Flying the flag of the Netherlands, M/V Erasmusgracht arriving from Lake Charles, Louisiana, was the first ship of 2021, with arrival at 3:30 p.m. on January 2. The ship was in ballast and will be leaving today for Barranquilla, Colombia with a cargo of 10,500 tonnes of aluminum sows from Alouette. Owned by Spliethoff, the ship has a crew of 13 sailors on board. Due to the health restrictions in effect with the COVID-19 pandemic, the prestigious cane bearing the image of the Port of Sept-Îles was given to Captain Jaap de Boon by Fundy Shipping’s shipping agent. Due to the pandemic, the traditional New Year ceremony at the Port, where the maritime industry and the Sept-Îles business community usually gather to mark the first ship, could not take place. Now in its 34th year, the tradition marks the arrival of the first ship of the year to call at the port. To be eligible, the vessel must come directly from a foreign country and be bound for a foreign destination.
In 2012 that the traditional gold-headed cane was redesigned as a more contemporary version of this coveted international maritime award. Since then, through the selection of its various components and its renewed design, it has honoured and enhanced the pillars of the region’s industries which operate through port infrastructures. This new edition of the polished and anodized aluminum cane is stylishly reminiscent of the blue highway, whereas the redesigned pommel supports an iron ore rock whose lustre is reflected in an acrylic hemisphere. The seven stars illustrated on the logo of the Port of Sept-Îles and recalling the seven islands in the bay have been reproduced in 10-karat gold on the ring of the cane.