First Vessel of 2019 Shipping season in Hamilton

Southern Ontario’s gateway to the world is open for business. At around 2 in the morning, the first vessel docked at the Hamilton Port to officially kick off the 2019 shipping season.

Shipping season is in full swing and with that comes the port of Hamilton’s Top Hat ceremony.

The Algoma Spirit is unloading nearly 24,000 metric tonnes of iron ore to Arcelor-Mittal Dofasco. Guiding those raw materials to Hamilton was Captain John Croucher. He was presented with Hamilton Port’s top hat by one of Canada’s 18 harbour masters, and one of only three female masters, Vicki Grubar. It’s also part of the tradition for the captain to sign the inside of the hat.

This is the 72nd year of the port of Hamilton’s top hat ceremony, and of coarse, throughout 72 years there is no way they could fit all those signatures into one hat, so they are actually on their 2nd ceremonial top hat and will eventually move on to a 3rd.

The port of Hamilton handles over 12 million tonnes of cargo and is visited by over 700 vessels each year.

Captain Croucher is on quite a roll. He’s received two top hats in the last 48 hours including Hamilton and Port Colborne. The Algoma Spirit is heading to lake superior and he wouldn’t mind getting a third.


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