Category Archives: history

Sunk in Pugwash, July 1967

The photo above appeared on my Twitter feed today. The ship New York News split in two and sank loading salt in Pugwash . The vessel originally carried newsprint for New York papers, but was sold and had recently been lengthened.

The vessel was salvaged, towed to Halifax and repaired. She currently is still trading under the Canadian flag as Wolf River

Visit to the St Roch

 

Captained by Henry Larsen, the RCMP schooner St. Roch was the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America and the second sailing vessel to complete a voyage through the Northwest Passage. She was the first ship to complete the Northwest Passage in the direction west to east, and returned east to west.
 
She is now part of the Maritime Museum in Vancouver. We have posted a tour on our Flickr page:

Seperated after birth: Jim Kilabuk and Atlantic Tern

The Jim Kilabuk arrived over the weekend and tied up at Pier9. Built as Canmar Supplier IV in 1975 at the Yarrows yard in Esquimalt, She was intended to be used for Oil Exploration in the Beaufort Sea by Dome Petroleum. After that venture ended, she was sold to Northern Transportation, and took her current name in 1995.

UPDATE: Jim Kilabuk Moved to Jetty NA at Shearwater this morning. this suggests she’s doing work for the Navy. She shows Harbour Grace NL as her destination.

Sister Vessel Canmar Supplier II is a Halifax regular, now working for Atlantic Towing as Atlantic Tern. Though She has been modified, you can still see her original lines.

Anchor from HMCS Niobe Uncovered



An anchor, believed to have belonged to His Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS)Niobe, has been unearthed at HMC Dockyard in Halifax. HMCS Niobe was the first Canadian warship to enter Canada’s territorial waters, on October 21, 1910, a landmark event in the beginnings of the Naval Service of Canada.

As fate would have it, the discovery of the roughly 900-kilo (2000-pound) anchor was made just days before the commemoration of Niobe Day, which will from now on, be celebrated annually by the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) on the 21st day of October. An excavation crew working at HMC Dockyard recovered an anchor and chain buried beneath a demolition site on the morning of October 14. The anchor has been inspected, assessed against relevant documents and photographs, and is now believed to be that of HMCS Niobe.

The anchor was unearthed at former Jetty 4, where Building D-19, a Second World War dockside warehouse and one of the first structures at HMC Dockyard, once stood and is now being demolished.

The position of the anchor speaks to a particular time and function. The direction of the chain links is consistent with the position of the Niobe’s bow when employed as a depot ship and the size is consistent with an estimated size of the links of the Niobe’s anchor in a post-Halifax Explosion photo. 
While a list of stores left behind by the Royal Navy is not available, no vessels in the newly formed Royal Canadian Navy were large enough for this size anchor except for the Niobe, or possibly the Rainbow (based in Esquimalt, BC). Additionally there would have been no other use for a heavy chain and anchor at the discovery site, except to permanently moor a large vessel such as Niobe.

After she was paid off, Niobe functioned as a depot ship from July, 1915 until 1920 moored in Halifax Harbour. The Halifax Explosion on December 6, 1917, pulled the ship’s concrete embedded anchor from the harbour floor and dragged the ship. Once re-secured to Jetty 4, additional anchors were put in place including one to the shore from the stem and one from the stern. The anchor that has been discovered is believed to be one of these three bow anchors that were used to keep Niobe in place

The dimensions of the roughly 900-kilo (2000-pound) anchor are, 4 metres (13 feet) from crown to head, 4.1 metres (13.5 feet) across the stock, and 3.35 metres (11 feet) from bill to bill of the flukes. Additionally, each link of the anchor’s chain is 51 centimetres (20 inches) by 28 centimetres (11 inches) and weighs approximately 34 kilos (75 pounds)

The Panama Canal is 100 today.

100 years ago today, the SS Ancon was the first vessel to transit the canal. The panama canal was started by the french, who were emboldened by their success building the Suez canal. Panama was very different, and they ran out of money long before they finished digging. The Americans bought the whole operation for pennies on the dollar, adjusted their plans, killed mosquitos, and 100 years ago today succeeded.

David McCullough offers an excellent history of the canal in his book the Path Between The Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 – its arranged in 3 parts – the french attempt, the American attempt, and the political dealings in between. Its a good read, and i highly recomend it.

The North Ferry?

The Morning File on the Halifax Examiner pointed me to the Dartmouth History blog, Where the author is seeking more information about a North Ferry Service between Tufts Cove and The North End of Halifax.

From the Ad, It looks like the service was run by J.H Dauphinee & Sons, and they ran several boats in the harbor for charter work and pleasure cruises.

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