By Carol Martin
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
The decommissioned Ontario Northland ferry has been moored at Purvis's deep-water slip for about two weeks now, and talk about her fate is running faster than the chinook salmon.
The Nindawayma was towed into Purvis's slip shortly after midnight on August 8.
After serving four seasons (1989 to 1992) as the sister ferry for the Chi-Cheemaun, running between Tobermory and South Baymouth on Manitoulin Island, the Nindawayma was laid up at Owen Sound for eight years.
According to Boatnerd.com, she was to be towed to Port Weller Dry Docks at St. Catharines, arriving there on April 26 of this year.
But Wikipedia indicates that, as of April 21, the Nindawayma passed from Canadian registry on her way to the scrap yard at Port Weller, Ontario.
She was to be used by Upper Lakes Group as a source for spare parts, then cut down to a deck barge or her hull broken up and used for scrap metal.
Somewhere along the line, Nindawayma's fate was diverted and she ended up in the Sault.
Purvis isn't saying much, but has indicated to SooToday.com that when he decides what he'll be doing with the old ferry, his decision will be clearly obvious.
In late 2000, the Nindawayma was in Montreal, where she was used in the 2006 movie Bon Cop, Bad Cop; directed by Eric Canuel, starring Michel Beaudry and Patrice BĂ©langer.
The boat served as the setting for the bad guy's lair in the film's climax.
Boatnerd.com says the Nindawayma was first commissioned in 1976 as the Monte Cruceta.
She was designed as a roll-on/roll-off cargo ferry and built by S.A. Juliano Construction Gijonesa in Gijon, Spain, says the website.
Later in 1976, the Monte Cruceta's name changed to Monte Castillo and she went through a long series of name changes and service duties until January 30, 1989 when the vessel was sold to Ontario Northland Marine Services and renamed Ontario No. 1 for the Atlantic crossing.
"After a refit at Owen Sound, Ontario, a contest sponsored by the Ontario government was held to name the vessel," says Boatnerd. "The Ojibway Indian word Nindawayma (meaning 'little sister') was chosen."
The Nindawayma entered service opposite the Chi-Cheemaun providing ferry service from Tobermory to South Baymouth, Ontario (on Manitoulin Island).
She was not used as a car ferry on that route after the 1992 season because Ontario Northland decided only one ferry was needed to service the run.
Wikepedia indicates that the refitted cargo ferry had a noticeable roll and was reputed to be a rough ride for passengers, with long line-ups of people opting to wait instead for her sister ship during the 1992 season on Manitoulin Island.