Thunder Bay’s Shipping Season Underway
Thunder Bay’s shipping season for 2023 has officially begun, with the arrival of McKeil Marine’s MV Harvest Spirit on Sunday, March 26. The vessel crossed the breakwall at 5:00 am, one day after passing through the Soo Locks. It then docked at Superior Elevator, where it loaded 14,200 tonnes of canola before departing for Windsor later that evening.
McKeil Marine is a well-known marine service operator that boasts over 50 vessels and a sailing and shore-based crew of about 350. It has offices in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The Harvest Spirit, built in 2012, is part of its bulker fleet.
During the 2022 season, the Harvest Spirit made 21 trips to Thunder Bay for grain, and it was the second-to-last vessel out of the port before its winter closure in mid-January. The Harvest Spirit is a familiar sight in the Port of Thunder Bay, and on Sunday, the vessel and its crew received Top Hat honours in a traditional ceremony.
The Port of Thunder Bay, the City of Thunder Bay, and the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce all presented welcoming remarks and tokens of appreciation to the Harvest Spirit’s captain, Adam Hagen, and chief engineer, Gavin Pink. The Top Hat Ceremony marks the official opening of the port’s navigation season, and it is a longstanding tradition in Thunder Bay.
The arrival of the MV Harvest Spirit and the opening of Thunder Bay’s shipping season are significant events for the region, as they signify the beginning of a busy and productive season for the port and its many partners.