Ship Wrecking

Out to Pasture

One of the great things about having a plan is that you’re organized, you know that you need to do and have something to guide you. One of the other things though, is that you can veer off in another direction and call it improvisation. Or off piste…   

 I just happened to be out exploring Port Colborne a few days ago, and while I was enticed there by Theodore Tugboat (Theodore Too) as he was passing through, I wasn’t really intent on taking photos of him. Well, I did with my phone actually, and very colourful he was too! Do you remember Theodore? He was like the Canadian alternative to Thomas the Tank Engine, both essential components to my childrens’ upbringing.  

Anyway, I did happen to take my camera with me, just in case I saw something of interest beyond Theodore, which is always possible. I wasn’t disappointed. 

 Walking along the Welland canal towards the Lake Erie waterfront, I spotted part of a wrecked ship perched on the opposite shore. And then another. Then I noticed another, smaller one. A ships graveyard? Surely not? And here in Ontario? I was reminded of the outstanding photographs of Edward Burtynsky’s shipbreaking series in India and Bangladesh. Nothing as dramatic here, but it definitely caught my interest. I walked as far down to the lake as I could, poked my head through gates in high chain link fences, drove around the other shore, then back again to try for my best views of it all. Not easy, of course, as it was all sealed off. I did persevere long enough to get a few images, though. 

 The image at the top was what I was after. There was another big wreck nearby but I couldn’t get a good angle or close enough. Then there was a smaller one. This one, below. 

 This one wasn’t as easily spotted but I was curious when I did see it. I wonder if it looked familiar for some reason? When I did a bit of research about Port Colborne’s waterfront afterwards, I found out what familiar meant. If you’re from Toronto you’ll remember there was a floating seafood restaurant on the lake at the foot of Yonge Street. It was a local icon for many years but finally gave up the ghost just a few years ago (2015). Yes, Captain John’s! I was looking at the remains of that very ship, here in Port Colborne! What a surprise and what a find. If you look closely, you can even see the name, faded, but still there. 

 I’m glad I had my camera with me, and that I wandered beyond the plan.