S.S. Keewatin

Good morning Capt. Rick,

For your notes, Capt, the  continued in cargo-only service for one more season than Keewatin, into 1967, after Keewatin was laid up in November 1966. I know Assiniboia continued until 1967 as that June, after having returned from working the summer of 1966 on Canadian Pacific’s Princess Patricia out of Vancouver, I actually saw her in service.

By then I was working as a student seaman on the Canadian Coast Guard lighthouse supply ship C P Edwards, out of Parry Sound. We had passed Tobermory before turning down the coast of Lake Huron towards Southampton and Port Elgin and I was at the top of the foremast applying a new coat of paint. (C P Edwards’ steam reciprocating engine is now on display at the Canada Science & technology Museum in Ottawa ,by the way).

All of a sudden, as we made our way into Lake Huron at about eight knots, we saw the white bulk of Assiniboia emerging from the mist, before steaming past us at close to twice our speed, inbound for Port McNicoll with another cargo. It was the last time I saw either ship (next month will be the first since) but what a view I had from the top of that mast! Although she had all her lifeboats removed, save for one each side for the crew, to allow for a little more weight of cargo, she still looked quite splendid. Unfortunately I had no camera with me!

Kevin G.
The Cruise People Ltd, London, England