for ocean service and is considered to be of the "Nova
Scotia/St. Lawrence" class standards. The Nanticoke is 730' x 75' 8" x46'
6" and is powered by two Crossley-Pielstick diesel engines producing 9,000 h.p. and has a
mid-summer draft capacity of 35,100 tons. She is active in the ore, stone and
Canada Steamship Lines are known for their vessel utilizations and
experimentation, and during the Nanticoke's maiden year of service she took
part in the first ever direct unloading of coal to a deep ocean-going ship
while at sea. As we all know, this was a great success, and CSL continues to
actively use their vessels to discharge coal and iron ore cargos on the Gulf
of St. Lawrence and the Canso Straits.
The Nanticoke made history again during the 1997 navigation season as she
and 2 other sister ships, the Atlantic Huron and Atlantic Erie, participated
in one of the most complex and challenging projects ever taken on by Canada
Steamship Lines. The "Hibernia Challenge" as it was named called for CSL to
directly deliver magnetite ore into an offshore drilling platform for
ballasting the rig to the ocean floor. The project called for 411,000 tons of
the dense material to set the giant caissons firmly to the sea bed off the
coast of Newfoundland. The 3 ships were fitted with a Dutch designed
operating/discharging system where the magnetite had to be mixed with water to
form a slurry. Her forward most cargo hold was used specifically to house the
added machinery and pumps and a special discharge unit was attached ahead of
The Nanticoke, Atlantic Huron and Erie each made 4 round trips from an
exclusively built ore dock in Newfoundland to the Hibernia platform, taking an
average of 12 days to complete the trip. The 3 CSL captains and officers
received advanced ship handling techniques and training while utilizing
simulators due to the often volatile sea conditions in the northern Atlantic.
On August 13, 1997, the Nanticoke delivered the last load of magnetite to the
project, and the specially designed equipment was removed from all three vessels
and each returned to their Great Lakes/Seaway trades. The Hibernia oil rig was
expected to produce up to 150,000 barrels per day and has a storage capacity
of over 1,000,000 barrels.
So, as long as CSL has the vision and
commitment to excellence, the Nanticoke and all of her sisters have a
great future still yet to come as they eye new markets to be explored
and current ones to be expanded.
In April 2009, the Nanticoke was chartered by Societe Quebecoise D'Exploration Miniere, Ste-Foy, QC to replace Algoma Central’s former Sauniere which they had held under charter from 1982 until her retirement in March 2009. Nanticoke was fittingly renamed Salarium in Montreal (meaning a ‘payment made in salt’) and deployed on the same run as had been the Sauniere. Employed mainly carrying salt between Iles-de-la Madeleine (Magdalene Islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence) and Quebec ports along the lower St. Lawrence River as well as Great Lakes and east coast ports, she occasionally makes trips to the upper Great Lakes to load coal and iron ore when not required on the salt run.